Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year's Eve 2013

Happy New Year To 2014

Mesa County, Colo.-- Deputies are already out in force patrolling the streets of Mesa County along side our law enforcement partners from police agencies to Colorado State Patrol. It is after all New Year's Eve, with celebrating bashes happening around the world.

Be safe. Have fun. Be responsible.

MCSO Traffic Safety deputy was first on-scene, driver was likely drunk and/or high.
The message is always, "Don't Drink and Drive." As the photo (below) from Florida area law enforcement says, we will be out on the roads tonight, too. Keep in mind, drugs and alcohol can also contribute greatly to serious personal injury, fights and assaults, as well as sex assaults. Just be kind to yourself and others, so we can all ring in 2014!

According to a Colorado DMV website, Colorado has two levels of alcohol-related driving offenses and both are based on the measurement of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) in the body.
Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs (DUI): A DUI is the more serious offense of the two and has consequences that are extremely costly both to your wallet and to your diving privileges, and could potentially result in serious jail time.
Driving While Ability is impaired by Alcohol or Drugs (DWAI): This may be the lesser of the two offenses defined as a BAC between .05% and .07%, but the fines and penalties are just as hefty.

A few DUI (alcohol and drug) statistics from our agency:
  • July 2012 through December 2012: 59 DUI Arrests
  • January-March 2013: 49 DUI Arrests/Average BAC 0.163 (twice the intoxicated limit to be charged with a DUI)/Average Age of person arrested 34 years old/of the 49 arrests, 60% were men and 40% were female
  • April-June 2013: 56 DUI Arrests/Average BAC 0.185 (more than twice the intoxicated limit to be charged with a DUI)/Average Age of person arrested 33 years old/of the 56 arrests, 78% were men and 22% were female
  • July-September 2013: 40 DUI Arrests/Average BAC 0.171 (more than twice the intoxicated limit to be charged with a DUI)/Average Age of person arrested 33 years old/of the 40 arrests, 65% were men and 35% were female
  • For more information on penalties, driving suspension information and more, visit this website.
If you don't have a sober driver, don't have a safe place to stay and/or can't reach a friend to safely get you home...consider a cab service in Mesa County:
  • K2 Taxi, PH: 970.242.4652
  • Sunshine Taxi, PH: 970.245.8294

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Street Crimes Unit Investigate Two Posessing 50 Pounds Of Pot

Fifty Pounds Of Pot At Home Found After Medical Call

Mesa County, Colo. -- Patrol deputies responding to a residence about 1:15 p.m. on December 20, 2013, on 30 Road in Grand Junction, for a medical call cleared the scene and turned it over to our agency's Street Crimes Unit. What deputies found was an overwhelming smell of marijuana permeating the home on initial response, then they located the source of the smell.

Mason jars that normally would hold canned fruits or vegetables were instead, loaded with pot. After an inventory of the contents of all marijuana located in the home was complete, abut 50 pounds marijuana was booked into evidence related to this incident. That is far more than personal use, even for the two adults who live in the home.

The case remains under investigation. Further details will be released as they become available. You can always follow us on Twitter @SheriffMesaColo using #GVCopBeat and #MesaCounty for details on emergency incidents in our County.

Deputies Respond to Armed Robbery

Arrest Made in Armed Robbery

Mesa County, Colo. -- Mesa County Sheriff's Office Investigators arrested 23-year-old Grand Junction resident Brittany Hailey (04/30/90) after she was identified by eyewitnesses as the armed robber.  Brittany was contacted and agreed to peacefully turn herself in at the Mesa County Sheriff's Office.  She turned herself in late on 12/24/13 and admitted she was the person who pointed a gun at the store clerk and demanded money from her.  Brittany has been charged with Aggravated Robbery, Menacing and Theft ($300-$750).


Previously Released on December 21, 2013

Mesa County Sheriff deputies responded to a report of an Armed Robbery at a convenience store located at 3199 Mesa Ave, just before 8 p.m.  The suspect left the store with groceries, cigarettes, and an undetermined amount of cash.  Deputies continue to investigate, and updates will be posted as they become available.

