News, April 18th

ROARING FORK SNOWPACK MUCH IMPROVED

Carbondale—The snow has provided a major boost to the local snowpack.  According to today’s report from the Roaring Fork Conservancy, the snowpack is now 99 percent of normal.  The conservancy report says the snowfall last week amounted to over two inches of water in the upper Fryingpan and Roaring Fork basins.  Officials say a dust storm last week covered the snow in some areas with a blanket of dirt and that will lead to a faster than normal run-off when temperatures warm up.  As for the drought conditions…officials with the conservancy say they’ve improved from extreme to severe. 

SKI RESORT WATER RIGHTS DEBATED

Denver—Ski resorts in Colorado and the rest of the nation are hoping to reach a compromise on the use of water on public land.  The National Ski Areas Association has been meeting with the U.S. Forest Service to prevent them from surrendering their water rights needed for snowmaking.  The ski association is offering a number of options including requiring ski areas to prove sufficient water is available for every project and anytime a ski resort is sold, the water rights would have to be offered  in the deal for the buyer, the local community or the federal government.

GARCO MINERAL LEASE MONEY DOLED OUT

Glenwood Springs—Garfield County schools and communities continue to reap the benefits of oil and gas drilling.  Nearly 2.1 million dollars in grants were awarded to 15 infrastructure projects by the Garfield County Federal Mineral Lease District.  The largest grant of over 386 thousand dollars will help the town of New Castle improve sidewalks and roadways.  350 thousand dollars will allow the city of Rifle to complete phase 1 of Deerfield Regional Park.  Carbondale is receiving 300 thousand dollars toward the completion of the Highway 133 / Main Street interchange project and another 300 grand  will assist Glenwood Springs in improving streets and the waterline.  The mini grant program is for smaller projects such as 25 thousand dollars to improve the New Castle Community Center and over 24 thousand for new flooring at the Grand Valley Recreation Center at Battlement Mesa.

GYPSUM ARMED BURGLAR SOUGHT

Gypsum—“If you call the cops, you’re dead.”  That was the warning from an armed man, dressed in black from head to toe as he left the Kum n’ Go Convenience store in Gypsum early Monday morning.  According to reports from the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office, the clerk saw the suspect run toward the front door around 1:30am , waive a gun around and grab a display case of electronic cigarettes worth over 13-hundred dollars.  The Sheriff’s Office is asking the public for any information about the suspect by calling 328-7007 or the Eagle County Crimestoppers anonymous tipline at 800-972-TIPS.

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