I-70 exits impacted by Grand Avenue bridge work this week | PostIndependent.com

I-70 exits impacted by Grand Avenue bridge work this week

Motorists are advised that the ongoing Grand Avenue bridge construction will result in traffic impacts at Interstate 70 Exits 114 and 116 in Glenwood Springs this week.

The main Glenwood Exit 116 westbound off-ramp will be down to one lane in order to complete structural walls for the new bridge.

In addition, due to ongoing work on the Exit 114 north roundabout, westbound semi trucks are being directed to take Exit 116 for freight access to businesses along U.S. 6 in West Glenwood.

Other work this week involves a crane that is being erected on Seventh Street for the start of construction on the elevator tower that will serve the new pedestrian bridge. Businesses in the area have been advised that the work will likely be noisy at times.

Holy Cross offering bonus for small businesses

Holy Cross Energy is offering a $500 bonus to small businesses willing to make an investment in becoming more energy efficient.

Small businesses that sign up for an audit in August and complete an electric saving project with a minimum investment of $1,000 by Oct. 31 will receive a $500 bonus. The offer is limited to businesses that have never had an energy audit.

The audit consists of a one-hour walk through of the business to explore possible savings on utility bills. The audit also involves educating business owners on Smart Hub, which provides a way to look at kilowatt-hour usage.

Holy Cross hopes the promotion will help small businesses that may be on the fence about upgrading to efficient lighting, heating and cooling systems and efficient fan motors.

“We have rebate money and hope the August bonus will spark interest with small business owners to move forward with energy upgrades,” said Mary Wiener, energy efficiency program administrator for Holy Cross.

The promotion is available to the first 20 small businesses that sign up. So far, eight businesses have started the process, according to Wiener.

To sign up, businesses should contact Wiener at mwiener@holycross.com or 970-947-5432.

Guest opinion: The amazing success of Pre-Collegiate Program

Defining success in the social program world is challenging. In the case of RE-1 School District’s Pre-Collegiate Program, it’s clear as a bell. All 28 of the Pre-Collegiate Class of 2016 graduated from Glenwood Springs, Roaring Fork and Basalt High Schools and have been accepted to college. This includes some extraordinary accomplishments: Jimmy Serrano (Stanford), Jacqueline Henriquez (Pomona), Joselinne Medrano (Daniels Scholar), Grace Brown (Greenhouse Scholar), Esly Reyes (Regis/Si se puede program) and others.

Pre-Collegiate scholars are motivated first-generation students. Their parents did not graduate from college and in most cases did not attend college at all. Pre-Collegiate exists because the outlook nationally for low-income first-generation kids is not positive. Only 11 percent typically graduate from college. By contrast, since 2007, roughly 75 percent of RE-1’s Pre-Collegiate graduates have gone on to graduate from college.

With a recent $300,000 grant from the University of Colorado, the Pre-Collegiate Program set out to deal with both its lengthy wait lists of qualified students and to expand its services. Enrollment has increased from 200 students in grades seven-12 to what’s expected to exceed 320 in 2016-17, growth of more than 60 percent in less than two years.

Executive Director David Smith gave up a promising career as a lawyer with Garfield & Hecht to build on the years of success and grow the program to help more students.

“Years ago I volunteered as a Pre-Collegiate mentor and I witnessed firsthand the incredible difference you can make with these young, capable and motivated students if you could just level the playing field and assist them in navigating the maze of education and career options. We are so excited to be taking Pre-Collegiate into a new phase and be able to serve more deserving students in RE-1.”

“Mentors,” insists Assistant Executive Director Leslie Emerson, “are what make this program work. Our current group of 39 mentors are successful adults from all walks of life who believe in the importance of education and see that their efforts yield extraordinary returns. We always need more committed mentors.”

Scott Gilbert, president of Habitat for Humanity Roaring Fork Valley, former mentor and current Pre-Collegiate Advisory Board member says, “Being a mentor is even more rewarding and gratifying than the enduring benefits that students say they cherish. I am still in contact with my mentees 10 years later.”

Tom Neel, retired oil and gas industry executive, mentored students from grade seven through graduation. Tom was elected chair of the Pre-Collegiate Advisory Board. Tom’s recollection: “A wonderful and fulfilling opportunity to connect with our youth. What a great bunch they are.”

