The Home Front: The Gazette reports a Colorado sheriff is ‘under siege as embarrassments mount’

Your morning roundup from stories from the homepages of newspapers across Colorado

The Home Front: The Gazette reports a Colorado sheriff is ‘under siege as embarrassments mount’

“For years Delores Hiltz railed about shoddy work by Fremont County sheriff’s investigators after her 17-year-old daughter’s body was found stuffed under a bed in their Cañon City-area home,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. “The grieving mother couldn’t understand why detectives left a quilt she says her daughter ‘bled out on’ after being nearly decapitated by gunfire in 2006, along with bloody clothes, when they searched the house. She questioned how they could miss the shotgun shell that landed in her 11-month-old granddaughter’s cradle, or the small-caliber shell casing behind the couch in the living room. After seeing her claims of a botched investigation shrugged off by sheriff’s officials for the past decade, Hiltz says vindication arrived in December – an ax, a bloody rope and other evidence in her daughter’s still-unsolved murder was found in a self-storage unit rented by the lead detective in the case. The contents of the storage unit had been auctioned off for $50 after former sheriff’s Lt. Robert Dodd stopped paying the rental fee. Dodd, a veteran investigator, retired and left town amid the fallout. He was charged in early May with official misconduct, and the case against him is pending. ‘It was God’s work,’ Hiltz said, calling Dodd’s alleged blunder a ‘break’ that bolstered her longstanding complaints, while bringing renewed attention to the unsuccessful hunt for Candace Hiltz’s killer or killers.”

“Mayors, council members and county commissioners from throughout Colorado debated Friday with climate experts in Aspen if local efforts to curb greenhouse-gas emissions will be enough to save a warming planet,” reports Vail Daily. “Some officials noted that big, bold moves by the U.S. government are unlikely now that Donald Trump occupies the White House and has filled key Cabinet positions with climate deniers.”

“The suspect and victim in last weekend’s fatal shooting in Clifton co-hosted a popular feminist YouTube channel, The Skeptic Feminist, according to online postings,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “Aleksandr Kolpakov, 29, is in the custody of the Mesa County Jail on a $500,000 cash-only bond on suspicion of second-degree murder in connection with the May 13 shooting death of 31-year-old Heather Anable at a Clifton apartment. Prosecutors said in court they are considering boosting the charge against Kolpakov to first-degree murder. The online channel and associated Twitter account @SkepticFeminist is described as “Sarcastically lambasting Religion and Misogyny For the Two are inexorably tied.” The channel has nearly 7,000 subscribers, and their videos have more than 650,000 views. Anable’s alias on the Skeptic Feminist channel is Ivy and Kolpakov’s moniker is Russian Deadpool.”

“The Boulder County coroner this morning identified the three people found dead in an Erie home this weekend as the couple that owned the property and their 4-year-old son,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “Coroner Emma Hall identified the victims whose bodies were found Saturday as John Paul Farrar, 48, Elizabeth Stacy Farrar, 40, and Ian Connor Farrar, 4. The coroner’s office said it will conduct autopsies and determine the cause and manner of the family’s death following further investigation.”

“After the Colorado Legislature failed to find a compromise to properly fund fixing Colorado’s roads and highways, voters might have the opportunity to take matters into their own hands,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “The Independence Institute, a free market think tank in Denver, has filed two ballot measures — one that seeks the estimated $3.5 billion to fund CDOT’s Tier 1 priority list and a similar bill for a slimmer $2.5 billion. The think tank has completed the titling phase for the measures and has started raising funds for petitioning. Similar to a couple bills sponsored by Republican legislators representing Weld County, the funding would come from the issuance of transportation revenue anticipation notes, or TRANs.”

“You may have read or heard recent media coverage about the upcoming traffic bridge detour in August, but we are still in the third of five phases in the overall construction schedule, and there is a lot of work to do before the existing Grand Avenue bridge is closed,” reports The Glenwood Springs Post-Independent. “Phase three includes all work prior to the traffic bridge detour and all aspects of mobilization prior to demolition of the old bridge. In phase three, we will be preparing the detour route with a new asphalt overlay and striping.”

