Western Colorado

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Drought prompts Western Slope fire departments to boost equipment, training

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Fire was clearly in the forecast months ago as a dry winter left thousands of acres of pinyon-juniper forest in western Colorado as susceptible to ignition as an open gasoline can. “We’re dreading it, believe me,” said James ...

History of fires a teacher for Garfield County

By Dennis Webb

A fire department can never truly have enough resources when a major wildfire strikes. But thanks to Garfield County’s history of damaging and sometimes deadly wildfires, and other factors including a healthy tax base from oil and gas ...


Volunteer firefighters find niche as community servants

By Rachel Sauer

A fire does not care who’s fighting it. It’s going to burn regardless. So, volunteer firefighter, paid firefighter — the important thing is fighting the fire. And it’s a similar sentiment among victims, those who had ...

Officer watches bear struggle against flames

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Mesa County Sheriff’s Department Lt. Phil Stratton had a front-row seat for the inferno on June 29. A veteran of a wildland firefighting team, Stratton is no stranger to the unpredictable nature of fire ripping through dried brush and ...

Staffer arrested in assault of disabled client

By Paul Shockley

A supervisor at the Grand Junction Regional Center was arrested last week on allegations of assault against a disabled client at the facility. Barbara E. Martellaro, 58, was booked at the Mesa County Jail on suspicion of third-degree assault ...

We Can Do It! Women construct houses

By Charles Ashby

Habitat for Humanity is looking for a few good women. As part of an effort to get more women to volunteer to help build homes for those in need, Habitat in Mesa County has been taking a different approach to honoring National Women Build ...

3 finalists tapped to lead oil and gas oversight board

By Dennis Webb

The current acting director of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission and a former attorney to the commission are two of the three finalists for the agency’s directorship. Acting director Thom Kerr and Matthew Lepore, now an ...


Fire retardant poses risk

By Matthew Berger

By the time fire crews had fully contained the Pine Ridge Fire on July 4, nearly 150,000 gallons of fire retardant had been dropped on the 14,000-acre fire outside De Beque. A couple days later, surprisingly generous rains arrived. Those July ...

Public trustee office has history of controversy

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The Mesa County Public Trustee’s Office has been controversial since the office was established in 1987, when Republicans and Democrats butted heads over how the job should be filled. The controversy flowered anew this week when Mesa ...

Library readies for brief move to new quarters

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By this time next month, patrons of the Mesa County Public Library District’s central library will be browsing for books in a building where people once shopped for sofas. The library’s board of trustees Thursday night authorized ...

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