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Local News

  • Cold comfort: Polar Plunge participants raise $85,000 for Special Olympics

    A dip in the icy waters of Chatfield Reservoir on Dec. 5 turned out to be a very hot fund-raiser for Special Olympics.

    The second annual Polar Plunge, a Law Enforcement Torch Run event, benefited Special Olympics Colorado by raising at least $85,000. The 305 participants, many of whom sported festive wigs and holiday outfits, brought in pledges for swimming out to a sign, touching it and getting out of the 34-degree-Fahrenheit water as quickly as humanly possible.

  • CDOT Launches free iPhone App

    The Colorado Department of Transportation is launching a new iPhone application to help people make smart choices about designating a sober driver. Increased “Heat Is On” DUI enforcement began over the Thanksgiving weekend and will continue at various times through New Year’s.

  • Jeffco Action Center receives grant

    The Jeffco Action Center has received a $40,000 Daniels Fund grant to support its programs.

  • 24-year sentence in ‘76 murder of South Jeffco woman

    Ricky Lee Harnish, 54, received the maximum sentence of 24 years in prison for the 1976 rape and murder of South Jeffco resident Holly Marie Andrews, under the terms of a plea agreement.

    The sentencing was handed out Monday in a Georgetown court in front of members of Andrews’ family.

    Clear Creek County Sheriff Don Krueger said he felt relieved the case was finally over after so many years. He added that Harnish had been in county custody for more than a year.

  • Zinna wins lawsuit against former commissioner

     

    Longtime county critic Mike Zinna won his First Amendment lawsuit Dec. 9 against former county commissioner Jim Congrove when jurors awarded him $1,791 — a number corresponding with the year the Bill of Rights was ratified.

    The former talk-radio host and gadfly blogger alleged Congrove and others violated his First Amendment rights by taking steps to prevent him from speaking at public hearings and to halt his investigations into county government.

  • County administrator confirms moves against Zinna

    County Administrator Jim Moore testified in a federal lawsuit last week that, in 2005, the Jeffco commissioners actively tried to silence longtime county critic Mike Zinna.

    “They were very displeased. They wanted him to stop,” Moore said, referring to the former commission’s reaction to stories posted on Zinna’s websites. “They generally talked about ways to shut him up, shut him down. … There was discussion about evicting him from the airport.”

  • Zinna case against Congrove goes to jury

    Jurors are deliberating the lawsuit by longtime Jeffco critic Mike Zinna against former county commissioner Jim Congrove. The suit alleges that, in 2005 and 2006, Congrove targeted Zinna for investigation, defamation and harassment, in violation of Zinna’s First Amendment rights.

    A commercial photographer testified Dec. 7 in federal court that he had a falling out with Zinna after Zinna failed to pay him for work he’d done on the website Coloradoexposed.com.

  • Proposal would close Ken Caryl Middle School

    About 500 students, parents and teachers hoping to keep their schools open packed Summit Ridge Middle School on Nov. 16 to give their two cents and listen to a horde of proposals from others.

    Jeffco Public Schools faces an $18 million to $20 million budget shortfall for the 2010-11 school year, and bridges to the gap include possible school closures, merging or sharing of facilities, and staff layoffs.

  • Jeffco libraries expected to feel budget crunch

    The Jeffco Public Library system stands to lose about $1.5 million in revenue next year, as county officials anticipate diverting 0.2 mills of the current levy toward human services programs.

    Despite the expected loss, the library is not planning to close any locations or cut staff positions.

    “Our revenue situation is so tenuous at this time,” administrative services director Patricia Correia said of the specific steps the library will take to absorb the loss. “We will live within our means.”

  • South Jeffco residents hit the stores on Black Friday in search of bargains

    As much of the nation was recovering from the gastronomic surfeit of Thanksgiving, many Americans eagerly partook in a less sedate pastime by pitching tents outside Best Buys and Walmarts.

    Veritable hordes waited during the wee hours Friday for early openings at big-box stores that were offering deep discounts on plasma TVs, small appliances and other consumer goods.

    “It’s been a very good day for us,” said Ben Delong, a PC sales manager at Ultimate Electronics on West Bowles Avenue.