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Local News

  • An early start: South Jeffco Democrat already campaigning against Coffman in CD6

    Republican Tom Tancredo represented South Jeffco in Congress for 10 years after first winning the seat in 1998. His successor, Aurora Republican Mike Coffman, has been in office for less than three months — and the potential challengers already are lining up.

    One is John Flerlage, a South Jeffco Democrat who says he’s the only one who can go toe to toe against Coffman and win.

    “I cede nothing on security or economics as a Democrat,” Flerlage said during an interview at a South Jeffco Starbucks on March 4.

  • Jeffco takes steps to speed processing of food-stamp applications

    Jefferson County is taking steps to more quickly process food stamp applications, after the county was cited as leading the state in failing to process the applications within the federally required 30 days.

    Lynnae Flora, acting director of Jeffco’s community assistance division, said more of the division’s employees are working overtime in an effort to more quickly process the applications. The division’s workers are also getting more training, she said.

  • Ice Melt Barrel splashes down March 5

    The third annual Evergreen Ice Melt Barrel descended into the chilling waters of Evergreen Lake on March 5 at 2:13:24 p.m., a full month earlier than last year, according to Ice Melt officials.

    The winner of the contest to predict the day on which the 55-gallon drum gets dunked has yet to be announced.

    But there are probably only about a dozen people who submitted guesses this early in the season, said Jerry Lautigar, president of Mountain/Foothills Rotary.

  • Fund-raiser planned for ALS sufferer Craig Dunham

    Craig Dunham fulfilled a childhood dream when he moved to Evergreen 14 years ago.

    “I was a fish out of water living in Nebraska,” says Dunham, who was born in that state. “My family vacationed in Colorado, and I loved those special times. When I graduated from college, I accepted the one and only position I applied for, which was in Denver.”

    Married at the time he came to Colorado, Dunham brought his growing family to the mountains.

  • Drive Smart named nonprofit of the year

    Since 1993, the goal of Drive Smart Evergreen-Conifer has been to reduce traffic-related injuries and fatalities through a multitude of community programs for all ages.

    Evergreen resident Cheryl Ladd launched the program because so many local children were being killed in car accidents every year.

    “We had lost a total of six kids in two years,” Ladd said. “We were losing teens every year. There was a huge community outcry.

  • Observatory property gets green light for development

    The old Observatory property, which longtime Evergreen residents remember as the home of a charming café-saloon with a retractable roof, has been platted for three large lots suitable for commercial development.

    Located across the highway from the El Rancho restaurant, the ramshackle shell of the former nightspot is one of Evergreen’s prominent eyesores.

    For the last two years, the Phoenix-based owners have been laying the groundwork for development on the triangular-shaped 7-acre parcel.

  • Forecaster takes dim view of economy

    Now that the economy has been blown out of the water by reckless real-estate lending and a massive $800 billion stimulus plan is in the works, don’t expect things to get much better in the next few years.

    The downturn that began in the fourth quarter of 2007 gathered momentum in 2008 and landed full blast in 2009, and it will continue into 2010 and beyond, said Keith Hembre, chief economist with U.S. Bancorp of Minneapolis.

    Hembre’s credentials include being designated one of “the top five economic forecasters for 2008” by Business Week magazine.

  • Jeffco way behind in processing food stamp applications

    Jeffco leads the state in failing to process applications for food stamps on time, and officials are blaming the situation on a soaring number of applicants and inadequate employee training.

    Federal law mandates that counties are responsible for processing food assistance applications within 30 days, and states must achieve at least 90 percent compliance or face sanctions. Colorado currently processes just 74 percent of applications on time and could face more than $1 million in fines from the federal government.

  • Wakeman officially named county attorney -- finally

    Jefferson County has a new county attorney.

    Well, sort of.

    Ellen Wakeman was named county attorney Feb. 24 after serving for more than two years as the acting county attorney. She stepped in when her predecessor, Frank Hutfless, resigned in January 2007 and has been running the show ever since.

    “I’m very optimistic about a new era for Jefferson County,” Wakeman said.

  • Death takes a holiday: Unincorporated Jeffco seeing longest murder drought since late 1940s

    On July 23, 2007, a Realtor arrived at a home he was selling on Scenic Drive just west of U.S. 285, about halfway between Indian Hills and Aspen Park.

    A body was on the lawn. Robert Alurac, a 41-year-old Lakewood man, had been murdered.

    There hasn’t been a murder since then in unincorporated Jefferson County, a stretch of 590 days as of March 4. That’s the longest Jeffco has gone without a murder since the late 1940s, when there were no murders between November 1948 and February 1951.