Wednesday, the state Violent Offender Task Force, along with authorities from Mesa County like the Grand Junction SWAT team, executed a search warrant at a DeBeque home. When they got done searching, fugitive white supremacist gang member Rodney Price was on his way back to jail, and the investigators say that was the idea. Police in several jurisdictions, one of them Garfield County’s TAG unit, another federal Homeland Security, started investigating Price about a year and a half ago. They found back in 2016, that Price was a convicted felon, who illegally had some guns, and it turns out, drugs too. They say distribution-size quantities of meth were seized from him that year, and Price was indicted for federal gun law violations. But the officials saw Price getting more confrontational with them, so much so that officers’ safety was threatened. So on the 18th of last month, the story picked up again, when TAG found a felony trespassing warrant was out for Price from Grand Junction. Garfield County authorities tried to stop his vehicle, got into a short chase, then Price ran away on foot. A new search warrant for the car led them to seize another 16 grams of meth. Over the next several days, it was learned Price was in DeBeque, and that led to Wednesday’s arrest. Today he’s waking up in the Mesa County Jail, where he’s been booked on warrants from the federal government, as well as Mesa and Garfield Counties.
3rd District Congressman Scott Tipton and a couple other members of the Colorado delegation to DC, Congressman Mike Coffman and Senator Cory Gardner, all reported by midday Wednesday that they were uninjured. They’d all been on that chartered Amtrak train that smashed into a Virginia garbage truck Wednesday morning, killing one of the sanitation workers. It was taking members of both houses, their staffers, and some families, to West Virginia for a Republican retreat. Congressmen Ken Buck and Doug Lamborn weren’t taking the train. Several members who were doctors jumped out to help the man who died and his injured co-workers. The train was towed back to Charlottesville, and the lawmakers later got on buses to make their way to their destination.
The Aspen Times reported elective surgery wasn’t done at Aspen Valley Hospital for a few days, after a breakdown was discovered in the facility’s sterilization procedures. CEO Dave Ressler told the paper the hospital noticed water droplets inside some packs of steam-sterilized surgical equipment, indicating those specific packs weren’t properly sealed, as well as there having been too much actual water in the steam. Ressler said hospital engineers were going to check into the hospital’s boilers, and make the necessary adjustments. The problem had been expected to be resolved earlier this week.
What a sendoff it was in Aspen Wednesday afternoon for half a dozen local valley athletes, who are heading this weekend for PyeongChang, South Korea, and the Winter Olympics that start a week from today. Hundreds of folks gathered in Gondola Plaza, showing their love for Torin Yater-Wallace, Alex Ferreira, Alice McKennis, Wiley Maple, Noah Hoffman, and Simi Hamilton. Since we’re having some technical issues today and only a few of you can hear us, we’ll hold those interviews for tomorrow’s news, when hopefully our glitches will be fixed.
And it’s been reported in the Daily News and the Aspen Times… one more of the key characters of the past several decades in the valley is gone. 85-year-old Carl Bergman, proprietor of not only Aspen Main Street fixture Carl’s Pharmacy but also the Miners Building across the street, died last Sunday at his home in the Castle Creek area. Bergman had reportedly battled cancer for several years. He and his wife Katie were enshrined in the Aspen Hall of Fame 8 years ago. His family’s tentatively planned a memorial service for Saturday the 10th, at Crossroads Church.