mayoral race Jackie Sedley
Brockett Continues as Boulder Mayor
Aaron Brockett will continue to be mayor of Boulder based on the latest election returns. Brockett’s lead over challenger Bob Yates continued to grow as more ballots were counted Wednesday. Yates conceded in an interview with the Boulder Reporting Lab, saying quote “We’re in great hands with Aaron.”
This year marks the first time Boulder voters are directly electing a mayor. Previously, the mayor has been chosen by the City Council. Brockett has served as mayor for the past two years.
There are five Council seats being decided, with more ballots still to be counted. The Camera says incumbent Tara Winer is in the lead, followed by Tina Marquis, Taishya Adams, Ryan Schuchard, and Terri Brncic. Other candidates are fairly behind the top vote-getters.
Meanwhile, the counting continues: more election results are due to be released this afternoon at 4:30.
Funeral Home Arrests
The owner of an El Paso County Funeral Home has been arrested on suspicion of three felonies, after the remains of at least 189 people were discovered at his Penrose, Colorado business.
Jon Hallford and his wife Carrie were both arrested yesterday in Wagoner, Oklahoma, and are expected to be extradited back to Colorado, according to the Associated Press. Their bonds are set at $2 million.
Their case began on October 4th with the discovery of 189 decaying bodies at the Return to Nature Funeral Home. The facility, which opened in 2017, offered what they called “green” cremations and burials, that didn’t use embalming fluids.
Investigators are still trying to identify all of the remains. They say Jon Hallford at first tried to conceal the improper storage of bodies, saying the bad smell there came from taxidermy.
The funeral home’s license expired a year ago. The Associated Press says that Colorado has some of the weakest funeral home oversight laws in the country.
Librarians Allege Book Ban Firings Violate Civil Rights
A Colorado librarian who was fired for supporting LGBTQ+ and anti-racism programs at her library is joining two other fired librarians by taking her case to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Brooky Parks was fired from the Erie Community Library after organizing programs for teens on anti-racism and LGBTQ+ stories. She is joining with a Texas library director and a Wyoming library executive director, both fired under similar circumstances.
The three are represented by a Denver law firm. Their lawyer says the librarians’ wrongful termination and the fight against book banning is similar to civil rights-era legal battles.
After 8 months without library income, Park won a $250,000 settlement in September with the High Plains Library District. Her attorney says this will likely resolve Parks’ claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which requires her former employer to give librarians more say when it comes to library programs.
Parks is now a librarian at the University of Denver.
BoCo Ban On RV Encampments
A new ordinance making it easier for authorities to clear out vehicle encampments in unincorporated Boulder County has been approved.
The Boulder County Board of Commissioners passed the ordinance unanimously on Tuesday.
The new ordinance takes aim at vehicles left in one place for more than 72 hours. Anyone who violates the law can be fined up to $60 for a third offense, or have their vehicle impounded.
Boulder Reporting Lab says residents in the Twin Lakes neighborhood have complained about so-called “RV encampments” in their area. Residents say people have been living in their vehicles, and may be responsible for burglaries in the area. They also said some of the people at encampments have used illegal drugs.
Larimer CO Deputy Not Liable For Jail Assault
A former Larimer County sheriff’s deputy has been found not liable for a man’s assault at the hands of another incarcerated person.
Dustin Napier suffered a broken jaw and other injuries after his cellmate attacked him in the county jail. Prior to the attack, Napier had voiced concerns about his cellmate to Deputy Luke Albrook and asked to switch housing assignments.
After the assault, Napier claimed Albrook violated his constitutional rights by failing to protect him in the face of a known threat. But, a U.S. District Court Judge sided with Albrook, saying his conduct did not meet the constitutional standard of “deliberate indifference” to Napier’s safety.