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Local News

  • Boulder architect missing for more than a month found dead in Jeffco

    Gregory Franta, an architect from Boulder missing for more than a month, was found dead in Jefferson County on March 10 when the Colorado State Patrol responded to a car accident off Colorado 93.

    Franta, 58, was driving south a few miles north of Golden in a 2006 white Honda Civic, according to a preliminary investigation. It is believed that his car went off the right side of the road, and he tried to correct, but the car rolled several times down a steep embankment, hitting several trees before coming to rest on its roof.

  • Bennet says $900 million in stimulus funds will prevent school layoffs

    U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet says that $900 million in federal stimulus money headed to Colorado for educational purposes will prevent layoffs at school districts statewide, but Jeffco Public Schools officials say they aren’t so sure.

    Bennet said the federal government is doling out $44 billion in stimulus funding that will be available to state education budgets in 30 to 45 days.

  • Kopp to host ‘virtual’ town hall meetings

    State Sen. Mike Kopp is hoping to get better connected to his sprawling South Jeffco district with the help of the Internet.

    But Kopp isn’t planning to start posting videos on YouTube. Instead, he will kick off a series of “virtual” town hall meetings with his constituents. With the help of Gotomeeting.com, which is designed for online business meetings, Kopp will meet online with up to 15 constituents to discuss timely legislative topics.

  • Commissioners reject increases in development fees

    A proposal by county staff to raise some fees paid by developers was shot down March 3 by the county commissioners.

    Tim Carl, Jeffco’s director of development and transportation, proposed raising certain fees from $100 to $450 over the next three years. Under Carl’s plan, some fees would have increased 25 percent each year through 2011, when they would have been frozen for three years. Starting in 2014, the fees would have been adjusted every three years in line with the Consumer Price Index.

  • Jeffco takes steps to speed processing of food-stamp applications

    Jefferson County is taking steps to more quickly process food stamp applications, after the county was cited as leading the state in failing to process the applications within the federally required 30 days.

    Lynnae Flora, acting director of Jeffco’s community assistance division, said more of the division’s employees are working overtime in an effort to more quickly process the applications. The division’s workers are also getting more training, she said.

  • County gets $6 million to mitigate effects of foreclosures

    Jefferson County is set to receive $6 million from the federal government to offset the effects of foreclosed homes, but none of that money is currently headed to South Jeffco.

    Community Development Director Jacqui Pickett told the county commissioners March 3 that the county will get $6.01 million through the Neighborhood Stabilization Program. The money can be used to buy foreclosed or abandoned residential properties, redevelop them, and sell them to families that earn less than $86,000 annually (120 percent of Jeffco’s median income).

  • An early start: South Jeffco Democrat eager to face off with Coffman in CD6

    Republican Tom Tancredo represented South Jeffco in Congress for 10 years after first winning the seat in 1998. His successor, Aurora Republican Mike Coffman, has been in office for less than three months — and the potential challengers already are lining up.

    One is John Flerlage, a South Jeffco Democrat who says he’s the only one who can go toe to toe against Coffman and win.

    “I cede nothing on security or economics as a Democrat,” Flerlage said during an interview at a South Jeffco Starbucks on March 4.

  • A senator in the house: Bennet makes appearance at South Jeffco house party

    Wine and beer. Cheese. Mini pizza rolls.

    Standard fare at many house parties, but the gathering at Paula Noonan’s house Feb. 27 had a little something extra that went a long way in explaining why her South Jeffco home was packed that night: Michael Bennet, Colorado’s newest U.S. senator.

    Bennet, a Democrat from Denver, was selected by Gov. Bill Ritter on Jan. 3 to fill the void left when Sen. Ken Salazar was named secretary of the interior. The appointment became official Jan. 20.

  • Jeffco way behind in processing food stamp applications

    Jeffco leads the state in failing to process applications for food stamps on time, and officials are blaming the situation on a soaring number of applicants and inadequate employee training.

    Federal law mandates that counties are responsible for processing food assistance applications within 30 days, and states must achieve at least 90 percent compliance or face sanctions. Colorado currently processes just 74 percent of applications on time and could face more than $1 million in fines from the federal government.

  • Forecaster takes dim view of economy

    Now that the economy has been blown out of the water by reckless real-estate lending and a massive $800 billion stimulus plan is in the works, don’t expect things to get much better in the next few years.

    The downturn that began in the fourth quarter of 2007 gathered momentum in 2008 and landed full blast in 2009, and it will continue into 2010 and beyond, said Keith Hembre, chief economist with U.S. Bancorp of Minneapolis.

    Hembre’s credentials include being designated one of “the top five economic forecasters for 2008” by Business Week magazine.