Glenwood Springs—There’s one less candidate running for the Glenwood Springs City Council.  Sarah Gordon, an occupational health and safety consultant decided to pull out of the race, leaving three candidates vying for the Ward 5 seat.  Gordon cited family commitments as the primary reason for stepping aside.  She has a new baby as well as a toddler to care for and feels the timing isn’t right to run for political office.  That leaves voters in Ward 5 with the choices of Early Childhood Network Director Jonathan Godes, local dental office manager Amber Wissing and former councilman Don Gillespie.  The At-Large seat being vacated by the term-limited Stephen Bershenyi, will go to one of four candidates including Downtown Development Authority board member and local attorney Charlie Willman, restaurateur Jonathan Gorst or former council members Shelly Kaup and Rick Davis.  In Ward 3, Rick Vorhees is running unopposed.  Citizens can learn more about the candidates at Tuesday night’s Issues and Answers forum presented by the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association at the Glenwood City Hall council chambers.  The forum begins at 5:30 and will be broadcast and streamed live on KMTS.


Glenwood Springs—The Roaring Fork Transportation Authority is exploring every option to help relieve traffic congestion when the Grand Avenue Bridge closes this summer.  The Garfield County Board of Commissioners agreed to allow RAFTA to use part of the parking lot at the fairgrounds in Rifle during the 95-day closure.  Assistant County Manager Fred Jarman says by that time, the 12th Street entrance should be open.  RAFTA is offering passengers on the popular Hogback Route free bus fair during the bridge closure and detour which begins August 14th.


Denver—Colorado has dropped out of the top 10 in coal production.  According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Colorado coal production plummeted over 20 percent in 2015.  The 19 million tons of coal put Colorado in 11th place.  It was worse in 2016 with only 13 million tons.  The back-to-back down years followed a banner year in 2014 when the Centennial State produced 24 million tons of coal.  Experts say the dramatic drop in production is due to several factors including fewer exports, mine closures, bankruptcies and tougher environmental regulations.


Denver—Attention Walmart shoppers, no booze sold here.  Today, by a one-vote margin, the Colorado Senate put the cork on a bill that would have allowed the giant retailer to sell liquor.  The 18-17 vote wasn’t partisan.  Both Democrats and Republicans came out strongly in favor of the bill or adamantly opposed to the Walmart change.  The vote followed last year’s biggest legislative change since prohibition when lawmakers allowed more grocery stores to carry full-strength beer.  Opponents to the Walmart measure said it would drive more independent liquor stores out of business.