COUNTY NEWS IN A HURRY

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Church group vandalized

More than 17 vehicles in an Evergreen church parking lot were vandalized on Jan. 29. Around 5 p.m. rocks were thrown through the windows of the Mountain Light Unity Church at 27054 N. Turkey Creek Road. The damage was discovered by members of a prayer group as they arrived at about 6 p.m.

While the prayer group was meeting between 6-7 p.m., someone poured a gel-based paint stripper over 17 cars in the parking lot of the church, and left long scratches as well. Victim estimates put a total value of the damage at more than $43,000. Anyone with information on this crime is asked to call the Jeffco Sheriff’s Office tip line at 303-271-5612.

Foreclosures down in 2012

Foreclosures reached a six-year low last year, according to Jefferson County’s Public Trustee. The trustee’s 2012 annual report was given to the county board of commissioners last week, and reveals that Release of deeds — indicating a refinance or purchase of a home mortgage — were also up for 2012, reaching a four-year high. Trustee Margaret Chapman said the numbers represented a “return to historical numbers and work flow,” after the “dark days” of the housing market collapse in 2007. Chapman said the first few weeks of 2013 showed above-average housing sales, and the market looked positive for a continued market recovery.

Controlled burns allowed again

By executive order, Gov. John Hickenlooper lifted the statewide ban on preventative burns last week, though full-scale forest fire burns are still prohibited until more review can be done.

Hickenlooper banned preventive burns in March 2012 after a prescribed burn in Jefferson County resulted in the Lower North Fork Fire near Conifer that killed three, and did more than $11 million in property damage.

The governors order allows for slash pile burns to be carried out “when there is at least four to six inches of snow on the ground.” Full prescribed forest fire burns will be permitted, only after the state goes “above and beyond” best practice safety precautions, Hickenlooper said.

Fraud sentenced

Brent Evan Widdifield, 43, of Centennial was sentenced to 15 years in prison on Jan. 28. The Jefferson County court sentence was handed out for Widdifield defrauding consumers in 22 states out of over $300,000. He was found guilty of three counts of fraud, and one count of violating bail for trying to continue the fraud while out on bail.

Widdifield’s business, Action Steel Buildings based in Lakewood, began as a legitimate business but devolved into fraud by 2009 according to authorities.

18-home subdivision approved

On Jan. 29 the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners voted 3-0 to allow a 6-acre corner of Indiana and 58th Avenue to be rezoned — allowing a planned 18-lot residential subdivision.

The commissioners followed the county’s Planning Commission request, that the developers conduct a traffic impact analysis. The size of the development would not make such a study mandatory, but surrounding community residents raised concerns about the added traffic impact.

Emergency Notification

Jefferson County residents and businesses interested in being a part of the county’s new CodeRED severe weather and emergency notification system need to register with the county sheriff’s office.

Residents and businesses must register to receive notifications. Go to the CodeRED registration web site at your911.net to add contact information, including phone numbers, SMS (text) and email address preferences. Residents who have previously registered their phone numbers must re-register. For more information contact Jeffco Sheriff’s Department at 303-277-0211.

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