Briefs: Creek cleanup meeting Friday |

Briefs: Creek cleanup meeting Friday

EDWARDS ” The Black Gore Creek Steering Committee will meet Friday from 9:30 a.m. to noon at the Eagle County Health Service District Building in Edwards to receive public comments on a proposed plan for keep sand and other sediment of Black Gore Creek on Vail Pass. Black Gore Creek is considered an “impaired” stream because of the sand that has spilled into it. The steering committee includes local, state and federal agencies. A summary of public comments will be submitted to the state Water Quality Control Division. The latest report on pollution in Black Gore Creek can be read at the Eagle County Building, Vail Town Hall and the Vail library. For more information or to RSVP to the meeting, contact Maria Pastore at 827-5406 or BEAVER CREEK ” Beaver Creek will host its final telemark workshop of the season Saturday at the resort. The workshop provides lessons for telemarkers of all abilities, from beginners with no experience to experts. Participants should meet at the Beaver Creek Nordic Center, near the base of the Strawberry Park lift, at 9 a.m. Lessons last until around 3 p.m. The cost is $75 for the lesson only or $135 for the lesson and a lift ticket. Discounted rentals are available. SUMMIT COUNTY ” If the number of cars passing through the Eisenhower Tunnel is any indication of how busy the High Country was last weekend, it could have been a record-setting few days for visitors. Between 12:01 a.m. on Friday and midnight on Sunday, 139,668 vehicles traveled through the Eisenhower/Johnson memorial tunnels, marking the second highest three-day weekend count in the tunnel’s 34-year history, according to numbers released this week by the Colorado Department of Transportation. The highest three-day count of 140,367 occurred between Aug. 3 and 5, 2001. The busiest three-day weekends at the tunnel historically occur in either March or August ” the top 10 list consists of sets of days that all fall in those two months. The top 10 highest winter weekend counts all fall in March, except for one weekend last month and another in December 2002. On March 3, 47,661 vehicles passed through the Eisenhower Tunnel, which was the ninth highest count in a 24-hour period. The single-day record was set on Aug. 5, 2001 with 50,113 vehicles. ” Nicole Formosa

Armed robbery, carjacking reported in Eagle, Gypsum

EAGLE — A masked assailant robbed the Comfort Inn in Eagle at gunpoint Monday night. The robbery happened around 6 p.m. After the gunman fled the hotel, he rendezvoused with a getaway car parked at City Market, according to Eagle Police Chief Rodger McLaughlin. Shoppers reported police cars converged at the site, searching vehicles and the store for the gunman. The getaway vehicle was described as a maroon and silver Subaru hatchback. The suspect was described as being 6 feet, 1 inch tall, 160 to 180 pounds with olive-colored skin. He spoke English and was wearing a ski mask, gloves and all black clothes including a "shiny black jacket." The weapon used was described as a black, semi-automatic small-caliber handgun. Roughly a half hour after the armed robbery, at approximately 8:45 p.m., a carjacking was reported at the Big Dog Car Wash in Gypsum. The victim of the stolen vehicle stated that a single male wearing all black and a ski mask came up and put a gun to her temple. The suspect demanded the keys to her car and all her money. The suspect was last seen travelling west on U.S. Highway 6 from the Gypsum area. Stolen vehicle is described as white 2011 Subaru Outback bearing Colorado plate 497WAU. An Eagle County alert issued Monday night with the vehicle description and a warning to residents that they should not approach the vehicle or the driver but should immediately report any sightings of the car. When contacted Tuesday, staff at the Comfort Inn declined to discuss the incident, saying they wanted the police to conclude the investigation. This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

Eisenhower Tunnel sets record in July

EISENHOWER TUNNEL ” More than one million vehicles traveled through the Eisenhower Tunnel in July, the busiest month in its 32-year history at the Continental Divide. The 1,148,403 vehicles that traveled through the tunnels last month exceeded the previous July high of 1,103,597, set in 2004. July’s daily tunnel traffic averaged 37,045 vehicles. A new top-10, 24-hour count also was set this weekend when 47,337 vehicles traveled through the tunnels on Sunday. It was the seventh highest in history. The busiest period was on Aug. 5, 2001, when 50,113 cars traveled through the tunnel. “July and August are the real big ones for travel through the tunnels,” said Eisenhower Tunnel Superintendent Mike Salamon. “It’s the high tourist season. In addition, this July had five full weekends.” As of July 31, 6,432,275 vehicles went through the tunnels, 149,137 more than had traveled through as of July 31, 2004. Vail, Colorado