Deputies Respond To Shots Fired Call On Beaver Street

On December 21, 2013, at approximately 2:19 a.m., Mesa County Sheriff deputies responded to a "shots fired" call from dispatch in the 200 block of Beaver Street, Grand Junction. Grand Junction Police officers also responded to assist.

When deputies arrived at the residence, they found that a 19-year-old male with non-life threatening gun shot wounds had already been transported to St. Mary's Hospital by a private vehicle.  A second victim, also a 19-year-old male had been assaulted, but did not sustain any injuries from a gun.

Investigators and deputies are still conducting interviews and this case remains open and under  investigation.

Updates on this case will be provided as they become available. Follow us on Twitter @SheriffMesaColo using #GVCopBeat for more information about emergency incidents in #MesaCounty.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Two Separate Meth Busts Overnight

Patrol & Street Crimes Unit Both Bust Adult Males With Meth

Mesa County, Colo. --While on patrol last night, just before 11 p.m., a deputy conducted a traffic stop in the area of D 1/2 Road and D 1/2 Court, on a passenger car with one male occupant. The driver identified himself and was verified to be 18-year-old Ezequiel Silva-Garcia, of Delta. Ezequiel was arrested for an outstanding warrant originally issued by Montrose County Sheriff's Office for controlled substance violation(s). 

While searching the vehicle Ezequiel was driving, deputies located a bag containing methamphetamine weighing 18 grams and a digital scale. The street value of that amount of meth is approximately $1,000.00. Ezequiel was booked into the Mesa County Detention Facility without incident on the outstanding warrant and new charges including possession of methamphetamine and possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, possession of drug paraphernalia and expired registration.

**Currently, there is no booking photo available of Ezequiel.

Aaron Irvine, 37, of Grand Junction
Just before patrol arrested Ezequiel, the deputies with the Street Crimes Unit, conducted a traffic stop at about 8:45 p.m., in the area of 32 Road and Bunting Avenue. Deputies saw the occupants of the truck throwing item(s) out of it before the driver stopped the truck. Both the driver and passenger were arrested, and the bag thrown from the truck was located and identified as methamphetamine. The meth and packaging weighed in at just over 54 grams, with an approximate meth amount of 20 grams and an approximate street value of $1,100.00.

Aaron Irvine, 37, of Grand Junction, was the passenger of the truck and the driver was Harold Wardle, 60, of Grand Junction. Irvine was previously arrested by deputies on November 13, 2013, on a warrant issued by the Grand Junction Police Department. Wardle was previously booked into the jail on October 21, 2013, when he turned himself into the Detention Facility on outstanding charge(s).
Harold Wardle, 60, of Grand Junction

For updated bond information, visit our Inmate Inquiry System through our agency website. Also, follow us on Twitter @SheriffMesaColo using #GVCopBeat and #MesaCounty for emergency information.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Inmate Visitation Goes On-Line

Inmate Visitation Scheduling Done On Website Or In Lobby Kiosk

Mesa County, Colo. -- The last day to schedule an inmate visitation appointment with an inmate in our facility by telephone is today, December 18, through 5pm. As of yesterday, the public wishing to visit an inmate in our facility can make the visitation appointment from the convenience of their own home. Assuming you have a computer and internet connection. This will make the processing of scheduling an inmate visit much easier for friends and family of our inmates. 
During the booking process, each inmate provides up to 10 names of potential visitors to our detention staff. Of those 10 names, those people can then make a visitation appointment through our agency website or lobby kiosk once the inmate is assigned to a housing unit. 

Inmates who are in our facility for an extended amount of time or get booked into our facility on multiple occasions throughout the year, can update or modify the names on their visitor list in 2014 at the end of April, July and October. 

If you are not on the pre-approved visitor list for the inmate you want to visit, you will not be able to make a visitation appointment. Because our Records Management System and Video Visitation System interface, each inmate visitor must be entered into our system in advance of scheduling an inmate visit. Also, when make an inmate visitation appointment online, you will need to use your email account through a service such as Google, Yahoo, etc.

