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Local News

  • County employee reportedly fears retaliation in Zinna case

    A county employee fears retaliation from Jefferson County Commissioner Jim Congrove for her testimony in a civil lawsuit against him, Congrove's attorney said Nov. 25.

  • Former Jeffco sheriff Cook found dead in his home

    Former Jeffco Sheriff Russ Cook was found dead in his home Nov. 21.

    The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office was asked to do a welfare check on Cook, who apparently had not been seen in several days, said Jim Shires, spokesman for the sheriff's office. A deputy found Cook dead on the floor.

    There were no apparent signs of foul play, and the Jefferson County coroner's office is investigating, Shires said.

  • Saturation patrol

    On Sept. 17, 2005, Jamey Ober died in a single-car accident.

    Ober, a 37-year-old Pro Stock driver, lived in Littleton and lost his life on northbound C-470 just north of the Morrison Road exit.

    A little more than three years later, a motorist was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence at almost exactly the same spot where Ober lost his life.

  • Summers, Kerr heading back to state House

    State Reps. Ken Summers and Jim Kerr, both Republicans, retained their seats in the state House in the Nov. 4 election.

    Summers was challenged by Lakewood Democrat Camille Ryckman, a former teacher and a current stay-at-home mom who is active in the local PTA. Kerr faced a challenge from a familiar foe, Littleton Democrat Tom Dittemore, who has run against him twice.

    "I'm feeling good," Summers said Nov. 7. "I'm pleased with the outcome, and it's exciting to have the opportunity to serve in the next session." Ryckman could not be reached for comment.

  • A lesson in free speech

    Michelle Obama's visit to Dakota Ridge High School on Nov. 3 was memorable for many reasons. But the Benson family will recall the day mainly for their battle with the Jeffco school district over free speech.

    During the election-eve appearance by the wife of Democratic candidate Barack Obama, 17-year-old junior Blake Benson and a group of friends made signs in support of Republicans John McCain and Sarah Palin, as well as signs that said "Nobama." The small group mounted their protest on the front steps of the school.

  • Griffin joins McCasky, Hartman on commission

    The new Jefferson County commissioner won't have to move far in January.

    Faye Griffin, Jeffco's Republican treasurer, won a close race in District 1 against term-limited state Sen. Sue Windels, an Arvada Democrat.

    "I was pleased I won," Griffin said. "That's always pretty neat."

    Griffin said she's been attending budget hearings since her election victory. The 2009 budget will be tough for the commissioners, and Griffin will have to get up to speed quickly.

  • Two former Jeffco administrators sue, allege age discrimination

    Two former Jefferson County employees are suing County Administrator Jim Moore, alleging that they were fired because of their ages.

    Judy Goebel, the county's director of human resources from April 2006 to April 2007, and Jere Bower, director of support services from February 2006 to May 2007, allege that Moore fired them based on their age. Goebel was 58 when she was fired, and Bower was 54.

  • Governor announces plan to deal with beetle-kill trees

    On Nov. 12, Gov. Bill Ritter announced plans to deal with the epidemic of Colorado trees killed by bark beetles, while at the same time giving money to local communities and stimulate economic activity.

    The Healthy Forests/Vibrant Communities Act of 2009 will be introduced in the coming legislative session and will include a bundle of bills to accomplish those goals. If passed, the measures would be funded with $5.5 million in severance tax revenues, which are paid by energy companies.

  • Woman pleads guilty in theft from youth sports groupee

    Carrie Smith pleaded guilty to theft Nov. 6, more than a year after she was fired as manager of the South Jeffco Sports Association for stealing more than $100,000.

    Smith, 44, pleaded guilty to a charge of theft of $500 to $15,000, and three other counts were dismissed by Jefferson County District Judge Dennis Hall.

    Deputy District Attorney Tom Jackson recommended that Smith be given probation in the case. Charles Morphew, Smith's attorney, asked Hall for immediate sentencing, but Hall wanted a pre-sentence investigation. He set sentencing for Jan. 8, 2009.

  • A look back at Election ’08 in Jeffco

    Many people have commented in the last week that they're happy the election is over, regardless of the result. But as the 2008 election is relegated to the history books, a few items in Jefferson County merit mention:

    • Jefferson County saw a record number of ballots cast in the 2008 general election, according to Josh Liss, the county's deputy of elections.

    The previous record was about 272,000 ballots cast, and even without counting provisional ballots, the county had already processed 291,176 ballots.

    "It was a big election," Liss said.