Eagle Cops

Reloading accident Eagle Police responded to a residence last week on a report of a possible gunshot wound. When they arrived, they found a blood trail leading to the victim, and paramedics were already on the scene to offer medical assistance. The victim said there was no gun involved in the incident. He said he was reloading ammunition when the primer went off while he was holding it. A man who was present at the time of the incident told police the victim was showing how to reload ammunition, when the primer fired. The witness said there was no gun powder involved and no fragments injured anyone else. The victim was transported from the scene by medical personnel. Butting in An Eagle woman called police last week when she found two cigarette butts inside her parked car. The butts had burned fabric and carpet inside the vehicle. The owner said she had returned home from a camping trip and parked her car on the street directly in front of her home. She wanted to air out the car and left the windows partially open. Approximately two hours later, she returned to move the car and noticed the vehicle's interior smelled like cigarettes. She then found the butts and noticed the damage. Police collected the cigarette butts and entered them into evidence. Officers advised the woman to keep her vehicle secured, with the window rolled up, and to report any future suspicious activity. Bike thefts Last week Eagle Police responded to two reported bike thefts in town. The first incident happened along Whiting Road. The people who reported the theft said the bike belonged to a friend of their grandson. The bike was taken when it was left, unsecured, next to a residential driveway. The youth size bike is a black and white Huffy brand, Specter model. The second theft happened along Founders Avenue. The bike was located next to a patio at a residence. It is a black Free Agent, BMX style bike with blue rims. The owner's name was written in black marker on the bike. Anyone with information about the stolen bikes can contact Eagle Police at 970-328-6351.

Police: Suspicious man tried to get kid in car in Edwards

EDWARDS, Colorado – At about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, a suspicious man contacted a young boy playing in the Miller Ranch neighborhood and asked the child if he was lost and asked the child to get into his car. The man is described as having curly brown hair. At the time of the incident, the man was wearing a black baseball hat with a green visor, sunglasses and a dark colored long-sleeve shirt. The man was driving a black Nissan sport utility vehicle. The Eagle County Sheriff’s Office will continue to investigate this incident. Deputies have already determined that a resident living in the neighborhood who drives a black Nissan sport utility vehicle is not involved in this incident.

Armed Robbery in Eagle A masked assailant robbed the Comfort Inn in Eagle at gunpoint Monday night. The robbery happened around 6 p.m. After the gunman fled the hotel, he rendezvoused with a getaway car parked at City Market, according to Eagle Police Chief Rodger McLaughlin. The getaway vehicle was described as a maroon over silver Subaru hatchback. The suspect was described as being 6 foot, 1-inch tall, 160-180 pounds with olive colored skin. spoke English and was wearing a ski mask, gloves, and all black clothes including a "shiny black jacket." Weapon used was described as a black semi-auto small caliber handgun. Roughly a half hour after the armed robbery, at approximately 8:45 p.m., a carjacking was reported at the Big Dog Car Wash in Gypsum. The victim of stolen vehicle stated that a single male wearing all black and a ski mask came up and put a gun to her temple. The suspect demanded the keys to her car and all her money. The suspect last seen travelling west on U.S. Highway 6 from the Gypsum area. Stolen vehicle is described as white 2011 Subaru Outback bearing Colorado plate 497WAU. Garfield County real estate gains Real estate sales in Garfield County closed out 2013 nearly 2 percent over the previous year, thanks in part to strong sales activity in December. Energy Resources inventory A Front Range consultant will presented the recently completed Energy Resources Inventory for Garfield County, which is part of Phase I of development of the Energy Master Plan for Garfield County. School finance Colorado superintendents, including Eagle Schools' superintendent Jason Glass, asked for an additional $275 million in K-12 education funding. That would come on top of a 3.4 percent increase proposed by Gov. John Hickenlooper. Sochi bound Local Ana Jeronimus Robinson headed to Sochi, Russia to serve as a physical therapist for the U.S. Olympic Cross-Country Ski Team. Vail mogul skier Heidi Kloser's Olympic dreams were shattered after a crash in the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park's mogul course. The crash sent her to the hospital with a knee injury. Museum Grant The Colorado Ski & Snowboard Museum and Hall of Fame in Vail was awarded a $111,514 grant by the Institute of Museum and Library Science to digitize, preserve and provide a public listing of its massive collection of historical ski films.

