The Home Front: Crime is up 3.4% in Colorado. A rise in murders, robbery and rapes.

Your morning roundup of news from the front pages of newspapers across Colorado

The Home Front: Crime is up 3.4% in Colorado. A rise in murders, robbery and rapes.

“Crime rates dropped or remained static in many of the nation’s 30 largest cities last year, but in Colorado the crime rate per 100,000 people spiked by 3.4 percent, fueled by a rise in auto thefts, rape, murder and robbery,” reports The Denver Post. “Colorado’s crime-rate increase in 2016 was more than 11 times the 0.3 percent average increase reported in the 30 largest cities in the nation, according to the Brennan Center for Justice. Last year’s number of homicides — 189 — marked an 9.9 percent increase over the 172 in 2015, according to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation report ‘2016 Crime in Colorado.’ Nearly one in three homicides were committed in Denver. Factoring in the state’s population grown, the homicide rate increased 6.3 percent per 100,000 residents, the CBI reported.”

“The Denver office of a national law firm is investigating accusations that male Longmont City Council members have harassed female council members. Details about the nature of the alleged harassment — and about who is alleged of having harassed whom — were not immediately available on Tuesday night,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “A review of recent emails to and from council members, however, showed a Thursday email to Councilwoman Joan Peck from attorney Laurie Rust, who wrote Peck that “the city of Longmont has engaged Gordon & Rees Scully Mansukhani,” Rust’s firm, “to conduct an impartial, thorough, and prompt inquiry regarding allegations of harassment against female city council members by male city council members.” Rust wrote that she wanted to interview Peck as part of that investigation. Rust sent a similar email to Mayor Dennis Coombs on Tuesday afternoon.”

“Precedent for expanded local control over the oil and gas industry’s reach may now exist under an Erie measure reshaping how violations are levied against companies,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “Erie trustees essentially passed an ordinance amending the town’s “public health and safety” code to encompass complaints against oil and gas-related odors late Tuesday night, though official approval will have to wait until later this month. Trustees voted 5-2 for the ordinance as an emergency — an approval of the measure as such, which enacts the measure immediately, requires at least six votes to pass, according to town code. The ordinance will return for a non-emergency vote later this month, though votes are expected to remain the same.”

“There were more than 6,000 objections to property tax valuations this year in Weld County, and about half of those objections resulted in tax adjustments,” reports The Greeley Tribune.” Weld County Assessor Chris Woodruff is expected to present those numbers, and more, during the Weld County commissioners’ meeting Wednesday, but Woodruff provided the numbers to The Tribune during a Tuesday morning phone call. Every two years, the Weld County Assessor is charged with re-assessing property in the county, and adjusting property values up or down. In Weld, the average home saw a property value increase of 25 percent this year.”

“Garfield County commissioners Tuesday unanimously approved putting a museum and cultural heritage property tax question on the November ballot, though some had serious doubts about the proposal’s chances with voters,” reports The Glenwood Springs Post-Independent. “This proposed property tax question will be for a 0.45 mill increase, which advocates hope will generate $1 million annually. This property tax proposal to support historical preservation is clearly a soft spot for commissioners, as all of them, usually ardent anti-tax conservatives, expressed support for the proposal in varying degrees.”

“Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper has committed the state to greenhouse gas reductions consistent with the global accord reached in Paris, despite President Trump’s decision to pull the United States from that accord,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “The Democrat’s move Tuesday enters Colorado into the U.S. Climate Alliance, a coalition of 13 states and Puerto Rico that have committed to reach the goals of the Paris agreement. The executive order sets goals including reducing statewide greenhouse gas emissions by more than 26 percent from 2005 levels by 2025 and cutting carbon dioxide emissions from the electricity sector by 25 percent by 2025 and 35 percent by 2030 from 2012 levels.”

“A grassroots non-partisan committee alleging violation of public meeting laws began circulating petitions Tuesday in an effort to force a recall election against all three Custer County Commissioners,” reports The Pueblo Chieftain. “The Take Back Custer County Recall Committee, comprised of Marjorie Ann Barthrop, Marjorie Ann Willson and Mike Haga, all of Westcliffe, is seeking to recall Commissioners Bob Kattnig, Donna Hood and Jay Printz, all of whom are Republicans. The recall petition alleges the commissioners have violated their oath of office to uphold the Colorado Constitution by holding “closed door, executive sessions and/or secret meetings wherein county issues are discussed and policy decisions made, which are not accessible to the public.”

“Northern Colorado was largely exempt from a a statewide surge in violent crime last year, according to a report released Tuesday by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation,” reports The Coloradoan in Fort Collins. “While the annual Crime in Colorado report shows the crime rate has held steady or dropped in and around Fort Collins, especially when considering population growth, area law enforcement doesn’t uniformly take the report’s findings as gospel.”

“A spokesman for Cory Gardner said Tuesday the senator canceled his meeting with Routt County Republican leaders Friday to meet with Routt County Commissioner Doug Monger, a Democrat, about health care,” reports The Steamboat Pilot. “The statement contradicts an earlier report from Routt County GOP Chairman Don Mathis that Gardner’s office told him the senator canceled the get-together because of a protest that took place outside of the restaurant where a meeting with Republican supporters was scheduled to take place at 12:15 p.m.”

“As if on cue, flames ignited in two areas in Larimer County on Tuesday afternoon as county commissioners approved a fire restriction in unincorporated Larimer just hours before,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “Although county leaders were hesitant to implement the fire restriction recommended by Larimer County Undersheriff Bill Nelson and Emergency Operations Manager Justin Whiteshell, commissioners Lew Gaiter, Tom Donnelly and Steve Johnson approved the restriction unanimously Tuesday morning. The restriction will stay in place through midnight Aug. 22.”

“In an effort to prevent drones from interfering with firefighting activity, the Department of the Interior recently enhanced a service that provides access to near real-time wildfire locations in select areas around the country,” reports The Durango Herald. “As the 2017 wildland fire season gets underway, this improved service should greatly reduce the incidents of drone incursions on wildfires and enhance the safety of our firefighters and the communities they work so hard to protect,” Mark Bathrick, director of Interior’s office of aviation services, said in a prepared statement.”

“Multiple bears, including cubs, have been spotted in and around the Cañon City area,” reports The Cañon City Daily Record. “Bob Carochi, game warden with the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Division, confirmed Tuesday that their offices have had a couple calls this week about bears getting into people’s garbage. “About 95 percent of the calls we are getting are about bears getting into trash or people sighting them,” Carochi said. The bears spotted are all black bears and are native to the area. Carochi said he received one call from someone seeing a sow and two cubs. “Each year, we have bears in the area, so it’s not a new issue for here,” he said, adding wildlife officers can be contacted about a bear two to three times a week or two to three times a day. He said seeing bears in the area are normal for this time of year because the animals are looking for food, which is easily found along the Arkansas River corridor.”

“Prosecutors are weighing whether to retry former El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa after a jury acquitted him of three counts and hung on the remaining four, resulting in a partial mistrial,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. “‘That’s something we haven’t decided just yet,’ special prosecutor Mark Hurlbert said. ‘Hopefully, we’ll have a decision in the next few days.’ The long-awaited case – involving sweeping allegations of corruption by one of the county’s best-known lawmen – was left steeped in irresolution on the trial’s ninth day.”

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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.

1 Comment

  1. Terry C on said:

    I was just looking at some economic and education demographics for Colorado and we have a greater than average income inequality for the U.S. I assume that income inequality means that many are left behind in desparate circumstances and that leads to property crimes and crimes of violence.

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