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Week in Review

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” Cops usually read suspects their rights. But it was two cops in the Two Rivers Drug Enforcement Narcotics Team who were being advised of their rights in court Friday morning.

District Judge Denise Lynch signed a May 9 citation and order for the TRIDENT agents to show cause why they shouldn’t be held in contempt of court. Defense attorney Chip McCrory filed a motion asking her to hold the two agents in contempt because, he argues, TRIDENT failed to obey a March 19 subpoena and disclose records about a confidential informant in Nichole Brownell’s 2005 drug distribution case.

McCrory wrote in a motion that it’s clear TRIDENT didn’t honor the subpoena, and it’s clear “that they have attempted to perpetrate a fraud on the court, committed the crimes of abuse of public records,” tampering with evidence, official misconduct, issuing a false certificate and attempting to influence a public servant.



Lynch’s citation says the TRIDENT agents must “show cause why you should not be held in contempt of court and further why you have failed to produce all of the items subpoenaed. … And further, why a fine and/or jail sentence should not be imposed upon you to vindicate the dignity of this court and insure further compliance with the orders of this court.”

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” Former Parachute police officer Kristopher Joe Duncan said the worst thing about his arrest was the embarrassment of being accused of something he didn’t do.



“I think the biggest thing was the embarrassment that I would be accused of something like that,” he said. “But I knew that I didn’t do anything wrong.”

Prosecutors decided to dismiss all charges against him. Magistrate Lain Leoniak said Wednesday that she signed an order and the case will be dismissed. The 21st Judicial District Attorney’s Office had been specially appointed to review the rape case against Duncan, 25.

“I’m glad this case was reviewed by an experienced prosecutor and a professional prosecutor who made the decision because Kristopher Duncan is innocent,” said Duncan’s attorney, Greg Greer.

Garfield County deputies arrested Duncan, at the time a Parachute police officer, on April 18 on suspicion of second-degree sexual assault. He was initially held in the Pitkin County Jail and posted a $7,500 bond shortly after.

RIFLE, Colorado ” Requests for drilling permits in Colorado continue to surge, according to updated figures from the Colorado Oil and Gas Commission (COGCC).

The pace of drilling permit applications in the state so far this year is about 20 to 25 percent ahead of where it stood last year, said Dave Neslin, acting director of the COGCC, who spoke at the Northwest Colorado Oil and Gas Forum meeting in Rifle on Thursday.

The state has received about 2,933 applications for drilling permits so far in 2008, with 1,029 of those permits for wells in Garfield County.

Last year, the state processed 6,368 drilling permits. If the level of activity that has occurred already this year continues through the remainder of the year, the state expects to receive about 8,000 permit applications to drill, Neslin said.

About half of all the ongoing permitting activity is occurring in the Piceance Basin, Neslin said.

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” Qwest and Comcast didn’t slam the door on partnering with Glenwood Springs to expand the city’s fiber-optic network, but they didn’t jump at the chance either.

Qwest representatives met with city officials Wednesday and Comcast met with city officials earlier in the month for some preliminary discussion.

Mayor Bruce Christensen said the city approached Qwest and Comcast to see if the companies had any interest in partnering with the city to expand its fiber-optic network.

“In my opinion public-private partnerships are the best way to move forward,” he said.

“I didn’t discount it as a possibility,” said Charles Ward, president of Qwest’s Colorado operations.

Qwest and Comcast representatives said they couldn’t say whether they would partner with the city until they get more detailed information about the proposed expansion.

GARFIELD COUNTY, Colorado ” Despite the greatest snowpack in decades, Garfield and Pitkin Counties have floated through the runoff season so far without any significant flooding.

No major problems have been reported yet as rivers flow two times or more compared to the average rates for this time of year.

The Colorado River just below Glenwood Springs peaked Tuesday around 20,000 cubic feet per second running about 9.8 feet deep. The river was well above the 9,860 cfs average. The level is above where the river is considered full but below where it’s considered flooding, according to the Colorado Basin River Forecast Center.

“We’ve been watching, waiting for when this water is finally going to come off,” said Jim Pokrandt, communications and education specialist with the Colorado River Water Conservation District. “It warmed up the last week or so. That’s what brought on these peak flows.”


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