News in briefSchoolsConstruction to begin soon in Carbondale
Crews will begin mobilizing to begin construction on Crystal River Elementary and the new Roaring Fork High School in Carbondale most likely within the next two weeks, said Tim Brekel, Roaring Fork School District Re-1 construction consultant. School board members held a special meeting Friday to address construction at the schools, and they entered into a contract with A&P, its construction contractor for Carbondale projects. The approval gives the company permission to proceed with construction as soon as possible, said board member Bruce Wampler. Superintendent Fred Wall said Thursday that in order to meet the district’s Dec. 15 construction deadline, A&P requested that it begin construction on the schools as soon as possible.Brekel said he’s unsure when construction progress will be evident at either site, but “mobilization” will likely occur within the next week and a half. Friday’s special meeting was held in Wall’s office and was conducted via telephone because most board members were not able to make it to Glenwood Springs to attend in person. Another construction update is scheduled for the board’s Feb. 22 meeting. At that meeting, board members will also discuss updates to its discrimination and student interrogations, searches and arrests policies. Over the last several months, the board has been updating most of the district’s policies so they can be current by the time Wall retires from his post this summer. (Glenwood Springs Post Independent)First AmendmentACLU to defend student suspended over MySpace.com commentsLITTLETON (AP) – The American Civil Liberties Union says it will defend a student suspended by Littleton High School for mocking comments made at the MySpace.com Web site.”It’s definitely a First Amendment issue. School kids do have the right of expression. When it’s on campus, the school has some ability to regulate what students write, but this is off campus.” said Mark Silverstein, legal director for the Colorado ACLU.About a dozen students held a rally Fridayin support of Bryan Lopez, a 16-year-old junior. He was suspended for 15 days.”I just wrote stuff about the school to make people laugh,” said Lopez from his home Friday. “They were stereotypes about the school, what people say about the school. It was an opinion, not facts.”Although no names were used, it was possible to identify people from their descriptions.A parent brought a printout of the list to school a week ago, and Lopez was suspended the same day.PoliticsField for primary to replace Hefley could be crowdedCOLORADO SPRINGS (AP) – After 20 years of the familiar face of Joel Hefley, voters in the 5th Congressional District may have to choose from a crowded field in a Republican primary.Hefley announced this week that he will not seek an 11th term from the predominantly Republican district.One Republican had announced his intention to run even before Hefley withdrew but The Gazette of Colorado Springs reports that there may be at least three other candidates.Former El Paso County Sheriff John Anderson had planned to contest Hefley’s nomination the primary. State Sen. Doug Lamborn, Colorado Springs Mayor Lionel Rivera and Jeff Crank, former vice president of the Greater Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce are expected to join the race by early March.The possible candidate list could grow even larger and include El Paso County Commissioner Wayne Williams, Colorado Springs City Councilman Darryl Glenn and state Rep. Bill Cadman.