The Home Front: Colorado judge in canine custody case: ‘the best interest of the dog is not the issue here’

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

The Home Front: Colorado judge in canine custody case: ‘the best interest of the dog is not the issue here’

“A Routt County judge ruled Friday that a Siberian husky named Sitka should return to the Front Range with her original owner, despite the bond the animal has formed during the past three years with a Steamboat Springs woman who considers Sitka a family member,” repots The Steamboat Pilot. “Calling it a hard case for everyone involved, Judge James Garrecht said that, under Colorado law, he couldn’t take the best interest of the dog into account when deciding who was the husky’s rightful owner. ‘I don’t think anyone here acted in bad faith,’ he said. ‘But the best interest of the dog is not the issue here.'”

“Natural gas drilling activity is picking up considerably this year locally just like elsewhere in the country, as local energy developers monitor a developing shortage of hydraulic fracturing crews,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “‘All in all, what a nice problem to have,’ David Ludlam, executive director of the West Slope Colorado Oil and Gas Association, said of local companies facing service company availability issues versus market problems a few years ago that deterred the desire to drill. Nine rigs were operating in the region as of Friday, compared to three during much of last year. Terra Energy Partners is up to three rigs. Laramie Energy is operating two, both in the Plateau Valley.”

“In response to citizen anxiety over the recent release of convicted rapist Christopher Lawyer out of prison and into the community, Boulder will consider drafting a new ordinance to limit where in the city ‘sexually violent predators’ can reside,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “Nothing’s been written yet, but on Tuesday the City Council will decide whether to direct the city attorney to prepare a policy that would be reviewed at a public hearing, for possible approval, in August. This consideration comes amid a trend that’s seen local governments move away from such policies, which can effectively zone sex offenders out of contention for local housing, but often raise questions of constitutionality.”

“The first night Elaine Schmidt moved to Greeley, a neighbor knocked on the door. He asked if she was against the Vietnam War. She was,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “He invited her to a meeting with other folks against the war. There were about 10 people there that night. She saw right away the group would give her an outlet to speak out and take action against the injustices she saw in the world. She decided to join. That first night in 1965 made her a part of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom for 49 years. After 44 years as chairperson, Schmidt, now 84, is retiring.”

“The Proud Boys, a far right group, held a ‘free speech’ event on Saturday on the Pearl Street Mall,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “They were countered with anti-Trump protesters among others.” The paper has a photo slideshow.

“A suspect in a motor vehicle theft led local law enforcement SWAT teams to respond to an abandoned house at the corner of Madison Avenue and East Sixth Street on Saturday evening,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “Lt. Bobby Moll with the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office said the suspect, who is now in custody, was known to law enforcement prior to the alleged vehicle theft.”

“Law enforcement and local government groups across Colorado say hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in crime-fighting dollars could be lost if Gov. John Hickenlooper signs legislation that changes how officers and sheriff’s deputies seize money and property suspected of being tied to illegal activity,” reports The Denver Post. “Supporters of House Bill 1313 say the measure would add accountability to the controversial practice, called civil asset forfeiture, and better protect Coloradans’ rights to due process. Opponents say that while they support aspects of the bill that add oversight, the money that could be siphoned away would curtail important law enforcement investigations — and they want the legislation vetoed.”

“A Colorado Springs protest against President Donald Trump’s recent decision to pull America out of an international climate pact drew about 100 people downtown Sunday,” reports The Gazette. “The top speaker at the event proved to be an 11-year-old girl who challenged Republicans including Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers to clean up the environment. ‘We’ve embraced it,’ Haven Coleman, a student at Banning Lewis Ranch Academy, told the crowd. ‘When will you?'”

“Greg Swob, president of the Kansas Honey Producers, will address the Colorado State Beekeepers Association at its summer meeting at the Garfield County Fairgrounds in Rifle on Saturday, June 10,” reports The Glenwood Springs Post-Independent. “Swob will talk about S.A.V.E. Farm, an organization dedicated to teaching military veterans to farm and keep bees. With 40 percent of American farmers 65 or older, 63 percent of American family farms may be in the last generation. Meanwhile, returning veterans look for a civilian career. S.A.V.E. Farm works to train vets to farm and keep bees, and to pair them with mentors.”

“Grief can be manifested in many forms — sadness, anger, regret, denial, even happiness at times if people feel their loved ones are in a better place,” reports The Cañon City Daily Record. “The 15 children attending the annual Good Grief Kids Camp on Thursday, hosted by Sangre de Cristo Hospice West, learned that all those emotions are normal. They even learned to let go of some of the feelings they’ve kept bottled up by releasing a balloon. Sara Lindsey’s hope for her 7-year-old son, Nathaniel, was that he would be able to express himself while interacting with other children throughout the day. Lindsey’s husband received services through hospice before he died about two weeks ago.”

“They probably should have known better. Colorado lawmakers were supposed to fan the smoke away this year and make easy-to-follow rules on where people could smoke marijuana in public,” reports The Pueblo Chieftain. “After all, the state has been a pioneer in legalizing pot, but residents and tourists have both stumbled over the fact that — with some exceptions — it is basically illegal to use marijuana outdoors and in public. Both Democrats and Republicans in the Legislature have accepted the fact that Colorado voters have said they want marijuana to be legal, so lawmakers have tried to agree on some common policies, but that broke down this year.”

“Longtime Durango Dharma Center leaders scale back roles,” reports The Durango Herald. “Katherine Barr and Bill Ball have served on the Dharma Council for 17 years.”

“Fort Collins officials are still talking about using a combination of consequences and compassion for dealing with people who chronically violate the city’s rules of behavior,” reports The Coloradoan in fort Collins. “While not specifically aimed at homeless people or transients, those are the folks who most likely would be affected by municipal court decisions that lean toward consequences or compassion. The city is getting ready to act on the consequences part of the conversation even as it keeps working on the compassionate pieces. The City Council on Tuesday is scheduled to consider a resolution approving an agreement with Larimer County that would reserve three beds in the county jail for defendants being held on municipal charges.”

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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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