Colorado News Roundup: Searchers look for woman with dementia in Uncompahgre forest (07.26.16)
MONTROSE, Colo. — Searchers on foot and ATVs are scouring a portion of the Uncompahgre National Forest looking for signs of a missing 82-year-old woman with dementia.
Mary Finnegan was last seen on July 15 in Montrose but her car was discovered in the forest near the border of Mesa and Montrose counties on Sunday, prompting the search.
Mesa County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Megan Terlecky says the car was stuck on a rough dirt road and a telephone book had been placed under a wheel in an apparent attempt to get traction. Finnegan’s purse and identification were found inside.
Searchers, which include nearby ranchers as well as law enforcement and search and rescue team members, don’t have any other clues to go on because rain has washed away possible footprints.
Alcohol, pot played role in Colorado hiker’s fatal fall
MONTROSE, Colo. — An autopsy for a Colorado Springs man who died after falling 400 feet while hiking in Black Canyon of Gunnison National Park indicates significant alcohol and marijuana intoxication contributed to his death.
The Montrose Daily Press reports that the body of 23-year-old Ryan Wood Moss was recovered from the park on June 14, three days after he had been reported overdue. His manner of death has been ruled accidental.
Toxicology reports show Moss had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.211, indicating significant intoxication. THC, the active component of marijuana, was also found in his system in an amount that was about twice the legal limit.
The reports also showed the presence of medication in Moss’ system. He had been found with four different prescriptions in his backpack.
Noted Western Colorado health insurer being sold to United
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — A Western Colorado health insurer praised by national politicians for keeping down costs is being sold.
Rocky Mountain Health Plans of Grand Junction is being sold to UnitedHealth, the nation’s biggest health insurer.
The Daily Sentinel reports that Rocky Mountain’s president and CEO says the company decided to sell to restore its capital base.
President Barack Obama visited Grand Junction in 2009 when he was talking up his health care overhaul. He praised Rocky Mountain Health Plans. National reports from the news media to the New England Journal of Medicine held up the company as a model of affordable care for rural areas.
But now the 42-year-old plan will be switching from a nonprofit entity to a for-profit business. The sale awaits approval by state authorities.
GOP speaks out on ‘The Bachelor’ star’s campaign for office
DENVER — The Colorado Republican Party’s chairman is accusing ABC of using “thuggish tactics” to force the most recent star of the “The Bachelor” to abandon his campaign for a state House seat in Denver.
The Denver Post reports Ben Higgins announced Friday he was withdrawing from the race due to “unforeseen circumstances.” He planned to run as a Republican for a Denver district that is overwhelmingly Democratic.
Colorado GOP Chairman Steve House says ABC and its owner, Disney, threatened Higgins’s future with the network if he didn’t quit the race.
Higgins, who has a new show airing this fall on the ABC-owned Freeform, had been set to face Democratic Rep. Dan Pabon.
Freeform denied the accusations and said it only shared concerns with Higgins that broadcasting a show featuring the campaign could possibly violate Colorado election laws.
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