Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Dog Ice Rescue Caught on Camera

By Matt Kroschel

 A yellow lab ventured a little to far onto the ice at West Lake Park in Grand Junction Wednesday afternoon, falling through the thin ice and becoming trapped.

Despite the dog owner's attempts, he could not get the dog out of the ice. Grand Junction Fire and Rescue teams responded with wet suits. They were able to get into the lake and break the ice, and rescue the dog.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Man Sentenced For Running Down 4 People At Cactus Canyon

by Matt Kroschel

Grand Junction- The man who ran down four people at the country and western bar, Cactus Canyon, was sentenced Tuesday after hours of family testimony.

Robert Helwig was sentenced to 14 years in the department of corrections and five years mandatory parole. Helwig plead guilty as part of a plea deal. He has already served one and a half years. Helwig was originally charged with four counts of first degree attempted murder, as well as first degree and second degree assault, but under the plea deal the maximum sentence for this type of crime was 16 years.

Helwig is accused of running over four men in the parking lot of Cactus Canyon in July. All four had to be hospitalized with serious injuries.

Family members of the victims spoke out at the sentencing hearing and asked the judge for the maximum sentence. Helwig's mother and father spoke and blamed the tragic incident on alcohol and described their son as a man with a golden heart who would give any one the shirt off of his back if they needed it.

The judge said he did not believe Helwig was "evil" but did think he is responsible for running down the four men out front of the bar.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

One Man's Mission To Keep Kids Fed On The Weekends

December 'People You Can Count On' Recipient

by Matt Kroschel

Grand Junction- This month NewsChannel Five and Sky Ute Casino honor Kids Aid Backpack program founder Mike Berry as our People You Can Count December winner.

Berry started Kids Aid several years ago and now the program serves thousands of school-aged children with food for the weekends in District 51 schools.

To learn more about the program and Berry CLICK HERE

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Protecting Your Online Reputation Is No Easy Task

by Matt Kroschel
Grand Junction- Word of mouth has gone high tech, now anyone can say just about anything about you or your business online.

"It slander and its frustrating when people can just say what they want and there is no way to hold them accountable," Kannah Creek owner Eric Ross told NewsChannel Five.

There are hundreds of websites devoted to giving people a virtual soap box to spew anything they like and don't like online, and once it hits the web it is hard to erase.

Ross spends a lot of time at work surfing the web looking at comments, and does what he can to respond to the negative ones, but that is hard because most people post as anonymous.

"This is a huge problem, people can hide behind their key boards and say anything," Online reputation manager Dan O'Connor said.

O'Connor's Grand Junction based business is booming as they fight back against negative and in many cases fabricated lies on the web that can ruin a business's reputation.

"We have a point by point system to help clean up a person's image online and present a more complete picture, it only takes one or two bad comments or reviews to ruin a business," O'Connor said.

For more information about NikeMedia and how you can clean-up your online reputation Click Here

Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Sued, Legal Battle Brewing

Voter Privacy vs. Public Open Records Request at Center of Heated Issue

by Matt Kroschel

Mesa County - The Mesa County Clerk and Recorder is being sued, and some people believe the outcome could have a huge effect on the 2012 general election.

Aspen resident Marilyn Marks is leading a statewide attack on county elections officials, including her lawsuit against the top Mesa County elections official. Her group claims the way things are set up right now is unconstitutional and could give anyone the chance to know how you voted on county elections.

Marks has requested copies of all of Mesa County's paper ballots, but because of the current system in place, clerk and recorder Sheila Reiner denied that request. Reiner told NewsChannel 5 if she does release the ballots under the open records request, there is a chance someone's personal private vote could be seen.

The issue is going to go before a district judge with a court date set for April. Several Mesa County residents have contacted us with concerns about the voter privacy.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

University Students Discover Human Remains, Investigation Underway

EXCLUSIVE: Sheriff Officials Say "Investigation Could Take Months Or Even Years"

By Matt Kroschel

Grand Junction- Students with Colorado Mesa University stumble across the "discovery of a lifetime" while working on a class project, and now investigators are trying to find out how a human skull and other bones ended up on the Uncompahgre Plateau, and who they belong too.

The case is open and Sheriff Spokeswoman Heather Benjamin told NewsChannel Five finding out just what happened to this person may take months or even years.

This whole thing began in early October when a group of environmental fire students from CMU were up along Divide Road. They were working a few hundred yards off the path when they found the skull. They contacted sheriff investigators who began their investigation.

