The Home Front: Mountain town cops use teens to sting bars that don’t card for booze. But the snitches walk out on their tabs

Two 18-year-olds working with law enforcement to conduct alcohol compliance checks might have committed a petty offense when they skipped out on their checks after ordering food, reports The Steamboat Pilot. The experience has left a bad taste in the mouths of some Steamboat Springs restaurateurs. The Steamboat Springs Police Department worked with the Colorado Liquor Enforcement Division to conduct the stings Tuesday, which involved the underage women attempting to purchase alcohol. One lives in Steamboat. The other lives outside the area. The teens attempted to buy alcohol at 23 establishments.

A Boulder resident has named three top Boulder staffers and a trio of City Council members in an ethics complaint alleging improper communication between the officials and a pro-municipalization citizen group, reports The Boulder Daily Camera. The complaint was filed late Wednesday by Mark Gelband, a one-time council candidate and an active critic of city policies. Boulder’s city attorney and city manager and three of the officials named in the complaint have all indicated they believe it is without merit. However, the matter is expected to be settled by a special counsel, likely to be appointed in coming weeks.

It’s been 100 years since the most elegant building in downtown Greeley was erected, reports The Greeley Tribune. And in that century, there have been some eye-catching cases. Here are four of them – not the most inspiring, maybe, and possibly not the most surprising. But these cases grabbed the attention of the nation and even the world when they took place in the Weld District Courthouse.

An interim state director will head the Colorado state office of the Bureau of Land Management after July 10, when the current director, Ruth Welch, moves to a new position in the Bureau of Reclamation, reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. Welch was reassigned to become director of policy and administration for the national office of the Bureau of Reclamation, which is in Denver. Welch’s three-and-half-year tenure at the BLM office in Lakewood certainly wasn’t long enough, she said in an interview on Thursday. I will truly miss being out on the ground and leading an exceptional group of people in the agency, which administers about 8.4 million acres in Colorado.

In a box of items firefighters recovered from Erin Martinez’s burned Firestone house, a decorative bird scrawled with the saying ‘Love is patient, love is kind’ was the only item undamaged, reports The Greeley Tribune. It now serves as a reminder that her husband, Mark Martinez, is always near. Erin Martinez explained the bird’s significance and shared other stories before a full sanctuary Thursday at St. John the Baptist Church in Longmont, during the celebration of life for brothers-in-law Mark Martinez and Joey Irwin, both killed at age 42 in an explosion April 17. The bird with the phrase used at their wedding in 2003, Erin Martinez said, was a gift from her mother on Easter Sunday, one day before the deadly blast that Monday.

The Pueblo Police Department is asking any local stores that sell paint to contact them if they’re frequently selling red or black spray paint to anyone, reports The Pueblo Chieftain. Police Sgt. Eric Gonzales said red and black spray paint is what’s often used in the MOP graffiti that has been littering property in town recently. Purple also is a color that’s been seen on some of the MOP tags. Gonzales said police have officers investigating trying to determine who is responsible for the graffiti, which is a vulgar acronym used to emphasize one’s preference for money over sex.

The state Legislature’s Joint Budget Committee has rejected emergency funding for the Colorado Energy Office, throwing its future into question and leaving many Garfield County renewable energy leaders wondering where the money for some critical programs will come from, reports The Glenwood SpringsPost-Independent. The energy office’s funding is set to expire Saturday, and though Gov. John Hickenlooper was pushing to extend the office’s budget for another year, the effort fell through in a 3-3 split along partisan lines in the Joint Budget Committee. Alice Laird, executive director of the local Clean Energy Economy for the Region, emphasized this development does not mean the energy office has been closed or dismantled, and there is still hope to turn the situation around before major programs are affected.

Fort Collins police arrested a man on suspicion of first-degree murder Wednesday in connection with the death of a woman found dead in Sheldon Lake in City Park last week, reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. Jeffrey Scott Etheridge, 27, was taken into custody on suspicion of killing Heather Helena Hoffman, whose body was found floating in Sheldon Lake on June 21. She reportedly left the McDonald’s restaurant where she worked at the corner of West Elizabeth Street and City Park Avenue around 1 a.m. and was found dead approximately 17 hours later. Sexual assault charges against Etheridge are pending, a press release from Fort Collins Police Services said.

Black balloons floated from Fort Collins City Park on Thursday as a memorial for Heather Helena Hoffmann – a fitting tribute to a young woman who loved Halloween and dramatic colors, reports The Coloradoan in Fort Collins. A group of about 35 mourners gathered to honor the 23-year-old mother who was found dead in the park last week. Tables at the pavilion were covered with red cloths, and the black balloons were tied with purple strings – representing Hoffmann’s three favorite colors. The sounds of children at a nearby playground floated over the pavilion where the memorial was held and nearby Sheldon Lake, where Hoffmann’s body was found on June 21.

The documentary series, ‘American Pickers,’ is searching for forgotten relics, and they will be coming to Colorado this July in search of them, reports The Caon City Daily Record. ‘American Pickers’ is a series that airs on the History Channel that follows the show’s stars, Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz, as they go across the world ‘picking’ and hunting for America’s most valuable antiques. Fans in Colorado will have their chance to not only see the show’s stars as they film in Colorado, but they also will have a chance to allow the pickers to rummage through their own private collections. According to a news release, the pickers will be in the Colorado in July for an undisclosed amount of time.

Rosa Sabido likes to say she lives inside a postcard. She loves the scenery, community and healthy lifestyle in Cortez, where she has lived and worked for 30 years, reports The Durango Herald. But the idyllic scene may be coming to an end. Sabido, a Mexican national, was told in May that her application for a one-year stay of removal was denied by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. She was ordered to leave the country or face deportation. She has since sought sanctuary at the United Methodist Church in Mancos, where she hopes to buy herself enough time to apply for another stay of removal and continue to seek permanent residency.

After hugging their families goodbye a last time and passing under the ‘Recruits Only’ sign on Thursday morning, members of the Air Force Academy’s Class of 2021 were led to the main campus by upperclassmen barking orders that would dictate their lives for the next year, reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. Keep your arms pinned to the seams of their pants and your feet at a 45-degree angle; catch up to the person in front of you, but never run; walk only on the marble tiles, not the concrete; be ready to set aside your pride for the team; and maintain composure even if other cadets are screaming at you to do push-ups and blowing whistles in your face.

U.S. Air Force contractors on Thursday delivered the first of two $400,000 carbon filters designed to strip away two perfluorinated chemicals contaminating city water supply wells, reports The Denver Post. Fountain ranks among the most-populated sites around the country and in Korea where the granular-activated-carbon filters are being installed as the Air Force investigates perfluorinated chemicals, or PFCs, spreading from bases, including Peterson Air Force Base east of Colorado Springs. PFCs have been linked to health harm – low birth rates, and kidney and testicular cancers – but public health epidemiological work in Colorado hasn’t been done. A year after revelations of widespread PFC contamination at levels above an Environmental Protection Agency health advisory limit in water south of Colorado Springs, Fountain officials welcomed the help.

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