The Home Front: Colorado sheriff wants to store police-issued AR-15 rifle safes ‘inside two high schools’

“Parents and law enforcement officials hope meetings this week with St. Vrain Valley School District regarding a Boulder County Sheriff’s Office proposal to store long-range rifles in firearm safes inside two high schools steer clear of political debate surrounding gun rights,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “Questions from parents about the monitoring of such safes and how effectively they might expedite a deputy’s response to a shooting at either Lyons Middle/Senior or Niwot high schools loom ahead of public discussions with St. Vrain Superintendent Don Haddad. Citing greater emergency response times to those two schools compared to campuses within city limits, the sheriff’s office in April asked the district allow installation of safes that could be unlocked only by a deputy’s fingerprint to keep police-issued AR-15 rifles inside both schools.”

“Former Fremont County Sheriff’s Office Detective Robert Dodd, who is accused of storing murder evidence in a personal storage locker, is set to go to trial June 25-29,” reports The Cañon City Daily Record. “Monday was Dodd’s final chance to take a plea agreement in the case. Judge Norman Cooling granted Dodd’s lawyer’s request to give potential jurors a questionnaire before they sit on the jury. “It’s a small community, and I’ve seen a lot of publicity,” attorney Randy Jorgensen said. “I think it might expedite things if we ask questions to see if they’ve already formed an opinion.” Jorgensen said he is waiting for a copy of a local television interview with the person who allegedly discovered the murder evidence. He said Rick Ratzlaff, who bought Dodd’s storage locker, made a ‘bunch of statements that are inconsistent’ with other interviews.”

“The nearly three-year legal battle over the controversial Martin Marietta Materials concrete and asphalt plant in Johnstown took another sharp turn Monday after a judge effectively sent the project back into the hands of the Board of Weld County Commissioners,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “Weld District Court Judge Todd Taylor issued two separate rulings Monday afternoon, denying the plant’s neighbors’ request to have it torn down and affirming an entreaty from Martin Marietta and the county for a chance to fix the issues that caused the Colorado Court of Appeals to reverse the county commissioners’ decision to allow the plant.”

“The state’s largest public employee pension system got a needed shot in the arm Monday when Gov. John Hickenlooper signed significant reforms into law,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “While issues impacting the Colorado Public Employees Retirement Association are far from solved, a bill approved during this year’s legislative session went a long way toward addressing them, lawmakers said.”

“Monday’s news that Crested Butte Mountain Resort was among the latest acquisitions of Vail Resorts advances the competition between its Epic Pass and the Ikon Pass and, with it, the consolidation of destination ski areas, particularly in the American West,” reports Vail Daily. “The Associated Press reported that Vail will make Crested Butte its fifth Colorado ski resort along with Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Vail, its flagship resort. It will pay $82 million to acquire Triple Peaks LLC, which is held by the Tim and Diane Mueller family and includes Crested Butte, Okemo Mountain Resort in Vermont and Mount Sunapee in New Hampshire.”

“The newly formed Glenwood Springs Citizens’ Alliance is gearing up to fight the pending plans to expand the Mid-Continent limestone quarry north of town,” reports The Glenwood Springs Post-Independent. “The group will hold an informational meeting regarding the forthcoming Transfer Trail Mine expansion, as it’s known, at 6 p.m. tonight at the Hotel Colorado. Rocky Mountain Resources (RMR), which currently extracts limestone on the federally leased land near the base of Transfer Trail north of Glenwood Springs, has its eyes set on a major expansion of the operation.

“GateHouse Media, one of the largest publishers of locally based media in the United States, officially assumed ownership of The Pueblo Chieftain on Monday,” the paper reports. “With that, General Manager Brad Slater now leads the nearly 150-year-old publication in Pueblo. Slater, who has been general manager at The Chieftain for the past 3 1/2 years, has authority under his current role as well as the duties of former Publisher Jane Rawlings.”

