NEWS

GARCO ATTORNEY UP FOR JUDGESHIP

Glenwood Springs—Garfield County Attorney Tari Williams may soon be sounding a judge’s gavel.  Williams of Carbondale is one of three candidates nominated to be the next judge for the Ninth Judicial District.  The other nominees are Anne Morrdin, also of Carbondale and Scott Turner of Denver. Current District Judge Daniel Petre is retiring, effective October 1st.  According to the state constitution, the governor has 15 days to appoint a new judge.  Williams was hired as the full time county attorney a year ago.

ILLEGAL WEED FARM SUSPECTS BAIL OUT

Rifle—Were they key players in the illegal weed farm that was shut down this week east of Rifle or simply slave labor?  The 14 Chinese nationals rounded up by local and federal officials at the 40-acre property on Mile Pond Road may never provide clues.  According to information from the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, the 12 men and two women taken into custody have posted bail for various amounts ranging from 15-hundred dollars to 10 thousand.  Officials say at least a half-dozen suspects managed to scamper away on foot and are still at large.  The undercover officers were surveilling the property after following up on an inside tip.  Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario doubts the bailed out suspects will ever return to court.   Meanwhile, the U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue the investigation while local authorities follow more leads about other illegal grow operations.

MAROON BELLS BUS SERVICE, CROWDS

Aspen—(AP) Officials with the White River National Forest  say staffing and transportation services have increased at the Maroon Bells in Aspen in response to this summer’s record crowds. Officials are encouraging visitors to take the bus to get to the scenic area, as parking spaces fill up quickly on most days. The Roaring Fork Transportation Authority has added two more buses during the week.  Ridership on the Maroon Bells service went up nearly 30 percent in June and July, compared to the same months last year.  More Forest Service rangers, ambassadors and volunteers have been patrolling the scenic area to manage the increased visitation.  The bus service will run through Oct. 2. Silver Bell campground will remain open but Silver Bar and Silver Queen will be closed.