NEWS: Thursday April 1, 2010

Apr 1st @ 6:06 am in News by Scott Staley

Steven Clay Romero, of Mesa County, Colorado, is scheduled to appear before U.S. District Court Judge Philip A. Brimmer for a change of plea hearing on Friday, April 29, 2010 at 3:30 p.m. The hearing is scheduled to be held in Denver at the Alfred A. Arraj Courthouse, located at 901 19th Street.  At that hearing Romero will have an opportunity to plead guilty to the charges as alleged in the Indictment.  The charges stem from the December 30, 2009 dragging death of a dog named “Buddy” at the Colorado National Monument.

Romero is charged with aggravated animal cruelty, which carries a penalty of not more than 3 years in federal prison, and up to a $100,000 fine.

This case was investigated by the National Park Service law enforcement rangers, who were assisted by the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department, Grand Junction, Fruita and Delta police departments. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Heldmyer. These charges are only allegations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Source: Press Release   (Posted 6:05a)

In a related story, the sister of the accused dog killer pleaded not guilty in court yesterday. The Daily Sentinel writes that Melissa Lockhart, who is charged with felony theft, entered the plea in Delta County Combined Courts yesterday and is scheduled for a jury trial August 16th. Lockhart allegedly stole the dog from a pickup truck in Delta and told her brother, Steven Romero, to get rid of it after it attacked a family cat.
Source: Daily Sentinel (Posted 8:53a)

Sweitzer Lake State Park will open for boating on Friday, April 9. The opening has been postponed due to cold late winter weather. To prevent the spread of aquatic nuisance species (ANS), including zebra and quagga mussels, all vessels must be inspected prior to launch. Vessels planning to launch outside of posted inspection times will require a pre-inspection seal attached prior to launch which can be obtained during normal inspection hours. Pre-inspection seals are to be removed by boaters upon launching, and placed in the pre-inspection drop box, along with their corresponding seal receipt, located at the boat ramp.

Attracting nearly 12 million visitors per year, Colorado’s 42 State Parks are a vital cornerstone of Colorado’s economy and quality of life. Colorado State Parks encompass 224,531 land and water acres, offering some of the best outdoor recreation destinations in the state. Colorado State Parks is a leader in providing opportunities for outdoor recreation, protecting the state’s favorite landscapes, teaching generations about nature and partnering with communities. Colorado State Parks also manage more than 4,000 campsites, and 57 cabins and yurts.  For more information on Colorado State Parks or to purchase an annual pass online, visit www.colorado.gov/parks.
Source: Press Release   (Posted 6:04a)

On Friday, April 2, Dr. Dene Kay Thomas, the newly designated president of Fort Lewis College and the first woman president in the College’s history, will be on campus for a reception and presentation. There will be brief comments from both Dr. Thomas and Richard Ballantine, the chairman of the Board of Trustees for Fort Lewis College. After that there will be a more informal meet and greet. The event begins at 2 p.m. and will be held at the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College. This event is for the College community only and is not open to the public.

Fort Lewis College is facing some challenges right now. The College’s funding from Colorado is being cut by more than 30%, while at the same time the state is forbidding the College to raise its non-resident tuition at all. This is because of the Native American Tuition Waiver, which gives every Native American student the opportunity to attend Fort Lewis College tuition-free.

Earlier this year, House Bill 10-1067 was introduced in the State Legislature. The bill would have reduced the state’s funding for the Native American Tuition Waiver. In part due to the outcry from Fort Lewis College students, both Native American and non-native, and the public, HB 10-1067 was not pursued.

These budget issues, and issues of how the College can better serve Colorado, will certainly be challenges that Dr. Thomas will have to face.

But there are good things happening here to. In 2008, the College increased its admission selectivity to “selective” status. Since 2008, the College has welcomed freshman classes that are the most academically-prepared in the school’s history. On the non-academic side, our Women’s Basketball Team made it all the way to the NCAA Division II Women’s Basketball Championships before losing to Emporia State. We also boast national champions in Men’s Soccer, Mountain Biking and Cyclocross.
Source: Press Release   (Posted 6:03a)

kayleah wilson--greeley tribunePolice are looking for a 12-year-old girl missing since she left her home in Greeley to go to a friend’s birthday party. According to the Greeley Tribune, police say Kayleah Wilson never arrived at the party Sunday afternoon. They have searched the area and used dogs to try to get her scent, but have found no trace of her. Kayleah has asthma and was believed to be carrying an inhaler. The girl has no history of running away, and there are no indications she uses drugs or alcohol or is involved with gangs.  The middle school student is described as Caucasian, 5 feet, 1 inch tall and 145 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes. No Amber Alert has been issued for the girl, because her disappearance doesn’t meet the criteria for the alert. Anyone with information about 12-year-old Kayleah Wilson of Greeley is asked to call the Greeley police at (970) 350-9600.
Source: Greeley Tribune (Posted 5:57a)