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KSJD Newscast - October 26th, 2015

  • 22nd Judicial District seeks a $56,000 budget increase to hire an additional attorney.
  • Crow Canyon Archaeological Center to reorganize, lays off six staff members.
  • Jackson Lake State Park will close to boating on November 1st.

Saying that his present staff is swamped with the number of misdemeanor and felony cases, 22nd Judicial District Attorney Will Furse is seeking a $56,000 budget increase to hire an additional attorney. On Monday, Furse told the Montezuma County commissioners that his prosecutors handle approximately 550 misdemeanors apiece annually in County Court and about 132 felony cases apiece in District Court. Furse said the public defender’s office has twice as many attorneys and recently received additional funds from the state, but so far there has been no increase in state funding for prosecutors. Furse said Dolores County, which is part of the 22nd Judicial District, pays 7 percent of the DA’s overall budget and would be asked to pay a proportional share of any increase. Furse also said the DA’s office is extremely cramped in its current space in the county annex,  and noted there is apparently no space assigned for DA’s staff in the proposed new county courthouse. Commissioner Larry Don Suckla said state legislation has been proposed to make DAs’ and public defenders’ salaries more equitable.

The need to focus on marketing and sales has prompted the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center to reorganize and lay off six staff members. The center’s president, Deborah Gangloff, says the institution west of Cortez is “trying to build sustainability in terms of revenue generation” after slightly missing revenue projections the last couple of years. Gangloff says the center, which conducts archaeological research and educational programming in partnership with American Indians, has “a really good mission and vision that have not changed”.

Jackson Lake State Park near Mancos will close to boating on Sunday, November 1st. Beginning that day, only hand-launched craft used to put out and pick up decoys will be allowed.

Gail Binkly is a career journalist who has worked for the Colorado Springs Gazette and Cortez Journal. She is currently a freelance writer as well as the editor of the Four Corners Free Press, based in Cortez.
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