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This week in Loveland history for May 7-13, 2023 –

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​10 years ago

• More than 5,600 ponderosa pine and limber pine trees were planted in the Bellaire Lake, Dowdy Lake, and West Lake campgrounds on the Canyon Lakes Ranger District of the Roosevelt National Forest to replace trees lost in the High Park Fire.

• So many women signed up for Women Build Day that Loveland Habitat for Humanity officials said they were considering holding additional Women Build days throughout the rest of the year. “It’s about empowerment,” Gwen Stephenson, executive director of Loveland Habitat, said. “Women across the country are building in solidarity. The majority of people in the U.S. and around the world suffering from poverty are women and children.”

• Whole Foods signed on to be an anchor of Village at the Peaks, the redeveloped Twin Peaks Mall property in Longmont. The mall owner released a flier that called it a “super-regional destination for shopping, great restaurants and state-of-the-art entertainment.”

• The Loveland City Council gave its support to annexation and zoning of land near 29th Street and Wilson Avenue for Loveland Fire Rescue Authority’s new Fire Station 2. The new station would replace the 40-year-old Fire Station 2 in North Lake Park. Four neighbors spoke in opposition to the proposal, with concerns that included traffic issues, noise, safety and declining property values. The fire chief said neighborhood meetings would be scheduled and he would work to address the concerns.

• After a closed session 90 minutes long, Loveland City Council voted to pursue an ongoing suit with businessman Bill Beierwaltes and associated companies to the Colorado Court of Appeals if the city’s settlement offer was not accepted. The council wanted the Colorado vNet owner to return $599,000, $39,000 more than Beierwaltes and associates had offered but about a third less than the $900,000 in cash the city gave to him to launch his business in 2008. In seeking city incentives, the company had wanted to cash in on the high-end housing construction boom by placing custom sound systems in homes, but as the housing market nosedived, so did the fortunes of the company and it did not meet goals of the agreement. Councilors voted 7-0 to approve the ultimatum, with councilors Chauncey Taylor and John Fogle recusing themselves because of conflicts of interest.

• A public finance plan for a $312 million project to revamp Foothills Mall in Fort Collins would take away $15 million in property taxes from the county over 25 years, Larimer commissioners said and, in a unanimous resolution, they asked Fort Collins city councilors to reject the $53 million incentive plan, revising it to make sure money was available for county services the project would require. “I think they want to build a world-class city, and that’s fine,” Commission Chairman Steve Johnson said. “You don’t build a world-class city by tearing down the county.”

• City officials announced an art installation plaza would welcome visitors to downtown Loveland at Lincoln Avenue and Third Street. The city of Loveland plans to sell the empty lot on the northwest corner that had been home to Leslie the Cleaner, but that could be a year or two off, said Mike Scholl, economic development manager. In the meantime, the city’s Economic Development Department and Visuals Arts Commission wanted to create a small walk-through Third Street Plaza with art, foliage and Xeriscape landscaping.

• Ben Glover, a Loveland native, received an award for Christian Music Songwriter of the Year by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, the third time he had won the award.

• Larimer County commissioners approved $367,000 in matching funds for work to reduce risk of flood damage to roads, homes and other structures in the High Park zone. The $3.7 million project was largely paid for with federal emergency funds.

• Angela Myers, for 10 years a staff member in the county clerk’s office, was the unanimous choice of Larimer County commissioners to replace Scott Doyle as Larimer County clerk. “We were fortunate to have five well-qualified applicants, but with Angela’s 10 years experience in all aspects of this office, we felt she would provide the best transition for our citizens,” Commission Chairman Steve Johnson said in announcing Myers’ appointment.

• The 8th Judicial District Court sided with Loveland City Manager Bill Cahill in his decision to uphold the termination of a Loveland police officer. Police Chief Luke Hecker had fired the nine-year officer in March 2012 following an investigation into the officer’s use of an electronic stun gun in 2011 on a 15-year-old suspect fleeing from a possible car burglary. The officer said he had followed department guidelines. But an internal review of the incident found the officer failed to comply with numerous policy directives. In Cahill’s ruling as officer at an appeal hearing to uphold Hecker’s decision to terminate the officer, he acknowledged that the case involved the valid arrest of a suspect thought to be fleeing, but agreed that the use of physical force was not reasonably necessary to make the arrest. In his complaint, the former officer called Cahill’s decision “arbitrary and capricious” and not supported by the evidence. But in his order, 8th Judicial District Judge Thomas French ruled that Cahill properly considered department directives.

