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<ul><li><p>1-Color</p><p>January 30, 2014Elbert County, Colorado | Volume 119, Issue 1</p><p>elbertcountynews.net</p><p>A publication of</p><p>POSTAL ADDRESS</p><p>Printed on recycled newsprint.Please recycle this copy. </p><p> Secretary of state to intervene in ruling Gesslers o ce to oppose judges decision to ne commissioner </p><p> By George Lurie glurie@coloradocommunitymedia.com </p><p> A spokesperson for Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler has confi rmed that Gesslers offi ce will attempt to nullify a recent ruling by an administrative judge who fi ned Board of County Commission-ers Chairman Robert Rowland $1,000 for </p><p>violating Colorados Fair Campaign Prac-tices Act.</p><p>We are planning to intervene in the case, Andrew Cole, a spokesperson for the Secretary of State, said on Jan. 24.</p><p>The judge directed the commissioner to personally pay the fi ne to the county, which is not what the constitution di-rects, said Cole. In addition, we have some broader First Amendment concerns with the ruling and what it could mean for elected offi cials going about their work.</p><p>Rowland said he was encouraged by the Secretary of States support, adding, I am a long way away from writing that check.</p><p>Cole said lawyers in the Colorado At-</p><p>torney Generals offi ce are currently working on Gesslers response to the judges controversial rul-ing, which was issued on Dec. 24.</p><p>On Jan. 16, the BOCC held a special meeting during which commis-sioners voted 2-1 to ap-peal the judges ruling </p><p>with Commissioners Rowland and Kurt Schlegel voting in favor of the appeal and Commissioner Larry Ross casting the dissenting no vote, arguing an appeal would be an additional drain on county resources.</p><p>Its kind of a fl uid situation right now but my objective is to fi le the appeal be-fore the end of January, said County At-torney Alex Beltz, who explained that fi l-ing an appeal effectively stops the clock on the judges deadline for Rowland to pay the fi ne.</p><p>Since the ruling was made public Jan. 4, Rowland said that he has also heard from a number of other county com-missioners around the state, as well as from the CCI Colorado Counties Inc., a statewide nonprofi t which supports county commissioners, mayors and city and town councilmembers.</p><p>Rowland </p><p> Kelly Shepherd and her 10-year-old quarter horse Louie had Sundown Arena to themselves on Jan. 22. Shepherd owns the cavernous enlcosure, which is located on Road 37 just north of State Highway 86. Frustrated by what she describes as obstacles the county keeps putting that get in the way of her plans to use the arena for commer-cial purposes, Shepherd has put the building and the 20 acres it sits on up for sale. Asking price: $850,000. Photo by George Lurie </p><p> ROOM TO ROAM 2012 budget audit done Treasurer: Freeze order could be li ed this week </p><p> By George Lurie glurie@coloradocommunitymedia.com </p><p> An outside accounting firm has completed its work on the 2012 El-bert County budget audit and the Board of County Commissioners has scheduled a special meeting on Jan. 27 at 10 a.m. during which the long-overdue document is expected to be approved and then submitted to the state before months end.</p><p>In November 2013, after the county missed multiple deadlines to file the state-mandated document, the Office of the State Auditor froze more than $102,000 in county tax revenues, ordering Elbert County Treasurer Rick Pettitt to hold all funds generated pursuant to the tax-ing authority until you are noti-fied in writing by this office.</p><p>By law, the 2012 budget audit was supposed to have been filed with the state no later than July 31, 2013.</p><p>BOCC Chair Robert Rowland blamed the snafu on the countys former finance director Stan Wilmer, who was fired in October 2013.</p><p>The decision to bring in an out-side contractor to finish the au-dit cost the county nearly $90,000, according to Commissioner Kurt Schlegel.</p><p>Rowland said some of that ex-pense has been recouped by not having to pay Wilmers $70,000-a-year salary.</p><p>The states Department of Local Affairs, which can freeze repayment to counties of property taxes if the county does not comply with state-mandated annual filing deadlines, is expected to release the frozen funds before the end of January.</p><p>It usually only takes the state a day or two to release the funds once they approve the audit, Pettitt said.</p><p>The accounting firm of Eide Bail-ly performed the work necessary to complete the 2012 audit.</p><p>A similar situation occurred in 2012 when the county also missed repeated deadlines to submit to the state its year-end 2011 audit. </p><p>In that case, the state froze more than $117,000 in county property tax revenues for nearly two months until the report was received by the auditors office.</p><p>At a Jan. 14 study session, Row-land vowed: This is going to be the last time the county finds itself in this position. </p><p> Wild re mitigation e orts unveiled Key recommendations by governors task force absent By Vic Vela vvela@coloradocommunitymedia.com </p><p> Gov. John Hickenlooper and state law-makers unveiled a package of bills on Jan. 23 that is aimed at improving Colorados ability to mitigate and fi ght wildfi res.