For more information about all aspects of our agency and local law enforcement, follow us on Twitter @SheriffMesaColo using #GVCopBeat and #MesaCounty. 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

SWAT Incident On December 14, 2013

Armed Suspect Identified, Wanted Man

Mesa County, Colo. – Immediately following the shooting incident that occurred at 3210 B ½ Road, on Saturday, December 14, 2013, the 21st Judicial District Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) was activated to conduct an investigation. The CIRT on this investigation is being lead by the Grand Junction Police Department.

In tangent with the Mesa County Coroner's Office, the suspect is identified as Lawrence Sanchez, DOB: 10/16/1964. At the time of his death, he was wanted for escape from a halfway house (Community Corrections) and other related charges by The Colorado Department of Corrections. 

Two deputies were placed and remain on administrative leave for their involvement in this shooting, which is standard procedure. 

As noted earlier, the CIRT investigation continues. Once complete, likely a matter of weeks, the case will be forwarded to District Attorney Pete Hautzinger, for his review and disposition.

The Critical Incident Response Team is comprised of the following agencies: Grand Junction Police Department, Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, Fruita Police Department, Palisade Police Department, Colorado State Patrol, 21st Judicial District Attorney’s Office, and Colorado Bureau of Investigation.  It is generally activated when a law enforcement agency is involved in a critical incident to ensure a complete and accurate investigation.

Released on December 16, 2013 ### 

Previously Released on December 14, 2013: 

Critical Incident Response Team Activated For Shooting Investigation

Mesa County, Colo. -- Deputies responding to the area of 32 Road and B 1/2 Road, Grand Junction (East Orchard Mesa), in the early afternoon today located an armed male. The Sheriff's Office SWAT Team and agency negotiators were called to the scene. 

Late in the afternoon, the adult male suspect was shot by law enforcement. The suspect was transported by ambulance to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead upon arrival.

It is standard practice for a Critical Incident Response Team to be activated and used for an investigation that involves an officer/deputy shooting. In this situation, the Grand Junction Police Department is the lead investigating agency on this case, with assistance from multiple law enforcement agencies in the County.

Previously Released on December 14, 2013:
The situation is now being considered an officer involved shooting.  The situation is being turned over to the Critical Incident Response Team. 

Original Posting on December 14, 2013:
The MCSO SWAT Team was called out early this afternoon to deal with a possible barricaded subject in the Clifton area. The team is currently in contact with the male subject. Updates will be made as they are received.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Coroner and Sheriff's Office Release Names Of Plane Crash Victims

Victims Of Plane Crash Identified, Media Contacts Established

Mesa County, Colo. – The Mesa County Coroner and our agency are identifying the victims of the plane crash that occurred on the Grand Mesa, Thursday afternoon. The three adult males are:

Dana Brewer, 49, of Clifton—Pilot
William Kennon, 47, of Collbran—Passenger
Richard James “Jim” Platz, 47, of Fruita—Passenger

The autopsies are not expected to be completed until tomorrow. Cause and manner of death will be provided by the Coroner’s Office at a later time.

The Sheriff’s Office has implemented the Family Media Liaison Program. This program coordinates and responds to media inquiries on an individual family basis. All media should use the following email addresses when making a media request that is family specific. For overall incident or investigative media inquiries, Heather Benjamin will remain your point of contact.

The media request email accounts are as follows:
The Brewer Family: DanaBrewerFamily@gmail.com
The Kennon Family: WilliamKennonFamily@gmail.com
The Platz Family: RichardPlatzFamily@gmail.com

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Private Plane From Mesa County Crashed On Grand Mesa

Three Souls On Board Plane, Crashed On Grand Mesa

Mesa County, Colo. -- The Mesa County Coroner is on the scene of the single engine airplane that is believed to have crashed in the afternoon of December 12, 2013. The cause of the crash remains unknown. The Federal Aviation Administration officials are enroute to Mesa County, from Salt Lake City, Utah, to investigate this incident. The FAA representative(s) is anticipated to arrive in the early afternoon today.

