PALISADE (AP) – A nationwide manhunt for a man accused of repeatedly sexually assaulting an 8-year-old girl has ended in Garfield County where is being held without bail. Authorities arrested 59-year-old James David Tiner early Saturday morning after a short pursuit after police closed in on his home in Palisade. His first court appearance is pending. Tiner advertised his music teacher services in newspapers in 2009 and 2010. He is accused of sexually assaulting an 8-year-old girl.
Police obtained an arrest warrant in April but his trail went cold until the FBI obtained a fugitive warrant and released Tiner’s photograph as part of a nationwide search. Authorities believed he had been hiding in the Ozark Mountain region of Arkansas.
DENVER (AP) – Another round of snow is ensuring a White Christmas in the Rockies. Snow was forecast across eastern Utah and parts of Wyoming and Colorado on Monday. The Denver area was expected to get between 2 to 4 inches by Christmas Day. After a slow start to the ski season, resorts have already benefited from several rounds of storms in the last few weeks. While snow is common in the mountains this time of year, White Christmases in Denver are less so. The National Weather Service says the chance of a Christmas with at least an inch of snow on the ground in the Mile High City is about 37 percent. If you only count freshly fallen snow, chances drop to 13 percent counting Christmases going back to 1882.
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS (AP) – Two snowmobilers have been found safe after spending a night in below freezing weather on Rabbit Ears Pass. Authorities reached the pair Saturday morning. Routt County Search and Rescue incident commander Kristia Check-Hill say the search began Friday evening after the snowmobilers reported they were stuck in a meadow. Rescuers from Routt County found the pair about 7:30 a.m. Saturday. Temperatures had dipped to 17 degrees Friday night. The pair was able to use gasoline from a snowmobile to start a fire, but keep the fire going was difficult because of a lack of wood.
DURANGO (AP) – Volunteers are continuing the tradition of luminarias in Durango. The tradition of placing candles inside brown paper bags on Christmas Eve fell by the wayside in recent years because of holiday exhaustion. Last year, one man who had helped with the setup as a child revived the tradition. On Monday afternoon, volunteers will set up and light 1,200 luminarias along East Third Avenue. They will be lit at 5 p.m. and burn for 10 hours. Libby Culver of the area’s neighborhood association said people missed not having luminarias and realize now that they’re worth the work.
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. (AP) – Volunteers monitoring maps showing Santa Claus’ progress from a Colorado Air Force base are only about three hours into their goodwill mission but have already answered more than 7,000 phone calls from people asking about the jolly old elf. Phones are ringing nonstop at Peterson Air Force Base, headquarters of the North American Aerospace Command’s annual Santa-tracking operation.
Scores of helpers at NORAD are taking calls and tracking Santa’s location on large projection screens. In another room, the volunteers post updates for more than 1 million Facebook fans and 107,000 Twitter followers.
The maps show Santa is in Australia and heading west. The volunteers will keep updating through 3 a.m. Mountain Time on Christmas morning. NORAD Tracks Santa began in 1955.