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Kobe draws Web traffic

EAGLE COUNTY, Colo. — For a time, working with not very many facts, lots of people were ready to draw lots of conclusions about guilt and innocence in the Kobe Bryant case.

Many people concluded that Bryant’s accuser was a gold-digger, a publicity seeker, a racist, or perhaps some combination of the three. Others were convinced of Bryant’s guilt, with not a whole lot of evidence other than a general opinion that professional athletes often have a sense of entitlement, so he must have, too.

But since the woman refused to co-operate with prosecutors by testifying in court, the case was dropped. With that, the juicy stuff began coming out.

First to get the goods was the Vail Daily. A transcript of the first police interviews with Bryant were delivered to the newspaper in the mail from an unidentified source. This is the interview where he tells the cops that perhaps the matter can be settled if he pays the girl off – like his teammate Shaquille O’Neal did, he suggested.

This news and subsequent disclosures resulted in a tripling of visits to the Web site of the Vail Daily, with most of the visits originating in California, where Bryant plays basketball the Los Angeles Lakers.

Telluride’s early days

TELLURIDE, Colo. — The party-loving and idealistic baby boomers who were the first influx into the old mining town of Telluride have hit middle age and are now trying to make sense of their early years.

One such effort is "The YX Factor," a new film that chronicles Telluride in the 1970s. A big mine was still operating, but it was clearly on its way out. Still, the old-timers strongly distrusted the newcomers, who had come to ski and, more generally, create a new lifestyle.

A fulcrum in this tension between old and new was over the work of Everett Morrow, the town marshal. He was notorious for everything from unauthorized search-and-seizures to telling visitors, point blank, to get out of town. The marshal himself got booted as soon as the newcomers were able to get their slate of candidates elected to the town government.

But in compiling interviews for the film, co-producer Amy Levek tracked him down to Parachute, Colo., a one-time oil-shale town that is now basically a retirement community. "He was very different from what I expected, having heard so many stories about how much he hassled people and all," Levek tells The Telluride Watch. "He was just very sincere about doing his job," which was, in his estimation, "to make sure the kids were OK and that drugs didn’t become a problem."

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