Dotsero man pleads guilty to attempted murder | PostIndependent.com

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.

Possible mountain lion in Silt area

SILT — The police department is encouraging residents to be alert following a “probable” mountain lion attack on a deer Sunday.

A resident living in the eastern rural part of town came home Sunday night to find a dead deer in his fenced-in backyard, Silt Police Chief Levy Burris said.

A police officer observed what Burris said were “pretty definitive claw marks and bite marks to the throat” of the deer, indicating a lion attack.

There have been lion sightings reported over the past several months along Peach Valley Road about 3 miles east of town, according to Burris.

“Three miles is not a long distance for any animal … to travel,” he said.

The Silt department put a call in to Colorado Parks and Wildlife to try and get a definitive ruling, but a wildlife officer was unavailable at the time.

CPW’s officers tend to be flooded with calls over the summer involving actual wildlife sightings, including lions, bears and other animals, said Mike Porras, public information officer for CPW’s northwest region.

Porras was unaware of the incident and the recent lion sightings in the area, but he said it can be difficult to definitively link such an incident to lion activity without an actual sighting or tracks.

“If there were no tracks, no witnesses, no visual information, it would be difficult to determine if it was a lion without a real close inspection of the carcass,” Porras said.

Unless the lion is a juvenile, it seems unlikely that a deer would escape a lion, which are adept at killing deer.

“If it had been a lion it would have snapped its neck and carried it off immediately,” Porras said.

The Silt officer who responded to the incident has lived in rural areas and is familiar with mountain lion attacks, Burris said.

Based on a blood trail, it appears the deer escaped the attack, then jumped a fence into the backyard, Burris said. But it was too weak to jump over the other side of the fence farther away.

Lions do prey on deer, so if there are deer in an area it is not unusual for lions to be nearby, Porras said.

“We have lions in Colorado, they eat deer and if deer are in your neighborhood or in your area it’s likely lions are not far away,” he said.

Burris recommended residents be mindful of the potential lion presence, much like residents in other areas that regularly encounter large predators such as bears.

“It looks like we’ve got a lion in close proximity,” he said. “Make sure you know where your kids are and lock up your small pets so that you don’t leave them out unattended.”

Further, Porras reminded residents to avoid feeding wildlife at all times. Feeding or trying to care for deer and other animals often attracts larger predators.

“You want wildlife to remain in the wild, not in your residential neighborhoods,” he said.

Anyone who sees a mountain lion in a residential area should call the local CPW office.

Park and Pak share legacy in South Korean women’s golf

RIO DE JANEIRO — Se Ri Pak could hear the burst of noise from 500 yards away and it wasn’t hard to figure out what was causing the commotion.

Inbee Park had made one last birdie.

Pak could hear it from the back of the 18th green at Olympic Golf Course. She was the team leader for South Korea at the Olympics, the player who inspired a nation that has become the most formidable in women’s golf. Park with a gold medal around her neck only affirmed that.

Long ago, in another big moment for women’s golf in South Korea, their roles were reversed.

Park was fast asleep in her apartment outside Seoul when she was jarred awake in the middle of the night. The 9-year-old girl came downstairs to find her parents in front of the TV, cheering wildly as Pak won the 1998 U.S. Women’s Open at Blackwolf Run, a landmark moment for golf in South Korea.

Two days later, Park wrapped her hands around a golf club for the first time.

Ten years later, she was the youngest U.S. Women’s Open champion ever.

That was the first of seven majors for Park, and a big reason why this year she became the youngest player (27) to qualify for the LPGA Hall of Fame. Her most recent major was the Women’s British Open last year to complete the career Grand Slam.

And now she’s an Olympic champion.

“I’ve won majors, but I haven’t won a gold medal,” Park said after her five-shot victory over Lydia Ko, the No. 1 player in women’s golf. “So this feels very, very special, nothing I want to exchange. … Being able to receive the gold medal on the golf course was an unforgettable moment.”

She had been coping with a ligament injury in her left thumb that led her to take two months off from the LPGA Tour — including the U.S. Women’s Open and her title defense at the Women’s British Open — to get ready for the Olympics. She wanted to test her thumb in competition, so she played a Korean LPGA event and missed the cut.

All that did was spark chatter that she should give up her spot in Rio to another South Korean, and it created unnecessary confusion and doubt for Park.

She responded with a quiet determination.

“I really wanted to do well this week to show a lot of people that I can still play,” Park said.

But this victory was more than just validation.

