News in Brief
A hoax bomb threat forced the evacuation of courtrooms, offices, the Eagle County Sheriffs Office and the county jail Monday afternoon. Once the building was empty, it was locked up tight, while local police waited for bomb-sniffing dogs to be brought in from Aspen and Jefferson County.The threat was called into the court office at 2:45 p.m. Once at the scene, the dogs cleared the building fairly quickly, and jail inmates were taken back to the jail at about 7 p.m. Court clerks, police officers and judges were allowed in a few minutes later. (Vail Daily)
Work began Monday on damage to Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon from a New Year’s Day rock slide. It will continue into early February.Contractor GA Western of Palisade won the $53,000 contract. The total project cost is expected to be about $70,000.About 10 rocks – some 3 tons each – came down on the interstate, causing minor damage to the westbound lanes. A heavier boulder landed in the outer eastbound lane. The force of the impact created a hole of about 3 by 4 feet through the bridge deck. (The deck is about a foot thick and consists of reinforced concrete overlaid with 3 inches of asphalt.) Though the rock punched a hole through the bridge deck, it ultimately bounced over the guardrail and landed in the river. No one was hurt.CDOT crews reopened the interstate a few hours after the slide; the damaged lane remains closed, however. The repair work will most likely take place on weekdays, but some weekend work may occur depending on weather and the project schedule. The project is scheduled for completion by Feb. 3.
The Bureau of Land Management has extended the public comment period for a proposed herbicide spraying program to Feb. 10. It was originally scheduled to close on Jan. 9.The program, which is part of a larger national plan to treat and manage vegetation on BLM lands, has caught the attention of local environmental groups, including Carbondale resident Laurie Loeb and the Town Mothers, the group that originally formed to fight the Carbondale Marketplace.Among other things, the BLM is proposing to use a new chemical herbicide that in tests has proven effective at combating cheatgrass (downy brome), a non-native invasive weed. BLM officials say that new herbicide treatments must be developed as noxious weeds genetically evolve and become resistant to traditional methods. But environmental groups are wary of chemical herbicides and their potential negative impacts on the land, people and animals.The BLM proposal would stipulate the use of chemical herbicides on 932,000 acres in 17 Western states, including National Monument and National Conservation areas.The public may comment on the draft environmental analysis of proposed vegetation treatments, which also includes methods of reducing hazardous fuels to help prevent wildfires, and restoring fire-damaged lands. Information on the program is available at http://www.blm.gov.Public comments can be send to Brian Amme, project manager, BLM, PO Box, 12000, Reno, NV 89520-0006; faxed to 775-861-6712, or e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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