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Week in review

PARACHUTE, Colorado ” Montgomery may be the only caiman ever to get put up at a motel in Parachute.

She had a spot in a motel bathroom and her very own water-filled bathtub in case she wanted to take a dip.

“They were calling her Montgomery when she first came in,” said Colorado Animal Rescue Shelter director Leslie Rockey. “But guessing from our research, it’s a female. So we’ve got to change the name but haven’t really come up with anything else.”



Garfield County animal control deputy Keith Clemons said a woman from Florida spotted the 38-inch caiman on the side of Highway 6 near Parachute on Sunday. She thought it was a log at first, but then said she realized it was a “gator.”

“She picked it up, put it in the back of her trunk and took it back to her motel room and kept it in the bathtub all night,” Clemons said.



When the call came in to the Sheriff’s Office, people thought the woman probably just had a large iguana. The caiman is a smaller species of crocodile.

“She called me in the morning and I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, so I went down there to check it out,” Clemons said. “Sure enough, she opened the trunk and an alligator was staring back at me.”

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” Garfield County commissioners were set to consider a preliminary plan for a controversial 93-lot subdivision in Missouri Heights on Monday.

But an oversight by the Glenwood Springs Post Independent involving the placing of a legal advertisement has delayed commissioners’ consideration of the proposal by at least a month.

Garfield County Commissioner John Martin told the developers of the controversial Hunt Ranch subdivision that since notification of the public hearing did not appear in The Citizen Telegram, which is considered the “paper of record” to print notices in Garfield County, the commissioners could not go forward with the hearing.

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” Without photos, memories can sometimes fade.

Photos were the last thing on Cheryl Harvey’s mind when her son Christian was born near the end of February.

“Our son was born with a heart defect,” Harvey said.

Cheryl and her husband, Heath, were told of the defect and were hopeful that a surgery to fix the complication shortly after little Christian arrived would allow the family to have years with their new son.

“We hoped that reconstructive surgery would have been able to be done right after he was born, that was our plan, that was our goal,” Cheryl said. “For several days after he was born that is what we were expecting.”

Unfortunately, the day before Christian’s surgery was scheduled, doctors discovered another defect in his coronary artery that was irreparable. A transplant was needed to save the little guy’s life.

“He only survived eight days,” Cheryl said softly.

Betsy Strafach got the call from Cheryl’s mother, whom Strafach had known for several years, about the Harveys just before Christian passed. Strafach is a photographer by trade and affiliated with Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep Foundation, a worldwide nonprofit group of volunteer photographers who take portraits of infants under 25-weeks-old who are near death or who have died, capturing those brief moments of life so the family members may have something to remember their lost addition.

DENVER, Colorado ” Authorities say Nichole Brownell had a one-way airline ticket to Puerto Rico Saturday but she never got off the ground.

Brownell, 41, faces sentencing Friday for being convicted on two counts of being an accessory to the 2006 nonfatal shooting of former Colorado State Patrol trooper Brian Koch.

But instead of time behind prison bars, Brownell had a tropical island on her mind.

Beth Bascom, chief investigator for the 9th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, said Brownell was arrested by Denver police at the Denver International Airport after checking in for a 7:50 a.m. flight Saturday to San Juan, Puerto Rico.


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