The three male adults on board the crashed airplane have been accounted for and their family members have been notified. The families and victims are local residents of Mesa County. At this time, it will be the Mesa County Coroner's responsibility to release the identity of the crash victims, as well as cause and manner of death. 

Further updates will be provided as they become available. However, at this stage in the investigation, we anticipate few additional details to be released. We also do not anticipate releasing any agency photos of the crash site.

For updates on emergency incidents in #MesaCounty, follow us on Twitter @SheriffMesaColo using #GVCopBeat.

Previously Released on December 13, 2013, at 4 a.m.

Crash Site Located By Civil Air Patrol, No Survivors

Mesa County, Colo.-- Civil Air Patrol aircraft spotted a crashed airplane from the air about 11:40 p.m. (the previous time here was 9:30 p.m., but with updated dispatch notes we have made this time more accurate) in the Porter Creek area of the Grand Mesa, a remote location East of Collbran, Colo. The crash site is about 5 miles from the nearest road. Mesa County Search and Rescue Snow Skipper Team responded immediately to the scene and confirmed it was the missing plane and it had crashed. The airplane was a Piper single engine prop plane and the cause of the crash has not been determined.

Unfortunately, all three occupants were found deceased with the airplane. The three victims are all adults. Recovery efforts are ongoing.

Previously Released on December 12, 2013, at 9 p.m.

Civil Air Patrol Searching For Possible Missing Airplane Beacon

Mesa County, Colo.-- Rural Area deputies received notification from the manager of the Mesa Mack Airport this evening that a plane was overdue on it's scheduled return to that airport today. The missing plane left the Mesa Mack Airport with a pilot and two passengers on board. They informed the Airport Manager they would be looking for livestock on the Grand Mesa, but their route and destination are unknown.

Civil Air Patrol--The United State Air Force Auxiliary, has launched an aircraft in the area in an attempt to locate the missing plane and/or pick-up a distress beacon possibly activated by the missing plane if it were in an emergency situation. The Civil Air Patrol has primary responsibly for locating aircraft when an ELT beacon is activated or there is an emergency response needed for an aircraft. According to the website, www.aopa.org, ELT stands for Emergency Locator Transmitter carried aboard aircraft in the event of an accident. These devices are designed to transmit a distress signal in an emergency situation. It was mandated by Congress in 1973, for all general aviation aircraft in the United States to carry ELTs after two U.S. Congressmen were in a plane crash in Alaska in 1972, and their crash site has never been located. 

In addition to the Civil Air Patrol, deputies have contacted authorities with The High-Altitude Army National Guard, Aviation Training Site near Gypsum, Colo. for additional resources in the air tonight to try and locate this missing plane. The Mesa County Search and Rescue Control, Inc.--Snow Skippers Team is currently on standby, and ready to respond as needed to any location in Mesa County.

At this time, deputies have not received any missing person reports nor has local air traffic control received any indication that this plane has in fact experienced an emergency situation. Updates regarding this incident will be posted as they become available.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Street Crimes Unit Arrests Two With Meth

Ashton Ryan, 25, of Missouri

Two Jailed On Meth Related Charges

Mesa County, Colo.-- Deputies with the agency's Street Crimes Unit did a traffic stop on a vehicle in the area of Interstate 70 Business Loop and Fruitvale Court just before midnight on December 10, 2013. Four adults were in the vehicle.
Jesse Austin, 32, of Grand Junction
Ultimately, two adult males were arrested and booked into the Mesa County Detention Facility. Ashton Ryan, 25, of Missouri, was booked on possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. Jesse Austin, 32, of Grand Junction, was booked on possession of methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, resisting arrest and tampering with evidence. Jesse was previously arrested on a warrant by Grand Junction Police Department officers on November 15, 2013.

Bond information can be found through our Inmate Inquiry System on our agency website. For more information on breaking incidents in Mesa County, follow us on Twitter @SheriffMesaColo using #GVCopBeat and #MesaCounty.

