Greeley Police Chief Mark Jones on Facebook, raising concerns about early prisoner releases. (KUSA-9News)

Greeley Police Chief Mark Jones on Facebook, raising concerns about early prisoner releases. (KUSA-9News)


Colorado withholds parolee list after police chief's remarks

Weld County officials say Colorado plans to stop sharing parolee information with county law enforcement agencies after Greeley's police chief criticized the state's parole system.

The announcement came during a recent Weld County Chiefs of Police Association meeting. District Attorney Michael Rourke says a parole manager told the meeting that due to Chief Mark Jones' remarks, the parole department won't provide a list of parolees returning to the community for a month.

Jones previously said he is concerned too many violent offenders are being released early. He says the monthly list helps police better understand who the parolees are and who they associate with.

The Department of Corrections said in a statement the agency intends to continue distributing the list, but is "pausing" for a moment to review the information included.



County clamps moratorium on new drilling

Boulder County is the latest local government in Colorado to impose a moratorium on new oil and gas drilling.

The commissioners voted unanimously in favor of the moratorium June 28 without taking public comment. Commissioners scheduled a July 16 meeting to hear comments and decide whether to keep the moratorium.

Commissioner Elise Jones said the county needs time to update its rules under a new state law that gives local governments more authority over well locations.

Industry officials said they were disappointed but not surprised.

The moratorium comes as Crestone Peak Resources is seeking permits to drill more than 100 wells in the county.

A survey by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission showed three other counties and six cities had moratoriums as of May.



Advocates say land management plan ignores them

Environmental advocates say a proposed management plan for federal lands in part of western Colorado ignores their calls to close more of the land to oil and gas development.

The 20-year draft plan released June 28 by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management would keep 44,220 acres closed to oil and gas leasing, the same as now, while declaring 871,810 acres open to leasing.

Advocates wanted to see less leasing in areas such as the North Fork Valley. Andrew Forkes-Gudmundson of Paonia-based Citizens for a Healthy Community says the input of locals was ignored in favor of the energy industry.

Uncompahgre Field Manager Greg Larson of the BLM says the plan balances energy and mineral development, livestock grazing and recreational opportunities.

The plan is open to a 30-day public comment period.



Town approves ski company's housing project

Basalt officials have signed off on Aspen Skiing Co.'s plans to build affordable housing that will primarily serve its employees.

The Basalt Town Council voted 4-2 to approve the project.

The company, which operates ski resorts in Aspen and Snowmass, plans to construct a 53,000-square-foot building at the Willits shopping area in Basalt, about 20 miles northwest of Aspen.

The company says eight units out of the building's planned 46 will be rented to people outside the company.

The project faced opposition by some residents who said the Aspen-based employer is looking beyond the exclusive resort town to help solve its housing problem.

Councilman Gary Tennenbaum said housing is a regional crisis and the privately funded project is a model for addressing it.



Skydiver's death is fourth in a year at airport

Authorities are investigating the fourth fatal skydiving accident in the past year at a Longmont airport.

Longmont police Sgt. John Wederquist says rescue crews responded June 29 to reports of a man in his 30s who apparently misjudged his landing and hit the ground hard.

The man, who was not immediately identified, was pronounced dead at a hospital. The Federal Aviation Administration plans to investigate the death.

It's the fourth death of a skydiver in the past year from flights taking off from the Vance Brand Municipal Airport.

Most recently, skydiving instructor and videographer Patrick Gire of Denver died June 17 from complications stemming from a September accident.

Two skydivers also died in separate falls in October and May.



Trail meters allows users to donate to maintenance

New donation stations will allow outdoor trail users to donate money directly to their maintenance.

Stations have been installed in 10 locations along nonmotorized trails around Steamboat Springs.

The stations register donations made by inserting credit cards into the repurposed parking meters.

The minimum contribution accepted is $5.

A mobile station will also allow volunteers working on building and maintaining trails to collect donations.

The Trail Maintenance Endowment Fund is operated by the Yampa Valley Community Foundation.

The foundation says it hopes to raise $1 million to $1.5 million by 2026 for trail maintenance near the resort city.

A foundation official says the endowment currently has just under $500,000.



Man convicted for shooting at police car

Prosecutors say a Colorado man has been found guilty of attempted murder for shooting at a police officer's car.

The Weld County District Attorney's office said Friday that jurors convicted John Lockhart of second-degree attempted murder.

The office says Lockhart was tried on the same count in March but a mistrial was declared after that jury could not reach a unanimous decision.

According to prosecutors, a Milliken police officer tried to pull Lockhart over in June 2017 for driving 115 miles per hour (185 kph) in a 55 miles per hour (88 kph) zone. They say Lockhart did not stop and during the chase fired at the officer's car three times.

The officer was not hurt. A judge is scheduled to determine Lockhart's sentence on July 30.



New commander takes over at Pueblo Chemical Depot

The Army facility in southern Colorado working to destroy obsolete chemical weapons has a new leader.

Col. Michael W. Cobb assumed command of the Pueblo Chemical Depot during a recent ceremony, taking over from Col. Christopher Grice.

Cobb said that he plans to build on the already strong relationship with the community and its leaders. He said he lives in Pueblo now and his top priority is ensuring the safety of his neighbors.

Meanwhile, the depot announced that Walton W. Levi will be its new site project manager. He worked to build and launch operations at the depot's destruction plant.

The depot is destroying 780,000 shells containing 2,500 U.S. tons of mustard agent to comply with a treaty banning chemical weapons.



Resident admits to killing bear in neighborhood

Wildlife officials say a resident has admitted to killing a bear in a neighborhood out of concern it was trying to enter their home.

The body of the sow bear was found at the base of a tree in Castle Pines, with two of her cubs in the branches above.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife says the resident told officers June 28 that the bear was killed the previous day.

It's lawful for a person to kill a bear if their personal safety is threatened but they must report it within five days.

The two cubs were taken to a wildlife rehabilitation center near Del Norte. A third cub spotted with the bear previously hasn't been found.

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