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Eagle County land rush

Just think of them as Eagle County’s version of the Sooners or the 49ers, and you’ll do fine.

Television crews began staking their claims across the street from the Eagle County Justice Center as early as Tuesday afternoon, when Judge Fred Gannett’s media decorum order gave them until 7 a.m. Thursday to get off the Justice Center lawn.

The 24-hour news cable channels staked out the first, and largest claims.



Television news crews, being booted off the Justice Center lawn, looked quickly for an unobstructed view of the front of the building, and found it across Chambers Avenue along the sidewalk. Of course, they’ll have to build scaffolding to lift cameras high enough to shoot over the hedges and the parking lot, and that could get to be a bit death defying when the regular August afternoon thunderstorms – and the attendant lightning – start rolling through the valley every day.

Journalists were left to their creativity, and occasionally begging and negotiating, to figure out ways to deal with Gannett’s media decorum ruling, issued Tuesday afternoon. Gannett’s ruling barred reporters from conducting interviews in the courthouse, and from photographing the alleged victim and her family, witnesses and their families, and court employees and officials.



Some veteran reporters have called it the most restrictive order they’ve ever seen.

In his ruling, Gannett said his foremost concern was the privacy and safety of the alleged victim, the witnesses and preserving an environment for a fair trial.

It fell to Assistant Eagle County Administrator Becky Gadell and county facilities manager Rich Cunningham to try to bring order to the confusion, which didn’t look like exactly like a Middle Eastern bazaar, but was close enough for Eagle County.



“It looks like chaos, but it’s not,” said Gadell, as a group of television crew members hammered out details about who’d be allowed to do what and when. “They’re working it out among themselves and that’s always the best solution.”

The vacant lot across Chambers Ave., where the television trucks will be parked, is owned by the Gallegos Corp. Eagle County officials said they’re letting the television crews use it for free, through Bryant’s Aug. 6 court appearance.


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