Then a few weeks later, those same students found a jaw in the same exact area. All of the bones have been turned over to sheriff's office. But for the group of students and their professor who made this grizzly discovery this mystery has been something they never could have imagined happening.

We will continue to follow this story and bring you the latest in the case.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Polygraph Business Booming, Grand Valley Company Cashing In

by Matt Kroschel

Grand Junction- Just how important is the truth in your relationship? Would you ever go as far as asking your spouse to take a polygraph test? For a growing number of couples the answer is yes.

Alby Albertson with Foremost Response said his business is seeing a spike in the number of couples coming in to request fidelity tests.

Albertson uses high tech equipment to find out what people are trying to hide.

If you would like more information about the company or the service
Click Here

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Mill Levy Measure Fails, Supporters React

By Matt Kroschel

Mesa County- Supporters of Measure 3B, the mill levy override in Mesa County School District 51 raised over $50,000 and launched an aggressive campaign trying to drum up more tax dollars to help budget-strapped local schools, but it looks like their efforts were not enough.

Primary numbers show voters saying "no" to the increase in property taxes for schools. As of 10:00 PM Tuesday night, about 38% of voters voted in favor of measure 3B, and 62 voted no on the measure.

In related school district news, unofficial winners for the Mesa County School District 51 elections. For District A Director, it's Arvan Jeffry Leany, with around 60% of the votes. For District B Director, it is Ann Tisue, with just over 45% of the votes.

Shakeup at County Human Services Leaves Bad Taste in Employee's Mouth

4 Case Manager Resign In Last Month

By Matt Kroschel
Mesa County - Administrators with the Mesa County Department of Human Services want a brand new philosophy and an entirely new way of doing business, but not everyone agrees with the plan. Administrators with the Human Services Department say they will be more proactive in the way they deal with families in the county, but the changes are not without critics. In the last month, four of ten case managers have resigned.

NewsChannel 5 sat down with one former case manager who said she is leaving her job and feels things are not running the way they should be.

Monday was the last day Kelly Saint clocked in at her county case manager job, but she is not leaving on good terms. Her resignation comes on the heels of what she calls “ethical problems” within the department.

Saint has worked in her position for 15 years, and in that time she said there have been changes, but since April, the new plan has increased her workload to a level that she can’t continue to handle.

She claims, “Workers are being asked to put in 80 hours a week, or have to rush through the cases which could be horrible for the families we serve.”

But Jill Calvert, Mesa County Division Director of Child Services said despite some growing pains, the safety of the people they serve has not been jeopardized.

“We have had case workers training at new tasks. We are changing the way we do things from the inside out to better serve the public,” Calvert said.

“We are changing to be better and get in line with new state standards, and yes our case numbers have gone up and we are monitoring and dealing with that but have not seen any change in service or safety,” Calvert added.

Right now, there are three case manager positions they are trying to fill. It takes about three months of training once a new employee is hired before they can start taking cases.

Administrators said current staff members are helping out where they can but expect things to be back to normal and running smoothly within the year.

It is important to note administrators could not comment on the circumstances surrounding all of the resignations, since it is a personnel matter, so we do not know why all of the employees chose to leave.         

Thursday, October 27, 2011

SWAT Standoff Over, Suspect Not Inside Home

By Matt Kroschel

Whitewater - After a five-hour standoff with a suspect whom sheriff's deputies believed was barricaded inside a Whitewater home, SWAT teams entered the home to find no one inside.

Mesa County authorities responded shortly after 4:30 PM on Tuesday afternoon. Officials received a domestic violence call for a home at 120 Whiting. The first deputies on the scene set up a perimeter around the home and the five-hour standoff began.

NewsChannel 5 spoke to family members of the suspect, who tell us his name is Robert Lambert. They say he has a long history of run-ins with the law.

At one point, a telephone was thrown into the home where they believed Lambert was hiding. Neighbors were allowed back into their homes around 9:15 PM. Lambert is on the run facing domestic violence charges.         

Thursday, October 20, 2011

October 'People You Can Count On' Awarded To Starlene Collins

Going Above And Beyond To Get Food On The Tables Of Those In Need

By Matt Kroschel

Grand Junction- Every month thanks to your nominations we go out and find people on the Western Slope that are making a difference, helping this community to be a better place. October NewsChannel Five awarded Starlene Collins.

