News in Brief
SILT Joseph Buchanan, 34, of Louisiana, was fatally injured Thursday evening in an apparent work-related accident at an Antero Resources gas-drilling rig near Silt.The accident occurred at a drilling rig near mile marker 1 on Mamm Creek Road. According to Garfield County sheriff’s spokeswoman Tanny McGinnis, Rifle emergency personnel responded to the call at 5:45 p.m. Thursday, finding Buchanan with head injuries.McGinnis said several witnesses stated to deputies that Buchanan was bent forward checking something on the rig, when a “swage,” a steel water fixture that connects two pieces of pipe, fell from about 50 feet, striking him on the back of his head.McGinnis said the Rifle crew worked on Buchanan at the scene for nearly an hour before he was pronounced dead.Antero spokesman Kevin Kilstrom said operations on the rig have shut down pending the investigation. Kilstrom couldn’t say how long work would be halted.The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office and the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration are investigating the incident. (Glenwood Springs Post Independent)
GLENWOOD SPRINGS Recent legal action in the case of a murder suspect connected with a fatal shooting in West Glenwood made waves at the Garfield County Jail in Glenwood Springs.County attorney Don Deford appeared on behalf of the county and Sheriff Lou Vallario. Three jail officials were also present and ready to testify.Tina Fang and Garth McCarty of the regional public defenders office had filed motions concerning jail procedures. One apparently asked for Jesus Hernandez de Jesus, accused of first-degree murder, to be held with no cellmate and kept away from Spanish-speaking prisoners.Hernandez de Jesus, 33, was arrested in Clifton on June 26. Police suspect he shot to death his 20-year-old nephew, Ricardo Navarrete-Prudencio, the night of June 25 at the Ponderosa Lodge, allegedly because of an affair with Hernandez de Jesus’ wife in Florida. Navarrete-Prudencio told his mother he feared for his life and planned to return to Mexico that week to avoid his uncle, according to an arrest affidavit. (Glenwood Springs Post Independent)
COPPER MOUNTAIN A plan to expand parking at Copper Mountain is aimed mainly at meeting Front Range day-use demand and reducing congestion at the resort by eliminating peak-day parking on county roads.At issue is the plan by Copper to clear and grade about 13 acres next to the existing Corn Lot, east of U.S. Highway 91, adding about 1,500 parking spots. At the same time, the resort and the Forest Service want to restore a section of Tenmile Creek and its floodplain, and extend the county’s rec path for nearly two miles along an existing railroad grade up toward Fremont Pass.Forest Service experts and resort executives discussed the proposal Thursday evening at an open house in Frisco. The expanded parking isn’t intended to facilitate expansion at Copper, but to bring parking capacity into balance with existing demand at the resort, said Dillon District Ranger Rick Newton.”I have to take Copper at their word, that there will be no net loss of parking,” Newton said, referring to the resort’s plan to redistribute development at the base area across some areas now used for parking.County commissioners have also been eyeing the Corn Lot expansion. The planning department is preparing a draft comment letter on the plan. The letter will likely highlight some of the same questions that arose during a March BOCC work session, when commissioners Bob French and Tom Long expressed concerns about the timing of the parking plan. A key question was how the parking expansion is related to an impending proposal for more development at Copper’s base area.”I was extremely clear that I wanted to see how this ties into the [Planned Unit Development],” French said earlier, referring to the resort’s impending request for rezoning. “I would like it very much when the PUD comes in, not to be committed to anything that affects the PUD,” French said.At least some of those questions could be answered within the next couple of weeks, when Copper will submit a draft PUD amendment for review by the Summit County planning department. (Summit Daily News)
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