The Home Front: Federal Bureau of Land Management wants to move its headquarters to a state out west

“Members of Colorado’s congressional delegation and local officials are welcoming confirmation that came Thursday about the Interior Department’s plans to move the Bureau of Land Management headquarters to the West,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “The reassuring words came Thursday morning during a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing when U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., questioned Susan Combs, a senior adviser to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. Gardner, who thinks the BLM’s national office should be moved to Grand Junction, asked Combs if, “bottom line,” Zinke does intend to move the office from Washington, D.C., to the West.”

“Here’s a dare for those who decide to attend the Northern Colorado Draft Horse Association’s Show Saturday at the Saddle Club Arena on the north side of the Island Grove Regional Park in Greeley: Try, just try, to keep the Budweiser theme out of your head,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “That will require a lot of self-discipline. The event, which starts at 9 a.m. and is expected to last until late afternoon, is a prelude to the July 25-30 Weld County Fair. Clydesdales will be among the major breeds featured in the show put on by the Northern Colorado chapter of the Colorado Draft Horse Association.”

“After several weeks of noticing fewer transients loitering in downtown Longmont, business owners in the area are wondering if the trend was attributable to the initiation of the city’s pilot ambassador program started in June,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “While merchants were glad to see the dispersion of homeless people day-camping in downtown alleys and the breezeway between Third and Fourth avenues, some saw a resurgence of vagrancy this week, and now are wondering how effective the patrols performed by Trident Protection Group staff on behalf of the city are in alleviating the businesses’ concerns. The Longmont Downtown Development Area and the city’s parks department this summer hired Trident for three months on a $29,000 contract for two “ambassadors” to patrol downtown as well as in parks and areas of the St. Vrain Greenway.”

“It’s been a contentious issue routinely raised by a succession of district attorneys who have served Las Animas and Huerfano counties over the years,” reports The Pueblo Chieftain. “Chronic underfunding on the part of the Las Animas County board of commissioners that prevents the office from fulfilling its public safety obligation. It’s a concern shared by Henry Solano, currently serving as district attorney for the 3rd Judicial District. With repeated pleas for funds he says are earmarked for public safety continuing to go unheeded, Solano has advised the commissioners, law enforcement and the community that due to understaffing, he will begin dismissing pending cases “so that the remainder can be professionally prosecuted with the limited staff,” he wrote in a letter to the commissioners.”

“Marvin King says his father Tommy King fell on the way to the bathroom one day at Glenwood Springs Health Care,” reports The Glenwood Springs Post-Independent. “Both men say Tommy laid on the floor for about 30 minutes before he was finally able to pull himself back onto his bed. King said he noticed red flags just hours before his father was admitted to the local nursing home in February. On the morning of his father’s admittance, staff was still scrambling to verify Medicare approval and payment, King said. When staff finally checked the 68-year-old into the facility, he was almost a full business day late, missing dinner, and his daily medications.”

“In a few minutes with a can of spray paint and a stencil, a vandal seriously damaged a piece of public art that Jeff Roth spent 10 days painting on a 130-foot stretch of the Natural Grocers building in downtown Steamboat Springs,” reports The Steamboat Pilot.

“The Loveland man accused in the death of 13-year-old Gavin Myers appeared in court for a disposition hearing Thursday morning, though both prosecution and defense attorneys requested more time on the case as they await an accident report from the Loveland Police Department,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “Richard Swanson, 47, appeared out of custody with family and friends before 8th Judicial District Judge Carroll Michelle Brinegar. The teen was struck by a pickup the night of June 8 as he was walking along the 4000 block of North Wilson Avenue. He was later pronounced dead.”

“If Denver feels hotter than you ever remember, it’s not your imagination,” reports The Denver Post. “The Mile High City tied an all-time heat record in June and hovered around 100 degrees, topping out at 98, on Thursday, according to National Weather Service forecasters. Had temperatures reached 100 Thursday, it would have marked the third time this year that we sweltered in triple-digit heat. By comparison, temperatures only reached 100 twice between 1910 and 1920, NWS meteorologist Bernie Meier said.”

“So close. Fort Collins fell a few degrees shy of forecaster predictions and failed to hit triple digits on Thursday,” reports The Coloradoan in Fort Collins. “It would’ve been our second 100-degree day of 2018, which is a bit of an unusual feat for the Choice City. Automated data from the Fort Collins weather station at Colorado State University showed highs in the mid-90s about 4 p.m., when the forecast said we’d hit 100. The official high temperature for Thursday wasn’t available at press time.”

“Police today named a man already charged in a violent Longmont rape case as the suspect in the disappearance of Rita Gutierrez-Garcia, the mother of three who vanished in March and is presumed dead,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “Juan Jose Figueroa Jr., 29, was arrested on a warrant in the 2017 case while attempting to cross the border into Mexico nine days after Gutierrez-Garcia disappeared. Figueroa has not been charged in the Gutierrez-Garcia case, according to Longmont police Deputy Chief Jeff Satur. But he already is in custody on a $1 million bond for a case in which he’s accused of strangling and raping a woman he met in a bar in downtown Longmont last November.”

“After an initial announcement in December 2017, it’s official: Vail is the first resort in the United States — and first mountain resort in the world — to achieve certification as a ‘sustainable destination,'” reports Vail Daily. “The announcement was expected Friday, July 20, from Sustainable Travel International. The certification was years in the making and required work by the town of Vail, Vail Resorts, Walking Mountains Science Center the U.S. Forest Service and other public and private agencies and groups.”

“Frank’s Appliance Store will assume ownership of the Sears Hometown Store in Cañon City on Sunday,” reports The Cañon City Daily Record. “A press release issued by Frank’s Appliance Store states that Frank’s will continue to provide its excellent service at the Sears Hometown Store that is located at 1700 Rainbow Drive. Sears offers leasing programs, Sears credit cards and commercial pricing. A statement on Frank’s Appliance Service’s Facebook page says their service department will move into the current Sears building and work in conjunction with the retail side. “This is very exciting for us as we feel we will now have the capability to better serve this community and the wonderful folks in it,” the statement says. ‘Thank you for understanding the transition we’re in right now and accept our apologies for any hiccups we may encounter as a result of it.'”

“About 300 fish in the Animas River were saved Wednesday from the deadly runoff from the 416 Fire that in recent days has killed thousands of fish in the stretch north of Durango down to the New Mexico line,” reports The Durango Herald. “Now, they’ll have a second chance,” said Toby Mourning, manager of the Durango fish hatchery. ‘It was the right thing to do.'”

“Art aficionados who follow the bright yellow footprints on the sidewalk near Tejon Street and Pikes Peak Avenue will find only disappointment,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. “Somebody swiped Pikes Peek, the 8-inch bronze statue in an alcove by the downtown Colorado Springs police substation that was at the end of the painted footprints. “Somebody has stolen Pikes Peek, unfortunately,” said Laurel Prud’homme, vice president of communications at the Downtown Partnership of Colorado Springs.”

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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