An Olympic gold medal, particularly under these circumstances, should allow Park to take her place among the best in LPGA history.

Think about it. She had not faced top competition in two months and had not broken par in any round since April, the last time she even finished a tournament. She wasn’t sure she could play the Olympics amid speculation she might not ever play again, especially after she fulfilled her final requirement in June for the Hall of Fame.

“There was nothing guaranteed because I haven’t played that well this season, and I haven’t really played that many events with the injury,” Park said. “So I had to overcome a lot of obstacles.”

And then over four days in Rio, it was as if she had never left.

She was one shot behind after the first round to Ariya Jutanugarn, the No. 2 player in the world with four victories and a major this year. She had a one-shot lead over Stacy Lewis, her rival from two years ago. She played in the final group with Ko, another four-time winner and major champion this year.

None had a chance.

Park kept the ball in play and let her putter to do the rest.

“Inbee Park is the coolest individual,” said Peter Dawson, the former R&A chief who now is president of the International Golf Federation. “And I think she is the best putter in the world, male or female.”

Park wants to start a family, so maybe retirement is closer than she lets on. She said on a couple of occasions last week that she had no retirement plans.

Then again, how much longer Park plays is no longer relevant.

She already has earned a spot in the same conversation as Pak. There will never be another like Pak, whose legacy goes beyond her five majors and 25 victories on the LPGA Tour. She was the pioneer, whose exploits woke up a little girl in South Korea and inspired greatness.

Just to be alongside her speaks to what Park has achieved.

Top European clubs set to win in new Champions League deal

GENEVA — The richest clubs and biggest leagues in Europe are set to tighten their grip on the Champions League’s future format and prize money this week.

A deal being prepared by UEFA should end threats by some elite clubs to break away and form a closed European Super League before 2021.

However, it could ensure that more guaranteed places in the 32-team group stage and bigger shares of billion-dollar prize money each season will go to teams like Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus from the four highest-ranked national leagues.

In the hours before the group-stage draw on Thursday, a series of meetings with clubs and UEFA executive committee members in Monaco is expected to agree changes to entry slots for the 2018-2021 seasons.

UEFA and the influential European Club Association declined to comment on reports that the top leagues — in Spain, Germany, England and Italy — will each get four direct entries into the groups.

In a statement to The Associated Press, UEFA said only that it “expects to announce the evolution” of the Champions League at a news conference on Friday.

Italian clubs are looking to be the big winner. Serie A would offer four direct entries to the group stage, compared to two in the current three-season commercial cycle which expires in 2018.

Spain, England and Germany would also benefit by ending the risk of its fourth-placed club losing in the playoff round each August. Advancing through the playoffs is worth tens of millions of euros (dollars) as UEFA will share 1.3 billion euros ($1.47 billion) among the 32 group-stage clubs this season.

Italy has a dire recent record in playoffs. Serie A sends its third-placed team to the final qualifying stage and only AC Milan in 2014 has advanced in the past six seasons.

Changing the Champions League format is possible only every three years. It must be agreed before UEFA’s retained marketing agency can sell Champions League and Europa League rights to broadcasters and sponsors for the next cycle.

The debate this year has been intense with clubs seeming to take advantage of a UEFA leadership gap since outgoing president Michel Platini was suspended by FIFA last year.

It should be resolved ahead of a Champions League draw missing recent winners Manchester United, Chelsea, AC Milan and Inter Milan. They all failed to qualify, but would expect to join an American-style closed European league where the likes of surprise English champion Leicester would not automatically appeal to most broadcasters.

Options favorable to the most influential clubs included more entries for the top leagues, bigger shares of the prize fund, protected places for storied clubs with a global fan base, and playing matches on Saturdays rather than midweek to appeal to Asian and American audiences. Outside Europe, viewers are judged to want more games between high-profile teams.

The deal now reportedly on UEFA’s table gives clubs some concessions, while keeping Platini’s vision for the world’s most prestigious club competition.

Platini, who played in the 1980s-era European Cup when only national champions were in a pure knockout bracket, had worked to protect entries for more teams from middle-ranking countries.

This season, Bruges, Basel and Besiktas — title winners in Belgium, Switzerland and Turkey — are among 22 teams with direct group-stage entry. It is unclear how those places could be squeezed if the big-four leagues get 16 guaranteed slots instead of 11 at present.

Basel president Bernhard Heusler declined to comment to The AP ahead of attending Thursday’s meeting of the UEFA club competitions committee.

