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The 8-day, nationwide manhunt for the Dougherty gang that began with an alleged shooting at a police officer in Florida and then a bank robbery in Georgia ended Wednesday in a spectacular rollover on I-25 just north of Walsenburg and gunshots from Walsenburg Police Chief James Chamberlain that hit Lee Grace Dougherty in the leg. Lee Dougherty, 29, said she pointed a gun at a cop and that she deserved to get shot. It wasn’t the first time Dougherty or her two younger brothers, Ryan Edward Dougherty, 21, and Dylan Dougherty-Stanley, 26, turned their guns on police. Lee Dougherty was treated for her wounds at the Spanish Peaks Regional Health Center in Walsenburg. Her brothers also were treated for injuries they suffered in the car wreck. According to the Colorado State Patrol, the chase Wednesday reached speeds of up to 120mph. All three siblings waived further advisement of the potential charges they face yesterday. The three were each booked into the Pueblo County Jail on suspicion of attempted first-degree murder on a police officer and first-degree assault on a police officer. Their bail is set at $1.25 million each and they are scheduled to make their first appearances in district court on Monday.

In a poll released yesterday by Public Policy Polling, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper received a 54% approval rating of those surveyed, while just 24% disapprove. The 30-point spread makes Hickenlooper the most popular governor among 42 that were the subject of polls. Hickenlooper has crafted a moderate perception among lawmakers and voters. He has appealed to conservatives by making steep budgetary cuts and speaking out against red tape that inhibits business. At the same time, Hickenlooper wowed the left when he vetoed a measure that would have charged premiums to low-income families for health care and vanquished members of the commission that governs limited states gambling in Colorado when it handed casinos a tax break. Among democrats, the poll showed Hickenlooper’s approval to be 73% while 11% disapproved. Independents approving of him numbered 49%, while 29% disapproved. Republicans responded with a 34% approval rate with nearly equal numbers disapproving of the governor.

Residents in our area will have a chance to weigh in tomorrow on the radical changes that are being proposed to legislative boundaries in southern Colorado. The Colorado Reapportionment Commission will be in Alamosa tomorrow at 1pm at the Trinidad State Junior College Valley Campus at 1011 Main Street in the Building 1 Auditorium. Then, the commission will be in Trinidad at 7pm tomorrow at the Trinidad State Junior College Trinidad campus at 600 Prospect Street, in the Berg Administration Building, little theater. Reapportionment of boundaries for seats in the general assembly is undertaken every 10 years to adjust district sizes based on the most recent U.S. Census. The San Luis Valley is the subject of proposed sweeping changes for the state senate and Las Animas County would change representation in both the house and the senate under the plan that’s being considered. The reapportionment commission will also hold meetings in Lamar on August 19th and in Pueblo on August 22nd.

According to a spokesperson for Community Bankshares, Inc., the recent announcement about the Community Banks of Colorado buyout will affect the branches in the San Luis Valley in name only. None of the branches in the San Luis Valley are on the list of 16 Community Banks of Colorado banking centers that are being acquired by NBH Holdings Corporation in Colorado. The Community Banks not acquired will remain under Community Bankshares, Inc., the holding company for Community Banks of Colorado. At some point they will receive a new name, as NBH acquired the Community Banks of Colorado name. Community Banks of Colorado have branches in Alamosa, Antonito, San Luis, Center, Monte Vista, South Fork, Del Norte and La Jara.

An informational meeting intended for anyone who may be interested in running for the Huerfano School District RE-1 School Board now or in the future or who may simply want to learn more about school board work and school board meetings, will be held on Monday, August 15th, at 6:30pm at the Huerfano RE-1 School District Administration Building, located at 201 East 5th Street in Walsenburg. This is not a candidate’s forum or training, but rather an opportunity to discuss school board governance. The meeting is open to the public and everyone is welcome to attend.