News in Brief | AspenTimes.com

News in Brief

One week after three people were shot downvalley, two people were stabbed and two others hospitalized after a sprawling fight Saturday outside an Edwards bar. Police say between 20 and 30 people began fighting in front of the Rancho Viejo bar at closing time Saturday morning. Rancho Viejo is across Highway 6 from Riverwalk. Authorities on Saturday afternoon still weren’t sure what started the fight, said Capt. Bill Kaufman of the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office. “Two people were stabbed, four people went to the hospital and four people went to jail,” Kaufman said. “Investigators are still talking to the main witnesses to figure out what’s going on.”Two people, whose names have not been released, were stabbed with a “sharp-edged weapon,” Kaufman said. One of the men was having surgery on a stab wound in his abdomen Saturday afternoon and the other was recovering from a stab wound to the groin, Kaufman said. Two others were taken to the hospital, one person who is still being treated for a knee injury and another person who had minor injuries and has already been released, Kaufman said. Four people were arrested and are being held in the Eagle County jail. (From the Vail Daily)

DURANGO (AP) – Forty to 80 percent of the pinon pine trees in study areas in the Four Corners died during the height of the drought in 2002 and 2003, scientists say.Ninety percent of pinons died at one site near the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.Plant scientist Lisa Floyd-Hanna of Prescott College, Prescott, Ariz., said global warming is a factor.”While we have had droughts of this magnitude before, they have never been coupled with such high temperatures,” said she during a meeting scientists and manager. “Even seemingly small changes in temperatures have had devastating effect on our vegetation.”Floyd-Hanna said temperatures, on average, were three degrees warmer during the 2002-2003 period than during the last major drought, 1953-1956. Even though the earlier drought was drier fewer trees died in a study area in Mesa Verde National Park.

GRAND JUNCTION (AP) – The city of Grand Junction and Mesa County are opposing an oil company’s bid to increase the density of oil and gas drilling.The two local governments want 320 acres between each well, compared to the state standard of 40 acres. South Oil Inc., has appealed to the Colorado and Gas Conservation Commission.Meanwhile, two federal agencies cannot agree over the level of threat oil and gas leasing in the 27,635-acre South Shale Ridge would create.The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says drilling in the area near De Beque would threaten two local plant species. The Bureau of Land Management said leasing would not harm rare plants. The BLM has listed 23,000 acres in the South Shale Ridge area for potential development.Fish and Wildlife says drilling could cause two plants, the De Beque phacelia and De Beque Milkvetch, to be listed as endangered species.A decision on the dispute with Houston-based South Oil has been postponed twice with the next hearing scheduled for Dec. 1.Grand Junction opposes denser drilling because wells could be near city reservoirs, said Greg Trainor, utility manager. “We don’t know what they’re planning on doing there, and it’s adjacent to our drinking water, we had to intervene.”

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