Week in Review | PostIndependent.com

Week in Review

While being transferred from Montana to Garfield County Jail, a male inmate escaped from the Rio Blanco County jail Thursday night.Zachary Galen Libby, 23, pried open a door of the jail’s sally port by disabling the automatic door mechanism, said Rio Blanco County Dispatch Officer Mike Cook.”We missed him by minutes,” said Cook Friday afternoon.A search was immediately initiated. Roadblocks were set up, cars were searched, and tracking dogs were put onto Libby’s trail. But as the sun sank, Libby was still at large.Officials believe that Libby fled into the mountains and is in hiding, said Cook. Officials are not actively searching for Libby, because the amount of mountain terrain they would have to cover would be like searching for a needle in a haystack.Libby is described as Caucasian, between 5-foot-10 and 6-foot-1, 170 pounds, red hair with a partial beard. On his right arm is a tattoo of a cartoon woman that extends from his shoulder to his elbow, and on his left arm is a tattoo of the words “truth or consequences.”Anyone with information on Libby’s whereabouts should contact the Garfield County Sheriff’s office at (970) 945-0453 or the Rio Blanco County Sheriff’s office at (970) 878-9620.

The reverse-angle parking spots on Cooper Avenue are here to stay, at least until the city decides sometime between now and next spring if the new parking configuration is working. If the city decides to keep them, more parking downtown could become reverse-angle next June when Glenwood’s street painting contractor is scheduled to return, said Glenwood City Engineer Mike McDill.Likewise, if city officials backpedal on reverse-angle parking, the spaces won’t be repainted until June, he said.The new “candlestick” barrier in the middle of the street will likely remain there for about a month, he said.Meanwhile, the city has stopped ticketing drivers who park nose-first in those spaces, and better signage is on the way.The city is about to add more signs to the street, and will angle them so more drivers can see them as they approach the parking spaces. The city will soon erect six instructional signs that will detail the three-step process of backing into a parking space, McDill said.But if parking there is still too confusing, don’t be alarmed when Glenwood Police place a friendly note on your windshield. Expect police to hand out warnings for the next few months if you park the wrong way.McDill said that once about 90 percent of drivers park correctly, the city will begin to issue tickets again.

If determination and devotion count for much, downtown Glenwood Springs’ future is secure.These are changing times for the city’s central core, and uncertain times for many downtown businesses and investors. They have endured the city’s economic setback following the Coal Seam Fire of 2002, a major repaving project on Grand Avenue that concluded last year, the arrival of new competition at Glenwood Meadows, a continuing parking problem, vacancies in several locations, and even a recent fire that knocked some back on their heels.Yet faith in downtown persists, driven partly by a love of downtown and a dedication to it.It’s where Becky Spagnolo wants to keep her restaurant, Spagnolo’s, despite its closure earlier this year due to the fire at the Grand Avenue Mall. Becky hopes she and her husband Corey can reopen it where it had served up Italian dishes for eight years before the fire struck.Other business representatives downtown also voice a similar affinity for the city’s commercial core, and an optimism about its future, and by extension their own. And they can find reason for optimism in each other, and the investments they all are making downtown.Meanwhile, one unanswered question for the downtown real estate market and retail scene is what will be the long-term impact of Glenwood Meadows, with its big-box stores such as Target and Lowe’s along with a host of smaller retail outlets and restaurants. Stores began to open there late last year.

SILT – After nearly 10 years on the books, Stillwater is starting over.Town Board members Monday night voted to revoke the Planned Unit Development (PUD) for the Stillwater Ranch subdivision, saying that the developers had defaulted on the existing plats and requesting that they start anew.The board had three options to take – either extend the PUD, amend it or revoke it. They chose to revoke it, meaning Stillwater developers will have to start over.The annexation of the property will not have to be redone, but the developers will have to refile the plats and start anew.The Stillwater Ranch subdivision was approved by voters in a special election in 1997. Although many have wondered whether the project would ever come to fruition, developers Dennis Carruth and Ed Sutton of SWD LLC say they’ve never given up.The holdup, Carruth said, has been due to a former landowner agreement and financing.The original land agreement with Valley Farms Inc. ended up in litigation in 2004. However, the landowner, Roger Dixon, of Texas, president of Valley Farms Inc., died in 2005.The litigation was since dropped and a new agreement made with the current landowner.Although the PUD was revoked by the board, the town of Silt is still anxious to see Stillwater Ranch developed and says they’ll work with them through the process.

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