NO MORE ARRESTS EXPECTED IN MAJOR DRUG BUST
Glenwood Springs—No additional arrests are anticipated in connection to a pair of huge drug rings that were busted by the Two Rivers Drug Enforcement Team (TRIDENT). Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario says they’ve taken everyone linked to the separate illicit drug operations that stretched across the Colorado River and Roaring Fork Valleys. Following lengthy undercover investigations including one that lasted nearly two years, 23 suspects were taken into to custody for allegedly dealing meth, LSD, cocaine and heroin.
ENERGY COMPANY FINED FOR PARACHUTE PIPELINE LEAK
Parachute—A $225,000.00 fine has been levied against an Encana Oil and Gas subsidiary for a pipeline leak that contaminated soil and water last year on a ranch near Parachute. The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission fined Williams Midstream for the June 2016 spill on the Bishop Hunting Ranch. Ranch owner Mike Bishop isn’t satisfied. He says the fine isn’t big enough and probably won’t deter future spills. He filed a state lawsuit over the spill that is still pending. While Encana won’t say how big the spill was Williams has recovered about 50 thousand gallons so far at a cost of nearly 3 million dollars.
RIFLE ELECTION RESULTS
Rifle—Rifle voters said yes to a new pool and water park, yes to exploring the potential of retail marijuana and yes to every other ballot question during Tuesday’s election. Voters also elected a new city council. The runaway favorite among Rifle citizens was longtime veteran’s advocate Joe Carpenter who garnered 695 votes. Incumbents Barbara Clifton and Theresa Hamilton were second and third respectively with 633 and 602 votes. The fourth and final council seat goes to Sean Strode who found favor with 536 voters. Helen Rogers and Brent Buss were a distant 5th and 6th in the voting with 460 and 409 votes. Voters approved Ballot Question A, allowing city council meetings to be held outside of City Hall. Ballot Questions B, D and F were also given the okay by voters allowing the city to sell property that is no longer being used, specifically the Graham Mesa Water Plant and the north and south wastewater lagoons. Ballot Question E was approved, giving the city the authority to sell real property without a public vote. When it came to retail marijuana sales, Rifle voters seemed to have mixed feelings. Ballot Question C, seeking public opinion on allowing the city’s five licensed medical dispensaries to sell retail weed, passed by a mere 41 votes. However, voters sent the message that they want the city to collect a 5 to 15 percent sales tax on recreational pot by passing Ballot Question H 713 to 345. Rifle voters also gave a thumbs up to the city having the legal authority to provide cable TV, telecommunication services and broadband. Finally, voters agreed to extend the old parks and recreation tax to improve and expand the aging Art Dague Pool. 753 voters chose to dive in with a yes vote while 317 felt the plan was all wet. The new council will be sworn in next Wednesday, September 20th.