The Home Front: Ken Salazar will be working on ‘the redevelopment of Black Hills Power Stations’

“Former Colorado U.S. Sen. and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar will be working with Black Hills Energy and Riverwalk North Alliance as the two sides continue to work with each other to plan the redevelopment of Black Hills Power Stations 5 & … 6,” reports The Pueblo Chieftain. “The announcement that Salazar — who has worked on a number of large projects across the country throughout his career — will be involved in exploring the future for the old power stations came Monday morning at a community celebration of the stations receiving a historic designation from City Council and of the partnership formed between Black Hills and Riverwalk North Alliance.”

“A Texas oil and gas company that filed a defamation lawsuit against a Paonia activist over an online comment he made to a Glenwood Springs Post Independent article had its case dismissed in Delta County last week,” reports The Glenwood Springs Post-Independent. “The SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) came after a comment left on the Post Independent’s website by Peter Kolbenschlag, a 20-year North Fork Valley resident, in response to the publication’s 2016 article, “Divide lease decision likely to land in court.” According to a Motion for Summary Judgment issued by the Delta County District Court, the plaintiff, SG Interests I Ltd. and its libel claim against defendant Peter Kolbenschlag was dismissed in its entirety, “on the grounds that the statement attributed to the defendant was substantially true.”

“At 7 p.m. today, polls will close on the first primary election that opened up to Colorado’s unaffiliated voters, giving them a say in early races for the governor’s office, county commissioner seats, Congress, the clerk and recorder’s office and a dozen other local seats,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “As of Monday, Weld County received 28,001 ballots, according to the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office, including 6,300 from unaffiliated voters. With the new voters in the mix, the current turnout is already higher by 2,153 votes than it was during final count for the 2016 primary, according to data from the Weld County Clerk and Recorder’s Office.”

“Resources as diverse as the western Colorado landscapes that contain them are at stake in a lawsuit challenging 53 oil and gas leases covering some 45,000 acres in Mesa and Garfield counties, conservationists say,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “They tried to make their point evident from up above on Monday by providing journalists with a bird’s-eye view of the places facing possible drilling thanks to Bureau of Land Management lease sales conducted in December 2016 and December 2017.”

“A little more than a year after being hired as the town of Mead’s first law enforcement officer, Ismael Aldana this month resigned from his position with Mead Police Department,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “His departure leaves the agency with two sworn patrol officers and comes at a time when the town already is searching for a permanent police chief and two additional officers.”

“Arie Hoogendoorn looked dazed as he walked away from the falling timbers and smoking ashes of the historic barn he owned in North Routt County,” reports The Steamboat Pilot. “I’m going back to my house to cry,” he said as he passed by. Behind him, firefighters from North Routt Fire Protection District and Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue doused the barn with water as flames continued to leap from the ashes. The iconic red barn, a longtime fixture of the Circle Bar Ranch, is a well-known landmark for those traveling from Steamboat Springs to Clark and Steamboat Lake along Routt County Road 129.”

“The downtown Foundry redevelopment project is in need of more money due to rising costs of labor and construction, so the city of Loveland and its partner on The Foundry project, Brinkman, have crafted a plan to cover the new costs and ensure the project is completed,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “The plan calls for Brinkman Development paying $679,869 more, the Brinkman Metro District paying $529,142 more and the city of Loveland paying $627,647 more toward the construction and labor costs of the project.”

“The Fort Collins transient man found guilty of manslaughter for his role in the killing of another transient man was sentenced to six years in prison on Monday — the maximum sentence he could receive,” reports The Coloradoan in Fort Collins. “Matthew Tatti faced a first-degree murder charge for his role in the death of Benjamin McKinley in November 2016. Last month, a jury found him guilty of the lesser manslaughter charge instead.”

“A jury of four women and two men (and one alternate juror) listened to opening statements and heard testimony from three witnesses Monday during the first day of trial for former Fremont County Sheriff’s Office Detective Robert Dodd,” reports The Cañon City Daily Record. “Dodd is accused of storing murder evidence in a personal storage locker that later was sold at auction when payments were not made. He is charged with second-degree official misconduct, abuse of public records and criminal possession of an identification document.”

“A former University of Colorado student shot by Boulder police in a 2014 standoff on University Hill will get a new trial after an appeals court reversed his conviction on menacing and obstruction charges,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “Coleman Stewart, 27, accused of brandishing a BB gun, was convicted by a Boulder County jury in 2015 of four counts of felony menacing and obstructing a peace officer. He was sentenced to 45 days in jail and probation. But the Colorado Court of Appeals reversed the conviction last year, and Boulder District Judge Ingrid Bakke on Monday scheduled a new eight-day trial beginning Jan. 14.”

“The Trump administration is pushing to open more public land in Colorado for fossil fuel development, preparing to sell off access to minerals under 45,000 acres near a state park and bird habitat along the upper Colorado River,” reports The Denver Post. “But the intensifying efforts by the federal Bureau of Land Management face resistance. Conservation groups are fighting in federal court to block this leasing in already-drilled areas around De Beque, accusing the feds of skipping required environmental reviews.”

“Inflow into McPhee Reservoir from the Dolores River has dropped to a historic low, falling below the 2002 levels that were the previous driest year since the reservoir was built,” reports The Cortez Journal. “As a result, supply in the reservoir has also dropped slightly to 16.7 inches per acre, down from earlier estimates of 17 inches per acre for full-service irrigators. During full supply, the rate is 22 inches per acre. “After one good storm the first week of May, it was all downhill, and the Dolores River inflows are coming in below 2002 levels,” said Ken Curtis, an engineer with the Dolores Water Conservancy District, which manages McPhee.”

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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