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Regional News Roundup

Election Results
Salida residents chose Jim LiVecchi as their next mayor, replacing outgoing Mayor Jim Dickson. Chaffee County passed a half-percent sales tax increase to help fund county EMS services. Florence Mayor Keith Ore retained his seat. Leadville elected Greg Labbe as its new mayor. Lake County passed a mill levy to support the hospital district and ambulance services. Gunnison voters passed a sales tax increase to fund air and ground transportation countywide. Alamosa County residents passed a one-cent sales tax proposal that would build a new courthouse and overhaul the county jail.

A Tale of Two Moose
A dead moose was discovered near Leadville in early November, and concerns were raised that the animal was killed by a poacher. An investigation by Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) determined the moose died from a lung infection.
“We skinned the moose, but there were no bullet holes in the hide. We even took a metal detector over the carcass but didn’t find any bullets,” said District Wildlife Manager Josh Jiron. That’s when the decision was made to take the carcass to the CPW Wildlife Health Lab in Fort Collins, where Wildlife Pathologist Karen Fox performed a necropsy.
“It was definitely not a poached case. Ultimately it died from pneumonia,” said Fox. She added the moose had an infected wound on its neck. The infection spread to the moose’s lungs.
In Gunnison County, a young bull moose became stuck on a cliff above U.S. Hwy. 50, near the Lake City bridge. CPW officers attempted to lure the animal back to safe ground with no success. After considering all options for recovering the moose, officers made the tough call to euthanize it.

Sexting Scandal in Cañon City
A sexting scandal at Cañon City High School made national news in November. Over 100 students may be facing felony charges due to sending nude photos of themselves to one another using a secret “photo vault” app on their smartphones, including one that looks like a calculator.
Colorado law classifies any explicit photos of minors as child pornography and requires educators to notify police the moment they learn of it.
Fremont County District Attorney Tom LeDoux, who is overseeing the Cañon City scandal, hopes that students will not face federal charges.
“We have no interest in causing lifelong (consequences),” he said in an interview with The Denver Post.

Over the River Update
The Colorado Supreme Court has denied a request for further review of the Colorado State Parks agreement that authorized the Christo project, Over the River, to move forward. This decision marks the third time the complaint has been dismissed. The case was filed in July 2011, first denied in September 2013 and dismissed again in February 2015. The Colorado Supreme Court’s decision now effectively ends this challenge to the Colorado State Parks agreement with Over the River.
The only remaining legal hurdle facing the project is in the U.S. Court of Appeals. It challenges a January 2015 Federal District Court ruling that upheld the Bureau of Land Management’s approval of the project.

Patagonia Cries Foul
A couple who had been driving around Central Colorado in a silver van with the Patagonia logo on it has been sued by that company for trademark infringement.
Jeff Hunter and Marie Diladd, owners of the van, are using the logo to raise money for a group called Climb4Hunger, which, according to the Colorado Secretary of State’s business database, is not a licensed entity, nor does it have a web site, according to BusinessDen.
Coney Island For Sale
Coney Island, the famous hot dog-shaped building just south of Bailey, is up for sale. Built in 1966, it originally resided on Colfax Avenue in Denver under the name The Boardwalk of Coney Island.
The building was moved to Aspen Park in the 1970s, where it dispensed hot dogs and other fast foods until it was moved once again, this time to Bailey. The listing price for the hot dog building plus two apartments and a second commercial building is $1,495,000.
Shorts …
• The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission will postpone action on a proposal to increase the mountain lion hunting quota in and around Westcliffe, as part of a mountain lion-mule deer research project, until 2016.
• The Gunnison City Council declined a request for any further investigation of its police department made by the father of Dammion Heard, who apparently committed suicide in 2014.
• The “Westcliff” Schoolhouse, built in 1891, will be holding its first classes since 1953, after the school district agreed to allow 17 Mennonite children to be schooled there.
• Gunnison Chamber Director Tammy Scott is stepping down after serving for nearly 24 years.
• Buena Vista saw its highest single-month sales tax collection in that town’s history, back in July.
• Longtime Salida resident Bob Cook passed away Nov. 8 at the age of 60 after a battle with cancer. He and his brother, Bill, who died in February, ran the downtown Gambles hardware store for 30 years.
• Gunnison County Commissioners have decided to close the west side of Cottonwood Pass to all traffic for all of summer 2017 and part of 2018 for paving operations.
“Notable Quotes”
“Some of the boxes got opened and the bees got out. They are mad.” – Colorado State Patrol Trooper Tim Sutherland, after a semi truck carrying honeybees rolled on U.S. Hwy. 6 over Loveland Pass on Nov. 1. The Denver Post, Nov. 1, 2015

“It is indeed a political statement on my part. I tell people that if I was trying to get away with it, I would have put on a ninja outfit and gone up there and did it in the dark.”– Irwin resident John Birko, accused of trespassing after removing the gate of a high-end resort operator. He contends the gate was placed within a public easement. – Gunnison Country Times, Nov. 5, 2015

“If you believe Krogers will pay as much tax revenue into the state as 1,600 mom and pop shops, you are deluded. These guys play by their own rules.” – Brian Clince, owner of a liquor store in Westcliffe, expressing his concerns about a statewide campaign to bring booze sales into supermarkets and convenience stores. – Wet Mountain Tribune, Nov. 12, 2015