A Colorado town thought it had $21.4M in a TABOR fund. Woops. Turns out it had $2.4 million.

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

A Colorado town thought it had $21.4M in a TABOR fund. Woops. Turns out it had $2.4 million.

“The city of Loveland’s finance manager, who has led his department for five years, personally apologized to the City Council and the residents of Loveland on Tuesday for a multimillion-dollar budget mistake that predated his tenure by two decades,” reports The Loveland Reporter Herald. “At the City Council study session Tuesday night, budget director Brent Worthington and two of his staff members explained to the council how a fund that they believed held $21.4 million this year actually has just $2.4 million in it. Worthington said he holds himself and his staff to the highest standards.”

“In the weeks before and after Halloween, a few clowns in Longmont go into hiding. With the release of the remake of ‘It’ — a movie about a demonized clown based on the 1986 horror novel by Stephen King — Longmont United Hospital’s Caring Clowns are predicting even more backlash than they experienced during last year’s reports of people disguised as evil clowns,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “Kathy Shook, who has been a professional clown for about 30 years, said that the Hollywood portrayal of clowns as figures to fear has negatively impacted her intention to spread joy. ‘They’re not real clowns; they’re impersonators,’ she said about scary clowns. ‘That’s always one of the things that’s been kind of tough for us. A real clown is somebody who is sweet and kind and loving and giving of themselves.'”

“Groups opposed to a proposed second phase of oil and gas development by Ursa Resources in Battlement Mesa say a Garfield County review process shouldn’t go forward due to an alleged failure to comply with notification and waiver requirements involving residents of a nearby mobile home park,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “The county Planning Commission tonight is scheduled to begin considering Ursa’s proposal to drill 55 wells on additional well pads and operate a wastewater injection well within the Battlement Mesa development near Parachute. Battlement Concerned Citizens and the Grand Valley Citizens Alliance say a pad with 24 gas wells and the injection well would be less than 500 feet from a number of homes — far too close for comfort. “’his could be the most unsafe drilling proposal in the state,’ Leslie Robinson, president of Grand Valley Citizens Alliance, said in a news release Tuesday.”

“The Greeley City Council on Tuesday heard budget presentations for a variety of city departments, paving the way for more official budget talks in the next month,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “The Tuesday work session featured presentations from Culture, Parks and Recreation, the Greeley Fire Department, Public Works and the city’s Community Development department. Greeley is heading into Year 2 of a two-year budget cycle, so budget discussions will mostly feature changes to original budgets proposed in 2016.”

“No jail time for the man police arrested in July for applying MOP graffiti throughout Pueblo,” reports The Pueblo Chieftain. “That’s because he has accepted a plea agreement and received a sentence of probation and community service. Jose Giner, 24, pleaded guilty to criminal mischief ($1,000-$5,000), a class 6 felony, and has been sentenced to be on four years of probation and serve 300 hours of community service. That sentence was handed down by Pueblo District Court Judge Larry Schwartz. … Giner also was ordered to pay $7,550 in restitution, with $5,050 of that going to the Colorado Department of Transportation. The rest of the restitution money will be divided up among several other victims of the graffiti.”

“The plume of smoke visible west of Steamboat Springs is dwindling as firefighters work to build containment lines at the Deep Creek Fire,” reports The Steamboat Pilot. “The 4,112-acre fire burning nine miles northeast of Hayden is now 79 percent contained. Fire managers on Tuesday morning reported there was no additional fire growth on Monday.”

“Boulder Valley School District officials are defending originally not releasing information about last year’s $850,000 fraud case, citing ongoing legal concerns,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “They’re also talking to committees and other groups about the case, providing assurances that the school district has added safeguards to protect from scammers. A year ago, a scammer posing as a contractor stole about $850,000 of bond construction money. The district has recovered all but $172,000 of that amount. The theft came to the district’s attention when contractor Adolfson and Peterson Construction asked for a payment on a past due account, even though the district had been sending payments.”

“Your favorite restaurant is now under more intense scrutiny from the local health department as an increase in inspectors has resulted in an eye-popping number of food safety violations for the month of August,” reports The Durango Herald. “On average, food inspectors with San Juan Basin Public Health conduct anywhere from 20 to 30 inspections on local food establishments each month throughout Archuleta, La Plata and San Juan counties. In months past, those inspections would typically result in a handful of infractions. Data reviewed from February to July 2017 found an average of 20 violations to food safety regulations a month. However, in August, a total of 34 inspections resulted in 129 written citations.”

“Washington Elementary School could close if the Cañon City School District’s upcoming bond election fails, according to district leaders,” reports The Cañon City Daily Record. “But if the bond issue passes, the fate of the school could result in a new building on the same property by the 2019-2020 school year.”

“Young people caught in the crossfire of the latest political immigration fight need compassion and help — especially help,” reports Vail Daily. “Edelina Burciaga, Ph.D., a sociology professor with the University of Colorado, Denver, spent Monday evening in Edwards, answering questions in the Battle Mountain High School auditorium at a Q-and-A session sponsored by the Vail Valley Foundation’s YouthPower365 and Eagle County Schools. Many of those in attendance were confused, anxious and scared. Their questions started slowly, but came more rapidly as they grew more comfortable.”

“Denver landlords tried to evict nearly 8,000 households last year,” reports The Denver Post. “Their success depended largely on one factor: whether their tenants hired an attorney. And they almost never did. In Denver County eviction court, landlords have an attorney about 90 percent of the time. Tenants, on the other hand, are represented by counsel about 1 percent of the time, according to new research by the Colorado Center on Law and Policy, which reviewed 93,000 eviction filings from 2001 through last year.” (Recall Griego: The Denver boot: Inside a destructive side effect of the city’s affordable housing crisis: evictions.)

“An Air Force Academy cadet got 30 months in prison after he pleaded guilty Tuesday to possession of child pornography and secretly videotaping women in the shower,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. “The pleas were part of a deal struck between senior cadet Jacob Cook and prosecutors to spare the honor student from trial on an additional charge of groping a woman and cut years from the maximum 20-year sentence. Prosecutors want Cook to serve five years behind bars. His defense team asked for two years spent in a military sex offender treatment program. The judge split the difference at the end of the 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.

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