Mesa County records 2nd virus death

A second person has died from the COVID-19 coronavirus in Mesa County.

The death was reported Friday evening by the Mesa County Public Health department. Details of the deceased were not immediately available.

To date, the county has had 269 positive COVID-19 cases. That represents an increase of two cases from Thursday. There are presently six people hospitalized, and the two-week positivity rate is 2.37%

Wildland fire reported north of Junction

A plume of smoke originating north of Grand Junction stemmed from a wildfire that was reported Friday evening.

The fire, reportedly in Pine Gulch and recorded by the Fire, Weather and Avalanche Center, was estimated at 20 acres. It was first reported to the Grand Junction interagency wildland fire dispatch center about 6 p.m.

Pork and Hops Festival canceled

The annual Pork and Hops Festival put on by the city of Grand Junction has been canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In past year’s, the barbecue event had live music, a corn-hole competition and award-winning barbecue that attracted people from across the region and country.

Originally scheduled for Sept. 11-12, the festival was canceled based on guidance from Mesa County Public Health and the governor’s office.

Free entrance to state parks for military

Colorado Parks and Wildlife will have free admission to all state parks for active-duty military, veterans and National Guard members through the entire month of August.

Military members and veterans, resident and nonresident, can pick up a free August Military Pass at any Colorado state park or Colorado Parks and Wildlife office by showing proof of service.

“We want to honor the brave men and women who currently serve or have served our country by hosting them at our state parks,” said Colorado Parks and Wildlife Director Dan Prenzlow. “This is an opportunity for our military and veterans to spend some quality time in nature and connect with the beautiful landscapes and natural wonders they protect.”

All other park fees remain in effect, including camping reservations, boat and off-highway vehicle registrations, and hunting and fishing licenses.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is also celebrating Colorado Day on Monday with free entrance into all state parks for all visitors.

Man dies after fall in national park

DENVER — A Golden man has died after a fall while climbing in Rocky Mountain National Park in northern Colorado, park rangers said.

The 26-year-old man died Thursday while traversing Broadway Ledge with a group when he fell about 600 to 800 feet, The Denver Post reported.

The man was not immediately identified.

Authorities responded to an emergency call from another group of climbers who witnessed the fall. Rangers reached the man at the base of Fields Chimney, about 70 miles northwest of Denver.

His body was flown by helicopter at 4 p.m. to a landing spot and was released to the Boulder County coroner’s office.

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