Thursday, January 31, 2013

Thursday January 31, 2013

A Grand Junction Police Commander has died unexpectedly.  54 year old Greg Assenmacher passed away Tuesday night.   Assenmacher had been with the police department since 1981, and was active with Crimestoppers, JUCO and the Western Slope Honor Flights.

No record of custody at the Mesa County Jail for Heather Jensen, a former Palisade woman arrested earlier this month in the deaths of her two sons in her SUV on the Grand Mesa in November. Heather Jensen was arrested in Florida on a warrant for Criminally Negligent Homicide and Child Abuse Resulting in Death. She waived extradition and is apparently being returned to Mesa County. Jensen's 2 and 4-year old sons died after being left in an SUV with the heater running for about an hour.

Grand Valley off-road vehicle users
are coming out in droves against a preferred BLM alternative Draft Resources Plan.  The off-roaders say the plan would close access to 2,100 of 3,100 miles of road on BLM land locally.  A group of multi-use supporters held a meeting yesterday ahead of a BLM open house in Grand Junction today from 4:30 to 7:30 at the Clarion Inn. They tell the Daily Sentinel The BLM's proposed plan is "an assault" locally on access to roads on public lands.

A 35 year old man arrested in Morrison last week has been indicted on three charges related to improvised explosive devices found at his home. A video made by an undercover ATF officer shows Richard Sandberg offering to trade the devises for drugs or money, and making threatening statements toward lawenforcement and specifically ATF.

Mesa County residents looking to get a Concealed Carry Permit will be able to apply for that only three days a week beginning next Monday.  The Sheriff's Office, which handles the applications, says a significantly higher number of requests is slowing down the process.  They say accepting the applications Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, will allow staff to process those in a timely manner.

Neighbors in an Aspen residential area say drivers are going too fast and they want a new speed limit.  The city council is looking into a proposed 14 mile an hour limit.  Signs alone would cost about $25,000.

Senate Bill 33, the so-called ASSET bill that would give in-state tuition to some students living in the country illegally is getting some support from Republicans who earlier said they would not support the measure.  The Denver Post says Senator Greg Brophey of Wray has changed his stance. He says wishing people living in the state illegally would "just go home" doesn't make any sense.  The bill has passed out of committee and is expected to pass out of the full senate.

One firearms bill has died in a state senate committee, two others are to be introduced soon. The bill defeated yesterday would have required business owners to allow concealed-carry weapons in their businesses or provide private security.  A Republican senator is proposing a measure to allow school employees to carry concealed weapons, and another measure seeks to keep the state from having to enforce gun laws handed down from the Federal Government.

A teenager is making news at CSU.  18 year old Crystal Vander Zanden is a 2nd year biochemistry doctorate student in Fort Collins. Vander Zanden started college at age 13 and is now working towards her doctorate developing effective pharmaceuticals and is even a teaching assistant for students older than her.

For a 3rd straight year, a bill to simplify the language on Colorado ballots has died in the state House.  A 2011 Pew Center study showed Coloradans needed a doctorate level of reading comprehension to understand the state ballot.  The bill had been supported by the Colorado County Clerk's Association, AARP and the Colorado Secretary of State.

The School District 51 Foundation making a significant donation to reading intervention classes in the district.  The Foundation is donating 500 Nook simple touch e-readers preloaded with books to elementary schools in the district. The Foundation is committed to supporting literacy in district 51 and raised money last fall to pay for the Nooks.

The Colorado State Forest Service will resume slash pile burning on state lands as a preventive measure against wildfires. Governor Hickenlooper stopped the state burning last spring but says it will resume, with some modifications. Slash piles of forest debris will only be burned when there is 4 to 6 inches of snow on the ground and neighbors in the area will be alerted to the burns.