2003: Growing pains, Caverns gains | PostIndependent.com

2003: Growing pains, Caverns gains

The pains of growth and development at Red Feather Ridge, the Crystal River Marketplace and Glenwood Meadows, a controversial dog shooting and the opening of the Iron Mountain Tramway are the top five local news stories for 2003.

Post Independent staff writers summarize these stories in today’s edition.

In Wednesday’s edition, we summarized and updated the other stories, Nos. 6 through 10, on the paper’s list of Top 10 news stories of 2003.

The Top 10 sports stories of 2003 are also listed in today’s paper and Wednesday’s edition.

If you missed Wednesday’s paper, you can get all the stories on our Web site, http://www.postindependent.com, by entering “Top 10” in the search box.

The Top 10 list is the result of a vote by Post Independent employees from a ballot of 34 items, which included many other important news stories from the past year. We think they’re worth a mention, so here is a brief summary:

– The Glenwood Springs City Council considered using certificates of participation, a way to borrow money without voter approval, to fund an $8 million city golf course in Glenwood Springs. The issue launched two opponents, Larry Beckwith and Joe O’Donnell, onto City Council in the Nov. 4 election, while new estimates boosted the price to $10 million. And city manager Mike Copp, a longtime champion of the golf course plan, announced Sept. 4 that he will resign his post of 20 years on May 1, 2004.

– The dreaded Grand Avenue Paving Project (GAPP), which was originally scheduled for February through December of 2004, was put off until 2005 after downtown merchants felt the pain of three months of disruption with the Grand Avenue waterline replacement project in fall 2003.

– Debate continued over whether or not to close the Grand Avenue wing street. The city hired a facilitator to help downtown interests decide, but at year’s end the group wasn’t finished. Closure of the street must wait anyway until after the GAPP is completed.

– West Nile virus swept through Colorado and hit Garfield County, sickening livestock and two residents. Local officials expect a far worse epidemic in 2004, and have budgeted $100,000 for mosquito control.

– Rifle notched three major building projects that move the city closer to rivaling Glenwood Springs as the county’s commercial and service hot spot, with a new City Market grocery store, a Super Wal-Mart store, and the new Grand River Medical Center, which replaced Clagett Memorial Hospital.

– Defense attorneys came unglued when District Attorney Mac Myers revealed that his office had not routinely disclosed that Silt police detective Mike Williams had a 1997 criminal conviction for official misconduct from a previous job. Williams resigned May 2. Further study revealed that up to 190 criminal cases Williams was involved in could be retried or dismissed.

– Third District Congressman Scott McInnis, a Glenwood Springs native, formally announced Sept. 14 that he would step down after finishing his present term in Congress, which ends in January 2006. Word leaked out a week earlier at a Club 20 meeting in Grand Junction. Republicans and Democrats jumped at the chance to run for the open seat in 2004, including Gregg Rippy of Glenwood Springs, currently a state representative.

Contact Heather McGregor: 945-8515, ext. 517


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