Over the past 12 years with the Western Slope Food Bank of the Rockies, Collins has gone above and beyond to make sure food gets to the people who need it the most in the Grand Valley.

Her dedication to her job and the entire community caught not only our attention, but our partners with the Sky Ute Casino. We are honored to award Collins 'People You Can Count On' For the month of October.

If you would like to nominate someone you know for this award, fill out the nomination form on the main page of

Monday, October 17, 2011

Horizon Drive Thrives in Recession

By Matt Kroschel
Grand Junction - When you think about Horizon Drive in Grand Junction, hotels and gas stations may be what comes to mind, but a new study may shed some light on just how important the area is to Mesa County's overall economy.

Colorado Mesa University researchers released a new study that shows despite the economic recession, businesses along horizon drive have been able to weather the storm.

In fact, businesses report 30% growth over the last few years. $60 million in taxable retail sales come directly from the district, which has 277 individual businesses.

Plans for the future include working to improve safety and deal with a huge increase in traffic along horizon drive.

“We want to improve safety and make it better for foot traffic,” said Lynne Sorlye, a Horizon Drive District board member.

The district was created back in 2004.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Occupy Grand Junction Protest Sets Up Camp, Prepare For Expected Arrests

By Matt Kroschel
Grand Junction-
UPDATE: I am told at least 3 protesters are ready to be arrested for camping on the lawn at the Old Mesa County Courthouse. they expect police to move in and kick everyone out around 10:00 PM Saturday. If and when that happens protesters tell me they will continue to rotate out members to keep their protest site until Sunday. They are planning more marches around downtown Sunday afternoon.

About 100 protesters with a variety of messages 'moved in' to the lawn at the Old Mesa County Courthouse despite a county officials banning camping on the property.

Following in the footsteps of protesters across the country, Occupy Grand Junction began the protest with several speeches and chanting. With a strong uniformed police presence, hundreds of people from across the Western Slope began what they call as an occupation of support and a message to Wall Street.

The diverse group of protesters said no matter what individual problems people have with the current government and big businesses system, they are all finding mutual ground as being one of the 99 percent.

Protester Kristine Hicken traveled from Meeker for this protest and said she is here because she wants to show support to the protesters at Wall Street.

"Things are not right, they are worse then ever before and the rich keep getting richer while the majority of us are being passed over," Hicken said.

Protest organizers say they are pursuing legal action against the county for the ban on camping and said they anticipate several arrests Saturday night because some protesters will not leave t he lawn area.

Grand Junction Police officials said they will not tolerate illegal activities, but they don't expect a problem with the crowd.

Watch NewsChannel Five for continuing coverage of the protest.

For a link to the Occupy Grand Junction Facebook Page Click here:!/groups/289861931025748/

Monday, October 10, 2011

Palisade Peach Harvest "Best in Years"

By Matt Kroschel

Palisade - Peach farmers in Palisade are wrapping up another year, so how did they do this season? Mesa County farmers tell NewsChannel 5 that problems in other counties helped make their crops more successful.

Overall, the harvest was good for peach farmers in Palisade. In the fields, just about everyone is done picking peaches, but workers at Kokopelli Farm still has work to do. The owners tell us they drew a good straw this year. That is because Mother Nature gave them a break with good weather and no late freezes. The news was not as good down south in Delta and Montrose Counties though. Peach farmers there were plagued with late spring freezes.

"Last year, we had a winter freeze that took quite a bit of our crop. This year, we actually had a very good crop. The price was good because some of the other growers, unfortunately, were short, especially in the Paonia, Cedaredge, Hotchkiss area," said Brant Harrison, the owner of Kokopelli Farm in Palisade.

At Kokopelli Farm, they say next year, they are planning on expanding their operation, in part thanks to the good harvest this season.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

EXCLUSIVE: The Family of a Woman Killed While Walking Her Dogs Speak Out

By Matt Kroschel

CLIFTON- The woman who was struck by a driver as she walked her dog Sunday in Clifton has died in the hospital. Family members told NewsChannel 5 50-year-old Darinda Brown died of her injuries in Saint Mary's Hospital Thursday afternoon.

According to CSP, Brown was taking a walk with her granddaughter and dog when the accident happened.

21-year-old Joseph Weixel was driving the GMC Suburban SUV when he turned the corner, driving partially on the sidewalk. Brown's granddaughter jumped out of the way, but Brown herself was hit by the truck's left rear tire. The dog was killed and Brown was taken to St. Mary's Hospital with serious injuries.