• The city of Loveland agreed to pay $35,000 to a Johnstown man after the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado argued that the man’s constitutional rights were violated by Loveland police during a 2011 traffic stop. The man had driven to the post office in Loveland the night of July 4, 2011, when an officer pulled him over for failure to stop at a stop sign, questioned him about his whereabouts, then removed him from his vehicle and handcuffed him, and searched his body, wallet and vehicle. The officer claimed he had smelled the odor of marijuana, but none was found and the man was released 80 minutes after the stop. Police Chief Luke Hecker said when the man filed a complaint with the police department, it was investigated and performance deficiencies were found and corrective actions were taken internally with the involved officer.

• Artworks Loveland, which had opened its doors to artists in May 2012 with 17 available studio spaces, reached 100% capacity when Brian Peterson was approved for a studio there. “Studios are not easy to find, especially affordable studios, which is why many artists work out of garages,” said Susan Ison, cultural services director with the city of Loveland. “It is important to have this interaction and camaraderie where you find different artists who work in different media and techniques learning from each other. It’s wonderful to see.”

• A Colorado Housing Division report showed vacancy rates throughout Larimer County were lower than statewide averages, with Loveland’s among the lowest. The scarcity of supply had driven rents upward with the average apartment rent in the city at $1,030. Rents in the Loveland-Fort Collins market were exceeded only by Aspen’s average monthly rent of $1,143.

• The general manager of the Greeley-Loveland Irrigation Co. said Lake Loveland would begin refilling as April and May precipitation was filling the lakes in its system. The company allowed Lonetree Reservoir southwest of Loveland, Boedecker Lake on the city’s west side and Donath Lake northeast of the city to fill with Big Thompson water before Lake Loveland, and the other three were close to full.

• Loveland High School’s Rebecca Weissmann won 5A state tennis championship.

• A steel monument honoring those who went through the High Park Fire, commissioned by Mishawaka owner Dani Grant, was unveiled at that venue.

25 years ago

• The Thompson School Board rejected all three of the names chosen by a committee for the new high school being built in east Loveland. Board members were unenthusiastic about the names Millennium, Trail Ridge and Storm Mountain. The board directed Sue Wall, who would serve as principal when the new school opened, to reconvene the committee and allow its members to decide how to proceed.

• The Thompson School Board voted to change graduation requirements, among them lifting the requirement for students to prove they could swim.

• The Colorado Department of Transportation placed larger crossroad and stop signs at County Road 13 and Colo. 402 and lengthened the decreased speed limit on 402, in hope that accident statistics would taper off.

• The North Front Range Transportation and Air Quality Planning Council agreed to a request from the Department of Transportation to increase the funding and shorten the time frame for major widening of U.S. 287 from Broomfield to Loveland. The hope was an improved four-lane highway would be in place by 2003.

• Larimer County commissioners agreed to purchase 230 acres known as the Coyote Ridge expansion. The new acreage connected with the southwestern portion of the existing Coyote Ridge Natural Area. The owner of the land asked that he or she remain anonymous and that the purchase price not be publicized, but Commissioner Jim Disney said the county paid fair market value for the land.

• Owners of the Loveland Reporter-Herald announced that on Sept. 1 staff would begin publishing and delivering the newspaper in the morning. “The majority of daily newspapers in the United States already have converted from afternoon to morning editions,” owner Ed Lehman said. At the time, Reporter-Herald editions were published in the afternoon Monday through Friday. The weekend editions already were published and delivered in the morning.

