The Home Front: Longmont coughs up $200,000 for ‘warrantless police dog searches’ at a subsidized apartment

“Longmont on Tuesday announced that it has agreed to pay $210,000 to four tenants of The Suites and their ACLU attorneys as part of a settlement following warrantless police dog searches at the subsidized apartment complex earlier this year,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “The Longmont Department of Public Safety admitted that the four tenants did not consent to the searches of their apartments and were not given the opportunity to refuse the searches. ‘I did not have any opportunity to stop a police officer and K-9 from coming into my home and searching it,’ Suites resident Alice Boatner said in an ACLU news release confirming the settlement. ‘I felt violated, powerless and demeaned. Thanks to this agreement and Chief (Mike) Butler’s actions, I can now begin to heal.'”

“An unruly and largely unregulated due-process hearing for Greeley Muncipal Judge Brandilynn Nieto dragged well into the night Tuesday, as attorneys for Nieto and the city of Greeley sparred over questions, exhibits and allegations of corruption within city government,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “Nieto in August was charged with official misconduct in a case The Tribune later learned centered on her requests that employees work to promote a local bail bonds business on social media. Charges against Nieto were dropped in September, and records related to the case were sealed. The due-process hearing Tuesday was to determine whether Nieto, who has been suspended without pay since Nov. 3, would regain her seat on the bench. The hearing still was in session late Tuesday, and no decision had been made.”

“Colorado’s top Democratic lawmaker is under fire for how she handled a colleague’s sexual harassment complaint against a member of their party and now faces calls for an independent investigation,” reports The Denver Post. “House Speaker Crisanta Duran appointed Rep. Steve Lebsock, D-Thornton, as chairman of the Local Government Committee for the 2017-18 legislative session despite knowing that the fellow lawmaker made the allegation against him seven months earlier. The accusation became public Friday and was followed by harassment complaints from two other women. The Denver Democrat defended her decision Tuesday but acknowledged that she would not have put him in the position of power ‘knowing what I know today.'”

“State Rep. Steve Lebsock denied Tuesday that he has sexually harassed anyone and said he is the victim of harassment, coercion and bribery by fellow Democrats at the Colorado Capitol,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. “Lebsock, a candidate for state treasuer, was accused last week by Rep. Faith Winter of making crude remarks to her at an end-of-session gathering at a bar at the end of the 2016 legislative session. KUNC’s Bente Birkland also reported that former lobbyist Holly Tarry and former legislative aide Cassie Tanner accuse Lebsock of speaking to them about sex. House Speaker Crisanta Duran began an investigation Monday, but on Friday she called for Lebsock’s resignation and removed him as chairman of the House Local Government Committee. Other Democrats, including Gov. John Hickenlooper and Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne, since have pressured him to step down as well, said Lebsock.”

“Nov. 3 was a special day for Mesa County resident Christine Haddow and her dog, Nick. Two days earlier, Nick — a mellow and affectionate miniature poodle rescued from a Texas kill shelter — had completed requirements to become a certified therapy dog,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “On Nov. 3., Nick was on his way to his first official assignment with a HopeWest Hospice patient. He never made it. When Haddow stopped to take her 19-pound pup for a walk in Sherwood Park that morning before the assignment, Nick was fatally injured by another dog at the park, an animal Haddow said was completely beyond the control of its owner. ‘The dog that attacked him is a purebred Great Dane,’ Haddow said. ‘He didn’t have a chance.'”

“Linda Maher wanted to meet the man whose mistake nearly took her life,” reports The Coloradoan in Fort Collins. “She wanted to make sure Tony Gonzalez, whose car collided with hers at the intersection of South Shields Street and West Trilby Road on Nov. 2, 2015, was all right. Maher knew she was in rough shape after suffering severe internal injuries in the wreck and faced a long road to recovery. But as a longtime community volunteer and advocate for mental-health services, she wanted to help Gonzalez deal with the emotional and legal consequences of the crash. That meant meeting Gonzalez and talking about how they might heal their wounds and find ways for something positive to come out of their unfortunate experience.”