Officials say there is reason to believe alcohol or drugs, and possibly speed, were factors in the crash. Weixel was arrested and could face some pretty serious charges. Neighbors who saw the accident say it's not the first time they've seen out-of-control drivers in their neighborhood

"He was going fast and I don't go for that. There's a lot of cars that go by fast. He's not the only one," explained Lora Tineo, who lives right near where the accident happened.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Postal Workers Rally To Save Their Industry

by Matt Kroschel

Grand Junction - Postal Service employees plan to rally in Colorado to warn about the impact of proposed cuts. The Communications Workers of America Union's Denver chapter says the rally on Tuesday is part of a national effort seeking support for Congressional action to shore up the struggling agency.

Union officials say cuts in service are not necessary, and the postal service isn't broke. They also said warnings of a possible taxpayer bailout are unfounded.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Final Western Slope Honor Flight Touches Down in Grand Junction

Hundreds of People Pack Airport for Hero's Welcome Home Rally

Grand Junction - It is a hero's welcome home at Grand Junction Regional Airport Thursday night as more than 90 World War II veterans come home from their trip to Washington, D.C. It's all part of the fifth and final Western Slope Honor Flight.

The Honor Flight touched down a few minutes ahead of schedule Thursday night and what was there to greet the veterans can only be described as a hero's welcome home.

This was the final flight, the final mission for the Western Slope Honor Flight organization. Over the years the group has sponsored five flights and made trips to the memorial possible for hundreds of veterans.

This trip was a 36-hour whirlwind tour of the capital, but it was the welcome home that left these veterans speechless, and as they walked through the hundreds of cheering people, one message was very clear.

"They are true heroes, and we are so honored to be here and to honor them," a member of the Western Slope Boy Scouts of America said as he cheered on the passing veterans.

Organizers say this flight was bittersweet because it is the last one they are organizing from here. Congressman Scott Tipton presented Kevin Wodlinger with a special honor during the trip. He is the person who founded the Western Slope Honor Flight.         

Wine Industry Booming, Grand Valley at Center of the Growth

by Matt Kroschel

Palisade - Boom and bust.

It has been a Colorado industry model since the days of the gold rush. Winery owners are hoping their boom is here to stay.

“We are seeing huge growth, and it is really starting to pick up around here,” owner Sue Phillips, at Plum Creek Winery in Palisade, said.

For the past 28 years Phillips has been perfecting her blends and refining her tastes. Now, the hard work paying off.

“Our wine is doing very well. We are gaining national notice from the industry,” Phillips added.

But this success is not just at Plum Creek. Across the state, 100 wineries have sprung up. At the Cross Orchards CSU extension office in Orchard Mesa, growing grapes is a real science and for growers the end product is only getting better with time and experience.

“We are seeing second generation growers and wine makers starting to work here and they are using the last couple of decades worth of experience and producing a lot better blends and flavors,” Stephen Menke with CSU Extension Office told NewsChannel 5.

80% of the grapes grown in Colorado come from the Grand Valley, and more than half of all the wineries are located here on the Western Slope.

Back in the tasting room at Plum Creek, Phillips is just trying to keep bottles on the shelves as the industry tries to keep up with the growing demand.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Moms Fight Back after Strangers Try to Give Their Young Sons Booze

By Matt Kroschel

Clifton - Parents in one Clifton neighborhood are speaking out after they say two men offered their kids alcohol while they were playing in park. Mesa County Sheriff's deputies are now investigating the case and do not have more details on the suspects, but NewsChannel 5 has learned the two men allegedly ran out the back door of a home when sheriff's deputies came looking for them.

According to parents, Tuesday afternoon, two men drinking in a park near South Good Hope Circle tried to get a seven- and 10-year-old boy to drink alcohol.

Sheriff's officials are also looking into an allegation the same two men allowed a 4-year-old child to drink beer.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Fewer Communication Breakdowns Between 1st Responders With New System

By Matt Kroschel

Grand Junction- A decade after the 9/11 terrorist attacks critics say communication between emergency responders from different agencies is still not even close to being perfect. But what about here on the Western Slope?

It has been labeled the biggest Homeland Security need and millions of dollars have been spent to try to solve it. Radio communication that gives every agency the ability to talk with each other on one radio frequency.

On the Western slope, thousands of federal grant dollars have poured in for construction of new towers and equipment.

