NEWS: Thursday February 25, 2010

Feb 25th @ 6:55 am in News by Scott Staley

The fire that killed two Western State College students January 30th has been ruled accidental. Gunnison Fire Marshal Dennis Spritzer tells the Gunnison Country Times that “There was no indication in any way that it was intentional.”  The fire appears to have started on a couch that was on the front porch. Students Adam Lockard and Lucy Causley were the only two of the six occupants that didn’t make it out alive.
Source: Gunnison Country Times (Posted 5:55a)

SMPA and DMEA explore consolidation. The Boards of Directors of San Miguel Power Association, Inc. (SMPA) and Delta-Montrose Electric Association (DMEA) are announcing today that the two associations are beginning a process to investigate whether there are significant financial, environmental, technological and—most important—customer service reasons to consider consolidating the two electric cooperatives into a new joint cooperative.

While for-profit corporations seek immediate profit gain from mergers, rural electric associations are member-owned and focused exclusively on the potential benefits for their members, employees and the communities they serve.

Both associations were formed in 1938 following the passage of the Rural Electrification Act signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1935, at a time when electricity was available in urban areas only. Decades ago, each association successfully integrated new member-customers through mergers/acquisitions.

While the two associations do not know at this early stage whether a consolidation will be the eventual outcome, both boards feel it is in the best interest of their members to look at the possibilities. The process of looking into a consolidated organization will take several months. As information becomes available, DMEA and SMPA will keep their members, employees and the public informed.  SMPA  and DMEA are both committed to serving their members in the southwestern Colorado area in keeping with the highest of standards. Whatever the outcome of this process of investigation, this core value is something that will not change.
Source: Press Release   (Posted 5:54a)

Two City of Montrose employees were laid off Tuesday as a result of the recession. City spokesperson David Spear tells the Daily Press that a city building department technician and a code compliance officer were among 12 positions that have been eliminated since 2008. The city doesn’t have any more layoffs planned.
Source: Daily Press (Posted 5:53a)

The special meeting that was to be held by Delta City Council tonight has been canceled. The meeting was to publicly announce the new City Manager. This will now take place at next week’s regular meeting. The finalists are Peter Brixius, Karen Cumbo, JM Kerby, Alan Lanning, Ben South, and D. Craig Whitehead.
Source: Press Release   (Posted 5:53a)

Statement by US Attorney David Gaouette regarding the sentencing of Kristen Parker: “Today’s sentence should provide victims of this crime some measure of resolution, as Kristen Parker will be spending the next 30 years of her life in federal prison.  This sentence is appropriate, and reflects the seriousness of Ms. Parker’s criminal conduct.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office went out of its way on behalf of the victims of this case.  The government required as part of the plea agreement that the defendant make a videotaped statement, discussing in detail her criminal conduct, for the benefit of the victims.  This video was then shown to victims and provided publicly.  The government also required that Parker sign consent to release her medical records to the victims of her crime.  Today’s sentence should truly send a message that there are very serious consequences for these types of actions.  I would like to thank the special agents with the FDA Office of Criminal Investigations, the Drug Enforcement Administration, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jaime Pena, and everyone with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for their hard work on this important case.”

Parker was sentenced this afternoon by U.S. District Court Judge Robert E. Blackburn to serve 360 months (30 years) in federal prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release.  Parker was also ordered to pay restitution to Rose Medical Center of Denver and the Audubon Surgery Center of Colorado Springs totaling $506,935.  Lastly, Parker is to pay $1,000 to a court sponsored victims of crime fund.
Source: Press Release   (Posted 5:52a)