NEWS

GARCO DEBATES PAY RAISES

Glenwood Springs—Garfield County employees will see a little more in their paychecks next year but not as much as they had hoped for.  County Human Resources Director Dianne Hayes says the average merit-based pay raise around the state is 3.3 percent. She asking the county for a little less, somewhere between 3 and 3.2 percent.  Commissioners are suggesting a two and a half percent pay raise because the county is facing a 17 million dollar drop off in sales tax revenues next year.  To make up for the smaller pay raise, the board is recommending a six percent increase in health benefits.

MESA COUNTY MAY OWE ENERGY COMPANY A LOT OF MONEY

Grand Junction—Mesa County’s budget is about to take a big hit.  Occidental Petroleum is asking the Colorado Supreme Court to order the county,  a school district and other local governments to return close to 2 million dollars to the company.  Officials with Occidental say they overpaid taxes on the amount of gas at the wellhead and the price because the failed to deduct costs for transportation and processing.  If Occidental gets a favorable ruling in the case, Mesa County would have to repay over a half million dollars.

MORE INFO RELEASED ON SHOOTING DEATH OF STEAMBOAT COP’S TODDLER SON

Steamboat Springs—3 year old Gavin Stiles somehow managed to climb on furniture in his parent’s master bedroom, open a bag in a closet, get his dad’s police department-issued weapon and shoot himself.  That’s according to statements made by Steamboat Springs Police Officer Michael Stiles about his son’s tragic death last July 14th.  The Routt County Sheriff’s Office released additional information about the incident that reveals Gavin’s mother was upstairs and his dad was outside the the gunshot rang out.  A grand jury chose last week not to indict the couple.