Friday, March 1, 2013

Friday March 1, 2013

A former mentor with Mesa County Partners has been sentenced to serve 12 years to life in prison after pleading guilty to molesting four boys. 51 year old Mark Bustamante was arrested last summer, accused of molesting two boys while he worked as a Partners mentor.  The Daily Sentinel says under a plea agreement, Bustamante plead guilty to two counts of sexual assault on a child in exchange for a maximum 24 years in prison. His 12-years-to-life means he must serve 12 years before being eligible for parole.

A group of Grand Junction area residents says sequestration cuts to National Parks and other federal services will hurt local communities.  The group plans to highlight the effects at the Colorado National Monument this afternoon.

Colorado Senator Mark Udall and Maine Republican Senator Susan Collins say they're introducing legislation to stop across the board cuts called for under sequestration, and replace them with targeted cuts and appropriate congressional oversight.  Udall says blunt shortsighted budget cuts are not the responsible way to reduce the deficit.  The two senators say their bipartisan plan keeps cuts at the same level, but gives to the president and Congress replacing  arbitrary cuts with smarter, focused spending reductions.

Bow hunting is as popular as ever in western Colorado, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife is offering a class to help new hunters.  It's March 10th from 8 to 5 at the Horsethief Canyon State Wildlife Area. A $10 fee gets participants an accelerated hunter education class focusing on bow hunting strategies, safety, and ethics.

United Way of Mesa County is out with results from this year's fund raising campaign and they're not great.  They fell short of their $1.25 million goal. By the end of February, United Way had raised just over $1 million, 7% below the amount raised during the same period last year.  The campaign remains open for pledges for the next two weeks in order to maximize the funds available for some 51 health and human service programs applying for funding in the coming year.

An Aspen man has been found guilty of conspiracy to distribute cocain and faces a minimum 20 years and a maximum of life in federal prison because of prior felony drug conviction.  The U-S Attorney's office says Montgomery Chitty was convicted of conspiracy to distribute more than five kilos of cocaine.  Law enforcement agencies from Glenwood Springs, Garfield County, Rifle, Vail and the IRS were involved in the investigation.

March is Red Cross Month across the country and in Colorado with the organization recognizing hundreds of volunteers who help their neighbors everyday. Local chapters are holding events throughout the month including a Day at the Capitol March 19th, where Red Cross instructors will teach legislators and their staffs how to save a life using hands-only CPR.

One of the crafters of Colorado's Amendment 64 says he's honored to have been a part of helping implement the will of Colorado's voters.  Christian Sederberg represented the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol on the task force charged with crafting recommendations for taxing and regulating adult-use marijuana in Colorado.  The task force finished its work yesterday sending their recommendations to the legislature to craft laws implementing Amendment 64.

Denver sees 6.1 inches of snow in an average February, but this years was not average.  Last weekend's nine inches of snow sent the unofficial total way over that.  The National Weather Service says March is normally Denver's snowiest month and with a variable weather pattern in the forecast that could hold true.

A decision is expected next month on a permit request for a uranium mill in western Montrose County.  Telluride's Sheep Mountain Alliance appealed a state health department permit for Energy Fuels to build the mill near Nucla and The Denver Post says state health department director Dr. Chris Urbina yesterday denied that appeal. Energy Fuels proposes building the Pinon Ridge Uranium and Vanadium Mill, a project that was expected to bring 85 jobs to the area once a nuclear hub.

*apologies for any spelling or grammatical errors*