</p><p>However, Hickenlooper and legislators spent most of a Capitol press conference answering questions having to do with wildfi re mitigation options that are not part of the eight bills that were introduced.</p><p>The bills do not include key recommendations made by the governors own wildfi re task force committee, includ-ing ones that place fees and building code mandates on homeowners who reside in ar-eas where a high potential for wildfi res exists.</p><p>And the package does not address the creation of a state fi refi ghting fl eet. The governors offi ce says the issue needs more work. </p><p>But a Republican lawmaker who is sponsoring his own air tanker legislation said at the same press conference that the </p><p>time for a wildfi re fl eet is now.I believe that wildfi re is a </p><p>clear and present danger to Colorado and we need to take action, said Sen. Steve King, R-Grand Junction.</p><p>The governor insists that the bipartisan pieces of wild-</p><p>fi re legislation that were intro-duced on Jan. 23 will go a long way in com-batting a growing threat facing the state.</p><p>I think with this year we will continue to raise the ante and try to dedicate more resources up front to try to get to these fi res sooner, Hickenlooper said.</p><p>The bills deal with a variety of areas aimed at wildfi re prevention. They include giving the governor the ability to provide fi nancial assistance without a federal di-saster declaration; and allowing county governments more autonomy in putting bans on agricultural burning during peri-ods of high fi re danger and to clamp down on summer fi reworks.</p><p>Bills also deal with the creation of the wildfi re information and resource center </p><p>Ruling continues on Page 9</p><p>WIldfi re continues on Page 10</p><p>CapitolReport</p></li><li><p>2 Elbert County News January 30, 20142-Color</p><p>The Beautifuland the Deadly</p><p>photos by Joe McDonald</p><p>19 varieties of live turtles, crocodilians, lizards and snakes from around the world displayed in natural habitats.</p><p>Kids will score a goal at this fun and exciting event featuring sports-themed interactive games and outdoor adventure sports activities. </p><p>Visit our website for a complete listingwww.thewildlifeexperience.org</p><p>Classic romance, drinks, hors doeuvres and your Valentine as happy as can be. Make it a worry free evening with our Valentine Hotel Package.</p><p>Kids BowlSaturday, February 19:00 am - 5:00 pm</p><p>The Wildlife Experience10035 Peoria Street, Parker, Colorado 80134720.488.3300thewildlifeexperience.org</p><p>Located near Park Meadows, 1 mile East of I-25 at Lincoln Avenue and Peoria Street.Located near Park Meadows, 1 mile East of I-25 at Lincoln Avenue and Peoria Street.</p><p>CasablancaFriday, February 145:30 pm</p><p>BeautifulOpening Satu</p><p>rday, February 1</p><p>Wild Outdoor Workshops: </p><p> Ice Fishing Archery and More</p><p>OFFICE: 9137 S. Ridgeline Blvd., Suite 210, Highlands Ranch, CO 80129 | PhOnE: 303-566-4100</p><p>A legal newspaper of general circulation in Elizabeth, Colorado, the Elbert County News is published weekly on Thursday by Colorado Community Media. PERIODICALS POSTAGE PAID AT ELIZABETH, COLORADO and additional mailing offices.</p><p>POSTMASTER: Send address change to: 9137 S. Ridgeline Blvd., Suite 210, Highlands Ranch, CO 80129</p><p>ADVERTISInG DEADLInES: Display: Thurs. 11 a.m. | Legal: Thurs. 11 a.m. | Classified: Mon. 12 p.m.</p><p>elbert county news (USPS 171-100)</p><p>We are part of the Centura Health Cancer Network, delivering integrated, advanced cancer care across Colorado and western Kansas.</p><p>HOPE STARTS HEREHOPE STARTS HEREThe Cancer Center at Parker Adventist HospitalWe start with hope and blend together a healing and spiritual environment with the latest in advanced treatment options. Our cancer center provides patients and their families with a personalized and coordinated approach to care. </p><p>The center is equipped with the latest in advanced radiation therapy technology, including the advanced Varian TrueBeam linear accelerator, that allows us to target and treat various forms of cancer with pinpoint accuracy.</p><p>To learn more about our unique approach to cancer care or to make an appointment, call 303-269-4975 or visit parkerhospital.org/cancer-center. </p><p>Centura Health complies with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and no person shall be excluded from participation in, be denied benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination in the provision of any care or service on the grounds of race, religion, color, sex, national origin, sexual preference, ancestry, age, familial status, disability or handicap. Copyright Centura Health, 2014</p><p>9395 Crown Crest Blvd Parker, CO 80138</p><p>advanced cancer care across Colorado </p><p> Bill on school-safety hotline advances Legislation would put state in charge of program By Vic Vela vvela@coloradocommunitymedia.com </p><p> A chilling irony occurred during a Jan. 23 legislative committee hearing on a school-safety hotline bill.