Friday, February 22, 2013

Friday February 22nd 2013 Washington's Birthday

Officials in the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests say they DO plan to continue prescribed burns this spring following slash pile burns in December and January.  The burns are used to help manage vegetation buildup and improve wildlife habitat.  Forrest officials are continuing to monitor moisture levels and conditions and hope to conduct burns this spring on 2,500 to 5,000 acres.

Colorado Senator Mark Udall says is urging private contractors to respect upcoming  U-S Forest Service contracts for next-generation air tankers.  Udall says some private contractors have already delayed the Forest Service's acquisition of seven of the tankers, and challenging new contract could leave Colorado without the firefighting equipment they need.

The Grand Junction chapter of the Salvation Army is celebrating 105 years in the community by thanking all the volunteers and businesses who've helped the organization.  The Army says it's helped thousands of families over the years, providing food and shelter, clothing, and rehabilitation services for the community and a VA component added in 2008.

The Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce is taking its annual trip to the state capitol next week to meet with legislators about business concerns.  There is still time to register for the trip Thursday and Friday.  You can call the Chamber for information.

If you want to know more about Referendum A on the Grand Junction City ballot in April, the Chamber of Commerce is holding an informational Open House March 2nd. It's at Brady Trucking on 27 1/2 Road at the Colorado River from 10 until noon. Brady is requesting a zoning change in order to use their property. Opponents of the change say it will hurt the River and compromise the Riverfront Trail.

The Grand Junction Kiwanis Club has put together a Children's Resource Directory, compiling information and resources available to parents of young children in the grand valley.  The club has produced the handbook for the past ten years and says this year's new design makes it easier than ever to use.

Businesses would be able to choose a higher deductible on workers comp insurance and lower premiums under a bill passed by the state house this week.  The bill's sponsor says the change would incentivize safe work environments and reward good business practices. The bill has wide support including the National Federation of Independent Business and organized labor.  It now moves to the Senate for further consideration.

A bill to make DUI a Class 5 Felony for some repeat offenders is moving forward in the State House.  Colorado is one of five state without a felony conviction for DUIs.  The bill would make three consecutive DUI or DWAI convictions in a seven-year-period a felony. And four convictions in a lifetime a felony. The bill moves to the Appropriations Committee for further consideration.

The Garfield Re-2 School District is working on its 13-14 draft calendars and wants feedback. Last year the district adopted a 4-day week school calendar, and is now looking at a two year plan.  Both are available on the Garfield Re-2 website under the News Tab.

It's been over a week since Dutch the dog was ordered surrendered to the Montrose animal shelter to be euthanized and his owner Jeremiah Aguillar ordered to spend two days in jail for having a vicious dog. Since then the judge offered to send the dog to a sanctuary in California to live.  The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel says Aguillar has not responded to that option. He's to return to court in May to hear when he'll serve his jail sentence.

Expect Highway 65 to be closed over the top of the Grand Mesa this morning as CDOT avalanche crews work to remove the danger of snow slides onto the roadway.  16 inches of fresh snow was reported in the area south of Mesa Lakes. Powderhorn ski area is still accessible from the 1-70 Highway 65 exit.

A Clifton man has been arrested, accused of trying to make meth in his apartment.  Deputies got a warrant after responding to the apartment on a disturbance call last week. The found suspected meth ingredients in the home.  The Daily Sentinel says 26 year old Brian Doyle allegedly admitted trying to make meth to alleviate some of his medical issues.

Magpul Industries says it will still leave the state if a bill limiting the capacity of ammunition magazines that can be sold in the state, even with an amendment that would allow the company to sell those magazines in other states.  A state representative and state senator toured the company's plant yesterday.  Several hundred workers are employed by Magpul.

 The Regional Sportsmen's Caucus has chosen two delegates to represent their concerns at the statewide Sportsmen's Roundtable in Denver next month. Kenny Marcella and Jim Spehar were chosen.  Colorado Parks and Wildlife is encouraging sportsmen to contact their delegates with issues they would like to have addressed at the meeting in Denver.