Local News Briefs | PostIndependent.com

Local News Briefs

A woman who claims to be a good Samaritan helping a troubled single mother has been arrested and jailed on fraud charges in Snowmass Village and Grand Junction.

Mary Hunsaker, who was staying at a friend’s in Snowmass Village, was arrested outside that friend’s house on Friday evening on charges of writing bad checks, and on two outstanding warrants out of Grand Junction.

According to Snowmass Police Chief Art Smythe, Hunsaker, 39, was wanted on fraud and extortion charges by the Grand Junction police, and she was extradited there over the weekend.

Smythe said Hunsaker told the arresting officer that her effort to raise money for a woman named Mandy Baron of Carbondale, and her ailing infant twins, was a legitimate one.

The Post Independent ran a news brief about a benefit account opened at Vectra Bank by Hunsaker. Smythe said there is no evidence that the benefit effort is fraudulent, although he conceded “there’s a high level of probability of that.”

The bank refused to release any information about the contents of the account.

Jean Alberico, Garfield County Clerk and Recorder, is requesting public comment on the proposal of conducting the 2010 Primary Election by a mail ballot.

Garfield County voters have been voting by mail in coordinated odd year elections since 1993. Many municipalities in Garfield County conduct all elections by mail ballot. Since the 2000 General Election the percentage of Garfield County voters requesting mail ballots has increased steadily from just over 50 percent in 2000 to 79 percent of the voters who cast ballots in the 2008 presidential election. In 2007, legislation enacted the “permanent mail-in voter status option,” and it gives all voters the opportunity to participate. Fifty-four percent of the active registered voters in Garfield County have requested placement on the permanent mail-in voter list.

The factors considered beneficial to the voters of Garfield County by conducting the 2010 Primary Election scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 10, by a mail ballot include convenience, popularity, turnout and cost effectiveness.

Written comments will be received via mail, fax, or e-mail until Friday March 12, 2010. The public hearing with the Board of County Commissioners is set for Monday, March 15, at 10:15 a.m. Individuals are invited to be present and provide direct comments to the commissioners.

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