NEWS

WEST SLOPE ARSONIST SOUGHT

Redvale—Authorities say a series of wildfires that broke out along the border of Colorado’s Montrose and San Miguel counties might have been set on purpose.The San Miguel Sheriff’s Office states the five wildfires were all contained be early Thursday afternoon. The fires didn’t cause any injuries, evacuations or property damage. San Miguel Sheriff’s Office deputies say they are looking for a “heavyset white man” driving an older, two-tone Chevrolet Suburban with a silver stripe that was seen on Highway 141 to Highway 145. They believe that car is being driven by a person of interest in the incident. Calls came in during the fires reporting suspicious activity by this person of interest.

TIPTON FIGHTS FOR WATER RIGHTS PROTECTION

Undated—It’s been a tug-of-war over water.  On one side there’s the federal government. On the other side, private water rights users like the ski industry, farmers and ranchers.Western Slope Congressman Scott Tipton wants to put an end to the war once and for all with the reintroduction of his “Water Rights Protection Act.” A few years ago Tipton got a temporary reprieve to prevent what he called a “federal water grab.”  Now he says he wants to make the act permanent to prevent the forest service from rescinding it’s agreement. Tipton says his bill has strong support from both sides of the aisle in the house and in the senate.

STATE MENTAL HOSPITAL CAN’T MEET DEMANDS

Denver—Colorado’s state mental hospital says an increase in court orders for mental health evaluations is making it difficult to meet a requirement that jail inmates receive such evaluations within 28 days. The Department of Human Services on Thursday asked that for the remainder of the year it not be held to the 28-day standard set in settling a lawsuit filed by Disability Law Colorado. Disability Law Colorado managing attorney Mark Ivandick says the request means some inmates will just be languishing in jail with no mental health treatment until they can be admitted to the state hospital for an evaluation. Human Services Chief Medical Officer Patrick Fox says there was a 44 percent increase in court-ordered evaluations in May compared to May 2016.