Mesa County emergency manager Andrew Martsolf said no system is perfect but a lot of work has been done to get the radios working as best as they can. They are battling the rugged terrain in the area which can create dead zones for radio coverage.

The new system was really tested this past spring with wide spread flooding along the Colorado River corridor, pushing a button gave instant communication to departments up and down the river.

In the next few weeks, the last remaining fire departments operation the old radio waves will make the switch, bringing everyone on board with the new system.

There are still plans to construct a few more towers around the area to help make the signal stronger.

According to government spending reports a total of about 250 million dollars has been spent statewide on the radio system upgrades.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Solar Invention A Grand Junction Man Claims Came To Him In A Dream

By Matt Kroschel

For one Grand Junction inventor going green is something he hopes he can make a reality for the entire community.

Military veteran and Mesa State College graduate Randall Ohm said his solar powered street light design could change the way we see after the sun goes down. He envisions his light invention replacing the yellow and energy sucking street lights that dot Mesa County.

The totally solar powered light is in the process of getting a patent and his first prototype is up and running.

Local governments see green technology like this as the future and are eager to learn more about the invention.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

On A Mission To Change Young Lives, One Student At A Time

By Matt Kroschel

 September "People You Can Count On" Recipient

Grand Junction- In the news businesses we hear it all the time: Why is the news always so depressing? But this month we are launching our brand new segment, "People You Can Count On." It is our chance to highlight amazing people in our community.

On the campus of Colorado Mesa University, mentor Fran Morales admits although the university signs her pay checks, it is the students who she works for. Day in and day out, her job is to be that person to go to if students need help adjusting to life away from home and in the college classroom.

The students come in to her first floor office with everything from homesickness to teacher conflict issues. Morales in turns helps them work through their issues and in the mean time builds life long relationships with 'her kids.'

This month our partners at Sky Ute Casino and the NewsChannel Five family are proud to honor Fran Morales with the "People You Can Count On" Award.

You can nominate someone you know who is doing something special in the community on this website go to this link and fill out the submission form:

Fran Morales received a wonderful weekend get-away price package from our friends over at the Sky Ute Casino. Catch the next winner the first Thursday of October.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Western Slope Logger Cuts Off His Toes With Pocket Knife After Accident

By Matt Kroschel


Montrose- A Colorado logger who cut off all of the toes on his right foot after he was pinned by a logging machine says he was afraid it would take hours to find him and he might die.

Jon Hutt says he used a 3-inch pocketknife to sever his toes from the machinery about a half hour after realizing no one heard his cries for help.

Hutt says Wednesday he was trying to retrieve a pile of fallen Aspen trees to cut up for winter firewood near Montrose when a logging trailer slipped and pinned his foot.

He says it happened Aug. 19 but he didn't file a police report. The 61-year-old logger drove to a parking lot, where an
ambulance arrived to take him to Montrose Memorial Hospital.

NewsChannel Five is speaking to the man right now and will have his remarkable story tonight at 10:00 PM

Monday, August 29, 2011

Delta County Commissioners Say Yes to Hen Houses

Months of Debate End With Unanimous Conditional Approval for Egg Operations


By Matt Kroschel

Delta - After months of debate and dozens of meetings, Delta County commissioners unanimously approve two separate egg facilities there.

The ruling came late Monday afternoon in front of a packed crowd. Commissioners voted all in favor of approving two separate hen houses, one of them on the Powell Mesa and the other on Redlands Mesa.

The ruling brought both cheers and the shaking of heads in the crowd split down the middle on the issue. Neighbors say the industrial farming will destroy their property values and could ruin water supplies, while supporters see it as a victory for farmers everywhere.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Delta County Egg Facility Outrage

Community Debate Pits Farmers Rights vs Neighborhood

By Matt Kroschel

Friday, August 19, 2011

People YOU Can Count On--NewsChannel 5

Check out this brand new segment I am hosting on NC5!

Nominate someone you know today! Click this link to niminate someone special today:  ---Matt

Also if you have a newstip or story idea:

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Jacob's Story: Teen's Family Speaks Out About Brain Cancer

By Matt Kroschel

NewsChannel 5 Exclusive

Grand Junction - Just weeks after celebrating his 16th birthday, a Grand Junction teen is now in hospice care, diagnosed with inoperable brain tumors.

Despite the tragic disease, local musicians are rallying to honor their friend. Former Grand Junction high school student Jacob Hawkins has several inoperable brain tumors, and his family says he does not have much longer to live.