Interstate Interdiction Nets 63 Pounds Of Marijuana

Adan Valdovinos-Ponce, 25

Drug Task Force Arrests Two, Charges For Large Amount Of Marijuana

Jose Zaragoza, 21
Mesa County, Colo.-- Near mile marker 15, eastbound Interstate 70, Western Colorado Drug Task Force deputies arrested two males with 63 pounds of vacuum packaged marijuana in the vehicle they were traveling in. The street value on that amount of marijuana is approximately $160,000.00.

Adan Ponce, 25-years-old and Jose Zaragoza, 21-years-old, were both booked into the Mesa County Detention Facility on one charge each of possession with intent to distribute marijuana. Jose was also charged with a traffic violation. The deputies arrested both suspects about 1 a.m. on December 11, 2013.

Bond information can be located through our Inmate Inquiry System, on our agency website. For emergency updates on incidents in Mesa County, follow us on Twitter @SheriffMesaColo using #GVCopBeat and #MesaCounty.

Sunday Arraignment Information

Sunday Court Arraignments Cancelled, Effective Immediately

Mesa County, Colo.—Weekend arraignments were previously being held in the lobby of the Sheriff's Office on Sundays. Effective immediately, those weekend arraignments are discontinued and will now take place on Monday, at the Justice Center.

This is a matter of public notice, specifically for any victims who may want to appear for arraignment.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Stuff the Bearcat With Toys

Donations Benefit Local Kids

Mesa County, Colo. -- Local law enforcement will be parked outside the Target wing of the Mesa Mall on Saturday, December 14, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., collecting toy donations for the local Toys for Tots drive. Toys for Tots organizes and distributes all donated toys locally to families less fortunate.
Toys for Tots collected in December 2011

There are many locations to donate this holiday season, but stuffing the Bearcat has become an annual tradition for SWAT Members with the Grand Junction Police Department and the Mesa County Sheriff's Office. The Bearcat is a rescue vehicle, shared between local law enforcement agencies. Most recently, the Bearcat was filled with non-perishable and canned foods all donated to the local Vet Center, in an effort to help feed local veterans in need.

If you aren't able to make it to Mesa Mall this Saturday to drop-off your donated gift(s) to Toys for Tots, you can always leave your donations this week in the bins at 215 Rice Street and 555 Ute Avenue, both in Grand Junction.

Toys for Tots collected in December 2011
Media Note: Officers and deputies will speak with media on Saturday during this toy collection drive, just show-up between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Remember though, all media must get prior approval from Mesa Mall officials for any media coverage on their property. Media may contact Chelsi Reimer with Mesa Mall to request approval.

Follow us on Twitter @SheriffMesaColo using #GVCopBeat and #MesaCounty.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Mesa County Search & Rescue Recruiting New Members

Search & Rescue currently accepting applications

Mesa County, Colorado—The Mesa County Search and Rescue Ground Team is currently accepting applications for new members. All prospective members must first complete an application. Applications can be picked up at the front counter of the Sheriff’s Office during business hours or printed off our website. Please note, anyone interested in becoming a new member must pass a background check and will have to go through an interview process. The deadline for turning in applications is Tuesday, December 31, 2013.

Completed applications can be returned to--

Email: Bernice at... Bernice.Stogsdill@MesaCounty.us (subject line: SARC Application);

or, dropped off at the front counter of the Sheriff's Office, Attention: Bernice
The front counter at the Sheriff's Office is open Monday through Friday (holidays excluded), from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., located at 215 Rice Street, Grand Junction;

or, snail mail your completed application to:
Mesa County Sheriff's Office
Attn: Bernice
215 Rice Street
Grand Junction, CO 81501
(Make sure we receive it by Dec. 31st.)

Prospective members should be outdoor enthusiasts with a high level of physical fitness and have the ability and willingness to walk many miles through rugged terrain while carrying a heavy pack.

The training class is a 10 week course, beginning Thursday, February 06, 2014. Training topics include search methods, land navigation skills, personal survival and rescue techniques. The classes will be held Thursday evenings and every other Saturday morning. Prospective members are required to attend all classes to become a new member and ongoing trainings are mandatory to attend.