UEFA acknowledged the next format is being agreed sooner than expected. A deadline of December’s meeting of the UEFA executive committee was set after tense meetings in Milan on May 28, ahead of the Champions League final.

The new timetable should see the tournament’s immediate future settled before the UEFA presidential vote on Sept. 14 to replace Platini.

The election front-runner, Aleksander Ceferin of Slovenia, has won public support from countries like Denmark and Sweden, whose title-holders regularly qualify for Champions League groups but are not seen as commercially attractive.

Some club leaders, including Juventus president Andrea Agnelli, say the Champions League is undervalued despite UEFA raising 2.24 billion euros ($2.5 billion) in annual commercial revenue for the Champions League and Europa League combined in the 2015-2018 cycle.

That gives a 12 million euro ($13.6 million) basic fee to each team in the Champions League groups. The top earner can get around 100 million euros ($113 million) from UEFA when results bonuses and TV rights shares are added.

Still, that is barely more than the English Premier League pays its last-place team from TV money, and the top European clubs want a bigger share of Champions League money from the next deal.

That deal could be struck, fittingly, on Thursday in a five-star hotel in Monte Carlo.

Aspen Music Festival hosts Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra will make its Aspen debut in a special post-season residency at the Aspen Music Festival with concerts Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings at the Benedict Music Tent.

Coming off of a European tour, the storied orchestra — founded in 1895 — is the first full orchestra to visit the Aspen Music Festival since the local institution’s early years. The programs include Bruckner’s fourth symphony on Tuesday, Mahler’s fifth on Wednesday and Strauss’s “Elektra” on Thursday.

“When you do a residency it’s always a question of, how do you present an orchestra?” said Pittsburgh music director Manfred Honeck, who will conduct all three nights. “When it’s one program, it’s even more difficult. But with three programs, we really have the ability to show the orchestra moving through different historical eras.”

Violinist Pinchas Zukerman — a Grammy-winning Aspen alum — will be the featured soloist on violin concertos by Bruch and Berg on Tuesday and Thursday, respectively. Pittsburgh principal clarinetist and Aspen Music Festival faculty member Michal Rusinek will be the soloist Wednesday on Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto.

Pittsburgh’s residency is an encore to the proper Aspen Music Festival season, which wrapped up Sunday with an Aspen Festival Orchestra performance in the Benedict.

“The Pittsburgh Symphony is simply a spectacular orchestra,” Aspen Music Festival and School president and CEO Alan Fletcher said in the spring when the residency was announced, “and hearing it perform in the crystalline air of Aspen, with Manfred leading, will be a life moment for us all to share.”

Performing the fourth symphony by Anton Bruckner, who drew inspiration from the Austrian Alps, is particularly apropos here in the mountains, said Honeck.

“I think the festival will love it,” said Honeck. “This environment, in the mountains, that’s exactly what Bruckner had in mind.”

Honeck was also pleased over the weekend to find himself on Garmisch Street, the local road named for the German town (and Aspen sister city) that Richard Strauss called home for more than 40 years and where he composed “Elektra,” from which the orchestra will play on Thursday.

“It brought a lot of new sounds and challenges into the life of the opera,” said Honeck.

The acclaimed maestro was in Aspen for the first time as a guest conductor in 2012. His time here left an impression.

“I really fell in love with this great institution,” he said. “I love the interaction between professionals and students — the program they offer is amazing.”

Honeck’s brother, Rainer, will serve as the concertmaster for the orchestra’s three nights in Aspen. Rainer Honeck comes to Aspen from the Vienna Philharmonic, where he is concertmaster and where the brothers — two of nine Honeck siblings — played together early in their careers.

“The musical understanding between us is fantastic, and I’m looking forward to making music with him again,” said Honeck. “A lot of memories are coming back.”

Sunlight passes link to Spanish Pyrenees resort

Sunlight Mountain Resort announced it has new partnerships with ski areas in Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming — and a deal that allows four days of free skiing in the Spanish Pyrenees.

The partnerships with other ski areas offers Sunlight season pass holders with free or steeply discounted skiing and snowboarding fees.

“We’re continually looking to add new perks for our loyal season pass holders and we’re particularly excited about some of the new partnerships we’ve formed for the upcoming season,” said Troy Hawks, Sunlight marketing and sales director.

At the top of the list of those new perks for season pass holders at Sunlight is four free days of skiing at Alp 2500, a ski resort that spans the towns of La Molina and Masella roughly 87 miles from Barcelona in the Pyrenees Mountains of northeast Spain. The resort features 87 trails and 33 lifts, including a gondola and six detachable chairs.

