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Local News

  • Obama team seeks ideas for health care reform in Jeffco

    Everyone has complaints about the U.S. health care system, according to Jeffco Commissioner Kevin McCasky.

    "But we have about 4 million different ideas on how to resolve it," he added, shortly after sitting through a community forum on health care reform Dec. 30. The forum was commissioned by President-elect Barack Obama's transition team and hosted by the West Chamber.

  • Committed to aging well

    Conventional wisdom holds that in an economic downturn, those with something to sell should hunker down and wait out the storm.

    Not Jim "Griff" Griffin.

    Griffin, owner of Avanti Gars & Grapes Winery in South Jeffco, is planning to counter a slower economy by producing more of his trademark Avanti wine and offering it in more places.

    "You have to have faith in yourself," Griffin said, sitting in his store on West Bowles Avenue. "If you don't, you end up losing ground."

  • Kopp stars in GOP video response to State of the State

    State Republican legislators responded to Democratic Gov. Bill Ritter's State of the State speech last week in a video that appears on YouTube.

    The video response featured state Sen. Mike Kopp, R-South Jeffco, and state Rep. Amy Stephens, R-Colorado Springs. It's the first time the Republicans have ever responded on a video that was subsequently distributed, and it marks the party's efforts to get more in tune with current technology.

  • A long road to justice

    South Jeffco resident Carrie Smith, who stole more than $100,000 from the South Jeffco Sports Association, was sentenced Jan. 8 to nine months in the county jail, despite a recommendation from the prosecution that she be given only probation.

    District Judge Dennis Hall also sentenced Smith to 100 hours of community service and four years of probation. She will be given work release during her jail sentence.

  • Jeffco’s elected officials sworn in

    A week before the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama, recently elected and re-elected officials in Jefferson County were being installed in their own ceremony.

    The swearing-in ceremony, slated for 8 a.m. Jan. 13 at the Jefferson County Courts and Administration Facility in Golden, recognized 18 elected officials. The officials — judges, commissioners, the district attorney and a new treasurer — were sworn in by District Chief Judge R. Brooke Jackson.

  • Short-term gains?

    South Jeffco motorists pay considerably less for gasoline than people in Denver and across Colorado, according to a review of 11 area gas stations by the Courier.

    Drivers in an area bordered loosely by South Simms Street, Ken Caryl Avenue, West Belleview Avenue and South Wadsworth Boulevard paid an average of $1.43 per gallon of regular Dec. 17. Drivers in the Denver area paid an average of $1.52, and drivers statewide paid $1.60.

    The lowest price in the South Jeffco area Dec. 17 was $1.37 per gallon of regular unleaded, and the highest was $1.49.

  • Rec districts struggle with federal pool safety act

    Recreation districts are having a hard time keeping up with a new federal law designed to prevent kids from being trapped by suction in swimming pools, but the law is not likely to force any pool closings in the immediate future.

    The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act required that all pools and spas be in compliance as of Dec. 20.

    The law, signed by President Bush on Dec. 19, 2007, was passed in the aftermath of the 2002 drowning death of the 7-year-old granddaughter of former Secretary of State James A. Baker.

  • Stories of the year

    Anyone living in South Jeffco knows how generous this community can be. And during 2008, a few more people and a bobcat found out.

    Tessa Paprocki recently learned she has stage 4 breast cancer. Paprocki, 28, found out about her illness in October, days after giving birth to her son Landon. Her friends and family hosted a fund-raiser a few weeks later at an area bar, netting more than $23,000. On Dec. 19, her friends and family hosted another fund-raiser at Dakota Ridge High School.

  • Illuminating Christmas

    As the weather turns frosty and the holidays approach, one South Jeffco family faces 100 hours of labor, a $200 increase in their electric bill, and a lot of rubber-necking motorists driving by their home.

    But for the Flanders family, it’s all more than worthwhile.

    How much do Matthew, Linda and Rachel Flanders love Christmas?

    • 25 tannenbaums worth.

    • Enough to have their Woodburn home festooned inside and out with enough holiday finery to fill two rooms and a shed when they dismantle the displays.

  • Jeffco coroner in group with other Denver area medical examiners

    Jeffco’s coroner has joined other Denver area medical examiners in a group dedicated to developing training practices and other procedures.

    Even though a statewide coroners group existed, the metro area medical examiners began gathering about a year ago to discuss issues relevant to their more urban jurisdictions.

    Katherine Loughry-Stemp, who was elected Jeffco coroner in 2007, recently asked the county commissioners to endorse her membership in the group.