Briefs for Dec. 23

Veterans office closed for holidays

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The Moffat County Veterans Office will be closed Monday and Tuesday in observance of the Christmas holidays. It will be open Wednesday and Thursday for normal hours as listed below.

The van service to VAMC in Grand Junction will be very limited for the period of now until after the first of the New Year. Please schedule appointments accordingly.

Gas worker charged

in poaching case

A 36-year-old natural gas worker has been charged with illegally killing a trophy buck deer north of Parachute on Thanksgiving Day.

Colorado Division of Wildlife officers arrested Joseph L. Chapman of Provo, Utah, as part of an ongoing enforcement effort to reduce poaching incidents in the expanding gas fields of western Colorado.

On Dec. 6, Chapman was arrested and transported to the Garfield County Jail on the following charges:

  • Willful destruction of wildlife, which is a class 5 felony. If convicted, penalties can include one to three years in prison, $1,000 to $100,000 in fines, and hunting and fishing license suspension of one year to lifetime in Colorado and 23 other states.
  • Hunting out of season, which is a misdemeanor. If convicted, penalties can include a $592 fine and 15 license suspension points.
  • Illegal possession of wildlife, which is a misdemeanor. Penalties can include a $700 fine and 15 points.
  • "Samson Surcharge," which carries a $10,000 fine.
  • Transportation and exportation of wildlife. Penalties can include a $50 fine.

Officers with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources assisted with the investigation.

Anyone who witnesses illegal activities is urged to contact the local DOW office, call Operation Game Thief toll free at (877) COLO-OGT, or dial 9-1-1.

Man cited for careless driving in bus crash

Michael Johnson, 19, of California has been cited with five counts of careless driving for allegedly causing a crash that resulted in a Meeker school bus rolling over and six people sent to The Memorial Hospital on Sunday night.

The school bus carrying members of Meeker High Schools boys basketball team rolled over on Highway 13 north of Colowyo on Saturday night when the other car hit them head on.

Johnson had to be extricated from the vehicle, and was cited the next day, Colorado Trooper Melissa Remner said.

Johnson and a passenger were on their way to Steamboat Springs for vacation.

Johnson's passenger and four people on the bus also were sent to the hospital.

No serious injuries were reported.

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