The Home Front: ‘You can’t use poor people to train your police dogs,’ WaPo writer tells a Colorado housing authority

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The Home Front: ‘You can’t use poor people to train your police dogs,’ WaPo writer tells a Colorado housing authority

“A resident of an apartment complex run by the Longmont Housing Authority says she refused permission to property managers and police to enter her unit last month, yet they came in anyway, using police dogs to search for drugs,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. During that May 10 search at The Suites, Tamika McClure said, the K9 picked up on something, so she was asked to open the drawer of her nightstand — revealing, she said, nothing suspicious inside. ‘It makes me pretty mad,’ McClure said Wednesday. ‘Like invasion of our privacy. Because I have people telling me if they have a search warrant, you have to let them in. But they didn’t have a search warrant. We have nothing. We don’t do drugs.'” (News of these extrajudicial sniffings, which broke open on 9News last night, has already gotten national attention. “I’ll go ahead and write this, because it apparently needs to be written,” wrote Randy Balko in The Washington Post:”Low-income people have the same rights as everyone else. Low-income people are not the equivalent of tackling dummies, or lab rats or volunteers on some police training course. You can’t use poor people to train your police dogs.”)

“In the early 2000s, Tommy Romano started to grow plants in his basement,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “He wanted to experiment with ways to efficiently grow food inside through vertical farming rather than the traditional way. He experimented with different vegetables, such as corn. He would grow them indoors and stacked crops atop of other crops. For vertical farming, the point is to use less horizontal space, which can allow for farming in the middle of urban areas.”

“Mesa County District Attorney Dan Rubinstein will take no action against the Mesa County Commission in connection with the way it drew up the 2017 budget,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “Two residents, Bill Voss, a former county finance director, and Dennis Simpson, a certified public accountant, filed separate affidavits with Rubinstein in January alleging malfeasance by the commission and county employees in the budgeting process.”

“This particular gambler’s equation involves a $7,500 stake, six horse races, some sage advice from a handicapper and a bit of skill and intuition — capped by a whole lotta good fortune,” reports The Pueblo Chieftain. “The summation? In the neighborhood of $850,000. Having run greyhounds at tracks both near and far, and long having wagered on both dogs and horses, husband and wife Kevin and Ann McMenamin of Pueblo have never been strangers to animal-related racing sports.”

“A private fly-in campground for pilots will not be cleared for takeoff at Steamboat Springs Airport,” reports The Steamboat Pilot. “The city started ordering supplies last month for five camping sites with fire pits just south of the runway to try and attract outdoorsy pilots. But the project was grounded after a resident pointed out that it would be illegal for anyone to actually camp at the airport under the city’s current rules, which prohibit campfires and camping on all city-owned property. On Tuesday night, the City Council declined to grant the airport an exemption from those rules.”

“Investigators say a man led authorities on a high-speed pursuit from Wyoming into Colorado that ended Wednesday with his arrest on the northern outskirts of Fort Collins,” reports The Coloradoan in Fort Collins. “Albany County Sheriff’s Deputies attempted to pull Christopher Baker over in Wyoming because he had an active warrant out for his arrest. Instead of stopping, though, Baker fled in a stolen pickup truck, according to an Albany County Sheriff’s Office news release.”

“The proposed Thompson School District budget for the 2017-18 school year includes about $750,000 for capital projects, which amounts to 30 cents per square foot of district facilities, as well as $450,000 in supplemental funding for the two charter schools,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “The budget, which calls for spending $140.5 million from the general fund, was presented Wednesday to the Thompson School District Board of Education. The biggest discussion of the proposal surrounded the supplemental funding for New Vision and Loveland Classical Schools, with Denise Montagu asking for an accounting of how the money would be spent before she supports the allocation — which she said was sold to the public as a sharing of mill levy money previously approved by voters.”

“Some Prince Creek Road residents outside of Carbondale fear that Pitkin County Open Space and Trails is contributing to a stampede of the Crown area by mountain bikers,” reports The Aspen Times. “The open space program wants to build some facilities to better handle the number of cyclists already traveling up Prince Creek Road to access trails on U.S. Bureau of Land Management property. The open space plan calls for phasing in a soft-surface trail along the roughly 3 miles from Highway 133 to the dirt single-track routes on the Crown. The trail would give cyclists a safe alternative to the road.”

“The number of violations for people illegally entering closed wildlife areas was down in the past year, but so too were the number of law enforcement officers and, consequently, patrols to find offenders,” reports The Durango Herald. “More specifically, the Tres Rios Field Offices had one instead of two rangers patrolling wildlife closures in the 2016-17 season, the Bureau of Land Management wrote in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.”

“As you’re heading into Folsom Field for the upcoming Dead & Company shows and ready to get your mellow on, know that you could well be on television,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “And if you’re of a mind to cause any kind of trouble — that could likely also be caught on screen. Reflecting an increasingly common trend in a security-conscious era, the University of Colorado police will be supported in monitoring the situation at Friday and Saturday night’s shows by live, hi-definition digital TV providing real-time images of the crowd to police as it enters and flows from the stadium.”

“A recent investigation by the district attorney’s office revealed that Denver’s top two police officials were accused of being deceptive when dealing with another public safety official, an act that often leads to rank-and-file officers being suspended without pay or fired,” reports The Denver Post. “Documents in the case also reveal that police department employees, including a deputy chief, had expressed concerns that Deputy Chief Matt Murray ignored policy and had damaged a woman’s reputation through his direction of an internal investigation.”

“Julie Schober first noticed a musty odor in the bathroom of her Old Colorado City apartment in April,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. “Saturated with moisture from a leaky pipe and a funky substance that a lab test has since confirmed was mold, a patch of dry wall on her ceiling soon crumbled, marking the beginning of the end of her residency in the Wilhelmina Avenue home. Schober believes her landlord has failed to properly remove the mold, which has exacerbated the health issues of her and her 12-year-old border collie-mutt, Dudley. But she doesn’t blame her landlord; instead, she condemns the lack of policies that safeguard local renters dealing with subpar living conditions. ‘This is about all renters in Colorado,’ she said. ‘All renters should be protected.'”

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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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