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Local News

  • Chatfield swim beach closed

    Officials closed Chatfield State Park’s swim beach beginning the morning of July 7, after a routine test revealed high levels of E. coli bacteria in the water.

    The presence of the bacteria, which is commonly found in fecal matter, was detectable in tests performed on the following days, prolonging the beach closure over the weekend.

    The contamination is likely due to recent heavy rains, the park said, which can wash material into the reservoir, and high temperatures, which can encourage bacterial proliferation.

  • Sheriff issues fire restrictions

    New fire restrictions have been issued for parts of unincorporated Jefferson County in an attempt to reduce human-caused wildfires.

    Jeffco Sheriff Ted Mink issued stage 1 temporary fire restrictions effective July 1 for land west of Highway 93, C-470, Highway 121 and south of C-470, according to spokesman Mark Techmeyer. Violations are punishable by a fine up to $600.

    The following activities are prohibited:

  • Fearing cuts, library board keeping budget draft under wraps

    The Jeffco library system is anticipating significant budget cuts in 2012, and its board plans to withhold a budget draft from most of the library system’s employees until the document is presented later this month to the county commissioners.

  • Former Jeffco official wants to testify in McCasky case

    Former Jeffco county administrator Jim Moore offered last week to testify in an ethics investigation of former commissioner Kevin McCasky, though the county apparently will not lift a confidentiality agreement and enable Moore to do so.

    Moore, who recently settled his wrongful-termination lawsuit against the county for $175,000, said that, during his time working for Jeffco, he kept detailed notes about county activities that he considered questionable.

  • Group breaks ground for memorial to air rescue crews

    Brothers Steven and Kevin Sweeney were just boys when they marveled at the sight of Flight for Life helicopters zipping over Jeffco, and they tracked the aircrafts around the foothills and spotting where they would land.

    Decades later, no one was surprised when both Sweeneys landed careers in the field of emergency flight, with Kevin working for AirLife Denver and Steven managing investor relations for Air Methods in Englewood.

  • Commissioners reject bonus pay for county workers

    The Jeffco commissioners rejected nearly $200,000 in bonus pay on June 21 for employees who participated in a savings program that trimmed more than $550,000 from the county’s 2011 budget.

    Not all county departments participated in the voluntary incentive plan, which allowed departments to apply for some of the funds they saved through efficiency measures.

    Commissioners Faye Griffin and Don Rosier voted June 28 to approve the budget amendment; Commissioner John Odom was not present at the public hearing.

  • ‘Keep your hopes alive’

    KenDara Peoples grasps her tennis racket, choking up liberally on the grip. It’s over 90 degrees outside, and a volunteer begins to sweat as she lobs balls from less than 10 feet away.

    From her wheelchair, KenDara hits quick, punctuated backhands, missing few balls as the volunteer’s tosses come faster.

    After a few hundred returns, she’s feeling better about her range of motion.

    “It’s my left arm that needs help,” she said. “I’m working on looking to the left.

  • Group plans meetings on creating separate library district

    Save Jeffco Libraries is hosting six community meetings to inform Jefferson County residents about the significant budgetary issues facing the Jeffco Public Library and the group’s efforts to form an independent library district.

  • Belles on wheels

    South Jeffco native Shelley “Disfigurine” Hummel watches from the rink’s edge as a speeding skater slams into another competitor, sending the target tumbling to the floor, head down and skates up.

    Hummel observes the practice session at Fun City with the knowing look of someone who has absorbed and inflicted her share of hits in a sport that is once again experiencing a rolling resurgence.

    But her days as a raucous roller derby skater are behind her.

  • Call boxes designed to aid cyclists in Deer Creek Canyon

    If a bump in the road tosses a bicyclist in Deer Creek Canyon, three new emergency call boxes ensure that help is just a call away.

    The call boxes were installed a couple of months ago at three Inter-Canyon Fire/Rescue stations, a key communications link in an area where cell-phone service is sketchy at best and non-existent at worst.

    Dan Hatlestadt, spokesman for the Jefferson County Incident Management Team, said the three phones are directly linked to emergency responders.