Estefania Vigil is a good example of the impact Pre-Collegiate has on leveling the playing field. She was raised in a trailer in Basalt with an extended family of 10-13. Neither Mom nor Dad had attended college, and while hopeful for their children’s futures, had no idea how to pursue them. Estefania graduated in the top 5 percent of her Basalt High School Class of 2009, won an Evans Scholarship to CU/Boulder where she majored in business administration with an emphasis in accounting. She earned a master’s degree in accounting from the University of Virginia and is currently employed as a senior auditor by Ernst & Young.

In her own words, “Pre-Collegiate not only helped me polish my success tools, it also provided me with life long relationships with mentors whom to this day I still count on for career counsel. It also put me in contact with other bright students who became my best friends. More than preparing me to be successful in college, Pre-Collegiate prepared me to be successful in life, and that’s something I will always be grateful for.”

RE-1 Pre-Collegiate was founded in 2003 through a collaboration of the University of Colorado, Colorado Mountain College, Aspen Community Foundation and RE-1. The partners provided staffing, money and support services with the aim of increasing high school graduation and building a college-bound culture. In addition to the volunteer mentoring program, an intensive two-week summer residential experience is provided at CU/Boulder for rising juniors and seniors and a one-week program at CMC’s Spring Valley campus for rising sophomores.

The recent growth of the program has exceeded the expectations of the partners, highlighting the tremendous need for increased college access options for this underrepresented population. With this success and growth come new challenges. The funding from University of Colorado terminates in June 2017 and the Pre-Collegiate Advisory Board, RE-1 administration and the program staff are engaged in developing the essential financial and volunteer support to keep this vital, uniquely successful program serving the first-generation students in the Roaring Fork Valley.

Jim Noyes is a former Pre-Collegiate mentor, current chair of the Pre-Collegiate Financial Advisory Board, a graduate of Dartmouth College and Stanford Business School and a Lisagor Journalism Award nominee.

Golf in full swing for local athletes

With the 2016 season officially under way for boys golf, plenty of local athletes in the valley have taken to courses all over the area to hone in their games. Recently, local schools Rifle and Basalt hit the links, starting with Monday’s tournament at Yampa Valley.

At the Moffat County High School Invitational, Basalt finished fourth overall with a team score of 245, while Rifle finished seventh overall with a team score of 258.

For Rifle, Jacob Smith finished sixth overall with a score of 74, just six strokes behind the invitational winner, Trevor Olkowski, of Grand Junction with a score of 68. Wolfgang Smith shot an 86 for the Bears, while Keegan McCarthy shot a 98 to round out the day for the Rifle varsity team.

Holden Kleager had a strong day for the Basalt Longhorns, shooting a round of 79 to finish ninth overall, while Kleager’s brother, Linc, shot a round of 83, finishing just four shots off the top spot for Basalt. Joining the Kleager brothers was Drew Broadhurst, who also shot a season-best round of 83 in competition, tying Linc’s mark for second on the team.

Brandon Benzel shot a 92 for the Longhorns, while Tanner Korn’s round of 98 closed out the tournament for the Basalt squad.

In junior varsity action at the Moffat County High School Invitational, Basalt’s Blake Exelbert shot a tournament-low round of 84, winning the JV competition, while teammate Matt McGarry recorded a round of 98 on the day.

With Monday’s action behind them, the Longhorns played another tournament, Tuesday, this time in Steamboat Springs at the Steamboat Springs High School Invitational.

While in Steamboat, the Longhorns finished fifth overall in team scores with a single-day total of 234.

Linc Kleager led the way with a round of 75, while Holden Kleager finished two shots behind with a 77. Linc’s round was good for seventh overall, while Holden tied for 10th overall.

Along with the Kleager brothers, Blake Exelbert shot a round of 82, while Tanner Korn (91) and Drew Broadhurst (94) rounded out a second straight strong showing for the Longhorns early in the season.

Your photos: Garfield 16 heads back to school

Students in Garfield County School District 16 headed back to school Tuesday to start the 2016-17 school year in Parachute and Battlement Mesa.

The Citizen Telegram asked parents throughout the district to share their photos from the first day of school. The following pictures were shared by parents.

Charles A. Marshall (September 12, 1960 – August 22, 2016)

Charles A. Marshall had a courageous 26 month battle with cancer that ended surrounded by family on Monday morning, August 22, 2016. He never complained about the many ups and downs that came with this journey. Anytime anyone would ask him how he was, he replied “I am good!” He was a fighter till the end.

Charles served in the US Army from 1982 through 1988.

