The Home Front: Gov. Hickenlooper chooses ‘arguably the most left-leaning of the three women nominated’ for State Supreme Court seat

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

The Home Front: Gov. Hickenlooper chooses ‘arguably the most left-leaning of the three women nominated’ for State Supreme Court seat

Six of Colorado’s largest newspapers put yesterday’s news that the FCC voted to end net neutrality on their front pages today.

Here are the local stories that also earned Friday’s A1 real estate.

“Gov. John Hickenlooper on Thursday announced that he has chosen University of Colorado law professor Melissa Hart to fill a vacant seat on the Colorado Supreme Court, solidifying his impact on the panel by choosing arguably the most left-leaning of the three women nominated for his consideration,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “Hart, who is a registered Democrat, replaces Allison Eid, a conservative jurist who left the state’s most powerful court when she was tapped by President Donald Trump to serve on the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Hickenlooper said Hart is “without question a brilliant legal mind” and called her appointment ‘a great opportunity for Colorado.'”

“Federal regulators voted on Thursday to repeal Obama-era net neutrality rules for internet traffic — a major victory for telecommunications companies and another milestone for the Republican deregulation push under President Donald Trump,” reported The Tribune News service on the front page of The Greeley Tribune. “The 3-2 party-line vote by the Federal Communications Commission tears down the controversial utility-like oversight of internet service providers that was put in place by Democrats in 2015 to try to ensure the uninhibited flow of data online. That strict regulatory structure will largely give way to market forces. Internet service providers now will be required only to disclose their online practices, with the Federal Trade Commission policing them for anti-competitive practices.”

“More students in School District 51 took standardized tests last year, according to data released by the Colorado Department of Education this week, signaling a slowdown in the fervor to opt out of tests and allowing schools to take a better look at how their students stack up to others across the state,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “Every year, state education officials rate Colorado schools based on their performance and growth on standardized tests, graduation rates, dropout rates and more. Schools are rated as performance, improvement, priority improvement or turnaround, with the last two ratings landing schools on a five-year clock to improve or face state intervention.”

“The Boulder District Attorney’s Office has decided not to charge Colorado Rep. Lori Saine for reportedly having a gun at Denver International Airport last week,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “The Boulder DA’s Office released a statement Thursday saying that Assistant District Attorney Ken Kupfner had reviewed the case and deemed charges could not be filed. “The evidence in this case indicates that Lori Saine forgot the firearm was in her purse,” the statement read. “Based on the evidence presented, it is the District Attorney’s position that no criminal case against Ms. Saine can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, and thus pursuant to the ethical standards guiding prosecutors in Colorado, no charges will be filed in this case.” Saine could not be immediately reached for comment. While the Denver District Attorney’s Office typically handles cases out of the airport, the Boulder D is serving as a special prosecutor on the case because of a conflict of interest for Denver DA Beth McCann. “We treated this like any other case and reviewed the evidence and reviewed the law,” Boulder District Attorney Stan Garnett said.”

“The smile on Finn Lodwick’s face lights up the room at the Yampa Valley Autism Program center in Steamboat Springs where the 9-year-old has just wrapped up a therapy session with Social Cognition Director Diane Yazbeck,” reports The Steamboat Pilot. “‘I would have never thought snakes, of all things, would be a part of this,” Yazbeck said. “To see what it is doing for my students, that is the joy in having them here, and it really is working.'”

“Shortly after a group of men attempted to forcibly remove a woman from her car at the Outlets at Loveland on Tuesday afternoon, police apprehended four men on a nearby frontage road, after a witness to the incident followed a vehicle that fled the area,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “Police found four firearms in the suspect vehicle, according to a Thursday morning press release from the Loveland Police Department, and one of the occupants was wearing body armor. Police had responded to a 911 call at 4:53 p.m. Tuesday from a woman who said that a group of people had attempted to remove her from her car near the 5800 block of McWhinney Avenue. She said that one of them had a weapon. Police later learned that the woman knew the men who attempted to take her.”

“As Earth’s climate warms, the future of skiing may be found at higher elevations,” reports Vail Daily. “If so, then Vail seems poised to continue its success. A recent report from Savills, an international realty firm based in London, included a list of ski resorts that stand to be “resilient” as Earth’s climate continues to change. The resorts at the top of the list generally have high-elevation terrain, as well as snowmaking equipment. The report put Vail and Aspen second and fourth, respectively, on a list of those resorts. Zermatt and Saas-Fee, both in Switzerland, were first and third on the list.”

