Denver student protests continue; State issues fine on Cemex for air pollution; RTD Police now patrolling 24/7


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    05_06_24_am_headlines Alexis Kenyon

Metropolitan State University and SDS-Denver to discuss Auraria campus protest

Metropolitan State University officials and Students for a Democratic Society-Denver have scheduled a meeting for this afternoon to resolve the impasse over an encampment of pro-Palestinian demonstrators on the Auraria campus.

Metropolitan State is one of three institutions sharing the campus, along with CU Denver and Community College of Denver. Organizers for the Students for a Democratic Society-Denver, or SDS, last week rejected an offer from the campus of a $15,000 donation to the Red Cross in exchange for taking down their encampment, according to the Denver Post. SDS Denver says they won’t leave until administrators meet their demands. 

Their demands include the University of Colorado publishing a statement condemning the actions of Israel; divesting from any corporations doing business in Israel and refusing grants from corporations that contract with the U.S. armed forces.

Denver Police arrested 45 students on April 26 during a sweep of the encampment. They have not arrested protesters since then. On Friday, police chief Ron Thomas said there are no plans for a second sweep because at present there are no legal grounds for doing so.

Also on Friday, Metropolitan State president Janine Davidson said that the university has agreed to provide demonstrators with financial information related to the university’s investments and industry relationships, according to Denverite.  The Denver demonstrations are part of a wider movement on college campuses nationwide.

Check out our reporting on the protests 

Read more from the Denver Post

Read more from Denverite

Colorado fines Cemex $1.3 million for air pollution violations

The State of Colorado is fining the Cemex Cement plant near Lyons another $1.3 million for violating air pollution standards.

The new fines are for violations during 2022 and 2023, according to the Colorado Sun, and are on top of a $375,000 fine from 2021. State air pollution control officials have ordered Cemex to “take quick actions to reduce air pollution and improve compliance.

The company said in a statement that while they have agreed to the terms of the fines, Cemex, “steadfastly maintains that it operates as a responsible environmental steward of the communities in which [they] operate.”

A member of a community advocacy group noted that fines “have clearly not been enough to deter Cemex’s actions.”

Last month Boulder County regulators issued an order terminating the right of Cemex to operate its Lyons plant, due in part to a safety hazard posed by increased traffic around the facility. The company is expected to respond to that order later this month.

Read more from the Colorado Sun

Read more about community pushback to Cemex 

Colorado to vote on removing same-sex marriage ban from state constitution

Colorado voters will have the opportunity to remove obsolete language from the state constitution this fall.

A proposed amendment to remove language banning same-sex marriage will be on the ballot this November, according to the Denver Post, after the state House of Representatives passed the measure on Saturday.

Colorado voters approved a same-sex marriage ban in 2006, but that became obsolete after the United States Supreme Court legalized same-sex unions in 2015. The proposal to remove the ban passed the state House and Senate with two-thirds majorities.

Since it involves changing the State Constitution, it now needs voter approval to take effect. Supporters of removing the ban from the State Constitution say it’s necessary because the U.S. Supreme Court has indicated a willingness to revisit high-profile decisions.

Read more from the Denver Post

Federal judge upholds Colorado’s ban on ghost guns

A federal judge has denied a request by two gun rights groups to block Colorado’s new ban on so-called ghost guns.

The ghost gun ban became law last year. Ghost guns are generally defined as firearms assembled from kits or 3-D printers, and are untraceable because they don’t have serial numbers.

According to Colorado Politics, the new law makes ghost gun possession a misdemeanor, unless the owner obtains a serial number from a licensed dealer, and the dealer performs a background check.

The National Association for Gun Rights and Rocky Mountain Gun Owners sued to strike down that law under the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. Judge Gordon Gallagher ruled last week that the law, in his words, “imposes a condition on the commercial sale of a firearm,” but does not prevent anyone from buying one.

Read more from Colorado Politics

Boulder considers future of municipal airport

The City of Boulder says they have not decided anything about the future of the Boulder Municipal Airport. In March, the city’s housing board recommended exploring the possibility of closing the airport and converting it to a mixed-income neighborhood.

Boulder Reporting Lab called that part of a broader plan to increase affordable housing. In a release posted to its website last week, the city said they are at a crossroads in determining the airport’s future.

Read more about Boulder’s airport site
Read more from Boulder Reporting Lab

RTD ramps up security across Denver transit systems

The Regional Transit District has stepped up its security on its light rail platforms, lines, and buses.

As of yesterday, RTD Transit Police began 24/7 patrols, and a spokesperson says they are armed, and patrolling the system primarily on foot, although they have police vehicles, too. Before this round-the-clock patrolling, there were several gaps in the system, according to Denver7. RTD has 274 security guards.

In addition to that, there are sixty-one transit officers, with sixteen more graduating from the academy this month. There are also six mental health clinicians and five homeless outreach coordinators.

Read more from Denver7



Alexis Kenyon

Alexis Kenyon

Alexis Kenyon is an experienced radio reporter with more than 15 years of experience creating compelling, sound-rich radio stories for news outlets across the country. Kenyon has master's degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, Graduate School of Journalism in radio broadcast and photojournalism. She has worked in KGNU's news department since 2021 as a reporter, editor, and daily news producer. In all her work, she strives to produce thought-provoking, trustworthy journalism that makes other people's stories feel personal. In addition to audio production, Kenyon runs KGNU's news internship program and oversees the department's digital engagement.

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