News, July 24th

FIRES NEAR MEEKER STILL BURNING

MEEKER (AP) — Crews are working to build more containment lines around two wildfires burning in northwestern Colorado. The Citadel Fire has burned 2.9 square miles about 40 miles northwest of Meeker since being reported Sunday. It’s 10 percent contained. The East Tschuddi (ta-SHOE’-dee) Fire is 445 acres, about 20 miles northwest of Meeker. It’s 25 percent contained.

FALLEN CAPITOL PEAK CLIMBER

ASPEN (AP) — Coroner’s officials say the man who fell while descending Capitol Peak near Aspen died of blunt force trauma to his head and multiple systems failure.Pitkin County sheriff’s officials have said of 35-year-old Ryan Joseph Palmer, of Vail, climbed the peak with friends but decided to descend the north face of the peak Friday instead of crossing the exposed “knife edge” route from the summit again. His friends crossed the knife edge and watched him start down the face. They called authorities when Palmer was overdue at their meeting place. Rescuers found Palmer’s body at the base of the north face Saturday. Sheriff’s officials estimate he fell 200 to 300 feet.

COLORADO RURAL HOSPITALS STRUGGLING FINANCIALLY

DENVER (AP) — Colorado’s rural hospitals are trying to maintain emergency services with fewer resources. State officials say rural communities rely more on Medicare payments, which are being cut by the federal budget sequestration. Some hospitals are coming up with their own solutions. Residents of the western Colorado town of Dinosaur are hoping to get emergency services from a town in Utah and the former Conejos County Hospital in La Jara and San Luis Valley Regional Medical Center in Alamosa merged to include two hospitals and five clinics.

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