Teens make off with pot

Two Texas teen-agers were facing charges of aggravated robbery after using pepper spray to make off with jar of marijuana from a local dispensary on Monday.

Durango Police responded to a call at 11:45 a.m. from Animas Herbal Wellness Center, 1111 Camino Del Rio, of a robbery.

According to reports, two young males wearing bandanas, cowboy hats and sunglasses entered the business and sprayed employees with pepper spray. The two males then grabbed a jar of medical marijuana and fled the scene. Employees were able to give police a description of the suspects’ vehicle and a partial license plate.

A short time later, officers tracked down the vehicle in the parking lot of the Holiday Inn and Suites, on Highway 160 West. The two suspects jumped out of the vehicle and fled on foot up a hillside behind the hotel. However, after a brief pursuit on foot, officers caught up and apprehended the suspects. Officers also recovered the stolen jar of marijuana as well as the clothing the two were suspected of wearing during the heist.

The two males were identified as Morgan Levi Ford and Jordan Kyle Hurley, both 17 and  both of Corsicana, Texas. They are charged with Aggravated Robbery of a Controlled Substance, a Class 2 Felony and were booked into the Denier Youth Center.

Beets: it’s what’s for lunch

Durango may be known for a lot of things, but beets – as in the simultaneously reviled and revered vegetables – are not among them. Yet.

Durango-grown beets will be front and center later this month at a farm-to-table luncheon for the Governor featuring food grown across the state. The luncheon, which takes place Aug. 27 in Denver, is the culmination of a 27-day tour across the state to celebrate homegrown agriculture and collect various ingredients for the meal.

Sponsored by “Colorado Proud,” a program of the state Department of Agriculture that brings us the familiar yellow and purple labels at the grocery store, the tour kicked off Aug. 1 in Denver. From there, the “Colorado Proud Choose Colorado Tour” will make 11  stops, including one at the Durango Farmers Market this Saturday, from 8 a.m. - 12 noon.

Other stops include Grand Junction (peaches and pears); Boulder (tomatoes and rhubarb); Alamosa (potatoes); Frisco, Vail and Avon (greens); Fort Collins (onions); Burlington (grapes); Colorado Springs (green chile) and Denver (sweet corn).

The goal of the tour is to celebrate farmers and raise awareness of the importance of eating local. According to Colorado Proud, agriculture is among the state’s top three economic drivers, and the state ranks among the nation’s top 10 in production. With more than 36,000 farms and 31 million acres devoted to farming, agriculture provided more than 172,000 jobs last year. Likewise, it contributed more than $40 billion to the state’s economy and exported more than $2 billion worth of food outside state lines.

In addition to picking up the gubernatorial beets, the Durango stop on the tour will feature Colorado Proud Media Spokeswoman Wendy White as well as local growers and members of Colorado Proud.

Launched in 1999 with 65 members, Colorado Proud now boasts more than 2,000 growers, farmers, processors, restaurants and associations throughout the state. According to a 2013 survey, more than 90 percent of consumers said they would buy more Colorado grown products if they were labeled “Colorado Proud.” Sixty-six percent said they went out of their way to buy Colorado grown and labeled produce. For more, go to www.ColoradoProud.org.

Lawmakers get grades

The environmental grades are in for Colorado’s legislators, and Durango’s Democratic Rep. Mike McLachlan and Republican Sen. Ellen Roberts are at the top of their class.

Last week, Conservation Colorado released its 2014 Colorado Legislative Conservation Scorecard, which ranks state lawmakers on their votes and work on key environmental issues. This was the 16th annual scorecard, which this year focused on such topics as renewable energy, recycling, chemical disposal and water efficiency.

“Under the leadership of conservation champions such as Senate President Morgan Carroll and House Speaker Mark Ferrandino, the Legislature successfully addressed cleaning up contaminated groundwater ... increasing fines on oil and gas violators, expanding access to water efficient fixtures, and safeguarding our public lands and outdoor heritage,” Conservation Colorado Executive Director Pete Maysmith said.

In the Senate, the average score was 61 percent, with  15 senators earning a score of 100 percent. Sens. Vicki Marble (R-Fort Collins) and Owen Hill (R-Colorado Springs), were the lone senators to score 0 percent. Sen. Bernie Herpin (Colorado Springs) had the highest score for a Republican at 60 percent followed by Roberts at 50 percent.

The state House faired slightly better with an average score of 63 percent. Thirty-five representatives – more than half of the House – had a score of 100 percent, including Rep. McLachlan. Republican Reps. Jerry Sonnenberg (Colorado Springs), Lori Saine (Weld county), Daniel Nordberg (Colorado Springs), Lois Landgraf (Fountain), Stephen Humphrey (Weld County), Justin Everett (Littleton) and Perry Buck (Greeley) all received 0 percent.

Rep. Jared Wright (Grand Junction) had the highest score for a House Republican at 64 percent followed by Cheri Gerou (Evergreen) and Robert Rankin (Carbondale) at 36 percent.

In addition to rating individual legislators on their environmental friendliness, the scorecard also handed out kudos to various legislative committees.

“It is important to honor the work of Colorado’s legislative committees which all too often go underappreciated,” said Maysmith. “But it is in our committees where Colorado bills are given their due, good laws are made better and bad ideas wither on the vine. We are also pleased to recognize a number of termed limited legislative champions, up and comers at the Capitol and legislators who reached across the aisle to protect Colorado communities and our environment.”

Committees receiving special recognition include the House Transportation and Energy Committee, chaired by Rep. Max Tyler (D-Lakewood); House Judiciary Committee chaired by Rep. Daniel Kagan (D-Englewood); and the Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee, chaired by Sen. Jessie Ulibarri (D-Denver.)

Additionally, individual legislators are recognized for their bipartisanship, persevering through tough legislative hurdles to see bills signed into law, and for their emerging legislative leadership.

“I’m proud to sponsor bills and cast my vote for the environment,” Tyler stated.  “Winning on oil and gas violations, water efficiency, protecting public lands and more would not have been possible without the advocacy and hard work of the representatives and senators recognized today. Legislators like these are critical to protecting our unique Colorado quality of life.”

For more on the 2014 Legislative Conservation Scorecard, go to www.conservationco.org.

In this week's issue...

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January 26, 2024
Paper chase

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January 11, 2024
High and dry

New state climate report projects continued warming, declining streamflows