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Local News

  • County must borrow more to build animal shelter; groundbreaking now scheduled for June 15

    The weak economy and an “unrealistic fund-raising timeline” have forced the county to borrow more money for the Table Mountain Animal Center project, according to the shelter’s spokesman.

    “It was never realistic for us to reach $3 million in actual money by the time they break ground,” said Ben Drotar, TMAC spokesman. “With the current economic climate, and the problems that pretty much happened at the end of October, that threw a little wrench in the spokes.”

  • County still behind on food-stamp applications

    Nearly 200 Jeffco families awaiting food assistance have endured waits between 35 and 40 days — five to 10 days longer than federal law allows.

  • School official arrested on suspicion of attempted sexual assault on a child

    Don Jenkins, Jeffco Public Schools’ chief information officer, was arrested March 19 for investigation of Internet luring of a child and attempted sexual assault on a child.

    Jenkins was arrested by the Aurora Police Department after an undercover Internet sting operation.

    “This is devastating news for us on so many levels,” said Jeffco Public Schools Superintendent Cindy Stevenson. “Accusations like these violate our organizational values and our mission of protecting children.”

  • Kopp holds first virtual town hall meeting

    State Sen. Mike Kopp’s first “virtual town hall meeting” went off with only one technological glitch on March 23, but the bigger issue may be ensuring that constituents who don’t agree with Kopp get a chance to weigh in.

  • DA Storey wants to extend term limits for his office

    For Jeffco District Attorney Scott Storey, eight is definitely not enough.

    Term limits mean that Storey must leave office when his second four-year term ends in 2012, but he’s determined to stick around. And so, he will soon propose to the county commissioners that the limits be extended to let him seek another term.

    “As it applies to the DA, and as it applies to those offices that are not necessarily policy-makers but have a specialty attached to them — like the sheriff, for example — I felt like eight years is not enough,” Storey said.

  • Open Space could save $5 million by refinancing loans

    The Jefferson County Open Space Division might be able to buy more land after it refinances more than $70 million in loans to take advantage of low interest rates.

    “Unfortunately, the economy is bad, but it also creates the opportunity for us to do better with our bonds,” said Open Space Director Ralph Schell.

    Schell said the open space program took out about $160 million in loans in 1999 to buy land. The county currently pays an average interest rate of 4.94 percent on the remaining debt, but prevailing rates are nearly 2 points lower.

  • Head of the class: Sheriff's fleet provides miles of fun for Head Start students

    Nothing revs up a group of 3- to 5-year-olds like a room full of big, shiny vehicles with flashing lights just waiting to serve as their personal climbing gym.

    And for 15 Head Start students who recently took a field trip to a garage housing the Jeffco sheriff’s vehicle fleet, smiles and laughter were in high gear.

  • 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.