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Local News

  • GOP assessor candidate plagued with tax woes

    The Republican seeking the county office that plays a big role in determining residents’ annual property-tax bills apparently has had some tax problems of his own.

    County assessor candidate Ronald Sandstrom owes as much as thousands of dollars in unpaid state and federal taxes, according to court documents obtained by the Columbine Courier.

    The documents show both the IRS and state Department of Revenue took legal action against Sandstrom over the alleged unpaid taxes.

  • Teachers union reps issue no-confidence vote against school board president

    Just a week after the school board approved his performance-based pay plan, Jeffco teachers recorded a vote of no confidence in school board President Ken Witt.

    According to the teachers union, the vote by 180 representatives of non-administrative educators was unanimous.

    "It is evident that educators in this district have had enough of the secrecy, waste, and disrespect of this board majority and its president,” said a statement from John Ford, president of the Jeffco Education Association.

  • Summerset making a comeback

    A year after torrential rains washed out the Summerset Festival for the first time in its 30-year history, organizers are putting the final touches on this year’s festival while keeping an eye on the sky.

    “Literally, we got rain on our parade last year. It was devastating for everyone's morale,” said Lora Knowlton, executive director of the Foothills Foundation, the organization that puts on the event. “Now everyone is excited and on task to finish setting up for the festival.”

  • West Metro might shut down fire engine in Ken-Caryl

    West Metro Fire Rescue is considering shutting down a fire engine in the Ken-Caryl area, along with reducing staff, to cut costs after voters rejected a tax increase in May.

    The proposed cuts, including shutting down the fire engine at Station 14 with its three firefighters in Ken-Caryl Ranch near West Chatfield Avenue and South Kipling Street, would amount to $2.1 million in next year’s budget if the cuts are approved by the district's Board of Directors, said Fire Chief Don Lombardi.

  • New member joins board of urban renewal authority

    The Littleton City Council has named a new member to the board of the city’s urban renewal authority, Littleton Invests For Tomorrow.

    Justin Hay was approved unanimously by the council on Sept. 2 to fill a seat left vacant when Bill Lajoie resigned earlier this year. Hay will be on the board for LIFT’s next meeting Sept. 15.

  • Board approves Witt's pay plan for teachers on 3-2 vote

    The Jeffco school board approved a new teacher compensation plan at last Thursday’s meeting that ties pay raises to performance. 

    Under the new plan, “partially effective” teachers who are still in their first three years will receive a 1 percent raise. Teachers rated “effective” will receive a 2.43 percent raise. Teachers rated “highly effective” will receive a 4.25 percent raise.

  • Foothills puts property-tax increase on ballot

    Residents of the Foothills Park and Recreation District will be asked for a 4-mill property-tax increase to help the district meet a projected budget shortfall due to increased costs and much-need infrastructure repair.

    The district’s Board of Directors approved the ballot question Aug. 26 for November’s election. The increase would raise taxes by $95.52 annually for $300,000 homes throughout the district; the owner of that home would pay a total of  $276.03 annually if the increase is approved.  

  • Southwest Plaza annexation plan delayed

    The owner of Southwest Plaza mall has decided to delay its request for annexation by the town of Bow Mar for a year. 

    General Growth Properties, owner of Southwest Plaza, sent a letter to Bow Mar on Aug. 22 saying it recognized that more time is needed for Bow Mar, Jeffco and the company to continue conversations on how an annexation would work.

  • Suspect charged in Aug. 13 fatal shooting in Littleton

    Joshua Hoppe has been charged with three felony counts in Arapahoe County Court in connection with the Aug. 13 shooting death of 55-year-old James Barnes in Littleton. 

    Hoppe was arrested Aug. 20 in east Denver, a week after the fatal shooting of Barnes in the 500 block of West Peakview. He faces charges of first-degree murder and two other felony counts.  

    The shooting took place in the front yard of a residence in the area. A man reportedly fled toward Broadway after the shooting. 

  • Littleton Planning Board delays vote on two urban renewal plans

    Littleton’s Planning Board has decided to hit pause on its decision on two urban renewal plans approved by Littleton Invests for Tomorrow, the city’s urban renewal authority. 

    The Planning Board discussed plans for two of the four areas being considered for urban renewal projects, Columbine Square and the South Santa Fe corridor, during its Aug. 25 meeting. The board voted to continue its discussion at a special meeting Sept. 11.