Week in review
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
AURORA, Colorado ” Henry Akim Gama’s eyebrows shot up in surprise as walked into the courtroom and saw seven friends looking back at him Thursday morning.
A moment later, his trademark big, easy smile appeared.
“There will be no hugging or touching ” please!” a detention official said, pointing Gama into his seat.
Almost seven hours later just before 4 p.m., there was lots of hugging, handshakes and smiles that wouldn’t fade.
A group of Gama’s friends greeted him when he was released on $2,000 bond after spending almost eight months in the GEO Immigration and Customs Enforcement Processing Center and nearly getting deported to Zimbabwe or Malawi.
“I never thought I’d see this day, man,” Gama said, the enormous smile again returning. “Seriously.”
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” A video of local musicians ” including a workers’ compensation attorney ” singing a less-than-flattering song about EnCana may have been viewed by some 350 million people in various parts of the world.
Clips of the song were featured in a 10-minute BBC World News America television segment on natural gas drilling in Colorado. The four musicians are Don Kaufman, with the law firm Kaufman and Kaufman LLC, plus Don and April Paine and Dustin Micheli. They all play with the Last Minute String Band.
The BBC reportedly approached Kaufman after hearing an original recording and requested to film it on location on the banks of Divide Creek.
The song was written after one of EnCana’s wells leaked into West Divide Creek in 2004. The seep was found to contain the carcinogenic chemical benzene, and the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission fined EnCana a record $371,000.
The video shows the four musicians along the creek in a traditional string band arrangement with guitar, upright bass, banjo and mandolin. It starts with harmony singing, “What have they done to the old home place, and how did they blow it down, and how did they poison my water and hay, by drilling for gas in the ground.”
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” The Denver District Attorney’s Office is charging with three new felonies a man accused of pretending to be a war veteran for 24 years.
Mark Mulcahy, 47, who allegedly pretended to be David Anderson, was advised of the new charges Monday: theft, criminal impersonation and forgery. The warrant for those charges says the Denver District Attorney’s Office was notified about the case April 15 by the 9th Judicial District Attorney’s Office in Glenwood Springs.
The office charged Mulcahy on March 19 with seven felonies after a Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General investigation determined Mulcahy received $6,296 in upper gastric hernia surgery at no cost to him by pretending to be a veteran. Mulcahy was arrested Feb. 28.
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” Glenwood Springs Police have already started notifying Glenwood Springs residents of a new ordinance regarding irresponsible residents’ trash attracting bears, which created numerous conflicts last year.
Glenwood Springs Code Enforcement has been trying to get ahead of the trash that is such an attractant for the bears, according to Glenwood Police Chief Terry Wilson.
“We’ve issued dozens of notices on the new ordinance to residents about keeping it cleaned up before it becomes a problem,” Wilson said. “We’ve had a concerted effort on getting to that early.”
The new ordinance allows police to issue citations to not only property owners, but renters and property managers as well. It also reduces the amount of warnings from two before getting a citation on the third incident, to a single warning before being issued a citation on the second incident. Resulting penalties could be as high as a $500 fine.
“We can hold property residents as well as property owners at fault,” Wilson said. “It’s given us an ability to deal with things more appropriately by being able to hold the right person accountable.”
CARBONDALE, Colorado ” Bill Vezzoso’s family recently started an Internet campaign they say will inform Garfield County citizens of the truth.
The family is in a legal battle with the county over property rights.
Bill Vezzoso Jr., Bill and Kimberly Vezzoso’s son, wrote in an e-mail, “I created the http://www.stopgarcoinjustice.com website because of the injustice being put on my parents by Don Deford and Garfield County Commissioners Tresi Houpt and Larry McCown. This is a grassroots citizen-based petition launch with the main goal to hold our local commissioners and government officials responsible for their actions.”
His father, Bill Vezzoso, said his Independent Trucking and Excavating business has been damaged by the county’s decision and the publicity surrounding it. He runs the business from his Willow Lane home east of Carbondale.
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The final four: Glenwood Springs police chief candidates talk policing philosophies at community meet and greet
Thirty-six candidates applied for the Glenwood Springs chief of police position. None of the candidates were from within the Glenwood Springs Police Department.