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Local News Briefs

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – Glenwood Springs will boost its contribution to the cost of fixing the ailing Sunlight Bridge over the Roaring Fork River, despite the fact that the cost has more than doubled in a year.

The city council voted unanimously on Aug. 7 to increase its share of the overall cost, from the original amount of $143,146 to the current $310,730.

The overall cost of the project now stands at $927,800, due primarily to unexpected difficulties in reversing erosion beneath the columns supporting the bridge, and added measures to ensure that the repairs will be made safely. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is doing the work, and 65 percent of the costs are being picked up by the federal government.



PITKIN COUNTY, Colorado – A black bear cub was killed Friday in the upvalley lanes of Highway 82 near the Pitkin County landfill – the second bear killed in that vicinity this week.

The cub weighed 50 to 55 pounds. Earlier in the week, a bear tipping the scales at 500 to 600 pounds also died on the highway near the landfill, said Perry Will, area wildlife manager with the Glenwood Springs office of the Colorado Division of Wildlife. Perry said he did not hear any reports of human injuries resulting from the collisions, but the vehicle that hit the big bear required towing, he said.



“Road kill is a fairly big issue for bears,” Will said. “I don’t know how you get away from that.”

Bears are most active at dawn and dusk and in the nighttime, when they’re most difficult to spot.

As of Friday afternoon, the DOW had counted four bears killed on Highway 82 this year, two on Highway 133 and four on Interstate 70 in the area managed by the Glenwood office of the agency.

In 2007, a difficult year for bears, the DOW tallied 80 animals killed on roads within the area served by the Glenwood office, Will said.

When the DOW handles a bear carcass, it removes the hide when it’s salvageable; they are sold at an annual auction, he said.

GRAND JUNCTION, Colorado – Grand Junction Police have arrested 49-year-old Mark Bird after he intentionally crashed his car into the Grand Junction Community Homeless Shelter at 2853 North Ave. After being evaluated at St. Mary’s Hospital immediately following the crash, Bird has been booked into the Mesa County Jail on charges including criminal mischief, felony menacing, criminal attempted vehicular assault, DUI, and reckless endangerment.

At about 7:45 Thursday night, an employee of the shelter approached Bird who was sitting in his car in the parking lot. Bird told the employee that she needed to clear out the lobby because he was going to drive his car into it. The employee immediately ran inside and moved people out of the way. A couple of minutes later Bird drove his car through the glass doors and into the building, which trapped him inside his vehicle. A second employee and a shelter resident approached Bird after the crash and he threatened that he had a gun and would begin shooting.

Police officers arrived and secured Bird while members of the Grand Junction Fire Department removed him from his car and took him to the hospital for evaluation. Officers did not find a gun in or around Bird’s car. None of the people inside the building at the time were hurt, however there was extensive damage to building.

– From the Grand Junction Free Press


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