News in Brief |

News in Brief

Lung ailment blamed for transient’s deathPITKIN COUNTY A transient man died Tuesday of natural causes, according to an autopsy report released Wednesday.Pitkin County lead investigator Ron Ryan said Wiley Eugene Lemmon, 63, had ailments related to his lungs and died of a spontaneous pneumothorax. “We don’t know the reason behind that,” Ryan said. “I heard he may have done mining work.”Lemmon was living under the Highway 82 overpass near Shale Bluffs with numerous other transients in what officials described as a permanent settlement. Lemmon’s drivers license was from Arizona, but Ryan did not know where lemmon was originally born. The area under the bridge was no longer a crime scene by midday Wednesday and Ryan said it was possible the other men living there had returned. “We’re not going to stand guard to stop them from returning there, they still have a lot of personal property,” Ryan said. “I don’t know what they are going to do in the immediate future.”It is possible the camp will be dismantled though it is unclear which agency would be responsible for that work, Ryan said. He commented that the sheriff’s department will talk the situation over with the Colorado Department of Transportation. No arrests in Aspen wildfiresASPEN Police have said there will be no arrests of the two juveniles believed to have started two wildfires in Aspen at the beginning of July. The wildfires did not cause significant damage, though the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies was very nearly spared a structure fire. Flames licked one of the buildings and burned a great deal of open space. Witnesses of the fire spotted the two boys at both locations where the fires began on Monday, according to police. Though Aspen police Sgt. Bill Linn said a member of the department had spoken with one of the boys. The other boy lives elsewhere and Linn said the department has not contacted him. Linn said the district attorney has declined to press charges based on the evidence. Linn said he believes the parents of the Aspen-area youth are taking an active role in the situation. Canyon Creek mudslide mitigation beginsGLENWOOD SPRINGS Debris flow mitigation work began Wednesday on the Canyon Creek Road west of Glenwood Springs, five days after mudslides covered several sections and destroyed landscaping to many homes.Garfield County Road and Bridge placed approximately 60 concrete barriers along the west side of Canyon Creek in places deemed to be most threatened during a storm. A total of 240 barriers will be placed along the roadside in hopes to direct water and mud runoff away from homes and property. The debris flow and mitigation effort came as a result of the New Castle Fire, which burned 1,240 acres in late June.”All in all, I think everyone is happy,” said Dennis Davidson of the National Resource Conservation Service. “Everything is starting to roll. It was a little chaotic and took some time to get the trucks up there, but everything is moving very smoothly.”Davidson pointed out Wednesday that Garfield County had indeed approved the request for funds July 2, and that GCRB was awaiting federal approval of the funds before work could begin.”I think the one thing that has been overlooked is the time that it takes for things to happen and for things to get done,” Davidson said. “We may be able to get it all done today and we may not. We may end up sitting with a tractor waiting for more barriers.”Funding of $63,900 was approved to get work under way, but that was only about 60 percent of the NRCS’s initial request of $106,000. (Glenwood Springs Post Independent)

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