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Local News

  • Eastwood pleads not guilty by insanity

    Deer Creek Middle School shooting suspect Bruco Eastwood pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity on July 12 in district court to 15 charges against him, including four counts of attempted murder.

    Eastwood, who said little during his arraignment, will be evaluated for at least 45 days at the Colorado Institute for Mental Health in Pueblo. A trial date will be set following a report by the institute.

  • County bans medical marijuana dispensaries

    Jeffco officials on Tuesday morning approved an outright ban on medical marijuana dispensaries, voting unanimously to keep the businesses out of unincorporated areas of the county.

    The move came weeks after the passage of state legislation that granted autonomy to local governments in either regulating medical marijuana businesses or prohibiting them altogether.

  • Chatfield dog park slated for size reduction

      The Chatfield dog park will soon be fenced and reduced in size by a third, the Colorado State Parks board voted unanimously July 15 after a contentious public hearing.

    The changes are necessary, park staff explained, for two reasons:

    First, the Army Corps of Engineers, which owns the land and leases it to the state parks service, wants to keep dog park users out of the Platte River’s spillway channel, said Ken Brink, assistant director for field operations. The best solution, he said, is to simply build a fence.

  • E. coli closes Chatfield beach for one day

     

    High levels of E. coli bacteria closed the swim beach at Chatfield State Park on July 11, though the water quality has since been cleared.

    The beach closed at about 9 a.m., reopening at 10 a.m. on Monday, July 12.

    “They showed that the bacterial levels were well below the allowable levels,” said state parks spokeswoman Deb Frazier. “The swim beach is tested regularly.”

  • Benke to receive national honor

    Deer Creek Middle School teacher David Benke will be honored on a national stage during a school safety conference July 26 to 30 in Orlando, Fla.

    Benke, who has received countless accolades for quickly subduing a gunman Feb. 23 outside the school, is among a handful of special guests including school staff, police and school resource officers from around the country. About 400 people are expected to attend the week-long National School Safety Conference, which is being held in a hotel near Disney’s Epcot Center.

  • Rec district defends prairie dog poisoning

      The Foothills Park & Recreation District board last week defended the district’s practice of poisoning prairie dogs, though board members said they welcome public input, including possible alternatives to the current policy.

    The board held a discussion about its prairie dog management plan in response to community concerns about the recent poisoning of 539 prairie dog burrows at Clement Park. Though the board opted against considering any changes, park staff members may revisit signage and public notification practices.

  • Summerset festival seeks exhibitors

    This year’s Summerset Festival, scheduled for Sept. 18-19 at Clement Park, is looking for exhibitors to celebrate the end of summer.

    The arts and crafts area welcomes those who are interested in marketing their own original creations. Business and nonprofit booth exhibitors can showcase their new or local business and network with other local business owners.

    Nonprofit agencies use their booths to educate and fund-raise. Dog and pet-related exhibitors are invited to participate in the annual Fun Day for the Dogs, a mini-event held during Summerset.

  • Woman held in Chicago in local scam

      A woman suspected of bilking money from 28 victims was recently arrested in Chicago on a Jefferson County warrant. Andrea Harris-Frazier, who is in the Cook County jail pending extradition to Colorado, was indicted in February by a Jeffco grand jury on 43 counts of theft of more than $15,000.

    The case sparked national media attention years earlier, when the county wrongfully pegged a victim in the case as a suspect.

  • Liquor store worker again guilty of selling to minor

    A Lakewood liquor store worker who repeatedly sold alcohol to teenage customers pleaded guilty June 29 to charges stemming from a recent police sting operation.

    Van Pham, 47, was earlier indicted on 10 counts by a grand jury in the 2007 sale of alcohol to teens, one of whom was involved in a fatal collision in the Green Mountain area. Pham was on probation and prohibited from working in a liquor store when he sold a beer on April 14 at Alameda Square Liquors to an underage man working for the Lakewood Police Department.

  • Jeffco contemplates 2011 lobbying plans

      The 2010 legislative session remains a fresh memory for many elected officials, but Jefferson County is already looking forward to the next round of lobbying. The county commissioners met June 28 and outlined the county’s legislative focus for the 2011 session.

    Among proposals of interest to Jeffco are moves to increase medical marijuana authority, streamline home-rule charter processes and the option to conduct all elections via mail-in ballot.