News in Brief
September 25, 2006
Independence Pass back openIndependence Pass east of Aspen is open to travel after a temporary shutdown Friday evening, when a winter storm made for hazardous driving and reduced visibility.Highway 82 over the 12,095-foot, paved pass can close at any time for the winter season, though the Colorado Department of Transportation tries to keep it open until Nov. 7. It is gated on both the Aspen and Twin Lakes sides until spring, typically opening for the Memorial Day weekend.Although the pass doesn’t always remain open until early November, Friday’s closure was a bit early. The pass is an especially popular route in the autumn, as travelers seek out the changing colors in the high country. The pass reopened Sunday, when warm temperatures and blue skies returned to the mountains after several days of snow.”Now again, our goal date is to keep it open until Nov. 7,” said CDOT spokeswoman Nancy Shanks. “We don’t need to keep it closed. It was temporary. It’s not necessary for the season yet.”For CDOT’s statewide road conditions and closure alerts, go to http://www.cotrip.org.Man accidentally shoots into neighbor’s apartmentA Glenwood Springs man faces two charges after a reportedly accidental shooting in which a bullet went into a neighboring apartment early Sunday morning and nearly struck a sleeping man.Christopher Alex Smith, 23, was cited for illegal discharge of a firearm and criminal mischief.Police responded to an apartment in the 700 block of Cooper Avenue and reportedly found that a bullet had gone through a wall separating the two apartments. The bullet appeared to pass over the neighboring resident’s bed and stop in a kitchen wall. It also damaged two windows.Smith told investigators the semiautomatic gun fired accidentally while he was showing it to someone.”He said he thought he cleared it [of bullets], but obviously he didn’t,” said police Lt. Bill Kimminau.Kimminau said the neighbor was roused by an unknown noise about 2:15 a.m. Sunday but didn’t realized what had caused it.”He got up, turned the TV off and went back to bed,” Kimminau said.The man called police the next morning after discovering damage the bullet had caused to the apartment.Kimminau said it appears the bullet had come within 18 to 24 inches of the top of the bed. (Glenwood Springs Post Independent)I-70 slide cleanup continuesThe inside (left) lane of eastbound Interstate 70 in DeBeque Canyon is expected to open today by 2 p.m., according to the Colorado Department of Transportation.Once eastbound traffic is switched over (between mile markers 55 and 58, east of Grand Junction), there will be two lanes of traffic flowing in the westbound lanes.Eastbound traffic will remain in a single-lane until maintenance crews can finish clearing debris from the roadside and replace about 100 feet of a concrete barrier damaged by a Sept. 16 rockslide. Eastbound motorists are urged to drive slowly and maintain a safe following distance; the speed limit will be reduced and minor travel delays can be expected.CDOT’s contractor, Yenter Companies, has blasted sections of rock on the sandstone and shale hillside. They brought down about 1,800 cubic yards of material, as expected. Each day, rocks were broken up and hauled away to clear space for crane set up and drilling the following day.