I-70 toll lane helps thin traffic
FRISCO – Colorado transportation officials say the new toll lane on Interstate 70 for drivers heading east to Denver has so far been a success following its official opening earlier this month.
The Summit Daily reported the 13-mile toll lane from Empire to Idaho Springs began collecting tolls the weekend of Dec. 19 and opened again last weekend. Colorado Department of Transportation communications director Amy Ford says the express lane kept traffic flowing and helped the delay.
The toll lane fees are set to range from $3 to $30, depending on traffic. Ford says the toll stayed around $3 last weekend. The express lane will be open during peak travel periods, mostly on weekends and holidays.
On Saturday, about 400 drivers used the new lane and 800 used it on Sunday.
Montrose dispatch service in court
GRAND JUNCTION – The Montrose County Sheriff’s Office will keep providing emergency dispatch services for several agencies after it was sued for the continuation of the service earlier this month.
The Grand Junction Sentinel reported that several fire and police agencies joined forces earlier this year to form the Western Colorado Regional Dispatch Center. They sued the Montrose County Sheriff’s Office in early December to force the sheriff to provide emergency 911 dispatch service.
Under a recent agreement, Montrose County officials will also provide room for nonemergency dispatch service until the Western Colorado Regional Dispatch Center is up and operational.
Sheriff Rick Dunlap says the center is expected to be complete by March.
Mountain lion killed in Routt County
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS – State wildlife managers have killed a mountain lion because it appeared to be a threat to humans after killing a pet dog in Routt County.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife says the mountain lion was killed Sunday. The death was reported Wednesday.
Officials say the lion had killed and eaten the dog hours earlier. When Steamboat Springs police and wildlife officers arrived, the lion was underneath a house.
The officers decided to give the lion a chance to leave, but when they returned nearly eight hours later, the animal was still under the house.
Area Wildlife Manager Jim Haskins says mountain lions would normally leave to avoid humans. He says this lion’s odd behavior indicated it could be a threat to people, so it was killed.
Man charged in officer’s shooting
DENVER – Prosecutors have charged a man accused of shooting a Northglenn police officer during an encounter that began as a traffic stop.
The Denver Post reported 23-year-old Adrian Moya is charged with attempted first-degree murder for the Dec. 19 shootout. He is being held on $500,000 bail.
The officer, who hasn’t been identified, was struck by several bullets, and police say his ballistic vest saved his life. Moya was shot and critically wounded in the encounter.
Roadside shooting group still gets tips
LOVELAND – A task force investigating a series of roadside shootings in northern Colorado earlier this year is still getting tips regularly.
Task force spokesman David Moore told The Loveland Reporter-Herald that the investigation is still “very active.”
The FBI has offered a $50,000 reward to help find out who was behind the four shootings, two of which were fatal.
The shooting of a woman driving on Interstate 25 in April and a bicyclist killed in Windsor in may have been linked to each other. A shooting that killed a man walking on a Loveland sidewalk and a shooting that didn’t injure anyone earlier the same day are believed to be linked to each other but have not been linked to the earlier two shootings.
Colorado Springs ups taxes for roads
COLORADO SPRINGS – The new year will bring a sales tax hike for residents of Colorado Springs, who voted in favor of the plan in November.
The Gazette of Colorado Springs reported that the sales-and-use tax rate will increase from 2.5 percent to 3.12 percent Friday, with the extra money used to fund road repairs.
It is expected to generate about $250 million for road work over five years.
Mayor John Suthers proposed the increase, the City Council put it on the ballot and voters approved it by a 2-to-1 margin.
Council President Merv Bennett says the road work will be more than just filling potholes and should help Colorado Springs’ economy.