O&A Masthead

Colorado News —
August 2015

Columnist — Joyce Trent

DENVER — A bill has been signed into law making it illegal to take payment in exchange for providing use of a simulated gambling device.

The devices were typically located in convenience and other stores that offer internet time to play games closely mimicking those played on traditional slot and video poker machines.

The crime is a misdemeanor.

DENVER — Dan Haley, a former editorial page editor for the Denver Post, has been named to head the Colorado Oil and Gas Association.

He succeeds Tisha Schuller as president and CEO. She had held the post for five years.

Haley's other experience includes stints as vice president of communications, development and strategy for EIS Solutions and director of corporate communications for CoBank.

ARVADA — Mark Glaser has been hired by Mark VII Equipment to join its key accounts Category Captain team.

Glaser has more than twenty-four years experience in operations at a carwash/lube center. He will be responsible for sales and support of carwash equipment, service and chemicals for a global convenience store chain.

DENVER — This city experienced a brutal winter that caused a lot of damage to the Loaf 'N Jug operation but officials hope a new system will prevent a reoccurrence.

"We had heater failures that cost us a lot of money in water pipe and car wash repairs," said Ed Sharpe. "Our staff often didn't know we had a problem and we needed help watching over the issue."

He contacted BayWatch asking to use remote monitoring to send e-mails directly to the staff and to Baywatch to keep up with the door and heater status. But there was a glitch.

The Loaf 'N Jug IT department wouldn't allow access into its network because of PCI compliance requirements. So Baywatch offered Sharpe a wireless solution that gives Loaf 'N Jug the ability to look directly into their bays in real time and that sends instant e-mail alerts regarding any door or heater issue.

Sharpe liked the system so much he converted all 27 locations to it. Many of the sites already had a newer remote monitoring system and just needed the wireless addition. The rest of the sites were converted by keeping the existing door and upgrading the control box.

DENVER — A gasoline station owner filed suit last month against Denver police, alleging they assaulted him and filed criminal charges against him because he refused to return a suspected fraudulent money order to a customer.

The charges against Bill Dau were dismissed after prosecutors viewed a tape from a surveillance camera in his Shell station.

The lawsuit says the incident occurred on May 9, 2013 when the customer called police saying Dau would neither honor nor return his money order.

The U.S. District Court suit states Dau told officers the customer had given him a fraudulent money order on another occasion.

But the officers demanded he return the money order to the customer or face arrest. When he refused, the officers forced him into a back room, tackled, handcuffed and punched him, apparently unaware a surveillance camera was recording everything, according to the lawsuit. Dau said he had not resisted arrest and had just asked to contact his lawyer.

The lawsuit states he was driven around for hours, writhing in pain and requesting medical treatment, before being booked into jail.

Dau was charged with theft, second-degree assault, extortion, and criminal impersonation.

All charges against the station owner were dropped after a prosecutor reviewed the video. Denver police investigated the incident but determined no misconduct had occurred.

The lawsuit states this was not the first case of its kind. "Denver is a national leader in excessive force complaints," the suit states, noting between 2003 and 2011, a total of 935 excessive force complaints were filed against officers, some against some officers more than once, according to a review of records.

DENVER — Although gasoline prices were a dollar below the previous year, the number of people expected to travel fifty miles or more over the Fourth of July holiday remained the same, according to AAA Colorado.

Spokesperson Wave Dreher speculated motorists were paying off bills or putting the money in savings accounts.

Some gasoline analysts in the state predicted prices would continue to go down despite crises in Europe.

COLORADO SPRINGS — Gasoline at eighty-five cents a gallon?

Kum & Go offered that price at two of its stations here one day in June in an effort to promote the use of E-85 alternative fuel.

Colorado Corn and Front Range Energy, a Windsor, Colorado-based ethanol producer, took part in the promotion which also featured giveaways.

DURANGO — Brennan Oil-Exxon is not so enamored of ethanol.

The firm offers it but also provides straight gasoline for the segment of the population that believes it is better for their vehicles.

"There are plenty of older, classic vehicles running around town and out in the county not entirely suited for gasoline with an ethanol base," the company said in a press release. "These people should not have to run around town looking for it."

Brennan Oil, which has numerous stations in the Durango area, also offers convenient hours. The stations have 24 hour pay-at-the-pump service.

SHERIDAN — Metro Express is building what it says will be the nation's largest car wash.

It will have the capacity to clean five thousand cars a day in a retrofitted warehouse with 34,000 square feet.

Customers can sit back in their vehicles and relax as the wash occurs.

The facility will have rooftop solar panels and equipment that recycles about sixty percent of the water used.

The car wash is expected to open in late fall with up to sixteen employees.

"There is nothing like our wash in the nation and we hope to break industry records at this location," said John Fery, operating partner of Metro Express.

RIFLE — An Oklahoma developer is stepping up its construction of natural gas fueling infrastructure in Colorado.

Sparq of Oklahoma City is applying for state funding to construct a compressed natural gas fueling station at the GilCo Petroleum Park here.

It already opened a site in Pueblo in June and is building a second location in Trinidad, with plans for two more in Eaton and Durango later in the year.

Rifle once had a CNG fueling site at a Shell gasoline station but it closed because of numerous issues, including poor gas line pressure, high electricity costs for running the compressor, and declining demand during the recession.

The site would include a 24-hour self-serve station that could handle a variety of truck sizes, including Class 8 semis. A high pressure gas main that is near the park would enable the facility to dispense CNG at more than ten gasoline gallon equivalents per minute.

DENVER — Colorado ranks fourteenth in the nation in state taxes imposed on gasoline and tenth in taxes on diesel fuel, according to a study of tax systems affecting small business.

The Small Business Entrepreneur Council study placed Colorado eighth in overall business tax systems small business encounters in setting up here.

ASPEN — A homeless man was arrested after allegedly threatening a woman pumping gasoline at a Shell station because she refused to go to dinner with him.

Jeffrey Leroy Sween, 48, was charged with menacing.

The woman said when she pulled up to a gasoline pump she saw two men sitting on a bench who frightened her. She said she went inside the convenience store and used the restroom hoping they would be gone by the time she came out.

But they were not and she said Sween approached and asked if she would have dinner with him. She said she told him she had a boyfriend and was not interested.

After filling her tank she tried to take off, but said Sween again approached and began to draw a heart shape on the passenger side of her windshield, then asked for fifty cents. When she said she did not have any change he swore at her and told her he could pull a gun on her if she didn't go to dinner.

Instead she took his picture with her cell phone and called police.

DENVER — A Denver woman had an even more frightening encounter as she was washing her vehicle at a car wash.

She said two cars pulled up and opened fire, shattering windows and filling the seats with broken glass.

An examination of the vehicle showed six bullets hit. Two went through the hood, two through the front passenger window and into the steering column, one hit the back window and another the front bumper.

The woman had no idea why she was targeted. The neighborhood sees very little crime.

CASTLE ROCK — A suspected carjacker was captured after initially eluding police because he stopped at a convenience store to take a nap.

The carjacking occurred in a parking garage. The driver was stabbed.

His truck was spotted several times and police engaged in several high speed chases they had to abort for public safety.

When the truck was seen in a convenience store parking lot — and the first police officers to arrive reported the man was sleeping — they suggested that backup keep their sirens off. By doing so they were able to sneak up on Joshua Lane and arrest the thirty-five-year-old man without incident.

Originally published in the August 2015 issue of the O&A Marketing News.
Copyright 2015 by KAL Publications Inc.

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