Councilor targeted, Bustang delay, new undersheriff and more 


Councilor targeted

"Irresponsible, despicable and unworthy of Colorado Springs" is how the Larry Bagley campaign describes a website opposing him in the race for the City Council District 2 seat. Bagley has occupied the seat, vacated by mayoral candidate Joel Miller, since having been appointed in December.

Bagley's campaign manager, Bill Riley, issued a release last week denouncing the site, which characterizes Bagley, an Air Force Academy grad who spent 26 years in the service, as beholden to development interests, which have given him more than $16,500 in campaign donations so far.

Riley says the campaign believes the website has violated some campaign finance rules, such as not disclosing who paid for it, but that "by the time it gets resolved, the election will probably be over." Hence, he adds, the campaign hasn't filed a complaint.

He didn't blame Bagley's opponent, Kanda Calef, saying she, too, has taken issue with campaign messages that erroneously call her a lobbyist.

"We don't want to advertise the website," Riley says of larrybagley.com, "but on the other hand, we want to complain about it."

Calef says via email the site isn't associated with her campaign but adds, "I don't see that the content is particularly untruthful." — PZ

Bustang a little delayed

The Colorado Department of Transportation's new interregional bus service, Bustang, could be introduced in late May or early June, says Mark Imhoff, CDOT's division director of transit and rail. That represents a slight delay, which Imhoff says is meant to ensure everything runs smoothly, from the delivery of WiFi on the buses to the training of the drivers.

Bustang will run three routes (codot.gov/travel/bustang), with Colorado Springs-Denver service for $12 one-way. A firm starting date will be announced in mid-April. — JAS

There's a new undersheriff

Newly elected Sheriff Bill Elder is growing his command staff in a nontraditional way. Earlier, he announced that Joe Breister would serve as his undersheriff. But Elder has also hired his old boss, former Fountain Police Chief Todd Evans, to serve as a kind of second undersheriff, called a chief deputy, a position that didn't previously exist. Elder says it's part of a larger reorganization.

Breister will oversee law enforcement and detentions. Evans will have the administration and support operations bureaus.

Each undersheriff will be paid $118,199 — the same amount that previous Undersheriff Paula Presley made. Elder says he's reduced the number of commanders to make up for Evans' salary, and has even been able to fund an additional position with the savings. — JAS

Law cuts kids slack

On March 18, Gov. John Hickenlooper signed multiple bills into law, including House Bill 15-1022, which permits juveniles to clear petty offenses from their records.

Under the new law, juveniles who are charged with a petty offense may be able to make up for their actions by fulfilling certain conditions, such as working with victims to redress harm, and see the charges dropped. The bill was sponsored in the House by Rep. Pete Lee, D-Colorado Springs, who has long advocated for ways that criminals can repair damage they've done and make amends.

A pilot program previously created a similar system, but was only available to first-time offenders.

"This will allow more juveniles to participate in restorative justice programs," Lee stated in a press release. He added, "It will help keep kids out of the criminal justice system and reduce recidivism." — JA

Cadets building homes

Instead of skiing, hitting the beach or visiting family, 60 Air Force Academy cadets are spending spring break this week working for Habitat for Humanity in Houston, Oklahoma City, El Paso, Des Moines and Montrose.

The academy's Alternative Spring Break program has matched hundreds of cadets with Habitat for Humanity chapters to perform demolition, landscaping and construction work at more than 60 sites in the western and central United States, building homes for families in need, a news release says. — PZ


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