Home Grown Entertainment will host a brain cancer awareness concert in the Mesa Mall this Friday starting at 2:00 pm. The hip hop tribute will feature guest speakers and local performers.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Evidence Found Of Prehistoric Humans On The Western Slope

By Matt Kroschel

Grand Junction- Deposits in a rock shelter overhang in the Book Cliffs area north of Grand Junction, Colorado are revealing a picture of daily life in western Colorado that may have taken place some seven to eight thousand years ago.

Scientists conducting a project for Dominguez Anthropological Research Group (DARG) in Grand Junction reported Monday that artifacts and sedimentary evidence recovered during a recently completed excavation are adding important new evidence in their search for the earliest people in western Colorado.

“We have identified strong evidence of several periods of human occupation at the site, ranging from Late Prehistoric back to Middle or Early Archaic times, as early as seven to eight thousand years ago,” said James Miller, DARG research director and adjunct professor in geoarchaeology at Colorado Mesa University.

Miller, who is both an archaeologist and geologist, reported also that a concentration of charcoal recovered in older deposits at the site may represent Late Paleoindian Foothills-Mountain people, who first appeared in western Colorado about 10,000 years ago.

During June and July, archaeologists working on the project excavated soil and rock deposits in the shelter to a depth of more than three meters to collect and analyze samples from sediments, invertebrate remains, cultural features, and artifacts preserved at the site. The data is now being analyzed and will be used to interpret the site’s culture history.

“Evidence from three other excavated sites DARG has studied in the Grand Junction area shows that human beings have been making a living in west central Colorado for at least 13,000 years,” said Miller.

“One of our study sites, located on Battlement Mesa in the Parachute area, has also yielded tentative, but so far inconclusive, evidence of an even older occupation, dating to as much as 15,000 years ago. We are planning to conduct additional testing at that site to search for data that can corroborate or refute that possibility.”

Prevailing archaeological theory considers the first human inhabitants in the New World to be the Clovis people, who appeared roughly 13,500 years ago. If Miller and his team can find conclusive evidence of earlier inhabitants, it will be of extraordinary interest to archaeologists throughout North America. Miller emphasized, however, that evidence recovered at the site so far is suggestive at best. “We simply need more data,” he said, “but even the tentative prospect of recovering cultural deposits of such antiquity is exciting.”

The rock shelter currently being studied by DARG is located on public lands in the Book Cliffs area north of Grand Junction, near an area planned for future energy development. Archaeologists working on the project have named the site the Jeanne Rock Shelter, in honor of Jeanne Crum. The site was first recorded in 1980, and was officially determined to be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places by federal and state agencies based on archaeological tests conducted in 2009. DARG’s current data recovery work is part of a cultural resources mitigation plan approved by the Bureau of Land Management. The project was funded in part by a State Historical Fund grant award from the Colorado Historical Society, with additional funding from Rhino Energy, LLC and Grand River Institute.

“This project is a great example of what can be achieved when energy developers, land managers, and researchers work together to conserve important cultural resources on Colorado’s public lands,” said Carl Conner, DARG president. “Our research programs try to encourage projects that can leverage the highest possible return on investment, not only in terms of baseline data and information required by regulatory processes, but also in relation to the scientific knowledge and cultural heritage values embedded in our public lands. We think everyone benefits from that approach.”

Dominguez Anthropological Research Group (DARG) is a non-profit consortium for anthropological and archaeological research, preservation, and education in the Upper Colorado River Basin. The group has been active as a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organization since 2003, pursuing an integrated program of studies in regional prehistoric and historic archaeology and ethnohistory. For more information, see .

Friday, August 12, 2011

"Enough Is Enough" Residents Upset Over Homeless People In Parks

By Matt Kroschel

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Major Heroin Drug Bust Nets 24 Suspects

By Matt Kroschel

Pueblo- Five suspects are on the run and 24 more are behind bars following a major drug bust in southeastern Colorado.

Police told NewsChannel Five those who were arrested are facing various drug charges in Colorado State District Court in Pueblo.

Authorities said The nine month investigation focused on a heroin trafficking organization headed by Juan Ramon Rocha Rodriguez. Rocha Rodriguez was responsible for the transport of large quantities of heroin from Southern California into Colorado for distribution and sale in Pueblo.

The investigation culminated August 5 when investigators seized 10.3 pounds of black tar heroin from a vehicle. The heroin was concealed in a hidden compartment. Also seized during the investigation were $43,131 cash, 2 handguns, and 12 vehicles.

