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Local News

  • Commissioners’ e-mail exchange may have violated law - again

    The Jeffco commissioners may have once again run afoul of the Colorado Open Meetings Law by using e-mail to discuss a common statement regarding the board’s controversial effort to seek authority to regulate bicyclists on county roads.

    The apparent violation comes less than two years after the Courier successfully sued the Board of Commissioners over a violation of the law in July 2007. In a settlement of that lawsuit, the commissioners acknowledged they violated the Open Meetings Law and agreed to follow all of the law’s provisions in the future.

  • Commissioners backpedaling on bike restrictions?

    Jefferson County commissioners appear to be rethinking a plan to seek legislation that would allow them to regulate bicycles on county roads.

    After several public meetings about a proposed cycling event through Deer Creek Canyon - and amid a continuing debate about the safety of bikes and cars co-existing on narrow foothills roads - the commissioners had announced they would seek legislative authority to regulate cycling.

  • $2.5 million worth of marijuana plants seized in Pike National Forest

    The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office and the West Metro Drug Task Force seized more than 5,100 marijuana plants weighing nearly 2,000 pounds from land near Sugarloaf Mountain on July 9.

    The plants have an estimated street value of $2.5 million.

    The large grow area had a sophisticated irrigation system using water from a nearby stream, according to sheriff's spokeswoman Jacki Kelley.

    "This looked like a very sophisticated operation," Kelley said.

    Sugarloaf Mountain is in the Pike National Forest near Cheesman Reservoir.

  • Littleton investment banker running for state treasurer

    Littleton investment banker J.J. Ament has thrown his hat into the 2010 race for state treasurer.

    Ament, who is running as a Republican, has spent years in the private banking industry working mostly with governments on major investment projects, and he says taxpayers' dollars can be used and invested more efficiently.

    "I've worked with this treasurer (and) with this governor," Ament said. "And it was frustrating for me to show them the right things to do and have them not do them, and then have to sit there afterward and show them the losses."

  • Man arrested in sex assault in South Jeffco home

    The Jeffco Sheriff's Office has arrested a suspect in a June 26 sexual assault at a South Jeffco home.

    Ryan R. Iliff, 22, was arrested about 7 p.m. July 17 in South Jeffco based on evidence from the scene and information gleaned later in the investigation, according to sheriff's spokesman Jim Shires.

    Iliff is suspected of breaking into a home about 2:30 a.m. June 26 near C-470 and West Belleview Avenue and sexually assaulting a woman in her bedroom. The woman, in her 50s, apparently didn't disturb any of the evidence and immediately called police after the attack.

  • Boy, 7, severely burned in South Jeffco townhome fire

    A 7-year-old South Jeffco boy playing with a lighter suffered severe burns in a house fire July 17.

    The boy, whose name hasn't been released, apparently was playing with a lighter in a closet in his parents’ townhome on West Phillips Drive near Garrison Street just before 5 p.m. Friday, according to Micki Trost, spokeswoman for West Metro Fire Rescue.

  • A selfless goal: Jeffco sheriff's lieutenant heads up statewide law enforcement fund-raising for Special Olympics

    An inevitable byproduct of serving in law enforcement is seeing people at their worst — doing terrible things and having terrible things done to them.

    "You work as hard as you can not to get jaded," said Lt. Ron Leonard of the Jeffco Sheriff's Office. The 22-year sheriff’s office veteran said law officers periodically need to renew their faith in humanity, and for him that happens in his work to raise money for the Special Olympics.

  • Chatfield swim beach briefly closed after E. coli concerns

    The popular swim beach at Chatfield Reservoir was closed for a little more than a day last week because of high levels of E. coli bacteria.

    “The swim beach at Chatfield was closed on (July 14) and reopened (July 15),” said Colorado State Parks spokeswoman Deb Frazier.

    Frazier said when heavy rains blanket an area near a reservoir or lake, it’s not uncommon for bacteria such as E. coli to be washed into the water.

  • Ex-county attorney says commissioners broke laws in dealing with county critic

    Former county attorney Frank Hutfless said in a recent federal court filing that County Commissioner Kevin McCasky and former commissioner Jim Congrove, along with some assistant county attorneys, may have broken state and federal laws when dealing with a persistent critic of county government.

  • McClay faces trial in slaying with hammer

    Andrew McClay has been bound over for trial on first-degree murder charges in the slaying of Nicole "Coco" Burns, who was bludgeoned to death with a hammer in McClay’s South Jeffco apartment.

    Jefferson County District Judge Tamara Russell ruled July 16 that there was enough evidence for McClay to stand trial for first-degree murder, after sheriff's investigator Kate Battan testified about evidence in the slaying.