Backpack, and more, stolen A 24-year-old Eagle-Vail woman called the Eagle County Sheriff's Office to report that some items had been stolen out of her vehicle. She also mentioned that when she had arrived home late the previous night, she parked her car in an area where she usually doesn't park. She told officers she left a black backpack inside her car and walked inside her house. She did not lock the doors to her vehicle. The next morning, she walked outside to her car and noticed her driver side door was slightly opened. When she looked inside, she noticed her backpack was missing, but did not worry much about the backpack being stolen. Later, she was looking around her home for her laptop computer, she remembered it was in another black backpack that she owns. She couldn't find it in that backpack and then remembered that the laptop had been inside the backpack that had been stolen from her vehicle. The value of the laptap was estimated to be around $500 and another $20 was estimated for the backpack. There was no damage done to her vehicle. Speeding nets warrant arrest A deputy clocked a vehicle going 56 miles per hour in a 40 miles per hour zone on Highway 6. The deputy pulled over the 29-year-old male driver. Upon running his drivers license, it was discovered and confirmed that the man had a warrant for his arrest in nearby Clear Creek County for failing to appear on a DUI charges. Also, the man's driving privileges were revoked for an alcohol conviction. The man was taken into custody and transported to the Eagle County Jail. Tires slashed A man called to report that his father's tires had been slashed while his vehicle was parked at Dotsero. When the deputy arrived, the man told him that he had borrowed his father's truck to visit his friend in Dotsero, and as he was sleeping on the friend's couch, he heard a noise around 2 or 3 a.m. He heard some strange noises, and then the sound of air being released from the tires. He ran outside and nobody was there. That's when he noticed the tires were slashed. The deputy looked at the tires, and the cuts were consistent with a knife. The punctures were about an inch and a half long and they were in the sidewall. Both of the tires were on the passenger side of the vehicle. The value of the tires were estimated at around $550.

Police break up drunken brawl

SUMMIT COUNTY, Colorado ” A booze-fueled dispute between two men about actions taken by one toward the other’s sister turned into a full-on brawl that drew police to a local bar. The men were hitting each other repeatedly in the face, when cops arrived to restrain them both and find out who, and what, started the altercation. One of the men accused the other of trying to hurt his sister, prompting him to rush to her defense. When the fighting broke out, onlookers called police. Despite the arrival of authorities, the other man refused to calm down and screamed at his opponent, taunting him that the fight would continue when police were no longer present. The screaming man was then asked how much he had had to drink that night, to which he replied: “Man, I know I am so wasted drunk.” Officers charged the man with assault at the Summit County Jail later they discovered that he had given them a fake name. Apparently guards at the jail recognized the man by a different name, and authorities learned that not only did he have two active warrants for his arrest, but also he had been deported from the United States several times. In addition to the assault charge, the man was charged with criminal impersonation, and he was advised to think twice the next time he felt the need to announce how drunk he was to police. Unofficial neighborhood watch Police were called to a local condominium complex after the property manager noticed that someone had spray-painted a message in the fire lane of the parking lot. Officers heard from neighbors that there was an ongoing problem with people parking in the fire lane, and residents at one of the nearby units had taken it upon themselves to call a tow truck every time a car was seen parked there. A neighbor who recently had gotten her car towed from that spot provided police with the cell-phone number of the man who had apparently used the black top as a canvass to send a message. The spray paint in the fire lane read “Do not park here, or unit 113 will have you towed,” and the man responsible claimed he was just trying to help other residents because the lane was not properly marked. The man told officers that he felt guilty about the incident but that he was frustrated that people were getting towed from a lane that was not clearly marked as a no-parking zone. Managers at the condominium complex said they did not want to press any formal charges, and the man was issued a summons for criminal mischief. Hopefully this incident will prompt condo authorities to re-think the placement of their parking signs so that no more cars have to be towed in the future. The paperwork is crucial A routine traffic stop resulted in serious consequences after the driver of the vehicle was unable to provide the car’s registration, insurance or title. The driver said she had just bought the car from a friend and had not yet been able to obtain a registration or buy insurance. When officers checked the license plates, records indicated it belonged to another owner, and the driver told police she was “borrowing the plates from a friend until she got her own.” Officers politely explained that license plates on loan were not valid, and the driver was forced to find another way home when police suspended her license and called a tow-truck to take the car.