He is survived by his wife and caregiver through this journey, Jackie Caufield Marshall. Two sons, Marine Sergeant Zachary A. Marshall stationed at Cherry Point, N.C. and Ryan (Amanda) Dickover of Dunnegan, MO. He was one of six children born to Bill and Betty Marshall both who preceded him in death. His siblings, Janet, Kenneth, Carolyn, Gary and Douglas all survive him as well as many nieces and nephews. In addition to many family and friends is his long time childhood friend and brother in-law John E. Caufield. He is preceded in death by his first wife Debbie Heidland Marshall who lost her life mountain climbing the Annapurna in 1997.

Local memorial services will be at Veltus Park on Saturday September 17, 2016 from 12-4 p.m. followed by one back in Missouri in the Spring of 2017.

Community Briefs

“Dollar-A-Day Boys” with Bill Jamerson

If you’ve ever admired the overlooks at Rocky Mountain National Park, driven the Scenic Rimrock Highway in Colorado National Monument, or enjoyed a concert at the amphitheatre in Red Rocks Park, you’ve benefited from the labors of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). Michigan-based author/songwriter Bill Jamerson will present music and storytelling about the program, which was part of the New Deal, at 1 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 11, at the Rifle Branch Library and at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 12, at the Glenwood Springs Branch Library. This event is free, open to the public, and refreshments will be served. For more information, visit gcpld.org.

Roald Dahl birthday party

As a most amazing human bean, you are invited to a very phizz-whizzing Roald Dahl 100th birthday party. Contests, prizes and special snacks can be expected for mischief makers of all ages. Join the celebration at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 13, at the New Castle Branch Library. This event is free and open to all ages. For more information call 970-984-2346.

Broncos’ Ware makes return to practice field

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Broncos linebacker DeMarcus Ware returned to practice on a limited basis Tuesday with the plan to have him ready for the season opener against Carolina.

Ware missed training camp with a back issue that kept him out of five games in 2015 but said he feels much better than he did during Denver’s 24-10 win over Carolina in the Super Bowl last February.

“I was probably playing at 70 percent in the Super Bowl, still trying to be a little bit effective. Now I feel like I’m 94 percent,” he said, referring to his jersey number. “I feel great.”

He took part in the walkthrough and drills at the beginning of Tuesday’s practice before going in to work with strength and conditioning coach Luke Richesson. Ware came back and watched the rest of practice from the sidelines.

“He did all the individual, all the walkthrough and then he went with Luke for about 20 minutes and worked even harder,” coach Gary Kubiak said. “DeMarcus is doing good, he’s right on schedule to get to Carolina, which is where we’re trying to go. You’ll see him do a little more each day.”

Ware is entering his 12th NFL season and third with Denver after starting his career with Dallas. He didn’t miss a game in his first eight years with the Cowboys, and his 20 sacks in 2008 led the NFL. He has 134 1/2 career sacks, 17 1/2 with the Broncos.

Ware didn’t take part in any of Denver’s offseason workouts because of his back injury.

Ware said he isn’t concerned about playing in the last two preseason games and that the goal is to have him at full strength for the Broncos’ first game on Sept. 8. He acknowledged that while he feels great he needs to get up to game speed.

“You have to get out there and do it,” he said. “See the ball hiked by the quarterback, see the formations, see what everybody else is doing and getting that feel. I got some of that feel (Tuesday).”

Ware teamed with fellow linebacker Von Miller to anchor a stingy Denver defense last season that got better in the playoffs. The pair combined for 8 1/2 sacks in the Broncos’ three postseason games. Ware had two in the win over the Panthers.

That was his last time on a football field until Tuesday.

“If we get to Carolina and he’s playing, that’s been the plan all along,” Kubiak said. “But you’re not going to see him play 60 plays.”

Also Tuesday, quarterback Trevor Siemian didn’t throw because of a sore right shoulder. Kubiak said Siemian is day to day but is still the starter for Saturday’s preseason game against the Los Angeles Rams.

Siemian hurt his shoulder trying to tackle San Francisco’s Ed Reid on an interception in Saturday’s 31-24 preseason loss to the 49ers.

“I expect him to be there but it’s going to be a day-to-day process,” said Kubiak, who classified Siemian’s injury as a bruise. “He’s not used to tackling.”

Siemian took part in some drills early and then handed the ball off in a scrimmage but stood by while Mark Sanchez and Paxton Lynch ran passing plays.

Lynch got a bulk of the reps, working with the first team and also running the scout team. He was picked off by cornerback Chris Harris Jr. and safety Darian Stewart on passes to the flat.

