News in Brief
BASALT ” A Basalt man was found dead at his Willits Townhomes residence Saturday after his sister asked police to check on his welfare.
The Eagle County coroner’s office identified the man as 48-year-old Timothy O’Connor, according to Basalt Police Chief Keith Ikeda. No foul play is suspected, Ikeda said.
Police believe that the man lived alone and was alone at the time of his death. There was no forced entry at the residence. O’Connor’s sister, who lives out of the area, couldn’t reach him and asked police to investigate. They checked the residence at 5:30 p.m. Saturday.
It is unknown how long O’Connor was dead. The last newspaper in his unit was dated Sept. 14, Ikeda said.
BASALT ” A hit-and-run driver fatally injured a black bear on Highway 82 around 4 a.m. Monday, authorities said.
The bear, struck in the upvalley-bound lanes of the highway, crawled across the downvalleybound lanes. A Pitkin County sheriff’s deputy found the wounded animal and mercy-killed it in the ditch along Emma Road, downvalley from the Basalt post office.
The Colorado Division of Wildlife was called to the scene about 8 a.m. Kelly Wood, the wildlife officer for the Basalt area, said she used a winch and assistance from the Basalt public works department to load the dead bear: ” He was huge,” she said. She estimated its weight in excess of 500 pounds.
No one reported the accident.
BASALT ” A midvalley man was arrested on allegations of possessing cocaine Sunday night after a Basalt police officer investigated an altercation outside El Horizonte Restaurant.
Jose Castillo Ortega, 23, faces charges of misdemeanor disorderly conduct and unlawful possession of a Class II controlled substance, according to Basalt Police Chief Keith Ikeda. He was taken to Eagle County Jail after his arrest.
An officer was on routine patrol at 10:30 p.m. Sunday when she noticed a large gathering outside El Horizonte, Ikeda said. She investigated and determined that Ortega was the aggressor in a disturbance. When she arrested Ortega, she allegedly found him in possession of a small amount of cocaine, Ikeda said.
Ortega is from the midvalley, although no specific address was available, Ikeda said.
CARBONDALE ” Carbondale residents again are welcome to drop off their leaves and small tree limbs at the parking lot on the northeast corner of Colorado Avenue and Fourth Street.
The leaf collection will be available from Oct. 6 to Nov. 18. Leaves must be removed from bags; no trash dumping is allowed. The collection effort is a recycling program, and any other material contaminating the containers means all of the contents will be dumped in a landfill rather than recycled.
There will be separate containers for leaves and branches.
Also, Carbondale residents who irrigate with ditch water will lose that water source on Monday, Oct. 15, when the town ditches will be shut off for the winter. The water will begin running again about April 15.
For more information on either the leaf collection or the ditches, call 963-1307.
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Warm and dry conditions to start the winter have kept all but the higher elevation slopes free of snow. That is expected to change by the end of the week and the avalanche hazard could start to climb, according to Colorado Avalanche Information Center.