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News in Brief

Rifle council ponders ballot questionsCity council members are looking at putting two questions on the ballot for November’s general election asking whether they can retain excess funds from the 1 cent parks and recreation tax and if term limits can be extended.A third possible ballot question about lifting the residency requirement for key city personnel was deemed to be a charter amendment that will be addressed with other charter amendments, according to Mayor Keith Lambert.The city wants to ask voters whether or not it can keep the excess funds collected through the 1-cent sales tax for park and recreation, which was approved by voters in September 2005. The sales tax has exceed the $1.7 million projected revenue and under the TABOR amendment, the city must get voter approval to keep the excess funds.If the money is retained, it would still be earmarked only for parks and recreation improvements.The city would also like to extend the current term limits for elected officials with the hopes that it would benefit from retaining councilors who have long-term knowledge of city affairs.Currently, councilors can serve a maximum of two four-year terms. The extension would allow them to serve three four-year terms.”We’ve asked staff to prepare these ordinances, and we’ll decide at our next meeting on June 7 whether or not to put them on the ballot,” Lambert said. (Glenwood Springs Post Independent)Missing kayaker identified as a Boulder manDURANGO (AP) – The search has been called off for a kayaker missing since Saturday in a stretch of Vallecito Creek so treacherous its difficulty rating remains uncertain.Adam Matthew Barron, 30, of Boulder was identified Monday as the man missing since his kayak overturned, La Plata County Emergency Manager Butch Knowlton said.Knowlton said the search has been called off, adding Barron’s body might be found when water levels drop off after the spring thaw.Several kayakers have not seen a sign of Barron down the one-mile stretch of whitewater above the Vallecito Campground on rapids rated at between a Class 2 and a Class 5, one of the most difficult type of rapids to navigate.If confirmed dead, Barron would be the first to die in the creek, which recently gained notoriety among kayakers, Knowlton said.Knowlton said he would post pictures on the county’s Emergency Management website to help kayakers understand the creek’s dangers.Firefighters contain wildfire southwest of DenverPINE (AP) – A wildfire in a grassy foothills valley was 100 percent contained Monday, easing fears that the blaze would climb out of the valley and into timber where it would be more difficult to control.Some 90 firefighters were to remain at the scene overnight, extinguishing fires within a perimeter placed around the blaze to keep it from spreading, said Jefferson County sheriff’s spokeswoman Jacki Kelley.”For the most part, they have kicked it,” Kelley said.Three families evacuated and who spent Sunday night in motel rooms were allowed to return.Residents of up to 370 houses had been allowed back in on Sunday after an evacuation advisory on their homes was lifted.No structures had burned and no injuries were reported in the fire, which scorched 101 acres, down slightly from an earlier estimate of 120.The fire was about 35 miles southwest of Denver, in the same area where the Hi Meadow wildfire burned more than 10,000 acres and destroyed nearly 40 homes in 2000.A fire on the Commanche National Grassland and nearby state and private land in southeastern Colorado blackened 1,500 acres before it was contained late Sunday. No structures were threatened, fire spokeswoman Cass Cairns said.A 530-acre wildfire on the Southern Ute reservation in southwestern Colorado was fully contained on Sunday.


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