“The kid’s out here running the Rams’ offense, the Broncos’ offense. It’s very, very difficult,” Kubiak said. “That’s what gives you a chance to get better. You’ve got to wear a lot of hats being a young player on a team. You’ve got to come here on a given day and do a lot of things.”

NOTES: CB Aqib Talib did not practice because of illness. … DE Derek Wolfe and LB Dekoda Watson both were excused from practice to deal with personal issues. … Kubiak said OL Darrion Weems is in the concussion protocol but is “doing well.” His status for Saturday is unknown.

Dotsero man pleads guilty to attempted murder

EAGLE – Jesus Miranda admitted he tried to rob two local check cashing businesses at gunpoint, within a half hour of each other, and shot a man three times who was trying to stop him.

Miranda pleaded guilty to six felonies for a crime spree last Labor Day weekend. He remains in the Eagle County jail on $1 million bond, and is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 23.

His crime spree could land him in jail for 50 years.

Miranda already had an open assault case at the time of the alleged robbery attempts. Court records show he also has at least nine criminal convictions, beginning in 2005 when he was convicted as a sex offender.

What they did

Jesus Manuel Miranda and a 17-year old female accomplice tried to rob two businesses within a half hour on Sept. 4, 2015 — Dinero Rapido in Eagle and Tienda Montes in Gypsum. They got away with no money from either.

During the second failed robbery attempt, at Tienda Montes in Gypsum, he held two women were held at gunpoint and ordered them to empty the safe.

The store’s owner told Miranda there wasn’t any money in the safe. That’s when Miranda hit her in the head with the butt of his pistol.

Alan Gonzalez was approaching Tienda Montes, and saw Miranda and the teenager robbing the store. As Miranda and the girl fled the store, Miranda pointed a 9-millimeter handgun at Gonzalez’ head and told him “not to call the cops.”

As Miranda ran, Gonzalez chased him and grabbed Miranda, slamming him into a headlock.

As they wrestled, Miranda shot Gonzalez three times, including once in the chest. Gonzalez was hospitalized, and has since recovered.

After shooting Gonzalez, Miranda dropped the Smith and Wesson 9-millimeter with the serial numbers filed off and fled.

The girl was arrested shortly after that second robbery attempt. She pleaded guilty and is serving a six-year sentence.

Getaway gone wrong

Garfield County resident Daniel Happle drove Miranda’s getaway car, but they didn’t get far.

Happle picked Miranda up from his hiding place, behind a Dumpster in a Gypsum convenience store. From there, Happle rolled west at 50 mph along I-70 through the 20 mph construction zone that was Glenwood Canyon at the time.

When Happle turned west on Highway 6, he topped 100 mph. A Garfield County deputy tried to pull him over for an expired plate near New Castle.

Near Coal Ridge High School, Happle slowed to around 10 mph and jumped out of the car to flee on foot, leaving Miranda in the passenger’s seat. Once a deputy managed to pull the car’s brake, Miranda identified himself as Roberto Neveraz, of whom there was no record, so police added criminal impersonal (a felony) to his long list of charges.

Meanwhile, Happle was found about a half hour later by the Glenwood Springs Police Department’s K9 unit, hiding in some bushes. Police told him to come out, and when he refused, police reportedly sent the dog in to fetch him, which it did.

Police said they smelled alcohol, and started questioning Happle, who told them he had eaten a bag of methamphetamine during the pursuit, according to his arrest affidavit.

Miranda’s trail of trouble

Miranda wasn’t out of the legal woods from his last bout with the law when he tried to rob the check cashing stores.

He has an open case in Eagle County, stemming from an incident for fighting. He turned himself in Aug. 18, 2015, and was in court six days later for a bond hearing.

In 2011 he pleaded guilty to failing to register as a sex offender, a Class 1 misdemeanor. In 2007 he did the same thing.

Two other co-defendants, Arnaldo Lucero-Almanza and Mateo Serna-Gutierrez, have been charged in connection with these robberies, and their cases are pending.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or rwyrick@vaildaily.com.

Garfield 16 heads back to school

Students in Garfield County School District 16 headed back to school today to start the 2016-17 school year in Parachute and Battlement Mesa.

Parents can submit their back-to-school photos by sending them to rhoffman@citizentelegram.com. Be sure to include the complete name for those in the photo, as well as the school each child is attending this year.

Submissions will be accepted through Tuesday. A selection of photos will be published in this week’s Citizen Telegram.