Thursday, December 27, 2012

Thursday December 27, 2012

A 70 year old man who pled guilty to dealing meth in Grand Junction in 2008 has lost his latest appeal.  Robert Hakel, also known as Grandpa, was sentenced to 32-years after pleading guilty to possession of a controlled substance for sale, possession of a weapon by a previous offender, and solicitation to commit first degree murder.  According to the Daily Sentinel, Hakel argued he was coerced into the plea deal and that the judge in the case has made errors.  The Colorado Court of appeals upheld the convictions two weeks ago.

The Telluride Avalanche School is holding courses in January, February and March.  The Telluride Daily Planet says the Avalanche awareness courses start with Level One in January and February and Level 2 in March.  6 Monday evening courses are scheduled throughout the winter.

The snow is piling up in western Colorado, but it has to continue if it's to have an impact on the drought. The Colorado River Water Conservation District tells the Daily Sentinel this early season snow helps, but they're keeping an eye out for heavy moisture laden snow in March and April.

Potential gun buyers in Colorado are being forced to wait several days or longer before being allowed to purchase a firearm. Earlier this month, waits were just 15 minutes, but background checks required by law are now up to 100 hours.  According to the Denver Post, the CBI says it was running about 3,000 checks a day, that number now is up to 3,000.

Colorado's snowpack is improving.  On November 26th, snowpack in northwest Colorado was 48% of average. The Denver Post says by December 20th, the snowpack was at 75%, and that was before another 12 inches on Christmas Eve and Christmas.  Even more snow is expected in the northwest mountains through tonight.

CDOT has closed the west Glenwood rest area as part of a plan to close four rest areas in the state.  The one in Glenwood was to close in March, but was shutdown now because of sewer issues. It will be redesigned as emergency parking for trucks.  The closing of the rest areas is expected to save CDOT $300,000 a year in maintenance costs.

A bad year for bear food in Colorado has led to one of the worst years ever for conflicts between humans and bears.  Colorado Parks and Wildlife says 100 bears were euthanized through November this year, compared with only 32 in 2011. In 2009, 59 bears were killed.

A Niwot [nye-watt] garbage man is expected to survive after being dragged 100 feet underneath an SUV.  The accident happened yesterday morning when the man was attempted to cross a road and slipped on the ice.  An SUV was unable to stop, hit the man, then dragged him.  The State Patrol says slick roads were a factor in the crash and the driver won't be cited.

High dollar real estate in Aspen is booming and is expected to continue through the end of the year.  Some property brokers tell the Aspen Times the anticipated capital gains tax hikes from 15 to 20% is the reason.  Between December 1st and yesterday, 30 sales of $1 million or more were recorded.  In December of last year, nearly $78 million in sales were recorded.  So far this month, $135 million real estate sales have been recorded.