“Two moose were loose in Loveland on Monday morning before being tranquilized by wildlife officers and relocated to a wilderness area northwest of Masonville,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “The two female moose had wandered into a field near the intersection of West 50th Street and Duffield Avenue, which is within the Alford Meadows subdivision. Colorado Parks and Wildlife district wildlife manager Joe Padia said the moose were “most likely siblings” of about a year old that had been “kicked loose from their mother” and followed a drainage into Loveland in search of a place to live.”

“A 19-year-old man was sentenced to probation and work release for blazing past a stop sign on a dark country road, causing a crash that killed a Poudre High School student and his mom last November,” reports The Coloradoan in Fort Collins. “Eighth Judicial District Judge Susan Blanco sentenced Connor Givans of New Mexico to 10 years of probation and 18 months of work release, which allows people to serve jail sentences while living in a residential facility and leaving during working hours. Givans also will lose his driver’s license for seven years, must pay $17,000 in restitution to the Cortez family and must complete 1,000 hours of community service over 10 years.”

“Town Manager Chris Lowe was fired Monday night in a unanimous vote by the town’s six trustees after they spent more than three hours in executive session,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. “Lowe had been suspended in early February, placed on paid administrative leave for two weeks. But that suspension was extended for months amid apparent allegations of sexual harassment as well as fears among staff members of retribution by Lowe. Lowe, who was paid about $121,000 a year, did not respond to requests for comment Monday night.”

“The fate of a rule that restricts city building heights could be decided Tuesday night as the Boulder City Council looks to either extend or make permanent a moratorium that is in its third year,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “Passed in 2015, the ordinance limits developers’ ability to construct 55-foot-tall projects. Fifty-five feet is the voter-approved ceiling ensconced in the city charter since 1971, but it must be granted through modifications.”

“The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday reignited a debate about the fairness and future of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission by issuing a rebuke of the panel’s handling of a case against a Lakewood baker who in 2012 refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple,” reports The Denver Post. “The court’s 7-2 decision in baker Jack Phillips’ favor, while narrow and unlikely to impact the authority and mission of the commission, immediately prompted calls by Republicans in the Colorado General Assembly for changes to the panel. That’s despite a last-minute, bipartisan compromise reached in the final hours of the recently ended legislative session to change the commission and keep it operating for several years, following months of efforts by conservatives to make drastic changes.”

“Steep and rugged terrain made building containment lines difficult for crews fighting the 416 Fire 10 miles north of Durango on Sunday,” reports The Cortez Journal. “And though rain was a welcome sight this weekend, it had no impact on the fire, according to authorities. The 416 Fire was at 2,402 acres on Monday morning and remained at 10 percent contained. Firefighters planned to focus on protecting homes on the southern edge of the fire Monday in the Hermosa area. “We’re trying to be really proactive down there,” said Vickie Russo, spokeswoman for the Type II management team. “That’s why they’re on pre-evacuation.” Firefighters continued to dig containment lines by hand or by machine. Structure crews worked on fuels mitigation such as clearing brush and flammable materials from around homes.”

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.


  1. Yes, by all means, let’s put MORE guns into a situation where guns are the problem. Sorry, but that isn’t a solution to anything.

    If you go to a GP doctor for a problem, he or she will come up with one way to deal with it. Go to a surgeon, and they will have a totally different solution. Go to a homeopathic practitioner and they will have yet another answer. If you have a problem with guns, you DON’T go to the person who works with guns all day and sees them as the answer to everything. ALL they will see is an excuse for more guns in the situation.

    If you demand that mental health is the issue, then why do we constantly cut funding for mental health care, we DON’T include it in ANY health plan, we don’t even discuss it. We just say “oh, this is a mental health problem” and then walk away like it’s solved.

    But anything to protect the guns, right? Because that’s what is REALLY important, right? The guns. To hell with your life as long as the guns are protected. Priorities!


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