Tuesday, July 7, 2015

D.A. will not file charges in death of 3-year-old hit by GVT bus


The District Attorney's Office will not file charges in the death of Virgil Stansbury, the 3-year-old who died after being struck by a Grand Valley Transit bus on May 19.

Virgil was hit by the bus while crossing the intersection at North Avenue and 29 Road with his mother.  

After careful review, the District Attorney's office has declined to file criminal charges against the driver of the bus, Joseph Sparn. 

"After reviewing the video evidence and subsequent discussion, it was the unanimous position of the staff that no charges would be filed," wrote Mark Hand, chief deputy district attorney. "There are several issues, which make the case difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt.

"The District Attorney's office does not believe that a jury would find that Mr. Sparn acted in a careless or imprudent manner on the date of the accident."

Further questions can be directed to the District Attorney's office at (970) 244-1730.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Memorial statue honors memory of local children

This statue stands on the lawn of the Old County Courthouse in honor of children who have died in our community.
The "How are the Children?" initiative today dedicated a statue on the lawn of the Old County Courthouse in honor of children who have died in our community. At the base of the statue, 13 small brass name plates honor the children who have died from abuse or neglect since 2006 when "How are the Children?" was established.

Although the focus of "How are the Children?" is to remember and honor children who died as a result of abuse or neglect, the statue is a memorial for all children who die in Mesa County regardless of the cause. Whether a child dies from an illness, an accident, abuse or any other reason, it is heart-breaking and our community mourns their loss. This statute allows community members to honor the memory of any child who died too soon.

Blue and white balloons were released at the emotional event. The 13 white balloons represented the 13 children who have died from abuse or neglect since 2006.

The memorial was paid for by grants, donations and the support of local businesses including Alpine Bank, Mays Concrete and Whitewater Building Supplies.

If you suspect child abuse or neglect, call the State of Colorado's Child Protection hotline at 1-844-CO-4-KIDS. You can also call the Mesa County Department of Human Services Child Protection Division at (970) 242-1211. The Partnership for Children and Families can be reached at (970) 244-3838.

Here are more pictures from today's event:















Monday, June 29, 2015

Commissioners protest BLM proposal for NW Colorado Greater Sage-Grouse


The Mesa County Commissioners this morning signed a letter protesting the Bureau of Land Management's Northwest Colorado Greater Sage-Grouse proposed land use plan amendment and final environmental impact statement.

The letter assures the county's primary concerns are on record, County Attorney Patrick Coleman advised the board at this morning's administrative hearing. It also allows the county to appeal the BLM's Record of Decision, if officials disagree with it once it is issued.

Mesa County has been a cooperating agency with the BLM  for several years on this issue, said Keith Fife, Mesa County's Natural Resource Liaison.

The letter reiterates some of the county's concerns with the Greater Sage-Grouse proposal. Those include:

  • A lack of scientific evidence in the final Environmental Impact Statement
  • Improper coordination of state and local governments with little time to review information
  • The imposition of new restrictions on oil and gas development
  • An inconsistency with state and local plans
Mesa County's letter also concurs with other entities that are protesting the amendment and environmental impact statement. 

"There are valid and existing lease rights that are in jeopardy right now," said Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese at this morning's hearing. "I don't understand how they can change the rules of the game in the middle. Economic development is very vital to all of us on the Western Slope. There should be no stipulations on existing leases."

Read the protest letter here

City of GJ, Mesa County join forces to study cell service

Not long ago, cell phones were used simply to make a phone call when away from home or work.

Now, however, smart phones and tablets are utilized in much broader ways: texting, shopping, finding a restaurant, getting driving directions, banking, using social media and more.

While wireless connectivity has become an everyday necessity for many families and businesses, it is also critical for police and fire departments.

That’s why communities across the country have begun preparing Wireless Master Plans, to help guild the development and construction of wireless infrastructure.

The City of Grand Junction and Mesa County are working together on a plan for Mesa County. A kick-off meeting open to the public is planned for June 30 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the auditorium at City Hall, 250 N. Fifth St.

A comprehensive approach to wireless development in Mesa County will help align the needs of wireless broadband service providers with government and community objectives. This should allow for infrastructure planning and development that will accommodate multiple providers, improve public safety and help attract and retain residents and businesses.

The kickoff meeting will provide constituents with the necessary information to participate in the plan’s development. The session will be streamed live on the city's website and also will be recorded for viewing at a later time.

Mesa County offices closed Friday, July 3


If you have county business, do it before Friday this week, as many offices will be closed in observance of the Fourth of July.

These offices/services will be closed Friday:

  • Commissioners, Treasurer, Assessor, Surveyor, 544 Rood Ave.
  • Administration, 544 Rood Ave.
  • County Attorney, 544 Rood Ave.
  • Clerk & Recorder - Motor Vehicle/Recording/Elections/Clerk & Recorder, 200 S. Spruce St.; Motor Vehicle/Clerk & Recorder, 3225 I-70 Business Loop, Clifton; Motor Vehicle/Clerk & Recorder, 325 E. Aspen St., Fruita
  • District Attorney, 125 N. Spruce St. This includes the Justice Center.
  • Health & Human Services, 510 29 1/2 Road
  • Mesa County Hazardous Waste Collection Facility and Solid Waste Administration, 3071 U.S. Hwy. 50
  • Public Works and Planning, 200 S. Spruce St.
  • Regional Transportation Planning Office, 525 S. Sixth St.
  • Resource Management, 544 Rood Ave.
  • County Sheriff - Records and Civil Divisions, 215 Rice St.
  • Workforce Center, 512 29 1/2 Road
These offices will be open Friday:

  • Animal Services, 971A Coffman Road near Whitewater
  • Criminal Justice Services, 636 South Ave.
  • Grand Valley Transit
  • Mesa County Landfill and Compost Facility
  • Sheriff’s Office - Jail, Patrol, Emergency Services, 215 Rice St.
On Saturday, July 4:

  • ​Animal Services will be open from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
  • Grand Valley Transit and all Mesa County Landfill facilities will be closed.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Commissioners oppose lowering air quality standards for ground level ozone


The Mesa County Commissioners strongly oppose the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed change in standards regarding ground level ozone.

The EPA has proposed lowering the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ground level ozone from the current 75 parts per billion to between 65 and 70 ppb.

That is the wrong way to go about addressing air quality issues, the Commissioners wrote in a letter dated June 24, 2015 to Brian Deese of the World Health Organization.

"These proposed changes would directly and negatively impact the economy of our county, and severely impede economic growth and opportunity," the Commissioners wrote.

To read the full letter, go here.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

BLM offers to defer implementation on some routes in Travel Management Plan


The Bureau of Land Management has agreed to defer designation of nearly 200 routes in the Travel Management Plan, as a compromise to Mesa County's request for six months to review the plan.

To see a map of routes that will be deferred, go here: http://www.mesacounty.us/publicworks/

To read the Daily Sentinel's coverage of the issue, go here: http://www.gjsentinel.com/news/articles/routes-in-limbo-until-plan-emerges

Community members with input on the plan or routes proposed to be closed or deferred are invited to a Town Hall meeting TONIGHT, Wednesday, June 24, at 5:30 p.m. in hearing room at 544 Rood Ave.