Delta District Court has imposed a $7,500 fine and two days in jail on a Hotchkiss man accused of fogging mosquitoes within 150 feet of neighboring property.
"We have been fighting to protect our health from renegade pesticide spraying for over two years," said Rosemary Bilchak, one of two co-defendants in the case.
She established an organic farm with Gordon MacAlpine, who has a rare form of leukemia, after evidence from his oncologist suggested that pesticide exposures are immunosuppressive. They obtained a permanent injunction against James Hopper in 2012, which they say Hopper violated.
Randall Weiner, an environmental lawyer from Boulder, prosecuted the contempt violation on behalf of the Bilchak family. He noted this may be the first time a jail sentence has been imposed for violation of pesticide spray rules.
Hopper was represented by attorney Matthew Weeber. Two additional findings of punitive contempt for spraying pesticides in August 2012 were set aside.
The election results are in at the local, state and national level, and as expected, Democrats are doing well in state and national races. Colorado has elected Jared Polis as governor; nationally the Republicans appear to retain control of the Senate while Democrats now control the House of Representative.
With a ballot full of local and state measures, voter turnout in Delta County topped 71%, with 15,889 ballots cast. Statewide, voter turnout was just over 52%.
Of the three Delta County residents seeking state offices, Matt Soper won over Thea Chase in State Representative Dist. 54; Mike Mason lost to Julie McCluskie in State Representative Dist. 61; and Olen Lund lost to Kerry Donovan in State Senate Dist. 5.
Locally, in the City of Delta voters rejected a .5% sales tax increase to fund recreation, as well as recreational marijuana sales. The sale of medical marijuana and cultivation/manufacturing facilities was approved by a slim margin. Delta voters also gave the city the green light to move forward with selling or trading the Cottonwood and Riverbend Park, and to sell the old Municipal Light and Power Building.