“More than 65,000 Coloradans are working in ‘clean energy’ jobs and that is roughly equal to the the state’s workforce in the oil, natural gas and coal industries, Gov. John Hickenlooper told a Pueblo crowd Tuesday night.,” reports The Pueblo Chieftain. “The numbers of jobs like those created at Vestas, where the pay is good, those kinds of jobs far outweigh the cost of closing (coal-fired) power plants,” Hickenlooper insisted to a crowd of more than 200 people at the Union Depot. The governor said it was his third town hall meeting in the state and called the Pueblo crowd the largest to meet with him yet. He answered questions for 90 minutes and he was pressed on issues ranging from gun control to extracting natural gas by ‘fracking’ wells.'”

“Before dignitaries had even cut the ribbon on the Front Range Trail on Tuesday, Marty Perkins and Nancy Thomas pedaled by on their bicycles, having made their first trip to Loveland from Fort Collins on two wheels via the first paved trail connecting the two cities,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “Thank you very much,” Perkins called out to the gathering. “It’s awesome.” The paved trail connects the existing 19.5-mile Loveland Recreation Trail with the Fort Collins trail system along County Roads 11C and 30 before cutting through fields and neighborhoods and ending at an underpass beneath Carpenter Road near Lemay Avenue. The $1.2 million project was a partnership between Loveland, Fort Collins and Larimer County, which each paid a portion of the cost over $800,000 in grants from the Colorado Department of Transportation and Colorado Parks and Wildlife.”

“For the second consecutive year, Vail Resorts has delayed by a week the opening of Vail Mountain,” reports Vail Daily. “The new scheduled opening date is Thursday, Nov. 23 — Thanksgiving Day. Beaver Creek is still expected to open Wednesday, Nov. 22. The delayed opening didn’t particularly surprise Matt Carroll, general manager of the Double Diamond Ski Shop in Lionshead. Carroll said a neighboring shop owner has snow records dating back to Vail’s first year, and those records show a dry fall every three to five years. ‘We’ve seen years like this plenty of times,’ Carroll said. ‘It’s Mother Nature — there’s not a lot you can do about it.'”

“Durango residents are likely to get a larger utility bill next year so that the city of Durango can pay for sewer projects and sustainability efforts,” reports The Durango Herald. “The average monthly utility bill is expected to increase from $108.17 in 2017 to $113.87 to 2018, according to city documents.”

“Fremont County Clerk and Recorder Katie Barr is back at work,” reports The Cañon City Dail Record. “On Tuesday, the county clerk was present at the Board of Fremont County Commissioners meeting, where business was conducted as usual. Fremont County Commissioner Debbie Bell said Tuesday was Barr’s first official meeting since being absent. Bell said she’s been working as the County Clerk since Oct. 30. Barr was absent from her position for about a month after an announcement from the Fremont County Commissioners and the Cañon City Police Department that Barr and the Fremont County Clerk’s office were under investigation after financial discrepancies recently were discovered.”

“The Boulder Valley school board on Tuesday opened a discussion on class sizes, debating the impact of small classes on student achievement versus the high cost of adding teachers,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “Class size reductions haven’t emerged as a district priority in past years, with administrators saying the district can’t afford small enough class sizes to make a real difference. To reduce the student-to-teacher ratio by just one student districtwide would cost about $5 million. At the elementary level, the student-to-teacher ratio is about 25 to one, though most classes end up higher or lower depending on the number of students enrolled in each grade.”

“Former congressman and gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo didn’t take long to respond to establishment GOP consultant Karl Rove’s tirade on Fox News early Tuesday evening after Rove called Tancredo a ‘disgraced former congressman’ on national television,” reports ColoradoPolitics. “Tancredo fired back in a press release, saying, ‘I don’t take moral advice or criticism from someone who helped the president create a false narrative about Iraq that eventually led to the deaths of thousands of American servicemen and women and created a catastrophic mess in the Middle East.'”

“Denver officials highlighted at least one high-tech option that could help get people around should Amazon decide to plop 50,000 employees in the city as part its new North American headquarters rollout,” reports Denverite. “Two pages on a driverless shuttle were tucked inside documents the Denver Office of Economic Development sent to state highlighting why Inc. should pick the Mile High City, according to records obtained by Denverite. The maker of the EZ10 shuttles, EasyMile, recently opened its own North American headquarters in Denver and said it plans within the next year to start using its autonomous vehicle near Denver International Airport. Denver sent the documents on EZ10 to the Metro Denver Economic Development Corp. to include in the one proposal Colorado put forth for Amazon HQ2. Because the proposal has been kept from the public, it’s unclear if the regional business organization included the information.”


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