The Home Front: Longmont won’t release the full report on what happened in that housing authority police dog scandal

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The Home Front: Longmont won’t release the full report on what happened in that housing authority police dog scandal

“Longmont officials on Monday said it would not be in the public’s interest to release a 40-page document detailing the independent investigation into warrantless police searches in May at a subsidized housing apartment complex,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “The city’s denial of the Times-Call’s request for the report under the Colorado Open Records Act is the second within a week, following officials’ refusal to release documents related to a harassment investigation among City Council members. Results of a Weld County sheriff’s investigation — conducted at the request of Longmont officials — released Friday revealed that the use of police dogs in warrantless drug searches of units at the Longmont Housing Authority’s The Suites complex was not consistent with the police department’s standards.” (For more background on this issue, read our explainer.)

“Attorneys for accused killer Austin Holzer have raised the possibility they might assert at trial that their client was acting in self-defense when he allegedly gunned down a Mesa County sheriff’s deputy trying to arrest him last year, according to pre-trial motions filed earlier this month,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “Holzer was 17 years and 10 months old and on the run from a warrant when Mesa County sheriff’s deputy Derek Geer attempted to arrest him Feb. 8, 2016, on a Pear Park roadside. Geer used his Taser on the teen while Holzer struggled to escape. Then, prosecutors believe, Holzer pulled a stolen gun and shot Geer repeatedly in the face and neck. Holzer was captured a short time later. Geer, a married father of two, died of his injuries.”

“A greatly expanded free public transit system in and around Glenwood Springs extending all the way west to Parachute will be the backbone of the Grand Avenue bridge detour traffic mitigation plan starting next month,” reports The Glenwood Springs Post-Independent. “The Roaring Fork Transportation Authority has been working extensively with the Colorado Department of Transportation, city of Glenwood Springs officials and others to choreograph a plan to help reduce by 35 percent the number of vehicles traveling through the detour route.”

“New Belgium Brewing turned to the spirits industry to find its next CEO,” reports The Coloradoan in Fort Collins. “The Fort Collins-based craft brewery announced Monday that Steve Fechheimer will take over the employee-owned company. He had been the chief strategy officer at Beam Suntory, the Illinois-headquartered spirits company that owns Jim Beam Bourbon, Maker’s Mark Whiskey and Pinnacle Vodka, among other liquor brands. “I’m excited and humbled by the opportunity to lead such a wonderful company,” Fechheimer said in a statement. “New Belgium with its incredible history and heritage, has an amazingly bright future.”

“There were more questions and concerns than harmony and agreement at the 14th meeting between the Steamboat Springs City Council and real estate developers who want to get 444 new homes built and annexed into west Steamboat,” reports The Steamboat Pilot. “Last week, several of the city’s elected officials continued to express concern about how affordable the homes would be. Councilwoman Kathi Meyer pressed the developers on why the latest drafts of their housing proposal appear to put some rental units, which might be built for lower-income residents, on the backburner.”

“Loveland City Council members will get their first public look at a possible ballot measure that would speed up the clock on capital projects throughout the community,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “When councilors meet on Tuesday night, they will hear a presentation from Finance Director Brent Worthington about preliminary work on a possible 0.5 percent sales tax increase that might come before voters in 2018 or 2019. No formal action is expected from councilors. The proposal would be similar to one approved by voters in Fort Collins in 2010 and reapproved in 2015 — although the tax, dubbed Building on Basics, added 0.85 percent to that city’s sales tax rate. Because of the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, all sales tax increases must be approved by voters.”

“Longmont’s city staff has proposed exterminating a small colony of prairie dogs that have made a home on part of a former city landfill east of the city,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “The city staff spotted the prairie dogs on the onetime landfill that lies immediately south of the Longmont Police Department and Boulder County Sheriff’s Office Firing Range and Training Facility, which is located at 10916 Weld County Road 5. State regulations require protection of the cap covering the now-closed landfill in order to preserve the integrity of the landfill underneath that cap, Longmont officials said in a Monday morning news release.”

“If Colorado’s imperiled state fish can still survive anywhere in its native South Platte River Basin, government wildlife biologists say, it would be here: isolated tundra headwaters 4 miles above traffic racing toward Eisenhower Tunnel on Interstate 70,” reports The Denver Post. “The biologists have purged this gulch of all other fish competitors. But the first pure greenback cutthroat trout dropped into chilly streams Monday morning simply quivered at edges of eddies. These captive-bred 1-year-olds — 960 of them — are thought to be hardier than the 4,000 hatchlings that Colorado Parks and Wildlife biologists put in Herman Gulch last year. State crews conducted a survey last week and found no evidence any of the hatchlings survived the hard winter.”

“Ex-El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa’s self-proclaimed “victory” in a sweeping corruption case darkened Monday when prosecutors opted to pursue the four charges that deadlocked a previous jury,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. “Maketa is bound for trial Oct. 3, meaning he must defend himself anew against claims of extortion and official misconduct that likely cost him well more than $100,000 in attorneys’ fees – some experts speculated – in the first go-around. The decision to retry came Monday during a conference call overseen by 4th Judicial District Judge Larry E. Schwartz, and it set off a wave of speculation about future legal maneuvering. That’s because Maketa’s embattled former undersheriff heads to trial the same day – making necessary a plea deal, a trial postponement or a surprise legal twist to fix the double-booking. No hearing date for Maketa was set to sort out last-minute legal filings before the next round of jurors arrives. Maketa’s case ended in a partial mistrial last week, when a jury acquitted the former three-term sheriff on three counts but failed to reach a verdict on four others.”

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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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