“The vision for a northeast Fort Collins development, laid out Wednesday night, seemed to check off all of the right boxes for City Council members: low, if not zero, energy, housing dotted with affordable units, and emphasis on the agricultural roots and love of nature that marks Fort Collins’ culture,” reports The Coloradoan in Fort Collins. “But the question of how it could come to fruition hung just as heavy in the air as the enthusiasm for what could be. Developer Max Moss on Wednesday night detailed his high-level plans for an almost 900-acre plot west of the Budweiser plant that he’s dubbed Montava. It was a pre-application hearing so he could share his dream for the land.”

“A man who was found guilty of attempted second-degree murder in April formally was sentenced to a total of eight years in prison Thursday for a case that alleged he had a multi-year sexual relationship with his stepdaughter,” reports The Cañon City Daily Record. “Steven Whitt, who hit his wife over the head with rocks and attempted to smother her June 29, 2015, will serve the time consecutively to his other sentence of 32 years in prison. He accepted a plea deal for the case, which included charges of attempted sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust and tampering with a witness or victim. His sentence also will be followed by a total of five years of mandatory parole, and protection orders against him will remain in place until his sentence is finished.”

“With a deadline one year away to start work on City for Champions’ downtown sports and event center, Colorado Springs officials are engaged in last-ditch efforts to save the foundering project and avoid forfeiting nearly $28 million in funding earmarked by the state to help build it,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. “City officials are participating in what Mayor John Suthers is calling “sensitive discussions” with community members interested in resuscitating the sports and event center, which he declared all but dead in February because of a funding shortfall. He wouldn’t identify participants in the talks. Bob Cope, Economic Development Division manager, said the city is working with a “consortium of local developers and investors” – he declined to say who or how many – who approached the city about the project, but may or may not ultimately be involved in efforts to revive it.”

“Patrick Gillies was an 11-year-old science fiction lover living in a medium-sized town in Texas when the first “Star Wars” movie opened in 1977,” reports The Denver Post. “He and his brother were swept up in the hype. Even though they weren’t sure what the film was about, they knew they needed to see it. The boys begged and begged their grandmother to take them until she acquiesced, taking off work. “When we got to the theater, and there was a line, she didn’t know how to process that,” he recalled. “She had never experienced that — people would stand in line to see a movie?” But they waited. And when the film ended, Gillies remembers experiencing an audience applaud for the first time. For fans like Gillies — now a member of local Star Wars costuming groups 501st Legion, Rebel Legion and Mandalorian Mercs — Star Wars was a phenomenon.”

“Everyone has a favorite tale to tell, but the goal is to avoid a starring role in office chatter about that cringe-worthy, embarrassing Christmas office party moment that is the center of next-day water-cooler talk,” reports The Durango Herald. “From a survey of a half-dozen Durango-area businesses, it seems Southwest Coloradans are a fairly reserved bunch, with perhaps the art galleries the place to hit if you are looking for the best party scene.”

“The Colorado Democratic Party quickly seized on freelance reporter Sandra Fish’s tweet Thursday afternoon saying Tom Tancredo has a notable but not surprising new fundraiser, former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio,” reports ColoradoPolitics. “Arpaio shares the Colorado gubernatorial candidate’s passion for strident immigration reform, which landed him with a criminal contempt of court conviction for his unyielding enforcement that was deemed to be profiling Latinos. President Trump pardoned Arpaio in August. The 85-year-old Maricopa County sheriff of 24 years is viewed as a hero or villain in the nation’s polarized debate on illegal immigration.”

“Denver officials have already made commitments or plans to spend $16 million on affordable housing from the city’s new fund, but the Denver City Council hasn’t yet signed off on the comprehensive plan that’s supposed to guide the sizable new investment,” reports Denverite. “Several council members pushed for greater oversight when they approved creation of the affordable housing fund back in 2016. Now, along with members of the Housing Advisory Committee, they’re questioning whether they have enough information about and influence over the sizable new effort. The frustrations led two council members to essentially vote against free money for housing this week because they weren’t sure how the city would spend it, and several others mirrored their criticism. The discussion could signal more intense debate to come as the city finalizes its five-year plan to spend its new housing money.”

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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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