NEWS

FORMER GARCO CLERK RE-SENTENCED FOR EMBEZZLEMENT

Glenwood Springs—The former Garfield County Clerk and Recorder’s office employee who admitted to stealing about a half million dollars in public funds was re-sentenced yesterday in District Court to nine years in prison.  The new sentence was handed down after investigators uncovered another 56 thousand dollars that Robin McMillan had stashed away.  46-grand was locked in a safe at her son’s home while the rest was with her late husband, who killed himself after the money was discovered. McMillan’s re-sentencing came after she successfully appealed the 10 year prison term that was imposed last summer on the original embezzlement charges.

DNA NABS NO NAME STABBING SUSPECTS

Glenwood Springs—Nearly a year after a stabbing in No Name, the main suspects have finally been arrested.  According to reports from the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, thanks to DNA evidence and cooperation from multiple law enforcement agencies, Amy Kent and Delbert Willeford were taken into custody in Gonzalez County, Texas just outside of San Antonio.  Authorities say five days after the September 14th stabbing, Kent and Willeford were arrested by the Colorado State Patrol on unrelated charges in Chaffee County.  DNA evidence found at the scene matched Willeford’s.  Both he and Kent are awaiting extradition back to Garfield County to face charges.

POWER PLANT NEWS UPSETS CONGRESSMAN

Washington, D.C.—The impending closure of two Western Colorado power plants has drawn the ire of Colorado Congressman Scott Tipton.  The Cortez Republican says shutting down the coal-fired plant in Nucla and the power station in Craig will devastate several families and do further damage to the economies in Montrose and Moffat counties.  The plants are being closed down under a government agreement to comply with new EPA clean air regulations.  Officials with Tri-State Generation and Transmission say close to 100 employees will lose their jobs when the Nucla plant shuts down in 2022.   280 people are employed at the Craig facility but company officials aren’t sure how many will be let go when it closes in 2025.  Two other plants in Craig were spared by the government and will continue to operate.  Meanwhile, Congressman Tipton says he’s concerned about the influence third party groups have in federal regulatory matters.  He says the so-called, “sue and settle” tactic disregards the families who rely on mining for electricity and putting food on the table.

SAGE GROUSE CONSERVATION PLAN ANNOUNCED

Denver—New federal guidelines to protect the greater sage grouse without an Endangered Species Act listing was unveiled.  The conservation plan is designed to help the Bureau of Land Management determine what restrictions should be imposed on oil and gas drilling, livestock grazing and other activities in the West.   The guidelines cover nearly 61 thousand acres of federal land in 11 western states including Colorado.  Conservationists who fought for the endangered listing are pushing for aggressive government implementation of the guidelines while the struggling energy industry is hoping the BLM will find ways to protect grouse habitat while leaving the door open to responsible oil and gas development.

PITCO BACKCOUNTRY TOUR COMPANY GETS FOREST SERVICE OKAY

Carbondale—A Woody Creek-based ATV and snowmobile touring company got the thumbs up from the White River National Forest for a special use permit.  The Aspen-Sopris Ranger District released the draft Decision Notice and Finding of No Significant Impact for the Environmental Assessment for Western Adventures, Incorporated.  Deputy District Ranger Erin Carey says reissuing a 10-year priority special use permit to Western Adventures was based on the company’s reputation and history of being good stewards of the forest while connecting visitors to the backcountry.   The public now has 45 days to voice an objection to the forest service decision.