As part of the partnership with Sunlight, season pass holders at Alp 2500 will received free ski days at Sunlight as well.

According to Hawks, the partnership was formed this past season after Xavier Nolla, director of Masella, visited Sunlight for a day of skiing.

“Mr. Nolla was enamored with Sunlight’s small ski area charm, and he was particularly impressed with the many other attractions and amenities in the greater Glenwood area, including of course the hot springs,” said Hawks. “This is a clear indication that we are showing up on the radar as an international destination, and I attribute this to the great work being done by our marketing partners including Visit Glenwood and Colorado Ski Country USA.”

Sunlight season pass holders also now receive three free ski days at Purgatory Resort, and its family of resorts including Arizona Snowbowl and New Mexico’s Pajarito Mountain and Sipapu Resort. Other new perks include two-for-one lift ticket deals at Utah’s Powder Mountain, and Wyoming’s Grand Targhee and Hogadon ski areas.

Fitness column: Comparing body composition to numbers on the scale

How many times have you gotten on the scales either at home, at the health club or in the doctor’s office?

What are the first thoughts that come through your head when you are about to get on the scale? Are all pounds equal when it comes to improving physical appearance and health?

Focus away from scales

Different people focus on different things: some on the scale, others on the difficulties of their new habits and others on old and new goals. When people focus only on the scale and don’t pay attention to their new habits and other changes, sometimes they end up dropping their weight loss program because they don’t see the scale change.

Body composition assessments

There are many ways of assessing body composition; bioelectrical impedance, hydrostatic weighing, infrared body composition analysis and skinfold are some examples.

All have different costs and some are more accurate than others. Choosing a body composition assessment method comes down to preference, availability, cost and beliefs.

My point here is to find a way to do a body composition assessment, and here are the reasons why:

results not on the scales

When some of my clients focus on the scale, they become discouraged because they see little or no change there. However, usually they tell me that their clothes fit better and are looser on the waist and shoulders.

Even though is not applicable to everyone, most are losing fat and gaining muscle, which is why they weigh the same while the body is changing to a smaller size. We, as a society, have an illusion about the scale’s results even though we are already seeing results that can be measured in other ways.

Don’t be afraid of weightlifting

Many women are afraid of weightlifting because of societal myths. I have had several clients who were afraid of getting “muscular,” but as soon as they see their body taking form and toning, their worries are gone, and they push more.

Weight loss not THE focus

The first areas that we should be focusing on are habits and lifestyle changes. Once we understand that, we need to focus on losing fat, not weight.

For some people the scale changes drastically. For others, changes are small. It all depends on the body’s fat and muscle levels and the individual’s metabolic rate. In addition, don’t forget that as we age, our bodies tend to lose muscle and gain fat.

body composition

A muscular individual may have a higher weight but less fat compared to a “healthy weight” individual. Focusing on weight loss as an indicator of improved fat loss has a similar limitation. By developing healthier living patterns, one’s body composition may change.

This may result in a loss of body fat, a slight increase in muscle mass, and a smaller waistline with little or no change in body weight. Therefore, relax if you don’t see any changes on the scale and continue changing your lifestyle.

Sandro Torres is owner of Custom Body Fitness in Carbondale, author of the book “Lose Weight Permanently” and a Watch Fit columnist. His column appears on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month in Body & More.

Doctor’s Tip: Whole grains are good for you

Today’s column is about another one of Dr. Michael Greger’s daily dozen, foods we should be eating every day, from his recent book “How Not to Die.”

A few decades ago the national food guidelines told us we needed to eat less fat. The food industry took advantage of this and started offering us food with “low fat” and “no fat.” Unfortunately, these products were mainly sugar and refined grains, were just as addictive as foods with fat, and just as unhealthy, and our obesity epidemic worsened.

Then a few years ago we were told we were eating too many processed, simple carbs, and people were led to believe that all carbs were bad. The truth is that there are good (plant) fats and bad (saturated and trans) fats. And there are also good (whole a.k.a. unprocessed) carbs and bad carbs (processed, sugary).

Whole grains contain complex carbohydrates, protein, healthy plant fat, and antioxidants and other health-promoting nutrients. There are some diets out there that advise against eating grains, but this advice is not based on science. For example, there are claims that grains cause inflammation, but well-done studies that show that grains in their whole form actually prevent and decrease inflammation. Many studies, including Harvard’s Nurses’ Health Study, show that people who eat whole grains daily have longer lives; and a reduced risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and strokes.

