The Home Front: The Breckenridge troll has nearby homeowners ‘fed up’ with troll hunters

Your morning roundup of stories from the front pages of newspapers across Colorado

“Breckenridge’s troll is a temporary art installation that invites people to venture into the wilderness in search of something special, but its lifespan could get cut short, as it appears the troll might soon fall victim to his own popularity,” reports Summit Daily. “The buzz on social media has been intense since the roughly 15-foot troll, constructed of reclaimed wood, came to life about a mile up the Wellington Trail in Breckenridge for a summer arts festival. … Since its creation, the Breckenridge troll has been featured in news coverage by most of Colorado’s major TV news channels, radio stations and travel publications, along with this newspaper. With all that attention though, the troll has been taking a serious toll on some of the nearby homeowners in the Wellington neighborhood who are fed up with what they describe as ‘literally hundreds’ of troll hunters coming into their neighborhood on a daily basis.”

“The Greeley community lost its original Santa Cop last week when David Volpe passed away following a battle with cancer. Volpe died last Thursday, one day before his 74th birthday,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “He was remembered by some of the people who knew him best as a generous man who had a kind heart and a proclivity for tomfoolery.”

“Community Hospital is one step closer to becoming a part of the Centura Health network after it signed a letter of intent Thursday to exclusively negotiate with the large health care provider,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “The Community Hospital Board of Trustees will take the next 120 days to perform its due diligence before finalizing an agreement.”

“Tasked with finding answers to questions brought to light after a botched prairie dog removal this summer and an ensuing debate about whether the city’s drilling protections extend to wildlife, Lafayette soon may approach the issue with an eye toward private property,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “It won’t be an easy feat. Officials caution that any policy changes pertaining to privately-owned land must walk a fine line with state interest that all but gives free rein to citizens who want to eradicate the “nuisance” animal from their land.”

“Facing a shortage of workers, Steamboat Resort is the latest ski area to bump up its base wage with the hope it will help entice people to keep the ski lifts turning and bloody marys flowing,” reports The Steamboat Pilot. “The resort recently announced it will increase its starting wage for non-tipped employees to $12 from $10.50 per hour. Colorado’s minimum wage is $10.20 per hour. “We were fortunate that we got support from our new ownership group to increase our starting wage by 15 percent,” Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. President Rob Perlman said. ‘Our goal is to continue to attract and retain quality employees that provide a great guest service to those folks that come to Steamboat.'”

“The fatal shooting of a Pueblo man who led police on a cross-city chase in January and was shot more than 30 times after he fired numerous rounds at officers in pursuit has been ruled justified by the 10th Judicial District Attorney’s Office,” reports The Pueblo Chieftain. “The man, 35-year-old Joe Delira-Alires, was killed on Jan. 22 after police originally had been called to the 2600 block of East Ninth Street by a woman described as an “ex” who told them Delira-Alires had made threats to her and other occupants of her home before shooting his firearm multiple times outside of her residence.”

“Seven local mayors penned an op-ed published this week panning a proposed amendment to the Colorado Constitution as ‘a nightmare,’ but one name was conspicuously absent among the op-ed’s signees: that of Loveland Mayor Jacki Marsh,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “However, her absence is not due to a lack of consensus on the issue, she said Thursday — she too does not support Amendment 74, which would require local governments to compensate corporations and landowners for any rule- or law-making that adversely impacts the value of private property. Marsh was simply not told about the op-ed, she said Thursday.”

“Twenty years ago, Dennis and Judy Shepard were not activists. Twenty years ago, they were parents frantically traveling to Colorado after learning their 21-year-old son, Matthew, had been beaten and left for dead outside Laramie,” reports The Denver Post. “Twenty years ago, they were parents staring at a man in a Fort Collins hospital bed — beaten so badly they did not immediately recognize him as their first-born son — and trying to reconcile the image of the broken body with their memories of their smiling boy. They were the couple on the front pages of newspapers across the globe the day of their son’s funeral: Dennis in a blue suit and bulletproof vest speaking to reporters gathered outside to hear their statement, Judy sobbing as she leaned her forehead against her husband’s shoulder.”

“The three candidates for Fremont County Sheriff shared their plans to deal with the illegal drug problem in the county Wednesday during a forum hosted by the Florence Chamber of Commerce at the Florence Municipal Center,” reports The Cañon City Daily Record. “Boyd Canterbury, 66, running as in Independent candidate, said if elected he would partner with other law enforcement agencies, including federal agencies and the Drug Enforcement Administration and create a strike force to combat illegal drug grows and illegal activity.”

“City Council will have a half-day retreat to plan its agenda for the upcoming year, despite an agreement to skip the annual event in 2019,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “The policy-setting meeting is tentatively set for Jan. 18 at the new Museum of Boulder. The newly seated council in January decided to do away with the annual two-day retreat and instead sets its agenda for 2018 and 2019. That was perhaps a tad optimistic, Councilman Bob Yates said Thursday at a retreat planning meeting. Yet the agenda for upcoming months will likely look similar to this year’s: Yates and Councilwoman Mary Young directed staff to prepare a progress report on the 14 priorities set at the beginning of 2018. Next year’s focus should be on seeing those goals through to completion, they argued.”

“Thirty years after Mary Lynn Vialpando was raped and stabbed to death on Colorado Springs’ west side, her grieving relatives got their first look Thursday at the man police identified as her killer,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs.

“Sue Garlick needs to connect with her students, but it’s not always easy,” reports The Cortez Journal. “As a special education teacher in Cortez, building a rapport with her students can be the difference between effective education and a chaotic classroom. Now, after two decades of teaching, Garlick has found a means of connecting with her students that no human could facilitate: her dog, Mochi. Mochi is a service animal, a 7-month-old labradoodle with 100 hours of training. He fills a specific role: helping to calm students who are overwhelmed and providing a means of social connection that does not come naturally to her students with autism.”

“The nomination of Jason Dunn, President Donald Trump’s pick to be Colorado’s next U.S. attorney, was confirmed Thursday night by the U.S. Senate,” reports The Colorado Sun. “That’s according to U.S. Sen Cory Gardner’s office. The Colorado Republican’s staffers say Dunn was approved by a voice vote. “Jason is going to make an excellent U.S. Attorney for the District of Colorado, and I’m thrilled that he was confirmed on Thursday,” Gardner said in a written statement. “He has broad bipartisan backing and a record of public service that highlights the quality person he is in the community.”

“Antoine Calvin-Spencer said he didn’t think he had the right to vote and had held that belief for well over a decade,” reports Denverite. “He said that up until recently, he had paid no attention to politics because he believed had no say in any of it. But he just learned that he was wrong, and now that he is aware of his enfranchised status, he plans on giving himself a crash course on the political issues facing Colorado while he’s behind bars.”

“Keep an eye on Jefferson County when election results come in on Nov. 6. Three of the five races that will determine which party controls the Colorado Senate — and potentially could put the legislature under one-party dominance — are in the western Denver suburbs,” reports ColoradoPolitics. “The state House of Representatives is another matter. It’s unlikely that with an eight-seat deficit, that Republicans will be able to flip enough seats in the House to take control away from the Democrats. There are several seats that could flip from Democrat to Republican, but Democrats also have a shot at flipping at least two seats.”

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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