Acting Special Agent in Charge Merrill said, "What is disturbing
to me about this case is the fact that the bulk of the seized heroin was
to be sold in the Pueblo area - not destined for some major city."

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

UPDATE: Dangerous Dougherty Siblings CAPTURED

By Matt Kroschel

UPDATE: The three Dougherty siblings dubbed the Dougherty Gang have been captured after a short high speed chase near Walsenburg. Go to for the very latest.

Colorado Springs- Police say they have received ``credible information'' that people matching the description of three siblings connected to crimes in Florida and Georgia were spotted in Colorado.

The possible sighting near downtown Colorado Springs was reported around 1:30 p.m. Tuesday. A nationwide manhunt
for the three began Aug. 2 after they allegedly shot at police and robbed a bank. Police say they are considered very armed and very dangerous.

The FBI in Colorado issued a warning that they may be hiding in rural areas and if you spot them to contact 911 right away. Do not attempt to approach the suspects.

Colorado Mesa University Unveils New Logo, I have A Behind The Scenes Look

By Matt Kroschel

Grand Junction- Mesa State College unveiled the new logo and wordmark that will be used when the college officially becomes Colorado Mesa University on Wednesday, Aug. 10.

“This is truly an exciting time to be on campus and to see a new visual identity that reflects the growth and maturation the institution has experienced in the last few years,” said Mesa State President Tim Foster.

The logo is a stylized representation of the mesas and rivers in our region. The design communicates the optimistic, active and aspirational nature of the University to continue our growth in outstanding faculty, quality academic programs, student enrollment, and state-of-the-art facilities and technology. The logo also reflects the attitude – individualistic and independent – of the school and its students.

The design team used those descriptors as a foundation while working on the new look, said Jeremy Smith, MSC Graphic Designer, leader of the design team and a Mesa State graduate.

“We wanted to blend the geography of the regions with the Colorado Mesa brand identity, attributes and values. This logo is futuristic, streamlined and shows the progress the school has made in technology and facilities as well as reflecting the attitude on campus,” Smith said.

The design team included Smith, recent MSC graduate Andrea Wilkins and MSC graphic design student Melanie Butler.

“The cool thing is we kept it in-house,” Smith said. “The school can take pride in having a logo designed by alumni and students.”

The design team began its project the week after graduation and quickly created about 50 concepts that were narrowed to 16 choices. Those choices were shared with representatives of various departments, a group of faculty members and a student focus group.

The final selection came after gathering input from the MSC Board of Trustees.

The overarching goal was to find the perfect marriage between both visuals and the written word to create an identity that will best represent the university for decades to come.

Mesa State will officially become Colorado Mesa University on Wednesday, Aug. 10.

Monday, August 8, 2011

UPDATE: Mother and Son Missing Without a Trace on Western Slope FOUND!

Missing Since Sunday from Olathe Shelter
By Matt Kroschel

The missing mother and child from an Olathe shelter have been located safe and sound in the midwest. Police say they are "OK" .

Officials with a Western Slope homeless family shelter are asking for the public's help after a mother and her 3 year old son disappeared without a trace Sunday.

According to the president with the Haven House shelter in Olathe, 39 year-old Delilah Brundidge and her three year old son have been missing since Sunday. They told NewsChannel Five Brundidge had told other residents at the shelter she was going to help a hitchhiker she met coming back from Denver, but has not been heard from since she left the shelter Sunday.

Olathe Police tell us they have put out an all points bulletin in Colorado and Kansas. The Haven House belives the unidentified hitchhiker may have been trying to get to Kansas.

Brundidge was last seen driving a 1999 red suburban with a license plate number of 884DLX.

If you have seen these two people or have any information contact police immediately.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Kroschel Family Goes to the Gulf...

Aaron, Matt, Mariah & Kate Kroschel
 Howdy gang, just wanted to let you know why I have not been posting the latest breaking news from the Western Slope.... We are enjoying ourselves on the Gulf coast! See you all again next week, until then, have fun back in Colorado!


Friday, July 29, 2011

UPDATE:Armed Man Wearing Surgical Mask Robs Cedaredge Bank

By Matt Kroschel

BREAKING NEWS: "We have got our guys, and the money," Cedaredge Police Department acting spokesman Rob Fiedler told KREX NewsChannel 5 armed Robbery suspects caught in Mesa County.

