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Week in Review

A half dozen fires within about 15 miles of Glenwood Springs ignited on the same afternoon Wednesday, raising some suspicions about their causes. It could have been embers from the Jolley Mesa Fire west of New Castle, which some believe started first, or it could have been human carelessness or foul play. Four fires in the Glenwood area began within hours of each other. The first to ignite may have been the Jolley Mesa Fire around 5:15 p.m. The very small fire on Slaughterhouse Road, near Canyon Creek, was next, which was extinguished very quickly, Glenwood Springs Fire Chief Mike Piper said. Soon thereafter, the Jolley Mesa Fire unleashed a “mushroom cloud,” Piper said, and another fire was sparked on Slaughterhouse Road.Small fires also burned on Transfer Trail in Glenwood Springs. All but the Jolley Mesa Fire were extinguished by Wednesday evening. Piper said two fires, including a structure fire, burned in the Carbondale area, and firefighters in Basalt battled a grass fire. On Friday, the Jolley Mesa Fire continued to burn, growing to 700 acres by early evening.Piper said the Glenwood-area fires could have been sparked by falling embers from the Jolley Mesa Fire. But, he said, somebody could have tossed a cigarette into the grass. Most of the fires were started along roadsides.According to a federal Bureau of Land Management press release, the cause of the Jolley Mesa fire remains under investigation, and Piper said the other fires are also being investigated.

The American Civil Liberties Union is investigating the Garfield County Jail for alleged prisoner abuse and is suing Sheriff Lou Vallario for preventing ACLU lawyers from holding confidential interviews with inmates. The lawsuit alleges that on June 15, Vallario prevented ACLU attorney Taylor Pendergrass from speaking with three prisoners who had sought legal assistance from the ACLU because it would have violated an unconstitutional unwritten policy. The policy allegedly requires a deputy to ask a prisoner who his attorney is, and if the prisoner does not identify the attorney requesting an interview, the interview is not granted. The ACLU wants a federal judge to grant a temporary restraining order against the Sheriff’s Department by June 27, forcing the jail to allow the ACLU to interview the prisoners so it can continue an investigation of the alleged abuses.

ASPEN – According to the Pitkin County Coroner’s office, Judge T. Peter Craven died of natural causes stemming from coronary artery disease.The chief judge for the 9th Judicial District died at 6:20 p.m. Tuesday. He was training on his bicycle in Aspen. Police responded to the scene in less than a minute with defibrillators from the time they received the 911 call. Craven was pronounced dead at Aspen Valley Hospital. He was 65 and lived in Carbondale.



New diagonal parking spaces were painted on the east side of Cooper’s 800 block Wednesday afternoon, forcing cars to back in to parking spaces.The new lines, which were painted onto the street Wednesday afternoon, are angled in the direction of traffic, so each car must stop in the middle of the northbound lane and then back up into the parking space.The idea, said city engineer Mike McDill, is that both passengers and drivers will be safer, both when disembarking from the vehicle and also when pulling out of the space to rejoin traffic.Many residents are upset and confused by the switch, but McDill says he believes people will soon adapt to it, and he maintains that the new diagonal parking is safer. Some residents agree with him.

DENVER – Mexican law enforcement officers arrested Oscar Hoyos DeLaCruz last week for killing turkey hunter Jeff Garrett near New Castle last May, Colorado law enforcement and prosecutors announced Tuesday. DeLaCruz faces “imprudent homicide” and reckless abandonment charges in Mexico under Article 4, which allows Mexican nationals to be prosecuted in their country for crimes committed in the United States, said Suthers. “Imprudent homicide” is roughly equivalent to a charge of manslaughter in the United States, Suthers added. DeLaCruz faces 12-24 years in Mexican prison.DeLaCruz’s arrest marked the end of a 13-month search for Garrett’s killer, which began May 14 after a Garfield County Search and Rescue team found the Aurora man dead in the East Elk Creek area north of New Castle.


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