“Longmont’s new prohibition against standing or sitting on traffic median islands where city officials have deemed that to be particularly unsafe takes effect on Monday,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “Advertisement As of that day, under an ordinance the City Council approved on May 9, it will be illegal “for any person to access, use, occupy, congregate or assemble” on some of the center medians leading up to nine specific intersections. City crews are scheduled to install no-standing signs on those medians on Sunday night or early Monday morning, according to Nick Wolfrum, director of the Department of Public Works’ engineering services division.”

“Loveland’s tap water had an odor problem last year, and the City Council will hear Tuesday what the city’s water department is doing to dispel the smell,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “The council study session, which starts at 6:30 p.m. in the City Council chamber, will include a presentation from Loveland Water and Power employees about their efforts to research and deal with the odor problem, which was caused by a bloom of algae in Green Ridge Glade Reservoir. Algal blooms — rapid increases in the amount of algae in the water — are common in late summer in lakes, and city officials say the problem has become worse since the flood of 2013. Last year, the bloom was especially bad, and the city heard about it from its residents. The water was safe to drink, the city said — it just smelled bad.”

“For those who sing, and those who love music alike, the Pueblo Choral Society has been a community staple for 31 years,” reports The Pueblo Chieftain. “Each concert season, PCS puts on three concerts, each with a theme featuring everything from the classics to pop music. “For any town that likes music, there’s a push to have a chorale,” said Mary Beth Jensen, choral member since the beginning, artistic committee chair and librarian of the choral. ‘There’s so much time and money that communities haven’t been able to keep up with. We feel it’s special and wonderful to keep the choral here all these years.'”

“Car collectors and enthusiasts alike were out Saturday at the Abbey as the 35th Annual Antique and Special Interest Car Show was on display,” reports The Cañon City Daily Record. “Hundreds of antique and vintage cars were parked on the Abbey’s grounds as visitors were able to get a close-up look of the interior, exterior and engines of several classic vehicles. Cars on display ranged from old-fashioned trucks to an antique Ford Model T to vintage muscle car, such as a Ford Mustang. The car show is hosted by the Royal Gorge Chapter of the Vintage Motor Car Clubs of America, who is a member of the national VMCCA.”

“Three years after running on a pledge to repeal the Affordable Care Act, U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado has a chance to do just that — having been named to a 13-member team of Senate Republicans tasked with dismantling the massive health care law,” reports The Denver Post. “But Gardner isn’t approaching the assignment with the same kind of public gusto seen in lawmakers such as U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who has advocated for a strategy that would pull out all the stops to repeal Obamacare. Instead, Gardner has kept a lower profile — a reflection of both his policy goals and the political peril that comes with undoing President Barack Obama’s signature law.”

“Steamboat Springs Police Department officers were called to a report of a suspicious man soaking in the Lithia Hot Springs,” reports The Steamboat Pilot.

“The legislative pushback on opioid abuse in Colorado got lost in the shuffle of winners and losers at the end of the session,” reports ColoradoPolitics.com. “Lawmakers and the Colorado Department of Human Services have a lot to show for the past few months. Their work is warranted. The abuse of hard drugs is being called crisis in the state, and overdose deaths have doubled since 2000. Colorado has the second-highest rate of prescription drugs abuse in the country, behind Oregon.”

“Hotels, mid-rise apartment buildings and offices are going up around the Denver Meadows mobile home park,” reports Denverite. “On the other side of the recently opened R Line, the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Center is dotted with cranes as the hospital expands. Everything is shiny and new, except the mobile home park. Aurora’s Colfax and 13th Avenue Station Area Plan identifies the park property as an ideal place for transit-oriented development. Last year, the residents of this park organized to beat back an attempt by the owner to rezone it. Now, the park ownership says it will simply close down the park.”

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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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