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News in Brief

Colorado Mountain News Media announced Monday that Vail Daily associate publisher Andrea Porter will immediately take the publishing reins of the Glenwood Springs Post Independent. She will also be publisher of The Valley Journal in Carbondale and The Citizen-Telegram, both weekly publications.

Porter replaces Mike Bennett, who will now be publisher of the Grand Junction Free Press.

CMNM Director Steve Pope said Porter’s appointment will allow the Post Independent to continue the progress it made under Bennett and editor Dale Shrull. The paper’s transition from one publisher to the next will happen without missing a beat, he said.

“Andrea has been part of the community for so long, it will be perceived as a coming-home rather than a change,” Pope said.

Porter was in charge of the advertising department at the Glenwood Independent before and for a short while after its 2000 merger with the old Glenwood Post.

Gypsum-based CMNM is part of Reno, Nev.-based Swift Newspapers Inc. and operates five daily newspapers in Frisco, Vail, Glenwood, Aspen and Grand Junction. The company also owns weekly papers in Aspen, Gypsum, Rifle, Carbondale, Snowmass Village, Vail and Leadville.

A diversion program designed to keep less-serious offenders out of prison will have a place of its own in Garfield County. Monday, county commissioners approved funding for design of a building that will house the community corrections program.

The commissioners also informally committed approximately $1 million for construction.

Community corrections is an alternative to a prison sentence that provides life-skill training, employment support, and drug and alcohol treatment in a residential setting.

“Community corrections is for guys who are convicted of a felony,” said director Guy Meyer. “They don’t necessarily fit the profile of going to prison. They’re mostly drug offenders, nonviolent and nonsexual predators.”

The residential program, which began in 2003, has grown from four clients to 32 and is housed in the county jail in Glenwood Springs. The program has an 83 percent success rate, said Steve Reynolds, a member of the community corrections board.

“The success rate for people who go through the community corrections program is significantly higher than for those who go through the Department of Corrections [prison],” Reynolds said.

Community corrections is also a good deal for the taxpayers. The state Division of Criminal Justice pays most of the per-client cost of $35.39 a day. Cost for a prisoner in the Department of Corrections is $73.46 a day, Reynolds said.


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