NEWS

HOLIDAY PHONE SCAMMERS TARGET GARCO RESIDENTS

Glenwood Springs—Your taxes are late, your car payment is overdue and if you don’t pay over the phone,  you’ll owe a big fine or you’ll be off to jail.  Those are some of the lies and intimidating tactics being used by scam artists that are once again rearing their ugly heads in Garfield County.  Walt Stowe with the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office says as preposterous as it sounds, enough people are fooled by the con game to fork over money out of fear.  Stowe says in some cases the con artist will provide a number to call back with a different person answering to make it sound legitimate.  He says often the scammer will tell people that in order to avoid fines or jail, they can pay over the phone with a credit card, debit card or a convenience store cash card.  Authorities say rather than getting into a conversation, simply hang up the phone and call the police or the sheriff’s office.

NEW CASTLE TRUCK THIEF STABBED HIMSELF

New Castle—The young man who’s body was found in the Colorado River near New Castle after crashing a stolen pick-up, apparently killed himself with a knife.  According to Garfield County Coroner Robert Glassmire, 28 year old Joshua Patrick Henry of Bartlesville, Oklahoma had a stab wound in his chest.  His death is being investigated as a suicide.  Garfield County Sheriff’s investigators determined Henry stole the Honda Ridgeline from the driveway of a home on Highway 6, just east of New Castle last Monday. The truck was later found crashed into a fence near I-70.  Using a K-9, deputies found Henry’s wallet, blood-stained clothes and a bloody knife along the riverbank.  Glassmire says Henry had relatives in Colorado Springs.

SECOND TRIAL CONVICTS MAN IN BIRGFELD MURDER

Grand Junction—It’s life without parole for a Grand Junction man.  65 year old Lester Ralph Jones was convicted and sentenced yesterday in Mesa County District Court for the 2007 kidnapping and murder of 34 year old paid escort, Paige Birgfeld.  It was Jones’ second trial for the highly-publicized crime.  The first go-around in September ended in a mistrial when jurors couldn’t reach a unanimous verdict.  Birgfeld’s body was found in ditch in Delta County five years later.   Friends described her as a loving mother of three who ran several businesses to survive.  It wasn’t until after her disappearance that police discovered her secret life as an escort.

SKI RESORTS IN WHITE RIVER NATIONAL FOREST PAYING HIGHER FEES

Glenwood Springs—Uncle Sam may be to blame for higher lift ticket prices in Western Colorado.  Ski resorts in the White River National Forest are paying more, a lot more to use public lands.  Combined, all 11 resorts paid nearly 20 million dollars in fees this past fiscal year, some two million dollars more than in 2015.  The 11 percent increase came after Colorado’s ski industry eclipsed the 13 million mark in skier visits for the first time.   White River Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams says the ski area fees helped generate about 10 million dollars more in revenue than was spent in 2016.  Ski resort fees are based on revenue from skier visits and related business like lessons.