Western Slope Round-Up: Keeping the Peace

We cover two subjects of importance over the Divide: keeping the peace and watching the weather.Delta In; Aspen Out
Last week’s Western Slope Roundup included a piece about the drop in employees on the Aspen police force. Sure, serious crime occurs in Aspen, but one would guess that a portion of an Aspen police officer’s time is spent preventing tourists and movie stars from hurting themselves.

So why is it so hard to attract law enforcement professionals to the fair city of Aspen when the town of Delta, located south of Grand Junction, has been overwhelmed with applications for police chief? Granted, law enforcement departments in both towns have recently faced controversies. Sexual harassment allegations against the Aspen Police chief are being investigated and the Delta Police chief resigned last month after barely one year in office.

Yet, over 52 applicants have applied for the Delta police chief position when Aspen is struggling to keep at full staff.

From The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel:

“They’re from coast to coast,” Delta Town Manager Lanny Sloan said. The job pays in the low $70,000-per-year range, Sloan said, which he considers competitive. “I see a lot of good applications, and a lot of people are excited about living in Delta and in this part of Colorado.”

“Part of them prefer the size of the community, and some (want the job) for career advancement.”

Since only one applicant will be chosen in Delta, there will be 51 possible recruits left for the Aspen position.

 Montrose Peace Pole Planted
A mixed crowd of over 70 people helped dedicate a Peace Pole in Montrose last Saturday, including several Ute Indian representatives, a Tibetan Monk and the local high school Color Guard. Over 200,000 Peace Poles have been erected across 180 countries to symbolize the world’s quest for peace among governments, cultures and religions with the message, “May Peace Prevail on Earth.”

The Montrose Daily Press described the ceremony:

Buried under the pole is a time capsule with the proclamation that Oct. 20, 2007, is a day of unity and peace on the Western Slope – a day to share the universal wish that peace prevail on earth. Also in the capsule are copies of Peace Stamps designed by children of the community. Those children were honored guests at the event and placed flowers under the pole during the dedication.

Unity and peace –sounds like we should send a Peace Pole to the White House.

Annual Search Underway for Lost Hunters
Weather can be iffy in October for hunters and it’s a total gamble in November. Local urban legends in Rifle include the luckless hunters who had to be rescued by helicopter, leaving their snowed-in hunt camp and vehicles behind until spring. Yet, even experienced hunters can get lost, especially in a snowstorm.

Unfortunately, some hunters suffer heart attacks and other calamities, keeping Western Slope emergency services busy.

The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reports that the Rio Blanco County emergency responders don’t get much sleep during hunting season:

Since the start of Colorado’s big-game hunting seasons on Oct. 13, deputies from the Rio Blanco County Sheriff’s Department and search and rescue volunteers have responded to 11 hunting-related calls, including two health-related deaths, Undersheriff Michael Joos said Monday.

“It’s been pretty crazy, pretty busy,” he said. Four of those calls came within hours of each other on Oct. 15, Joos said.

“We’ve had hundreds of hours of overtime already,” Joos said. “But we do what we have to do.”

It’s not going to let up soon for the Rio Blanco emergency services since hunting season doesn’t close until the Sunday before Thanksgiving. However, most of the hunters in those late hunting seasons are local die-hards who are more prepared for winter weather. By that time, the law of survival has weeded out the foolhardy.

Baby Boom Blamed on Lack of Gas
Nine months ago, there was a cold spell that caused a natural gas shortage in Crested Butte. So folks had to cuddle to keep warm.

Apparently they did something else, too, because the town is experiencing a baby boom. According to the Gunnision Valley Hospital obstetrics nurse, there will be almost three dozen babies born in October when the yearly average is about 12 per month.

From The Crested Butte News:

And while the science isn’t yet settled, hospital OB nurse Janet Linn also suggests that the drop in barometric pressure during this season’s first storm may have spurred several expectant mothers into labor.

“We had a bunch that day,” Linn says of October’s first significant snowfall.

Crested Butte must be one of the few places where you can blame the weather for having children.

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