Small explosion briefly evacuates middle school

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Photo by Gretel Daugherty

Students were evacuated following a small explosion at East Middle School today.


Grand Junction firefighters, lower right, leave East MIddle School after attending to a small explosion in the boiler room near the main administration office this morning. Students were evacuated from the building and spent about 30 minutes with teachers at the school’s football field after a vent blew. No one was injured in the explosion, and an announcement made to the student body said that a letter would be sent home with the children for their parents this afternoon.

Ex-county employee 
arrested 
in welfare 
fraud case


A woman who was trained on spotting welfare fraud as an employee of the Mesa County Department of Human Services was arrested Monday on allegations she defrauded the agency of various welfare program funds totaling nearly $13,000. Michelle Rich, 32, of Grand Junction, was released from the Mesa County Jail on Tuesday after signing out on a $7,500 personal-recognizance bond, after she was advised of charges including attempt to influence a public servant, theft, forgery and second-degree


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