Mesa County Sheriff officials say they have detained three people who may be linked to a string of armed robberies on the Western Slope. The three suspects were seen in a vehicle matching the suspects get-a-way truck.


The Cedaredge Police Department and other law enforcement agencies are on the hunt for a man they say robbed the Surface Creek Bank on South Grand Mesa Drive this morning.

A description was released of a 5-foot, 10-inch, white man with scrubby facial hair carrying a pistol and wearing a surgical mask. He further is described as wearing a red T-shirt and is outfitted with a backpack, according to the scanner. The man’s T-shirt has a Sherwin-Williams logo.

We do not know how much money was taken during the robbery. We are told he fled the scene in a dark green or black, older model GMC sports car heading north toward Grand Mesa, reports indicate.

Montrose’s Alpine Bank was robbed June 24 by a man with scrubby facial hair and wearing a surgical mask. The suspect in that robbery brandished a gun and got away with an undisclosed amount of cash.

Police believe he headed north on Highway 65 over the Grand Mesa. They tell us at this time they do not believe there was anyone else involved.

The Delta Police Department, Delta County Sheriff's Office, and Colorado State Patrol are assisting in the investigation.

more at

Thursday, July 28, 2011

UPDATE: Mesa County Man Dead After ATV Wreck On Grand Mesa

By Matt Kroschel

A 73- year old man from Mesa County is dead after an ATV crash on the Grand Mesa Thursday afternoon.

Mesa County Sheriff officials tell NewsChannel Five the man was alone when the accident happened.

NewsChannel Five has learned the man was a member of Western Slope ATV Association. The group was working on trails in the area when the accident occurred. Several members of that club are also Search and Rescue members and were already on the scene. Deputies with the MCSO responded along with the Mesa County Coroner.

The cororner said Thursday night his office will preform an autopsy to find a cause of death. We have learned the man was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.

The original call for help was overheard by deputies in the area over a Ham radio, since cell phones and normal radios did not work at the scene. The recovery operation was launched from the Leon Creek Trail Head. We are told the man's body was another five miles up the trail in the Leon creek drainage and Hightower Mountain. This is south east of Vega.

The name of the man has not been released and the details of the incident are still being investigated by authorities.

More at

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Biologists Go to Bat for a Colorado Species Facing a Deadly Problem

By Matt Kroschel

State biologists are taking extreme steps in the hope they can save bat populations in Colorado from a fast moving and deadly fungus spreading across the country. But their efforts are leaving thousands of caves closed to the public.

If the White-Nose Syndrome reaches Colorado bat populations, the effects on the agricultural industry could be devastating.

For Bats White Nose Syndrome is a death sentence. The syndrome attacks bats while they hibernate. In the eastern United States, it has already whipped out millions of bats, so far it has not reached caves in Glenwood, but experts are not taking any chances.

 Biologists with the Rocky Mtn. Region of the U.S. Forest Service have closed all caves and mine shafts on public land to people, a move they hope will help keep the fungus from spreading to the bat populations here.
At Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in Glenwood Springs, thousands of tourists are taken deep into the dark caves the area is famous for. Although the closure does not effect privately owned caves, owners at the park tell NewsChannel Five they are taking extra steps to keep their bats safe.

U.S. Forest Service scientist Phil Nyland said the loss of the bats on the Western Slope would spell disaster for the agricultural industries in the state.

“One bat can eat 1,000 bats in one night, and if they are gone we will have huge increases in bugs that could be very bad for farmers,” he said.

Experts tell NewsChannel Five if you are going into caves anywhere it is very important to wash all of your gear and cloths before going into any other caves.

   The emergency cave closure in the area will last for the next year and scientists hope to know more about the syndrome.

For more information about what the cave closures and the syndrome go to:

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Armed Robber Hits GJ Bank, On The Run Now From Police

By Matt Kroschel

Police are investigating a bank robbery that happened late Tuesday morning in Grand Junction.

Authorities say just after 10:30, a man entered the U.S. Bank on F Road near the Mesa Mall. He showed a note indicating that he had a weapon and demanded money.

Police say he took an undisclosed amount of cash before running north from the bank. Nobody was injured during the incident.

Authorities are looking at surveillance video for possible leads.

The suspect is described as a white male with a thin build and short brown hair. He was last seen wearing a red shirt, tan pants or shorts, and a khaki cap with a logo.

Police are asking anyone with information to contact Crimestoppers at 241-STOP.


If you have a newstip or story idea call 242-5000 for the newsroom!