Week in Review
The Silt town trustee accused of stalking a woman said the accusations against him are “bogus.””I think they’re bogus, but I don’t want to make any more comments,” said Bobby Hays following a hearing for formal filing of charges Wednesday.The 9th Judicial District Attorney’s Office filed a charge of stalking against Hays. It’s a class five felony that could carry a maximum of three years in prison and up to a $100,000 fine, according to Magistrate Lain Leoniak. She said if extreme circumstances are present, the maximum prison sentence could be extended to eight years.Hays, 49, said in court that he would like to apply for a public defender.According to an arrest affidavit, a Garfield County Deputy answered a 911 call at a residence in Glenwood Springs. A woman said Hays followed her home from a softball game and was blocking her driveway. The deputy arrived at the residence and contacted Hays in a blue Ford Ranger down the street, the affidavit says.
Plentiful rains have come to the rescue of the local whitewater rafting industry, reducing the need for human intervention to maintain adequate river flows in Glenwood Canyon.In July rafting companies worried that a problem that forced the shutdown of the Shoshone hydroelectric plant in the canyon starting June 20 could cause flows to drop so much in the Colorado River that they would have to cease operations before Labor Day. “It seems like what’s happening isn’t been what we’ve been expecting,” said Susi Larson, a partner in Whitewater Rafting LLC, in Glenwood Springs.In fact, flows have been higher than average in August, she said.
Garfield County and area communities will receive millions of dollars in new funds to pay for the impacts of energy development, the state announced this week. But local officials say that’s still far less than they need to cover those impacts.The state Department of Local Affairs reports that the county got $1.43 million in direct severance tax distributions and about $619,000 more in direct federal mineral lease distributions. Area communities also received allocations, which are calculated based on the residencies of workers in the oil and gas industry and coal and metal mining. Rifle received the most money of any local community, with its amounts totaling about $566,000.Statewide, about $11.4 million in severance tax revenues and $4.7 million in federal mineral lease revenues was handed out.Half of the state’s severance tax on the energy and metal mining industries goes to Local Affairs, and the other half goes to the state Department of Natural Resources. Of Local Affairs’ portion, 85 percent is doled out as grants and 15 percent is directly distributed to areas impacted by oil and gas operations.
Charalene Dawn Bera was sentenced to sex offender intensive supervised probation for 10 years to life after being convicted of having sex with teenage boys at the former Emily Griffith Center in Rifle.Bera, a former child care counselor at the center, maintains her innocence and said outside the courtroom she plans to appeal the case.She dabbed her eyes with a tissue and covered her face with her hand a couple of times while several family members and friends spoke on her behalf. They spoke in glowing terms and said Bera has a tendency to help people, to protect people and to contribute to her family. They said prison would not improve anything and asked for probation.”My daughter has a very big heart,” said her mother, Judy Richards. “I know in my heart my daughter didn’t do it.”She said she’s $70,000 in debt because she believes in her daughter.
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