For more information, questions or inquiries, please contact Doug Sieckert by calling (970) 234-0763 or email: dls63@yahoo.com

Two Arrested With Large Amount Of Marijuana

Herbert Palacios, 41, of Illinois

Two Arrested With 85 Pounds Of Marijuana

Mesa County, Colo. -- Just after noon on Thursday, December 5, 2013, two Western Colorado Drug Task Force deputies working interstate interdiction stopped two vehicles traveling together. The first vehicle stopped, was driven by 41-year-old Herbert Palacios, of Illinois. He was stopped in the eastbound lane of I-70 near mile marker 24. The second vehicle was driven by Daniel Dove, 54, also of Illinois, and he was stopped on I-70 in the eastbound lane at mile marker 32.

Marijuana concentrates and personal use marijuana were located by the deputies, in addition to approximately 85 pounds of marijuana. Both were charged with a traffic violation and distribution of marijuana. That amount of marijuana has a street value approximated at $225,000.00.
Daniel Dove, 54, of Illinois

A photo of Daniel Dove is currently not available, but will be posted once it is available. Bond information can be found on our Inmate Inquiry System. For breaking news updates, follow us on Twitter @SheriffMesaColo using #GVCopBeat and #MesaCounty

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Canned Food Drive Ends, Food Delivered To Local Vet Center

Early in the food drive

Canned Food Delivered To Local Vet Center

Early in the food drive
Mesa County, Colo. -- Just in time for the holidays! Throughout the month of November, the Sheriff's Office collected canned food and non-perishable food from our employees, the public and many of our fellow County employees. On Tuesday, December 03, 2013, the hundreds of pounds of food collected was delivered to the local Vet Center by our agency Street Crimes Unit deputies. Two of the three deputies who delivered the food yesterday are veterans themselves, who served in Iraq or Afghanistan and were honored to be part of this delivery.

As the month went on, more food kept arriving
The idea was meant for Sheriff's Office employees to bring in a few cans of food. But quickly the participation grew when Mesa County Criminal Justice Services and the 21st Judicial District Attorney's Office challenged their own employees to donate to the effort. Also, individual County employees were moved to donate and citizens saw posts on our agency Facebook page and many dropped off bangs or boxes of food direct from the grocery store to our lobby.

Delivering boxes of food
The officials at the local Vet Center are still collecting from area businesses this week, like Cabella's. And, they will take donations directly at their office from anyone with a desire to give. They told us, last year they had enough donated food to make 65 boxes and gave out 55 food boxes to local veterans in need before Christmas (the rest of the food boxes were handed out as needed throughout the following months). Many of those veterans last year had families with them, too. This year, they anticipate collecting more food but also a greater amount of veterans needing those food boxes. When food boxes aren't given out before Christmas, they are kept for any veteran with a need as the year goes on. Also, grocery store gift cards are great donations to this cause because they allow the veteran to purchase fresh meat and/or vegetables to go with their canned food items.

Food being delivered
So, we challenge you to give to this cause or any other local effort this holiday season where someone less fortunate can benefit from your gift. To find or contact the local Vet Center, click here.

The Bearcat stuffed with donated food

Food delivered to local Vet Center

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Winter is coming!

News From: The Colorado Department of Transportation
Issued: December 2, 2013

Motorists encouraged to prepare vehicles for winter driving, check highway & weather conditions before travel             

ROAD CONDITION/CLOSURE INFORMATION: To find the conditions and closures, log onto our traveler information site at www.cotrip.org or call 511 from anywhere in the state. Better yet, sign up to receive wireless text alerts and/or e-mails about road conditions on our web site (see the green phone icon in the upper right-hand corner).

WESTERN COLORADO – It’s time to get prepared for winter driving! Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) maintenance crews are on standby for winter storm patrols starting tonight at midnight. This means the Maintenance Area crews (see worker numbers below) are out on 24-hour operation—at least half out at any given time on rotating 8- or 12-hour shifts—until they reach dry road conditions.

“With winter driving conditions closing in on us, it’s important to remind drivers to take extra time if they are planning to go out in storm conditions,” said CDOT Region 3 Maintenance Superintendent, Mike Goolsby. “Our crews will do everything they can to keep our highways safe for travelers.”