</p><p>At the same time that lawmakers were hearing testimony, Jefferson County Public Schools was sending out alerts that a lockout involving some of its schools had been lifted following reports that police were investigating a threat at Columbine High School.</p><p>Tom Mauser whose son Daniel was killed during the 1999 Columbine mas-sacre was listening to the testimony from inside a Senate Education Com-mittee hearing room, when he received the alerts on his phone.</p><p>It just goes to show that we have to continue with our vigilance, Mauser told committee members.</p><p>Nothing came of the threats the day of the committee hearing. But what hap-pened at Columbine High School 15 years ago is exactly what the Safe2Tell Hotline was intended to prevent.</p><p>Since 1999, the hotline has oper-ated as an anonymous way for students to notify law enforcement of potential campus threats.</p><p>But the nonprofit-backed hotline is at risk of shutting down due to a lack </p><p>of funding. Because of that, lawmakers want the state take over operations for a program that they believe has been suc-cessful in thwarting several school trag-</p><p>edies.Rarely in government do we get an </p><p>opportunity to adopt something thats working, said Senate Minority Leader Bill Cadman, R-Colorado Springs.</p><p>Cadman and Senate President Mor-</p><p>gan Carroll, D-Aurora, are co-sponsors of Senate Bill 2, which would transfer operations of the hotline to the Depart-ment of Law. The bill also sets aside $250,000 in hotline operational costs.</p><p>Students can notify authorities via phone or email of any sort of cam-pus threats they hear about, including shooting plots and incidents of bullying.</p><p>Supporters of the legislation point to Safe2Tell statistics, which indicate that from September 2004 through Decem-ber 2013, the hotline resulted in more than 9,000 tips from students across Colorado.</p><p>Gov. John Hickenlooper said during a pre-session press conference where he touted the legislation that the hot-line received reports of 16 planned at-tacks since the beginning of the current school year.</p><p>Thornton Police Chief Randy Nelson testified that the hotline is great tool that gives law enforcement the ability to prevent tragedies, rather than respond to them. In turn, that gives students bet-ter peace of mind, he said.</p><p>We know very clearly that if those kids dont feel safe in the school, theyre not going to learn, said Nelson.</p><p>The bill passed the Senate Education Committee with unanimous support and now heads to the Finance Commit-tee for further consideration. It is ex-pected to sail through both legislative chambers with bipartisan support.</p><p>This program is too valuable for us not to do this, said Senate Education Committee Chairman Andy Kerr, D-Lakewood. </p><p> State Senate President Morgan Carroll, D-Aurora, listens as Thornton Police Chief Randy Nelson testi es in support of Senate Bill 2. Under the bill, the state would take over the Safe2Tell school hotline, which allows students to anonymously provide tips about potential campus threats. Photo by Vic Vela </p></li><li><p>Elbert County News 3 January 30, 20143</p><p>Advertise: 303-566-4100OurColoradoClassifieds.com</p><p>SERVICES</p><p>Local Focus.More News.23 newspapers &amp; websites. Connecting YOU to your LOCAL community.</p><p>ColoradoCommunityMedia.com 303-566-4100</p><p>Your Community Connectorto Boundless Rewards</p><p>We are community.MERCHANDISE</p><p>Horse &amp; Tack</p><p>TYLER SKIBAFIERIER SERVICE</p><p>a Soft Sound Approach toShoeing and Trimming</p><p> (303)842-2629</p><p>REAL ESTATE</p><p>Cemetery Lots</p><p>3 lots in Elizabeth Cemetary$400 each (303)917-2585</p><p>Concrete/Paving Drywall</p><p>PAUL TIMMConstruction/Repair</p><p>DrywallServing Your Area</p><p>Since 1974303-841-3087 303-898-9868</p><p>For local news any time of day, find your community online atColoradoCommunityMedia.com</p><p>Please Recycle this Publication when Finished</p><p>For Local News,Anytime of the Day</p><p>VisitColoradoCommunityMedia.com</p><p>NEWS IN A HURRY Two students selected for All-State Band</p><p>Two Elizabeth High School band students were selected for the 2014 Colorado All-State Band this year. </p><p>Matt Ragsdale, brass captain for this years marching band, was selected for the All-State Concert Band for trumpet. Additionally, Myles McMahan, march-ing band drum major, was selected to the All-State Symphonic Band for euphonium.</p><p>ESD kicks o Biggest Loser competitionElizabeth School District Nurse </p><p>Janet Hatt has launched a new pro-gram for the district, The Biggest Loser </p><p>Competition. The program, Hatt said, offers Eliza-</p><p>beth School District employees both a contest and the motivation to get healthier with weekly check-ins and daily tracking of points. </p><p>Participants earn points by drink-ing 64 or more ounces of water a day, eating breakfast within one hour of waking, exercising daily, getting eight or more hours of sleep and not eating after 8 p.m. </p><p>High-energy volunteers soughtThe Elizabeth School District is </p><p>looking for a group of people to help </p><p>drive community engagement and to make an impact for our schools, said Michele McCarron, executive admin-istrative assistant/communication specialist for the district. McCarron said the district is fa...</p></li></ul>