Week in Review
A man authorities have said may know something about the July 29 shooting of a Glenwood Springs policeman has been arrested for assault on an officer after an incident in the Garfield County Jail.Anthony Villegas, also known as “Speedy,” also faces a charge of attempted escape. But Sheriff Lou Vallario said that charge may be dropped because the altercation was confined to within the jail. The facility is located in downtown Glenwood.Villegas, a 19-year-old New Castle resident, is on bond for a probation violation related to aggravated vehicle theft, Vallario said. He said the violation stems from a positive test for drug use.The jail altercation occurred at 2:09 a.m. Sunday.”He got a little out of control at the jail the other night,” Vallario said.Sheriff’s deputies responded to the jail to help jailers after Villegas reportedly was being unruly and trying to flee from their custody.Vallario said Villegas “got a little violent” as deputies were trying to move him from one cell to another. He had to be handcuffed and put in a restraint chair, Vallario said.
Paul Driskill almost died doing what he loves – running.The local running legend was hit and left for dead during his run the morning of Sept. 22. He’s completed 13- to 16-mile runs or more every day for more than 30 years. This run ended in tragedy, but family members expect him to recover.One of the first things he asked after being flown to St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction, losing his pulse and being resuscitated, and having doctors at first say he had no brain activity at all was: “Did I make my 16 miles?”That was after he was able to respond to people, recognize his family and talk with doctors about pain and what he remembers.”He’s just glad that his legs are OK,” said his daughter, Kim Stallome, via telephone outside the hospital.Driskill, 70, has never missed his daily run for at least 30 years, she said. He’s often seen running with shorts bearing a Colorado flag and socks on his hands for warmth.”Paul runs constantly,” said Bob Willey, who’s known Driskill through the running and education communities for more than two decades. “He’s the Energizer Bunny of the racing world. He keeps going and going and going.”No suspects have been identified in what police have described as a hit-and-run.Assistant city engineer Steve Vanderleest found Driskill around 5:30 a.m. near the Rosebud Cemetery on old Grand Avenue when he was driving on his way out of town. He saw someone on the side of the road, pulled over, called 911 and put a blanket over Driskill until authorities arrived, Vanderleest said. He noticed Driskill’s headband and one of his shoes was knocked off, and a pool of blood had formed under his head.
Glenwood Springs Police arrested a suspected burglar on Sept. 21, which could come as a relief to residents in some neighborhoods that have been concerned over a recent string of about 20 residential break-ins.Jeremiah Johnson Brown, 33, was arrested near the 2300 block of Palmer Avenue around 3:30 p.m. on suspicion of second-degree burglary, theft and first-degree criminal trespass. He hasn’t been accused in any other burglaries and hadn’t posted a $12,750 bond as of Tuesday afternoon.”Basically he came up and knocked on someone’s door,” Police Chief Terry Wilson said. “Someone answered the door and he gave them a reason that he was in the neighborhood. They felt it was kind of suspicious and called us.”Police contacted Brown walking on Bennett Avenue and found what they believe was stolen property, Wilson said, and Brown was arrested after further investigation. He didn’t disclose further details of the arrest.Wilson said he couldn’t comment on whether or not he believes Brown committed any of the other burglaries due to the ongoing investigation. There haven’t been any burglaries reported since the arrest, and Wilson said previously he suspected many of the burglaries were linked.The Post Independent reported in April 2005 that a Jeremiah Brown, who was 31 at that time, was arrested after a string of around eight to 10 residential burglaries in about a month. It was reported that Brown entered through a dog door in the back of a house and took prescription painkillers, later admitting to some of the other burglaries.
RIFLE – A methamphetamine treatment wing is being considered as a possible eventual addition to Garfield County’s new community corrections center.The addition is proposed as part of the county’s five-year plan.The meth wing would be built in response to a growing problem of local meth use. The community corrections center’s director, Guy Meyer, said the addition would allow for 45-day, in-house treatment in a residential setting, apart from the rest of the center’s population. Meth users requiring such treatment now must be sent to facilities outside the county.Meyer called meth “a pretty devastating drug” that’s highly addictive. Many users don’t get help until they are caught and end up in the criminal justice system, he said.The meth wing is merely conceptual at this point. It hasn’t been approved by county commissioners, and Meyer said it’s not envisioned to be built for several years, if ever. After all, it’s possible that meth will go out of fashion, he said.”Gosh, five years from now there could be a new drug of choice,” he said.The county opened the 60-bed, $1.5 million community corrections center in May across from the county airport in Rifle. It provides an alternative sentencing option for mostly nonviolent, mid-level felony offenders, and allows clients to be released each day to go to work.A proposed meth wing could be as large as 34 beds. County manager Ed Green said the addition could cost at least $2.5 million.
CARBONDALE – With available jobs expected to increase and no end in sight for the lack of affordable housing for workers, the Roaring Fork Valley and surrounding areas could be heading for a “perfect storm.”That was the message that surfaced at the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce’s Business Conference Tuesday morning.There’s booming resort-town related construction going on in Vail and Aspen, and lots of oil and gas activity to the west. But despite increased business opportunity there is a lack of employees due to a lack of affordable housing, according to Mark Gould, president and CEO of Gould Construction.”We’ve picked up probably 25 employees from out of state,” he said. “They can’t find a hotel or motel because oil and gas has them booked from here to Grand Junction.”He said in August last year his company began following House Bill 1343 when it was created. It requires all his employees to be authorized through the Department of Homeland Security because Gould Construction does work for governmental agencies, he added. The homeland security check was added to existing employee eligibility verification procedures.Gould said the government recently sent out a letter with all the Social Security numbers of employees that don’t match names.
A relatively new state policy aimed at resolving conflicts related to natural gas drilling sites has been used little in Garfield County.The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission’s on-site inspection policy was instituted in February 2005, largely to address concerns in places such as Garfield County about conflicts between landowners and energy companies wanting to drill on their land. Yet requests for inspections in the county have been made only four times.Statewide, the COGCC has received 91 requests. Forty-eight were for locations in Weld County, and another 16 for Las Animas County sites.COGCC director Brian Macke thinks the low number of requests in Garfield County reflects efforts by energy companies to reach surface use agreements with landowners in the county.
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