• Loveland High School freshman Jeremy Bloom got word he’d been selected for the eight-man United States Freestyle Ski Team, the youngest skier to ever make the top squad. “I did not expect it to happen so fast,” the 16-year-old said. He said his initial goal would be to reach the world championships in the next season, but the grand goal was to reach the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

• Officials with the city of Loveland, Platte River Power Authority and Fort Collins/Loveland Municipal Airport said they thought Jan. 1, 2000, would be just another Saturday because efforts had been underway for years to prepare for any computer issues that would arise when the date changed from 1999 to 2000.

• As tickets went on sale for concerts at the Rialto Theater by Emmylou Harris, Tom Rush, Leon Russell and Eric Burdon, downtown merchants were hoping that the shows by big-name artists, produced by John Punessen of Smiling Dog Productions, would draw more shoppers to the area.

• A vacant game store and a gas station at the northeast corner of Eisenhower Boulevard and Lincoln Avenue were demolished to make room for a right turn lane.

• A Loveland kennel owner accused of allowing greyhound dogs that did not belong to him to be euthanized had his Colorado dog racing licenses revoked by the Colorado Racing Commission. He was accused of donating 66 dogs that belonged to him and other people to Colorado State University, where dogs that were sick or were not needed for teaching purposes were put to death.

• After people mistook the seven bike lockers in downtown Loveland for utility boxes or used them to store personal belongings, the Downtown Development Authority was moving two of them from Fifth Street to the bus stop on Third Street between Lincoln and Cleveland avenues.

• Attempting to clear the confusion from the previous week’s meeting, the Loveland City Council scheduled a public hearing to reconsider the rezoning of the 126-acre property near Wilson Avenue and 43rd Street where developer John Giuliano hoped to build 420 single-family homes, 170 multifamily units and 55,000 square feet of commercial development.

• The Loveland City Council heard a proposal that the city enter into a telecommunications contract with the Platte River Power Authority for construction of a fiber-optic cable system. Councilors scheduled a June 2 vote on the issue.

50 years ago

• The Thompson School Board and teachers approved a compromise recommendation on the 1973-74 teacher contracts. Among other points, the compromise called for a board agreement to discuss guidelines on how to meet and confer with representatives of teachers.

• A dedication was set for May 26, 1973, for a museum on the Black Canyon Ranch north of Estes Park. The museum would commemorate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the ranch. The ranch was the oldest large piece of homestead land in the area still being used for its original purpose. Muriel MacGregor, daughter of the ranch founder, Alexander Q. MacGregor, spent her entire life on the ranch, except when she was away at college. She has been the first woman attorney to be admitted to practice before the Supreme Court, in 1935.

• The Loveland update of its Plan for Growth was called “a little too bland”  by Larimer County planning staff. One concern was that major commercial areas were not specifically laid out in the plan. A complete renovation of the downtown area of Loveland also was recommended by the county planning staff, with features such as a “people oriented area” and north-south walkways. One of the Larimer County planners said Loveland’s downtown could be in a crisis situation before too long since an increased number of shopping centers were being proposed and built in Northern Colorado. The county planners also expressed concern that the entire 90 square miles around the city was plotted out for residential development.

• The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Loveland Ward, held an open house and dedication for a new addition to its church at 1445 W. 28th St. The addition included a cultural hall for sports and theater, a large kitchen, library, classrooms and offices.

• The Colorado Housing Board praised Loveland’s efforts to provide housing for low and moderate income families. The Loveland Housing Authority had been formed two years earlier, and when federal funding was slow in coming had moved ahead and started a HOUSE (Home Ownership Using Sweat Equity) program as a grassroots aid to the problem. It had acquired several homes donated by Safeway when the company began to construct a new store between Lincoln and Cleveland avenues, and moved and renovated them. State officials said it could be a model for other cities.

120 years ago

• A notice was placed in the May 7, 1903, issue of the Loveland Reporter: “All persons are notified to stay out of Big Thompson Canyon — while work continues on new Estes Park road. Blasting makes it dangerous to all visitors.”

• “Very seldom in Colorado is May ushered in by a blinding snowstorm — but that was the case last Friday. All day the clouds were threatening — and now and then the sun would brightly burst thru some rift in the clouds; but at 5:52 rain commented to patter and a short time later snow came fast and furious,” the May 7, 1903, issue of the Loveland Reporter said.

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