Week in Review
WICHITA FALLS, Texas – A 23-year-old Glenwood Springs native died in a jet crash at the Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas on May 1.A T-38 twin-engine, high-altitude, supersonic jet crashed on approach during a routine training mission around 7:55 a.m. Second Lt. Alec Farquhar Littler, 23, a student pilot in the 80th Flying Training Ward’s Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training program, and Maj. Brad Funk, 35, a 90th Flying Training Squadron instructor pilot, were both killed. Witnesses said they saw one person eject.The training program produces future combat pilots for NATO.Littler spent his childhood in Brisbane, Australia, and returned to attend Glenwood Springs High School. He participated in extracurricular activities such as the student council, mock trial and cross country. He attended the Air Force ROTC at the University of Colorado at Boulder before getting accepted into the Euro-NATO training program.
CARBONDALE – A plane crash in the rugged mountains near Black Hawk claimed the life of Carbondale resident Barry Maggert and severely injured a passenger Thursday afternoon. People were devastated to hear of Maggert’s death.”To say it’s a shock is a little bit of an understatement,” said Rock Leonard, a friend of Maggert’s. “Barry was a good guy.”Maggert was well known as a structural engineer, a former town council candidate, a Libertarian and a columnist for the Carbondale Valley Journal.Gilpin County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Cherokee Blake said Maggert, 55, and 23-year-old Jonathan Holton were on the plane. They were on their way to a graduation for Maggert’s son, Lee Barry Maggert, in Boulder when the crash occurred west of Central City in an area called Miner’s Gulch on Thursday.The 1965 Cessna 182 took off from the Glenwood Springs Airport at 3:10 p.m. Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Mike Fergus said the pilot reported engine trouble and was losing altitude shortly before dropping off radar at about 3:45 p.m.
DENVER After spending nearly eight months locked up, Henry Akim Gama may get out on bond soon and has a chance to present his case for asylum.Immigration Judge David Cordova signed an April 15 order to reopen Gamas case. He found evidence of deteriorating human rights conditions in Zimbabwe was enough to reopen the case. Somehow, Gamas attorney wasnt notified of the order until Wednesday.Its rotten for Henry because this was three extra weeks in detention for him, said Mark Barr, of the Lichter and Associates law firm.But he added, He will most likely be able to get out of jail now that his case is reopened.Barr said Gamas case for asylum will probably come down to one hearing before an immigration judge in the summer or fall of 2009. Gama will have to meet the definition of a refugee and show that he faces a reasonable likelihood of being persecuted for his political beliefs, he added.Gama lived in Glenwood Springs for about six years and is a member of the Movement for Democratic Change party that opposes Robert Mugabes regime in Zimbabwe. A major argument in Barrs motion to reopen Gamas case was the worsening political situation and violence in Zimbabwe following the countrys March 29 presidential election. It argued Gama would be in danger if he returned because of his political beliefs.
GLENWOOD SPRINGS People on the citys water and sewer systems will have to pay more in order to fund a new wastewater treatment plant and improvements and repairs to the existing systems.Users will see a 10 percent rate increase in water fees and a 20 percent increase in sewer fees. Theyll begin with the first billing cycle that starts this month.Theyre basically for capital improvements and for operations and maintenance of the water and wastewater facilities, said city manager Jeff Hecksel.The driving factor behind increases in wastewater rates is the planned relocation of the citys existing wastewater treatment plant from near downtown to West Glenwood. Design work is currently under way, and its hoped that construction on the new plant will begin in 2010, he added.The new plant will go in on the south side of the Colorado River near the western edge of the city. Itll be about as far west as possible before heading into South Canyon. Its expected to cost $30 million to build, Hecksel said.
DENVER The Bear Wallow Ranch settled a wrongful death lawsuit last week after an illegal immigrant accidentally shot a Qwest executive who was hunting turkey near New Castle in 2005.Bill Keating, an attorney representing the deceased mans family, said the amount of the settlement is confidential.Jeff Garrett, 37, of Aurora, was a state lobbyist for Qwest when he was shot on May 14, 2005, while hiding in the brush and calling for turkey in the East Elk Creek area near New Castle. Authorities believe Garrett was mistaken for a turkey and was shot by Oscar Hoyos DeLaCruz, an employee of the ranch.After an investigation led by the Garfield County Sheriffs Office, DeLaCruz was arrested in June 2006 in Mexico and later sentenced to three years in prison in Mexico for second-degree manslaughter. But he appealed the sentence and received three years in a work-release program.Garretts wife and children filed the wrongful death lawsuit in U.S. District Court in 2006. It names the Bear Wallow Ranch, operated by Land West Ventures Inc. of Georgia. The ranchs employees, DeLaCruz and Juan Salido Talavera, were also named as defendants. Among the claims were that the ranch unlawfully hired DeLaCruz, an illegal immigrant, and gave him access to the rifle he used to shoot Garrett.
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