Many health professionals, including some dietitians and diabetic educators still adhere to the old dictum that diabetics should avoid any type of carbohydrates. Certainly diabetics, like the rest of us, should avoid processed carbs, but current nutrition science tells us that diabetics do fine with and even benefit from unprocessed carbs (for example see John McDougall’s book “The Starch Solution”).

As with any type of food, processing grains results in loss of fiber and most of the nutrients, and changes a low glycemic index food into a high glycemic index food, resulting sudden increases of blood sugar. This in turn causes the pancreas to secrete more insulin, which results in obesity and eventually diabetes and cardiovascular disease (similar to drinking orange juice instead of eating an orange).

As mentioned in previous columns, intense color is associated with an abundance of phyto (plant) nutrients. The healthiest rice is black rice, second is red, third brown, and you should avoid white rice. Regarding bread, Dr. Joel Fuhrman, author of many books including “Eat to Live,” says “the whiter your bread the sooner you’re dead.”

The healthiest tortillas are dark, multigrain followed by corn tortillas (be sure there is no lard in them). Whole and multigrain pasta tastes much better than they used to, and Dr. Greger’s favorite brand is Bionaturae. You will find whole grain pasta much more satiating than white pasta, so you won’t eat as much.

When you go to the grocery store, you will find misleading advertising on bread wrappers and cereal boxes. The food companies can say a product has “whole grains” even if the amount is minimal. So look at the food label, see what the total carbs number of grams is and then the grams of fiber. The ratio of total carbs:fiber should be at least 10:1 or less, ideal being 5:1 or less, which means the product has lots of whole grains and fiber. If math isn’t your strong point, multiply the grams of fiber by 5, and that number should be greater than the number for total carbs.

Oats deserve special mention, because they contain unique antiinflammatory compounds called avenanthramides. For decades oatmeal baths have been used for skin inflammation, and oatmeal lotion relieves skin itching and irritation. Likewise, eating oatmeal reduces inflammation in the rest of the body. The least processed form of oats is steel cut oats, available in bulk at many grocery stores.

Dr. Greger’s favorite whole grains are barley, unprocessed rice, buckwheat, millet, oats, popcorn (try nutritional yeast and no-salt-salt on it), quinoa, rye, teff, whole-wheat pasta and wild rice. Three servings per day are recommended, a serving being ½ cup of hot cereal or cooked grains or pasta or corn kernels; 1 cup of cold cereal; 1 tortilla or slice of bread; or 3 cups of popped popcorn.

What about gluten in wheat? Some people have celiac disease, which can be very serious, and they need to avoid any wheat products. There are other people who seem to have “gluten sensitivity” and if they feel better avoiding gluten they should do it. But for the rest of us, eating gluten/wheat is fine, as long as it’s unprocessed.

Dr. Feinsinger, who retired from Glenwood Medical Associates after 42 years as a family physician, now has a nonprofit Center For Prevention and Treatment of Disease Through Nutrition. He is available for free consultations about heart attack prevention and any other medical concerns. Call 970-379-5718 for an appointment. For questions about his columns, email him at gfeinsinger@comcast.net.

No timeframe for Harvey Gap Road repairs

Officials are unsure how long a road leading to Harvey Gap State Park north of Silt will remain closed, following a partial collapse Sunday.

A timeframe for repairs and a possible reopening of the road were uncertain Monday as the Garfield County Road and Bridge Department continued to investigate the cause of the collapse, according to a news release from the county.

Officials closed the road around 7 p.m. Sunday from Odin Drive to the Harvey Gap swim beach due to the road damage.

While a news release from the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office Sunday stated the damage was due to a breached ditch leading out of the Harvey Gap Reservoir, Monday’s announcement by the county said the circumstances that led to the road’s integrity being compromised were unknown.

The county is working with the Silt Water Conservancy District to determine the cause of the collapse, which is needed before repairs can start.

Citing safety concerns, the county placed additional barricades to deter motorists from attempting to drive on the road.

“We realize the use of alternate routes causes a serious inconvenience to travelers and potential fishing in Harvey Gap,” Deb Fiscus, road and bridge director, said in the news release. “But the road is now a serious safety concern, and we need to warn people of the risk by barricading this road. No travel will be allowed here until we can implement repairs that will provide a safe route into the area from Silt.”

Harvey Gap State Park remains open. Travelers are advised to use an alternate route on Grass Valley Road west from New Castle or east from Rifle.