The Home Front: Shots fired, 11 vehicles damaged, and ‘several people’ injured in stolen truck rampage in Morgan County, CO

“Shots were fired, 11 vehicles were damaged, and several people were injured Saturday night during law enforcement’s pursuit of a stolen tractor-trailer truck, according to the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office,” reports The Fort Morgan Times. “Dean Luedtke, 29, who is listed as being transient but has lived in Morgan County for a number of years according to officials, is facing multiple charges of attempted first-degree murder (including attempt murder of a peace officer) and first-degree assault, as well as several other felony and misdemeanor charges related to the pursuit and ramming of civilian vehicles. Final listing of charges will be determined by the 13th Judicial District Attorney’s Office. The tractor-trailer was stolen in the Sterling area before heading west on U.S. Highway 34, according to MCSO.”

“Although Windsor owns enough water for all existing customers, town officials know more people are on the way,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “That means more water, and that may also mean the need for the town’s own wastewater treatment plant. To pay for the projects that would provide that water as well as treat it, Windsor may need to raise rates for its existing customers.”

“Grand Junction voters may get the chance this fall to decide whether to boost taxes on tourists and other visitors,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “The Grand Junction City Council gave the nod Monday night on ballot language to double the tax rate – from 3 percent to 6 percent — that hotel, motels and other lodging businesses charge on top of room rates. The city’s lodging taxes fund Visit Grand Junction, an agency that works to market the Grand Valley to tourists.”

“A new look is on its way for the Longmont Civic Center, but residents and city staff will have to endure some inconveniences during its makeover,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “Work will begin in May to renovate the Civic Center by bringing the concrete slab above its underground parking garage that supports the building up to current building code standards. The 60 parking spaces in the west garage will be inaccessible during construction, which is expected to finish in spring 2019.”

“The $675,000 sale in late April of a two-story, 2,000-square-foot, single-family home in the West End Village neighborhood underscores how tight housing supply is pushing the price of homes originally intended for working households to new heights,” reports The Steamboat Pilot. “The four-bedroom, 2.5-bath home at 2339 Oxford Way was built in 2015. It recently sold for the equivalent of $337 per square foot in a small-lot subdivision that was originally created with a mix of both income-restricted, affordable housing and market-rate housing.”

“Thousands of teachers descended on the state Capitol Thursday and Friday, the second demonstration in as many weeks,” reports The Sterling Journal-Advocate. “They’re advocating for higher pay, better overall school funding and a fix to the state’s underfunded public pension plan. A sea of red shirts — a movement known as RedForEd, which has spread to other states — greeted lawmakers throughout the two days.”

“An idea to build a new bike terrain park in Glenwood Springs’ Veltus Park is pedaling its way before city officials and the public,” reports The Glenwood Springs Post-Independent. “Currently, the 8-acre public park, more commonly known as Kiwanis Park, sits along the Roaring Fork River at the corner of Midland Avenue and Eighth Street. It offers everything from tennis and basketball courts, to barbecue pits, and even a wheelchair-accessible fishing ramp. Preliminary talks for a bike terrain park began in February when Rick Fout gave a presentation before the city’s Parks and Recreation Commission. While the majority in attendance supported the measure, there were still questions regarding location, sustainability and costs.”

“Parent concern over a plan to place two modular classrooms at Ivy Stockwell Elementary School and none at Berthoud Elementary School prompted school board members to tour the schools before making a decision on how to deal with overcrowding,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “It was imperative to see it,” board member Pam Howard said after her tour Thursday; five board members have visited the schools at different times, though some in pairs. “It’s one thing to talk about the idea of modulars or the idea of moving fifth grade to Turner, but until you walk into the school buildings, it would be tough to make that important of a decision. It’s critical.”

“A Mexican-American family seeking to sell their century-old Boulder home for the purpose of demolition and redevelopment believes the city’s opposition to their plan is racist and unfounded,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “The property in question — 2122 Goss Circle in central Boulder — is 10,000 square feet in area, with a small, 1,000-square-foot home built in the 1890s and renovated after World War II. It sits within a neighborhood formerly known as the “Little Rectangle” — a place once heavily populated by black and Hispanic Boulder residents, who were often barred from homeownership elsewhere in the city.”

“A federal judge said Monday he will rule soon on U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn’s lawsuit to get his name on the Republican primary ballot,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. “U.S. District Judge Philip Brimmer heard several hours of testimony and arguments Monday as an attorney for the six-term Republican incumbent sparred with an attorney for the state over the constitutionality of a Colorado law. Lamborn is seeking an injunction requiring Secretary of State Wayne Williams to put the congressman’s name on the primary ballot. The Colorado Supreme Court ruled a week ago that Lamborn didn’t collect enough valid voter signatures on his nominating petitions. One of his circulators wasn’t a state resident, so the signatures that person collected were discarded.”

“A 21-year-old woman who pleaded guilty to charges of accessory to a crime in connection with the murder of Thomas Gwardyak, 18, was sentenced Monday to seven years in prison,” reports The Cañon City Daily Record. “As part of the plea agreement, which was taken March 5, Kayla Mattice faced six to eight years in prison for the accessory charge and for possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute. Defense Attorney Diana Bull argued that Mattice should serve six years in prison, while District Attorney Molly Chilson requested eight years.”

“It’s nice outside,” reports The Denver Post. “People are taking in the spring days as they come, sauntering along city sidewalks with their dogs or strolling hand in hand with a loved one. It’s the time to soak in the sun and gaze at the blooming trees. But then the nose scrunches up, eyes squeeze shut and — achoo! Grab the tissues and antihistamines. The spring allergy season is on. National Jewish Health’s latest pollen count, reported Friday, shows that tree pollen is high in the metro area. Weed and grass pollens are still low, but that’s not unusual as they typically hit in the fall and summer, respectively.”

“Colorado has revoked a radioactive materials license for the proposed Piñon Ridge uranium mill near the Dolores River after a court ruling recommended that it be denied. But the company planning the project said it will continue to pursue the mill,” reports The Cortez Journal.

“Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper has signed a $28.9 billion state budget into law,” reports The AP on the front page of The Coloradoan in Fort Collins. “The annual spending plan makes major investments in the state’s largest unmet needs. It boosts funding to schools, roads and the public pension. The budget covers the 2018-19 fiscal year, which begins July 1. Booming economic growth and a windfall from federal tax reform allowed lawmakers to fund the bulk of the Democratic governor’s requests and increase discretionary spending by 7.5 percent.”

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