Local News

  • Jeffco poised to begin charging for public-records requests

    The Jefferson County commissioners are poised to begin charging the public for access to public records, with a consent-agenda resolution scheduled to be passed Tuesday.

    If approved, the measure would allow the county to charge $25 per hour for open-records requests taking more than an hour to complete.

    The public information office, whose employees are tasked with fulfilling such requests, would have the option of not charging the public for its staff time, though language in the proposed resolution would allow charges at the office’s discretion.

  • Habitat for Humanity to open area home-improvement store

    Habitat for Humanity plans to open a 26,000-square-foot home-improvement store Nov. 4 near South Jeffco, targeting thrifty consumers as a base to help fund its charitable homebuilding programs.
    The store, which will carry used fixtures, furniture and other discount remodeling products, is the third to be established in the metro area. The new store will be at 7900 W. Quincy Ave., and the other two ReStore outlets are in Denver and Wheat Ridge.

  • DA seeks to recover costs in Eastwood case

    The Jefferson County district attorney’s office filed a motion last week in an attempt to recoup nearly $90,000 in prosecution costs from Deer Creek Middle School gunman Bruco Eastwood.

    State law allows prosecutors to recover court costs from defendants who are found guilty, including large payments made to expert witnesses such as forensic psychiatrist Dr. Steven Pitt, to whom the district attorney’s office paid more than $67,000 — prior to the trial.

  • Foothills board tables decision on sale of four open-space parcels

    The Foothills Park & Recreation District board tabled a decision Oct. 11 on accepting nearly $2 million for the sale of four plots of open space, after dozens of Woodmar neighborhood residents objected to the prospect.

    The district, which placed six large parcels totaling about 30 acres on the market in February, has been planning to the sell the land as a means to cover projected budget shortfalls in the coming years. It estimates it will garner $4 million from all of the sales.

  • HOOTenanny teaches about owls

     Wild Wings Environmental Education volunteer Lois Liebherr holds Sophie, a great horned owl, on Oct. 15 during the Audubon Society of Greater Denver's HOOTenanny event. Volunteers taught dozens of local children about owls' unique adaptations that make them efficient hunters, including massive eyes that provide sensitive night vision. 

  • Democrat-endorsed school board candidates lead in fund-raising

    By Emile Hallez

    Staff Writer

    The race for two Jeffco school board seats has so far garnered nearly $90,000 in contributions among the four candidates, with the two Democratically endorsed contenders raising more than four and a half times that of their Republican-backed opponents.

    Leading in campaign contributions as of Oct. 6 was District 4 candidate Lesley Dahlkemper, who has raised more than $42,000. District 3 candidate Jill Fellman followed with more than $31,000 in contributions.

  • Sheriff's Calls

    Rip Van Ripped

  • Commissioners postpone action on charges for public records requests

    By Emile Hallez

    Staff Writer

    The Jeffco commissioners postponed again last week approving a measure that would charge the public for access to open records.

    The public information department, headed by county spokeswoman Kathryn Heider, proposed a revised set of fees Oct. 11, though Commissioner John Odom took issue with a flat hourly charge of $34 for county staff to collect documents.

  • Library budget eliminates 15 employees

    By Emile Hallez

    Staff Writer

    The Jefferson County Public Library is planning to eliminate 15 full-time employees and dramatically reduce hours of operation at all branches next year to address nearly $2.3 million in anticipated budget cuts, staff announced last week.

  • Jeffco to boost spending slightly in 2012

    By Emile Hallez

    Staff Writer

    Jefferson County is planning to spend about $12 million more in 2012 than in 2011, despite a $4 million decline in predicted revenue, according to a budget proposed last week.

    Revenue is down slightly largely due to a 4 percent decrease in property-value assessments, which are anticipated to bring in $7.7 million less than in the current year. The proposed budget is about $489 million. The current year’s budget was approved at nearly $477 million.