News in Brief

SILT A rodenticide, commonly used as a rat poison in some countries, is being named as the cause of contaminated dog and cat food that has now been recalled nationwide and may have contributed to the death of a dog from Silt.The toxin, called aminopterin, was identified by the New York State Animal Health Diagnostic Center in certain “wet” cat and dog foods and believed to be used as a filler in the “cuts and gravy” style foods manufactured by Menu Food in Canada.About 60 million cans of the pet food have been recalled, which were distributed throughout North America under 95 brand names sold by companies such as Wal-Mart, Safeway and Kroger. So far, reports say that 16 pets have died – the majority of them being cats.Dr. Tori Palmer of New Castle Veterinary Clinic said it isn’t known for sure whether Silver, a 9-year-old Shetland Sheepdog, died due to eating the contaminated food. The dog, which belonged to Rick and Patricia Kay of Silt, died of acute kidney failure last week.Palmer said she can’t say for sure whether the dog consumed the contaminated food, but confirmed that it died of acute kidney failure.”It came on him really hard and fast,” Palmer said. “The signs [of renal failure] are lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, changes in drinking habits and urination.” (Glenwood Springs Post Independent)

EAGLE COUNTY A man was found guilty Wednesday of raping his girlfriend at knifepoint, said Karen Romeo, assistant Eagle County district attorney . A jury found Jorge M. Valdez, 24, guilty of two of three charges after deliberating for five hours, Romeo said. Valdez, an illegal immigrant who had been deported, returned after hearing his girlfriend had dated other men, Romeo said. Valdez terrorized the woman with a knife for 12 hours May 15 and 16, and raped her when she told him she had dated other men, Romeo said.The woman escaped from the apartment in Avon’s Westlake Village and called police from her mother’s house. “I did it so I could live,” the woman said in court. The jury found Valdez guilty of felony sexual assault while armed with a deadly weapon and felony menacing. Valdez was found not guilty of false imprisonment. Valdez will be sentenced May 3, Romeo said. Valdez could face 10 years to life in prison, she said. (Vail Daily)

SUMMIT COUNTY Summit County commissioners will revisit plans for a biomass-fueled heating system for the County Commons next week, and the outlook for the once highly-touted project is not nearly as bright as it was just a few months ago.The economics of a large-scale biomass retrofit at the Commons just don’t add up the way the commissioners had initially hoped, said interim county manager Steve Hill, after working for several months with Johnson Controls International, the company slated to build and operate the plant under a proposed performance contract.Johnson Controls has prepared a preliminary report for the commissioners with the latest information, basically centered on the conclusion that the anticipated savings on energy costs won’t materialize.That report will be a starting point for how to proceed on the biomass front, Hill said. The door is still cracked open for the possibility of a smaller wood-fired boiler at the Commons or for the Materials Recycling and Recovery Facility at the landfill. (Summit Daily)


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