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Local News

  • 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.

  • Medical condition caused death of woman in driveway

    A South Jeffco woman who died Tuesday evening in her driveway succumbed to a medical condition and was not struck by a vehicle, as initially thought, the Colorado State Patrol said Thursday.

    Shirley Gallegos, 76, was attempting to enter the front passenger door of a 2006 Honda Accord at 7:15 p.m. at 9717 W. Peakview Drive as the vehicle was moving, the State Patrol said. Gallegos fell, and the patrol initially reported the vehicle’s door might have hit her as the car was rolling backward.

  • Eastwood not guilty by reason of insanity

    By Emile Hallez

    Staff Writer

    More than a year and a half after Bruco Eastwood left his father’s ranch in Hudson, drove to Deer Creek Middle School and shot two students, the 33-year-old walked out of a Jefferson County courtroom — not as a free man, but one who will nonetheless serve little or no jail time.

    A jury of 11 women and one man on Oct. 5 found Eastwood not guilty by reason of insanity on four counts of attempted murder in the shootings of Matt Thieu and Reagan Weber on Feb. 23, 2010.

  • Rebels remain undefeated

    LAKEWOOD — It’s probably safe to say that Cameron McDondle is back to his old self. It’s also safe to say that the Columbine senior running back loves playing rival Chatfield. After all, he’s had his way with the Chargers the past two years.
    McDondle rushed for a season-high 265 yards and four touchdowns — the second straight year he’s rushed for more than 200 yards and scored four times against Chatfield — as Columbine remained unbeaten with a 34-7 victory at Jeffco Stadium on Sept. 30.

  • Public-safety pro running for Jeffco DA

    By Emile Hallez

    Staff Writer

    Pete Weir spent three years presiding over thousands of cases as a state judge, a position many lawyers would consider the apex of a career.

    But since stepping down in 2007 to accept a job as director of Colorado’s Department of Public Safety, Weir, 58, has carved out a divergent career path, one that he hopes will lead him to replace Scott Storey next year as Jefferson County’s district attorney.

  • Jefferson County opposes proposed redistricting map

    By Emile Hallez

    Staff Writer

    The Jeffco commissioners filed a court document last week opposing a proposed congressional map that could slice the county into five districts and lump South Jeffco with Teller and El Paso counties.

    The state legislature attempted earlier this year to redraw congressional maps following results of the 2010 U.S. Census. But because no proposed maps received adequate support, the process stalled and now rests on the results of two Denver lawsuits that could be heard next week.

  • Budgeting method resulted in $133,000 in personnel costs

    By Emile Hallez

    Staff Writer

    Jefferson County paid employees about $133,000 this summer to assemble labor-intensive zero-based budgets for the library system and Human Services Division, exercises that may not necessarily be repeated next year.

    Effectively, county staff spent an estimated 3,475 hours at the behest of the county commissioners, creating budgets that came to the same conclusion — each department needs more money next year than it was allocated in 2011 to maintain services.