The Home Front: Air Force to pay $900k for clean water and to ‘remove perfluorinated compounds’ in El Paso County

“Nearly two years after toxic chemicals from Air Force firefighting foam were found in water drawn from the Widefield aquifer, the military announced a string of measures Wednesday to deliver clean drinking water to residents of southern El Paso County,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. “Under the deal, the Air Force will pay more than $900,000 to procure untainted water and filter water from the aquifer to remove perfluorinated compounds that studies have found were released at Peterson Air Force Base when airmen used the foam, which has since been banned by the military. “As a longtime member of the Front Range, we place an extremely high value on all of our community partnerships, and are pleased we can move forward with these support agreements,” Peterson vice-commander Col. Eric Dorminey, said in a statement.”

“The former Fremont County Sheriff’s Office detective accused of keeping evidence from a 2006 homicide in his personal storage unit for more than a decade is set to appear in court May 18 for a plea and sentencing hearing,” reports The Cañon City Daily Record. “District Attorney Molly Chilson said in an email Tuesday that her office anticipates that Robert Dodd “may enter a plea and be sentenced on that date.” A trial for Dodd still is set for the week of June 25 in case he does not enter into a plea. “The court date was advanced for entry of plea to ensure that the current jury trial dates could be preserved if a plea agreement is not reached,” Chilson said. Dodd faces two counts of second-degree official misconduct, abuse of public records and criminal possession of an identification document.”

“After carefully considering the bidders’ location and experience, the Board of Weld County Commissioners awarded a more than $38 million jail expansion project to Greeley-based Roche Constructors Inc,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “Four firms placed bids on the project, and the price tags barely differed: averaging about $38.66 million. The similarity of the four bids sparked a cost value analysis by county staff. The analysis didn’t show much difference between the four bids either, setting the stage for lengthy deliberations by the county commissioners Wednesday morning.”

“Karen Sjoberg walks her dog every morning before work, but in the winter of 2012 and 2013, that routine quickly became hazardous,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “‘I could see this yellow air every morning during my walk and on the drive to work,’ Sjoberg said. ‘I developed a cough that wouldn’t go away for months.'”

“Records showing the Firestone municipal government paid former town staffers $162,000 in separation agreements over the last two years emerged as a family’s anger with town officials continued to build Wednesday over the removal of their late son’s memorial from a public park,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “Two of the three former Firestone employees who received town payments in lump sums filed workplace misconduct complaints against their boss, Bruce Nickerson, who quit the town manager job last month as similar allegations made by other women surfaced.”

“A business owner in West Steamboat Springs doesn’t think it’s fair that the city’s elected officials are keeping all three of the city’s marijuana dispensaries on his side of the city,” reports The Steamboat Pilot. “Steamboat Rentals owner Jack Horner told the City Council this week he thinks the dispensaries should be allowed to move somewhere east of Bud Werner Memorial Library, so that their impacts on neighboring businesses and roads could be spread out. “Traffic is a major issue on this side of town” because of the dispensaries, Horner said as he told stories of traffic crossing his private property to get to a nearby pot shop. “We have two lanes on the highway. The other side of town has four.'”

“After tracking mostly on pace through the first two months of the year, Summit County’s real estate sales hit a downturn in March, leading to a noticeable dip in the county’s first-quarter figures, according to Slifer Smith & Frampton,” reports Summit Daily. “The High Country real estate giant tracks a wide variety of statistics associated with the local real estate market, and Summit saw a roughly 12 percent decline in both its number of real estate transactions and their combined value for the first three months of 2018 compared to the first quarter of 2017, according to the company’s most recent market report.”

“Fire investigators are still working to determine the cause of the Barnett Fire, which burned 15-18 acres east of Pueblo Tuesday evening, prompting hundreds of evacuations and destroying five homes and multiple outbuildings,” reports The Pueblo Chieftain. “Numerous residents in the area speculated the fire may have been caused by a blown power transformer, as witnesses reported seeing the transformer blow in the moments immediately leading up to the blaze. Pueblo Rural Fire District Assistant Chief Mike Furney said Wednesday that the cause of the fire is still under investigation, but noted investigators had heard residents’ claims of the blown transformer and are looking into them.”

“When a fire is blazing, or when a serious medical issue needs attention, the Loveland Fire Rescue Authority has a variety of tools, skills and specialists to come to the community’s aid,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “That’s what a group of LFRA leaders and staff told members of the Loveland City Council and members of the LFRA Board of Directors at a training demonstration at the LFRA Fire Training Facility in Loveland on Wednesday. Mayor Jacki Marsh and councilors John Fogle and Dave Clark attended the demonstration, as well as Loveland city staff members and chairman of the LFRA board Jeff Swanty. They all got a chance to try out some LFRA equipment.”

“The Eagle-Vail Metropolitan District will ask the roughly 2,500 registered voters here to increase sales tax by 1 percent in its Tuesday, May 8, election,” reports Vail Daily. “Ballot Issue A calls for the tax to begin in 2019, in an effort to fund streetscape, transportation and safety-protection improvements. One of the maintenance items the tax would pay for is paint and the application thereof. Striping roads, striping parking lots, striping crosswalks and painting the U.S. Highway 6 fence are all on the Metro District’s list of maintenance projects that would be funded using the tax.”

“Supporters of Boulder’s proposed ban on assault weapons, bump stocks and high-capacity magazines are imploring the City Council not to put the proposal to a public vote in November, and rather to pass the ban at the council level as soon as possible,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “The council has pending before it a law authored by the city attorney, at the request of the council following the school shooting in Parkland, Fla. The proposed ban was the subject of an evening-long public hearing earlier this month, at which passionate voices on both sides turned out to lobby the council.”

“In case you didn’t go outside Tuesday, or you didn’t talk to anyone who did, it was very windy in Northern Colorado,” reports The Coloradoan in Fort Collins. “And residents and businesses were left to clean up the aftermath Wednesday. For anyone with downed trees or branches on their property, that means either hauling them away or calling in professional help because the city does not provide curbside pickup of debris. Fort Collins saw wind gusts up to 58 mph on Tuesday, with gusts reaching 70 and 80 mph near Loveland, according to the National Weather Service. Reports of high wind and blowing trees onto houses and people as well as reports of downed power lines came across emergency communications channels.”

“Tension over the drought-stressed Colorado River escalated into a public feud when four U.S. states accused Arizona’s largest water provider of manipulating supply and demand, potentially threatening millions of people in the United States and Mexico who rely on the river,” reports The Denver Post. “The four states — Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming — plus Denver’s water utility said the Central Arizona Project was trying to avoid a reduction in its share of the Colorado River while others are voluntarily cutting back to avoid a crisis amid a prolonged drought. “It’s one water user taking advantage of a situation for their own benefit, to the detriment of a river that supplies nearly 40 million people,” said Jim Lochhead, manager of Denver Water, which gets about half its supply from the Colorado River. The Central Arizona Project denied the allegations and said it’s been conserving. The utility uses canals, pipelines and aqueducts to carry water 336 miles (540 kilometers) from the Colorado River to about 5 million people in central and southern Arizona.”

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