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Local News

  • Library budget eliminates 15 employees

    By Emile Hallez

    Staff Writer

    The Jefferson County Public Library is planning to eliminate 15 full-time employees and dramatically reduce hours of operation at all branches next year to address nearly $2.3 million in anticipated budget cuts, staff announced last week.

  • Jeffco to boost spending slightly in 2012

    By Emile Hallez

    Staff Writer

    Jefferson County is planning to spend about $12 million more in 2012 than in 2011, despite a $4 million decline in predicted revenue, according to a budget proposed last week.

    Revenue is down slightly largely due to a 4 percent decrease in property-value assessments, which are anticipated to bring in $7.7 million less than in the current year. The proposed budget is about $489 million. The current year’s budget was approved at nearly $477 million.

  • Wet, muddy fun

    Saturday's rainy, snowy weather did not dampen the enthusiasm as hundreds gathered at the Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield to pick Halloween pumpkins during the annual Pumpkin Festival.

    Erica Hewitt, pictured, laughs as she pulls a muddy pumpkin from the patch. Chatfield's corn maze is open on Fridays from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturdays from noon to 9 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 6 p.m. through Oct. 30.

  • Inmate shot, killed by deputy during alleged escape attempt

    By Emile Hallez

    Staff Writer

    A Jeffco inmate died Oct. 11 after being shot by a deputy during an alleged escape attempt while at a medical imaging center in Golden.

    Medics transported Jesus Aguilar, 28, to St. Anthony Hospital in Lakewood, where he was later pronounced dead. The deputy, who has not been identified, fired one shot at about 11:40 a.m., a spokesman for the Golden Police Department said.

  • School board supports Proposition 103

    By Emile Hallez

    Staff Writer

    The Jeffco school board threw its support behind Proposition 103 last week, a measure that could bring $35 million to $40 million in tax revenue to the district per year through 2016.

    Under the proposition, state tax rates would increase to the same levels of 1999, garnering an estimated $2.9 billion in additional funds to pay for K-12 education in public schools. State sales tax would be raised from 2.9 percent to 3 percent, and income tax would increase from 4.63 percent to 5 percent.

  • School board candidates clarify positions on vouchers

    By Emile Hallez

    Staff Writer

    Two Jeffco school board candidates elaborated at a forum Oct. 5 on their positions on private-school vouchers after avoiding the question during interviews and at least one previous debate.

    District 3 candidate Preston Branaugh and District 4 candidate Jim Powers did not say they necessarily favored vouchers, though they indicated the controversial measure could be considered in the future.

  • Library board’s deliberations a closed book

    By Emile Hallez and Doug Bell

    Staff Writers

    The Jeffco library board is playing fast and loose with the state’s Open Meetings Law, possibly committing several violations in two recent executive sessions.

    Several provisions of the law, which restricts closed-door discussions by public bodies to specific topics named in advance, appear to have been breached:

    • The board appeared to offer the library system’s executive director position to a candidate on the phone without ever taking a public vote to make the job offer.

  • Sheriff's Calls

    Crime-scene archaeology

  • Kopp resigning from state Senate

    By Emile Hallez

    Staff Writer

    State Sen. Mike Kopp resigned from his seat last week after representing South Jeffco for the past five years.

    In a letter announcing his resignation, the Senate District 22 Republican cited personal reasons for the decision, specifically that he wanted to spend more time with his four children. His wife, Kimberly, died in late July after a three-year battle with cancer.

  • Kopp resigning from state Senate

    State Sen. Mike Kopp, who has represented Conifer and South Jefferson County for the past five years, has resigned from the seat.

    Kopp, a Republican, cited personal reasons for the decision in a letter announcing his resignation on Tuesday morning. Kopp is the state Senate's minority leader, and his resignation comes just three months before the 2012 legislative session begins.