Additional tips for getting prepared for winter weather travel are noted below.

Last year, Colorado experienced variable winter conditions statewide, and lower snowfall amounts in most areas. The following information provides details on each of Section 2’s Maintenance Area and Patrol locations, personnel and equipment. Note that in addition to the patrols crews listed below, the Maintenance Section also includes special crews dedicated to rest area maintenance, heavy equipment operation and shop maintenance.
The ridge of high pressure over Colorado will flatten over the next two days as a large closed low-pressure system approaches from the southwest. Warm air will continue to move into the state today with increasing amounts of moisture in the upper portion of the atmosphere. Winds will be in the low to moderate range from the west and southwest statewide. Low-level moisture will increase this evening as the closed low moves into California and begins to track across the southwest US. Precipitation, if any, will be limited to the high peaks until Thursday when moist southwest flow moves into the San Juan Mountains. The combination of the closed low and a second system moving in from the north could make for an interesting holiday weekend.</p>

CDOT Region 3, Section 2 Maintenance, Grand Junction
The entire Grand Junction Maintenance Section (also see individual maintenance areas within this Section, below) has 258 maintenance workers and 136 snow plows. Trucks are equipped with liquid deicer applicator tanks. Other plow trucks will carry sand/salt for providing traction or, at optimum temperatures, sand pre-wetted with liquid deicer for traction and effective ice-melting. Section 2 maintenance crews take care of 4,038 lane-miles (the combined lengths of each lane on every highway in the section). Total Section Budget for 2014:  $25,760,015.

Grand Junction Maintenance Area
Patrols located in:  Grand Junction (3 plows), Whitewater (3 plows), Cedaredge (3 plows), Gateway (2 plows), two patrols in Loma (6 plows total), Mesa (3 plows), DeBeque (3 plows), Parachute (3 plows), Grand Junction (3 plows) and the Fruita Rest Area. There are 44 maintenance workers, 57 pieces of equipment (including 29 snowplows, 7 of which are equipped with *MDSS) and 1,518.53 total lane miles (combined length of all highways’ individual lanes). Total winter budget:  $1,023,896.

Montrose Maintenance Area
Patrols located in: two in Montrose (7 plows), Lake City (3 plows), Gunnison (4 plows), Crested Butte (2 plows), Blue Mesa (3 plows), Delta (4 plows), Crawford/Black Mesa (2 plows), and Paonia (3 plows). There are 44 maintenance workers, 51 pieces of equipment (including 27 snowplows, 4 of which are equipped with *MDSS), and 1,048.52 total lane miles. Total winter budget: $1,225,573.

Glenwood Springs Maintenance Area
Patrols located in:  Rifle (3 plows), two in Glenwood Springs (6 plows), Aspen (5 plows), Carbondale (3 plows), plus Rest Area patrols are located at No Name, which maintain rest areas at Rifle, No Name, and Grizzly Creek. There are 40 maintenance workers, 40 pieces of equipment (including 18 snowplows, 16 of which are equipped with *MDSS), and 703.29 total lane miles (combined length of all highways’ individual lanes). Total winter budget: $1,341,925.

I-70 Hanging Lake Tunnel Maintenance Area (MP 125 in Glenwood Canyon)
Crews maintain the tunnel and its control center 24/7, dispatching maintenance patrol crews to highway incidents from I-70 mm 213 to the Utah border on I-70 corridor, and secondary roads from Grand Junction, Montrose, Gunnison and Leadville areas. There are 33 maintenance workers, 15 pieces of equipment (including 1 snowplow).

Gypsum Maintenance Area
Patrols are located in:  two in Gypsum (6 plows), Wolcott (3 plows), two in Dowd Junction (10 plows), Leadville (6 plows), and Twin Lakes (2 plows), Vail Pass (8 plows); also Bair, Edwards and Hanging Lake rest areas. There are 54 maintenance workers, 51 pieces of equipment (including 35 snowplows, 21 of which are equipped with MDSS), and 769 total lane miles (combined length of all highways’ individual lanes). Total winter budget: $2,047,792.

