News, January 31st

EVICTIONS OF BASALT TRAILER PARK BEGINNING

Basalt— (AP)  Basalt Town Manager Mike Scanlon is telling residents of the Pan and Fork Mobile Home Park the town will start the formal eviction process against them this weekend. He tells residents they must be out of their homes by April 1. The town is making way for  a project to ease the flood risk of the Roaring Fork River, restoring riverbanks, building a riverside park and raising the level of developable land. The town is offering Pan and Fork residents up to 25 thousand dollars to relocate.

COLORADO BARK BEETLE INFESTATION IMPROVING

GOLDEN (AP) – A new survey of Colorado forests indicates that the mountain pine beetle epidemic has slowed dramatically, but the spruce beetle outbreak continues to spread. The survey by the U.S. Forest Service and the Colorado State Forest Service was released Thursday. The two agencies annually survey forests in the state for insect and disease. The survey found that the acreage of trees infected by the mountain pine beetle has dropped to its lowest in 15 years. Statewide, the mountain pine beetle was active on 97,000 acres in 2013.  The spruce beetle outbreak grew to 398,000 acres in 2013, an increase of about 216,000 acres over 2012.  The survey finds that aspen forest conditions in the state have continued to improve.

PALISADE WOMAN’S FATE RESTS WITH JURY

GRAND JUNCTION (AP) – Jury deliberations continue in the case of a Colorado woman whose two young sons died after she left them in a running SUV with the heater on. The jury of eight women and four men began deliberating the fate of Heather Jensen on Thursday. The Daily Sentinel reports that they asked for definitions of accidental death and homicide and were told they already had them. Two-year-old William and 4-year-old Tyler of Palisade died of hyperthermia after Jensen left them last November while she had sex and smoked marijuana in another vehicle nearby. The 25-year-old is charged with two counts of criminally negligent homicide, two counts of child abuse resulting in death and false reporting to authorities. She could face 24 years in prison if convicted.

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