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Today's News

  • 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.

  • Resident wants Foothills field to go to the dogs

    Lynda Fine’s black Labrador-rotweiler mix, Nala, has an abundance of energy, and a walk around their Westgold Meadows neighborhood usually isn't enough to wear Nala out.

    Fine sees a lot of neighbors walking their dogs, and she's also noticed a chunk of land attached to the Sgt. Timothy M. Mossbrucker Memorial Park that doesn't appear to be used for anything.

    Fine wants to turn it into an off-leash dog park.

    "I think it can happen," Fine said. "I really do."

  • Jeffco deputy at center of DNC controversy

    A Jefferson County sheriff's deputy pepper-sprayed two Denver police detectives posing as protesters Aug. 25 during a protest at the Democratic National Convention — an action the American Civil Liberties Union said exacerbated an already tense situation in which more than 100 people were ultimately arrested.

    Deputy Brian Shousse pepper-sprayed the detectives after they faked an attack on a Denver police commander, a ruse that was said to be necessary so the detectives could avoid having their undercover status compromised.

  • Lynda Fine’s black Labrador-rotweiler mix, Nala, has an abundance of energy, and a walk around their Westgold Meadows neighborhood usually isn't enough to wear Nala out.

    Fine sees a lot of neighbors walking their dogs, and she's also noticed a chunk of land attached to the Sgt. Timothy M. Mossbrucker Memorial Park that doesn't appear to be used for anything.

    Fine wants to turn it into an off-leash dog park.

    "I think it can happen," Fine said. "I really do."

  • Gifts that keep giving

    Hattie O’Brien and her husband, Brendan, wanted their kids' birthday parties to be a bit different.

    "We wanted our kids to learn to serve others," Hattie said at her home Nov. 6. So for the last few birthdays, the couple have asked their children to pick a theme, and then the parents found a way to make giving a central part of the theme.

    Last year, when Hattie's twin daughters, Evie and Lena, turned 11, they baked muffins and cookies and made cards to take to a local nursing home.

    Now it’s their son James’ turn.