The Home Front: This creepy law enforcement story out of southern Colorado is getting crazy

Your morning roundup of stories from the front pages of Colorado newspapers

The Home Front: This creepy law enforcement story out of southern Colorado is getting crazy

“More pieces of apparent evidence linked to former Lt. Robert Dodd of the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office were recovered Wednesday, this time from the Phantom Landfill here,” reports The Pueblo Chieftain. “Dodd is already charged with abuse of public records (a misdemeanor) and two counts of second-degree official misconduct, which are petty offenses. Those charges were filed after Cañon City resident Rick Ratzlaff found what appeared to be evidence from a decade-old unsolved homicide. Ratzlaff found the evidence Dec. 17 in a storage unit that previously had been rented by Dodd. Ratzlaff received a tip Wednesday from Phantom Landfill worker Robert Orton that more apparent evidence had turned up in a dumpster that had been ordered by Dodd’s wife and collected from Dodd’s former residence. Dodd, who resigned from the sheriff’s department last month, now lives in Texas.”

“An Oregon county measure that sought to prevent construction of the Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas plant was rejected in a landslide vote this week, with three of every four voters saying no,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “What was billed as the Community Bill of Rights Providing for a Sustainable Energy Future was defeated by Coos County voters 13,093 to 4,156, or 76 to 24 percent. “We’re really happy with the result,” said Jordan Cove spokesman Michael Hinrichs. The plant, if approved and built, would allow for gas to be exported overseas and is expected to provide an outlet for gas produced in western Colorado.”

“Few Americans are afforded the opportunity to break the bonds of gravity and gaze upon Earth from outer space, and fewer still have dined on borscht aboard a Soviet Soyuz spacecraft,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “But Longmont native Vance Brand did in 1975. ‘They had a lot of food that they were still eating out of tubes, like toothpaste tubes,’ Vance told an audience at the Longmont Museum and Cultural Center on Wednesday. ‘They had fish and borscht, which is a beet soup,’ he said. ‘It was things not too many of us had heard of but we learned about them before the mission. Their food was good too.'”

“Anadarko Petroleum has 200 people on the ground working to inspect wells near occupied structures, per a state order in the wake of a home explosion this past month in Firestone,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “But the company states it is going further to protect residents near its older oil and gas wells by cutting and engineering around existing gas lines similar to the one implicated in the explosion. The company also is providing funding for homeowners in the Oak Meadows subdivision in Firestone to purchase methane detection devices. ‘For us this is a step that I think, hopefully, will give people a little more confidence in our operations and give them a little peace of mind,” said John Christiansen, company spokesman. “It’s reducing risk in one area where we have that ability to do it.'”

“Forecasters have amped up their snow predictions for Fort Collins and Northern Colorado as a spring storm pounds the Fort Collins area, causing the closure of U.S. Highway 287, power outages and Larimer County to go on accident alert,” reports The Coloradoan in Fort Collins. “U.S. Highway 287 is closed northbound from Ted’s Place (Colorado Highway 287 to the Wyoming border due to adverse conditions. Larimer County went on accident alert at 7:45 a.m., meaning people involved in motor vehicle crashes with minor damage that don’t involve an injury or suspected alcohol or drug use should exchange names, addresses, telephone numbers, vehicle license plate numbers and insurance information. Each driver then has four days to complete an accident report.”

“Steamboat Springs police have been carrying a drug that has helped save the lives of people who have overdosed on opiates,” reports The Steamboat Pilot. “Officers were trained and starting carrying Narcan in October. The police department spent $615 to buy the drug. When a person overdoses on opiates, the main concern is it causes a person’s respiratory rate to slow down or even stop.”

“Officials from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have given their final approval for Northern Water to build Chimney Hollow Reservoir southwest of Loveland,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “Kiel Downing, Denver regulatory office chief for the Corps of Engineers, announced Wednesday afternoon the Record of Decision for the Clean Water Act permit for the Windy Gap Firming Project, which includes the reservoir. With the final federal permit in hand, Northern Water officials can start planning for construction of the $400 million project, which is set to start in late 2018 or early 2019, according to Northern Water Public Information Officer Brian Werner.”

“Emergency warming centers will be open tonight and Thursday night for homeless people seeking shelter from approaching cold weather, possibly to be accompanied by a rare mid-May snow dump,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “Boulder Outreach for Homeless Overflow — the organization that ceased most of its operations this month amid a systemic shift in the city’s approach to homelessness — will run the warming centers, Director Bill Sweeney confirmed this morning.”

“The movers and shakers of the Colorado Department of Transportation took a swing through Durango Tuesday to discuss the state of funding and the vision for the southwest corner of the state,” reports The Durango Herald. “The visit to the Wilson Gulch walking trail in Three Springs was part of CDOT Executive Director Shailen Bhatt’s tour of the five transportation regions in Colorado in recognition of National Infrastructure Week. The tour started in Denver Tuesday morning and ends on the Front Range Wednesday. During the Durango stop, Bhatt focused on the vision for improvements in CDOT’s Region 5, which includes La Plata County, and specifically talked about the U.S. 550/160 Grandview Interchange, aka ‘the Bridge to Nowhere.'”

“Hospitals, physicians’ offices and so many other medical-related practices likely would not function without the backbone of their teams — their nurses,” reports The Cañon City Daily Record. “St. Thomas More Hospital celebrated National Nurses Week with a luncheon and awards presentation May 11. Staff at St. Thomas More nominated their picks for four prestigious awards and then voted on their top choices. Katie Messer was named Nurse of the Year; Abby Burton was named Nurse Rookie of the Year; Bonnie Glasgow was named CNA of the Year; and James Vannoy was named Friend of Nursing.”

“The Colorado Mills shopping mall, badly damaged by hail, will probably not be fully reopened for six months, and that has city officials worried about sales tax collections and the fate of thousands of workers,” reports The Denver Post. “The impact could be a $2 million hit in sales tax collections after the regional shopping mall was badly damaged last week during a particularly fearsome hailstorm. Lakewood finance director Larry Dorr told The Denver Post Wednesday that the city gets an average of $350,000 per month in sales tax from the mall, not counting proceeds from the Super Target and several other adjacent businesses that are still operating at the site.”

“A Fountain Valley School employee accused of planting a homemade smoke bomb in the school’s cafeteria learned he was losing his job before he and his son decided to play a ‘prank’ Tuesday, court documents show,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. “Bryan S. Bolding, 46, and his 16-year-old son said they’d been planning it for weeks and tested a version of the smoke bomb the day before in the parking lot at 302 Main St. in the Security/Widefield area. The bomb squad recovered that suspicious device, court records confirmed. Bolding told police his goal was “just to set off a smoke bomb,” but his son said they wanted to cause ‘terror and panic,’ records say.”

Denverite has “The destruction and rebirth of 30 blocks of downtown Denver in six images.”

“Colorado medical marijuana patients are on edge over a statement made by the Trump administration signaling objections to a prohibition on interfering with state-run medical marijuana programs,” reports ColoradoPolitics.com. “As reported by the Washington Post, a “signing statement” that accompanied Trump’s signature on a bill passed this month to keep the government open objected to a provision that prohibits his administration from interfering with medical marijuana programs. The provision prohibits the Justice Department from spending money to interfere with state medical marijuana programs.”

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About the Author

Corey Hutchins

is a journalist in Colorado, and Columbia Journalism Review's Rocky Mountain correspondent for the United States Project. Follow him on Twitter @CoreyHutchins and email him at CoreyHutchins [at] gmail [dot] com.

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