Rescue practice

Cutting cars apart on a Saturday afternoon may sound silly, and even criminal to some, but for a firefighter, it’s simply good practice. Cutting cars was just one of several training exercises resident firefighters got to practice during Saturday’s training symposium in Avon. The Eagle River Fire Protection District hosted the event, which aimed to give resident firefighters a chance to brush up on skills, learn about new technologies and bond with peers. Firefighters from Vail, Eagle River and Snowmass Village attended the training camp. “The biggest goal is to provide training that is hands-on,” said Justin Ayer, an Eagle River resident firefighter and president of the resident firefighting program. The participants got just that. Big Steve’s Towing donated a dozen vehicles for the event, allowing firefighters to practice using splitters and cutters – more commonly known as the “Jaws of Life” – to get into a crashed vehicle. People are frequently extricate from crashes on Interstate 70, Ayer said. The firefighters divided into groups to practice using splitters and cutters on cars to simulate an extrication. A group working on one car first removed a passenger-side door by creating a gap, shoving the equipment in the gap and pulling the door off. Then one snapped the roof from the body of the car as others lifted the roof, transforming the vehicle into a haphazard convertible. The term “firefighter” may be a bit of a misnomer. While firefighters do fight fires, they also respond to car accidents, river rescues and collapsed buildings, Ayer said. Because fire stations are located throughout the community, firefighters typically are the first to respond to calls for help. Because of this, they not only need to know how to get patients out of trouble, they are certified in CPR, first aid and they work in conjunction with ambulance crews, Ayer said. In this area, car accidents keep firefighters busy most of the time – which means knowing how to use the latest automobile rescue technology is key.Hybrid cars may get good gas mileage and are better for the environment, but they pose a whole host of new challenges for emergency service officials. Because the car runs on gasoline and electricity, extricating a patient out of a wrecked hybrid car requires some new skills to ensure the rescue is done successfully and safely. Angela Weeks, a Snowmass Village firefighter, said she hoped to learn more about how to dismantle a hybrid car while minimizing the risk of electrocution. “It’s good to get more experience in dealing with these kinds of things,” Weeks said. Big Horn Toyota brought a hybrid vehicle to the camp to demonstrate how to make the vehicle safe for a rescue. Other companies brought equipment for training exercises, as well. Knowing the features of a particular car involved in an accident is key, said Reggie Blacke, a Vail resident firefighter. Modern vehicles, for instance, have safety airbags that are supposed to deploy in an accident. But sometimes they deploy after the accident. Firefighters need to know how to disconnect the power to prevent air bags from deploying while trying to save a patient, Blacke said. The group had to test their physical strength as well. To simulate the weight of firefighting equipment and tools, each had to wear a 40-pound vest, run up four flights of stairs and carry down a 170-pound dummy. Being fit is key, Black said, and the crews at the Vail Fire Department work out regularly to stay in tip-top physical shape. “We don’t just do it for ourselves, but for the safety of the people we serve,” he said. What’s a resident firefighter?According to Justin Ayer, president of the Eagle River Fire Protection’s resident firefighting program, resident firefighters work about 34 hours a week for a department as they work toward full certification. Their work pays for the required certification through Colorado Mountain College. Staff Writer Tamara Miller can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 607, or, Colorado

GM will stick with pricing plan despite continuing sales drop

DETROIT – General Motors Corp. expects its U.S. market share to continue to fall in the first quarter of this year due to aggressive competition, but said that won’t reverse its strategy of lowering prices and relying less heavily on discounts, GM marketing officials said Monday.”We’re certainly not pleased with current share levels and we’re not satisfied with it, but we have to run this play,” said Paul Ballew, GM’s executive director of market and industry analysis, in a teleconference with analysts.Ballew said GM’s U.S. market share – which is critical to the company’s North American turnaround – will be around 24 percent in March, down from 27 percent the year before. Ballew said GM’s first-quarter U.S. market share will fall by one percentage point, or around 250,000 vehicles.GM, which lost $10.6 billion in 2005, has been struggling with declining sales at the same time its labor and health care costs are rising. The automaker last week offered buyouts to 113,000 workers and is expected to make further cuts to its salaried ranks this week.But GM on Monday said it’s seeing progress in lowering sales to rental fleets and making more money per vehicle. GM expects a 3 to 4 percent increase in its average transaction price in the first quarter, compared to an industry-wide increase of 1 to 2 percent. That’s because GM’s product lineup is more heavily tilted to trucks and sport utility vehicles, which give automakers a higher return than smaller cars.GM shares rose 53 cents, or 2.3 percent, to $23.18 in afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange.—On the Net:General Motors Corp.: