BODIES IN VAN VICTIMS OF APPARENT MURDER-SUICIDE
Grand County Sheriff Rodney Johnson says details of the case surrounding an apparent murder-suicide where a father shot his 9-year-old son and then turned the gun on himself are “shocking.” Grand County deputies say 62-year-old William Ahrold and his 9-year-old son Jackson were found dead in a white van just off County Road 1 at the end of County Road 102 in southwestern Grand County. Authorities found the van on Saturday and said the pair had been dead for several days. They say Ahrold and his son were reported missing by the Denver Police Department on Dec. 13, and were last seen on Dec. 9. Someone broke into the van and stole several items, including the gun that belonged to William Ahrold between Dec. 9 and Saturday, according to deputies. They are following numerous leads in hopes of finding the person or persons who tampered with the scene. Johnson says he plans on releasing new details in the case today, but has not specified what part of the case will be addressed. A team of 12 investigators with the CBI are working on the case. (help from 9news)
MOFFAT COUNTY COMMISSIONERS CERTIFY MILL LEVIES
The Moffat County Commissioners yesterday finished up their budget process for next year, by appropriating mill levies to the various tax districts within the county, as well as the county itself. All mill levies in the county are voter approved, and the county has the freedom to appropriate them however they feel will best benefit the county. The total levy is nearly 21 mills, over half of which will go to the county’s Road and Bridge Department, for projects they haven’t been able to get to since the loss of PILT money, a source which still has an uncertain future. Other funds go to other tax districts within the county, such as the hospital district, the school district, and the fire districts.
MORE MONEY EXPECTED FOR STATE EDUCATION FUNDING
Colorado’s state government will have nearly a third of $1 billion more to spend over the next year-and-a-half than anticipated, according to state-budget forecasters. Gov. John Hickenlooper announced he’ll present an amended budget that undoes some of the least-desirable cuts he made in his initial budget proposal in November. That includes $87-million more for K through 12 education, which will help offset the growth of Colorado’s student population. Thirty-million dollars would be added back to higher education, primarily in the form of financial aid. That undoes half of the cuts to the higher-education budget. The governor has no plans to reinstate the homestead-tax exemption for seniors, though he does want to add $8 million to nearly double a rebate program that gives tax assistance to poor seniors.
COLORADO UNEMPLOYMENT RATE DROPS A TENTH OF A PERCENT
Colorado’s unemployment rate fell one-tenth of a percentage point to 8.0 percent in November, the state’s labor department reported yesterday morning. But nonfarm payroll jobs fell by 4,500 from October to November, putting a dent in jobs created in the state this year. Private and government employers have created 25,500 jobs in Colorado through November. The numbers come from different surveys released simultaneously by the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. Unemployment figures come from a survey of households, while jobs numbers come from a survey of employers. The labor department said the number of people actively participating in the labor force increased 17,600 to 2.7 million and total employment increased 21,100 to 2.5 million, causing the number of unemployed to decline by 3,500. The national unemployment rate in November was 8.6 percent, a decrease of four-tenths of a percentage point over October.
HAYDEN CHAMBER AND YVEA TO HOLD TOUR OF LIGHTS TOMORROW
Hayden’s “Tour of Lights” is tomorrow evening. The tour is sponsored by Yampa Valley Electric Association and the Hayden Chamber. Residents are encouraged to go elaborate with their holiday lighting for a chance to win $100. There are 4 categories; most unusual, most religious, most voltage, and most creative spirit. Each winner gets a $100 prize, but you have to be entered to win. There’s no cost to enter, simply call 276-2199 and say you want to be entered. The contest also needs judges. Judges need to be 55 or older, and can just show up early to the Haven Community Center, where the Tour will start. The tour starts at 6 tomorrow night.
TELEHEALTH CLINIC IN CRAIG TO HOLD OPEN HOUSE TOMORROW
Residents are invited to the Craig Veterans Telehealth Clinic’s open house tomorrow afternoon. The clinic serves veterans who need to speak with doctors in Grand Junction about issues that can be handled without making the 150 mile trip south. V-A reps say they hope tomorrow’s open house will raise awareness of the clinic to those who haven’t yet used it. It runs from 2 to 4 tomorrow afternoon at the clinic on Russell Street.
STEAMBOAT REALTORS TO HOLD TRADITIONAL CHRISTMAS DINNER
A free Community Christmas Dinner will be held in Steamboat Sunday. The meal is sponsored by the Steamboat Board of Realtors. Everyone is invited, and there will be live music. You can also help organizers by signing up to volunteer, or by donating food. The dinner will be held from 2 to 6 Sunday at the Steamboat Community Center.