Summit County Maintenance/Paul Area (MP 216)
Patrols are located in:  Silverthorne (for I-70 Frisco to east Summit County, 10 plows), Silverthorne (for SH 9 and surrounding, 4 plows), Vail Pass (6 plows), Loveland Pass (4 plows) and Frisco (2 plows). This maintenance area also includes the rest area on Vail Pass. There are 39 maintenance workers (not including control room and office staff), 59 pieces of equipment (including 27 snowplows, 22 of which are equipped with MDSS), and 262.94 total lane miles (combined length of all highways’ individual lanes). Total winter budget: $2,047,792.

*Maintenance Decision Support System (MDSS), installed on many CDOT plow trucks throughout the state, combines advanced weather prediction, advanced road condition prediction and rules of practice for anti-icing and de-icing to generate road treatment recommendations on a route-by-route basis. The goal of MDSS is to provide more effective use of maintenance resources in order to increase safety, reliability and mobility on roadways. The MDSS system allows CDOT crews to input real-time conditions, including road and ambient temperature, type of snow removal products being used and the application rate. After comparing the information to 15 weather reports, the system will then provide suggested treatments based on the information and models. The system may tell the operator to re-treat the road at a later time, apply different products at different rates or even to continue current procedures. The suggested treatment can then be followed or the operator can override the system.

Plan your trip! Log on to CDOT’s Winter Driving web page at: http://www.coloradodot.info/travel/winter-driving for tips, road conditions, information on CDOT’s 14-hour snow plow coverage and more; or call 511 for statewide road conditions. Also, sign up for FREE wireless text and/or e-mail updates on road conditions/closures—see the green phone icon in the upper right-hand corner of our web site home page. Motorists can also log onto the National Weather Service’s site at http://weather.gov/.
Always keep the top half of your gas tank full. It can give you better traction and gives you a bigger margin of error if you get stuck and have to keep the engine running periodically to keep warm.
If you are stuck in a serious storm do not leave your car. Run the engine periodically and wait for help.
Carry blankets, water, a flashlight, a shovel, some nutrition bars or other food for sustenance. Winterize your vehicle's safety kit by including extra blankets, sand to help gain traction in the event you become stuck on ice or snow, jumper cables, an ice scraper and lock de-icer.
Remember that 4-wheel drive does not mean 4-wheel stop. A 4-wheel drive vehicle will not stop any better in icy conditions, especially if you have inadequate snow tires.
Be sure of your route. Don't go exploring in the back-country without some local knowledge, especially during a storm or when one is bearing down anywhere near your location.
Be sure you have good tires. The Colorado State Patrol recommends at least 1/8 of an inch tread depth. All season radials on a front-wheel-drive passenger vehicle are adequate for most situations; install them on all four tires. Four snow tires on most rear-wheel drive vehicles are usually adequate. Chain restrictions in Colorado are most often put into effect for commercial vehicles (semi-trailer trucks) and do not usually affect passenger vehicles (please see information on Colorado’s chain law at http://www.coloradodot.info/travel/commercial-vehicles/colorado-chain-law.url).
In poor visibility or even whiteout conditions, don't drive faster than you can see ahead. High speeds in poor or no visibility can lead to large chain reaction accidents. Remember you can't see around mountain curves and corners, either.
In addition to these winter driving tips, CDOT reminds all motorists to respect winter weather, conduct a pre-trip inspection of your vehicle, leave extra space between your automobile and others on the road, and never drink and drive.
Always buckle up!

**Snow Removal Products:
Magnesium Chloride:  In solutions that utilize up to 30 percent magnesium chloride, this product is effective for pavement surface temperatures down to 16 degrees Fahrenheit .
Cold Temperature Modified Magnesium Chloride:  In solutions up to 27 percent magnesium chloride, this product is used when surface temperatures fall below approximately 15 degrees Fahrenheit. These products have a corn-processed byproduct additive that greatly lowers the freezing point of magnesium chloride.
Ice Slicer:  This is a solid product made up of mainly sodium chloride; it also contains small amounts of other materials making it more effective at lower temperatures than pure sodium chloride.