The Home Front: Oil and gas producers ‘favoring Wyoming’ because of ‘mounting public opposition’ to drilling in Colorado

“Citing mounting public opposition to oil and gas drilling in the state, a growing number of producers in the Denver-Julesburg Basin are favoring Wyoming, North Dakota and Texas as they look to take advantage of rising oil prices,” reports The Denver Post. “Or, in the case of HighPoint Resources, a firm that is going all in on the D-J Basin, they are targeting rural areas in Weld County, hoping to avoid the backlash that companies such as Crestone Peak Resources and Extraction Oil & Gas have faced as they seek to drill wells in Boulder and Broomfield counties. “We are contemplating trying to exit the D-J Basin and focusing on the Bakken (in North Dakota),” Brad Holly, the president and CEO of the Denver-based producer, said this week at DUG Rockies, a regional oil and gas conference presented by Hart Energy. Holly, who used to head the operations of Anadarko Petroleum, the largest operator in the state, cited Colorado’s regulatory environment as the reason for Whiting putting a “For Sale” sign on its Redtail holdings in Weld County. His comments came the day after a Colorado District Court judge dismissed a case by Thornton to put in local rules stricter than what the state has in place, including 750-foot buffer between wells and buildings.”

“Law enforcement officers found 12-year-old Raeanna Rosencrans late Thursday at a Walmart in Rifle, the Grand Junction Police Department announced in a late-night press release,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “Raeanna, who had been taken just after school near her Pear Park home Wednesday, was found just before 10 p.m. She appeared to be unharmed, but was transported to a local hospital as a precaution.”

“Every morning, Alexis Ruiz wonders if today will be the day,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “She knows the names of the Greeley police officers who would likely give her the call on that day. They’d say they arrested the person who killed her husband, 33-year-old Alberto “Beto” Ruiz Jr. That killing took place about 11 a.m. April 25, 2017 in the 3000 block of 29th St. in Greeley. Beto was working in the area that day, laying asphalt, a job he’d been doing with his cousin for a few years. Police believe he was the victim of a road rage incident that ended with the killer shooting him as he sat in a company truck. Beto was pronounced dead on the scene.”

“The Colorado Mountain College Eagles are locked in a fierce contest with the Boise State Broncos to claim the title of top adventure college in the western United States,” reports The Steamboat Pilot. “It’s a David and Goliath contest,” CMC Marketing Director Doug Stewart said Thursday. Being the smaller college system, CMC is the David in the final round of the contest, which pits colleges with adventure-loving students and outdoor curriculum programs against each other in online polls.”

“Sopris Elementary School teachers Kat Warder and Talitha Basom have each others’ backs today, as thousands of teachers are expected to rally in Denver for better teacher pay and education funding,” reports The Glenwood Springs Post-Independent. “While Warder will be at the state Capitol lending her voice to the statewide cause, Basom will be at the Glenwood school as usual this morning gathering up her students for a field trip to the Science Museum in Grand Junction. About 100 teachers, Roaring Fork Schools administrators, members of the public and students turned out for a local rally Thursday evening outside the district offices in Glenwood Springs. The event was organized as a precursor to the big demonstration in Denver today. Some Front Range school districts chose to cancel school today in anticipation of a mass teacher walk-out to attend the rally.”

“A jury on Wednesday found former Thompson School District teacher Carrie Giesler guilty of third-degree assault and burglary, but not attempted murder, in an attack on her ex-husband in 2016. Eighth Judicial District Judge Devin Odell set a sentencing date for 4 p.m. June 21, according to Larimer County District Attorney’s Office record manager Raymond Daniel,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “A pre-sentence investigation will occur before then, during which a Larimer County probation officer will weigh Giesler’s sentence after a background check. Daniel said Giesler might be able to serve her sentence on probation, pending the results of that investigation. Giesler denied two plea deals prior to the trial.”

“The Boulder County Sheriff’s Office is asking permission for school resource officers to store their long-range rifles in gun safes at Lyons Middle/Senior and Niwot High School,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “Robert Sullenberger, Boulder County division chief, presented the proposal at recent St. Vrain Valley school board meeting, saying response times for backup officers to reach both schools are long. He said it takes about 15 minutes for police officers to get to Lyons Middle/Senior and about 10 minutes for Niwot High. ‘If we have an active shooter in the school, we want to give our school resource officers as much advantage as we can to neutralize the threat,’ he said.”

“A conservative group based in Washington, D.C., has filed a lawsuit against the city of Fort Collins and City Manager Darin Atteberry over the city withholding records about its police chief search,” reports The Coloradoan in Fort Collins. “Judicial Watch touts itself as a ‘watchdog group,’ which ‘uses the open records or freedom of information laws and other tools to investigate and uncover misconduct by government officials and litigation to hold to account politicians and public officials who engage in corrupt activities,’ according to its website.'”

“When officials in the Florence-Penrose School District were thinking of ways to help recruit new teachers, one solution stood out: help them find housing,” reports The Cañon City Daily Record. “This semester, their solution took on new life. Students in Florence High School’s Home Bi-Ed program built a duplex that, pending a vote by the school board, could serve as a rental for teachers coming into the district.”

“It may forever be a mystery exactly how Ashley Mead died. But for a Boulder County jury, the question of who killed her wasn’t in doubt,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “Mead’s ex-boyfriend, Adam Densmore, was convicted by a Boulder jury on Thursday of killing and dismembering the 25-year-old, the culmination of a 3-week-long trial featuring testimony from witnesses across the country. Densmore, 33, was convicted on all counts, as jurors found him guilty of first-degree murder, tampering with a human body, tampering with physical evidence, and abuse of a corpse.”

“The state mining board on Thursday again denied a local concrete company’s request to mine a rugged patch of land in southeastern El Paso County, saying the company failed to prove a quarry wouldn’t do irreversible damage to drinking water,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. “The Mined Land Reclamation Board voted 3 to 2 to deny Transit Mix Concrete’s application for a permit for the proposed Hitch Rack Ranch quarry following more than 10 hours of testimony at a two-day hearing in Colorado Springs.”

“A proposal to reclassify 700 acres between Durango and Bayfield to a designation that would allow a large-scale residential and commercial development was approved 4-1 Thursday by the La Plata County Planning Commission,” reports The Durango Herald. “The property, owned by the Burkett family and about 4 miles east of Elmore’s Corner, was classified as agricultural/residential. The proposal, which was approved, now has the land classified as 175 acres of mixed-use, 130 acres of suburban residential and 400 acres of large-lot residential. La Plata County planning staff said there could be more than 1,300 residential units if developed at maximum capacity.”

The Colorado Independent is a statewide online news source operating in a time when spin is plentiful, but factual, fair and unflinching news in the public interest is all too rare. Our award-winning team of veteran investigative and explanatory reporters and news columnists aims to amplify the voices of Coloradans whose stories are unheard, shine light on the relationships between people, power and policy, and hold public officials to account. We strive to report the news with context, social conscience, and soul, and to give Coloradans the insight they need to promote conversation, understanding and progress in this square, swing state we call home.

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