Colorado’s largest hospital system quietly files lawsuits, and City Council Louisville approves Redtail Ridge – with conditions

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Colorado’s largest hospital system quietly files lawsuits

Colorado’s biggest hospital system is suing thousands of patients each year over unresolved bills.

An investigation by 9News and the Colorado Sun found that UCHealth filed nearly 16,000 lawsuits between 2019 and 2023.

They also reported that UCHealth delegates unpaid bills to debt collectors. The suits then get filed under the names of third-party collection agencies, which shields UCHealth’s place in the lawsuit.

Patients told The Denver Post that this makes it difficult to figure out who is actually suing them.

UCHealth says they collect $5 million from the lawsuits each year.

The nonprofit is exempt from paying taxes. They treated around 3 million patients last year, which made them earn more than $6 billion in revenue.

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City Council Louisville approves Redtail Ridge, with conditions

The Louisville City Council unanimously approved the development of Redtail Ridge on Tuesday.

According to The Daily Camera, 139 acres will be dedicated to public land, while roughly 58 acres will be reserved for industrial or commercial buildings. Plans also include a new hospital, a life sciences campus, and a commitment to sustainability.

At the meeting, councilmembers stressed the need to improve the US 36/Northwest Parkway interchange to handle increased traffic to the area. They also emphasized the need to keep students safe on their way to school, since both Monarch K-8 and Monarch High School are just north of the property.

The plan was approved in its preliminary stage, so recommendations from council and the public will be taken into consideration for the final development agreement. That’s expected to be presented to council at a later date.

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Recreation centers in Denver affected by the city’s budget cuts to handle migrant waves

Denver’s 30 recreation centers started to cut down their hours this week as the city focuses its expenses on the migrant crisis.

Several rec centers have pushed their opening hours from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. starting this week, with some now opening as late as 9 a.m.

The money that allowed these centers to open earlier will be redirected toward city spending on shelter, food, bus tickets, and other support for new-arriving migrants.

These changes are part of Mayor Mike Johnston’s budget-reduction package, which is supposed to save the city around $5 million according to The Denver Post.

This plan also includes week-long closures of four of the city’s five Motor Vehicle offices, and impending cuts to spring Parks and Rec programs.

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First-degree murder suspects could get a bail-out option back

Colorado lawmakers want to change the state constitution regarding bail for first-degree murder defendants – and they want residents to vote on the decision in November’s upcoming election.

If passed, HRC24-1002 would put a measure on the November 2024 ballot to remove bail eligibility for people accused of first-degree murder. The law would be added to the state constitution.

This push comes just eight months after the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that all criminal defendants – including those charged with first-degree murder – must be given the chance to pay bail.

Now, lawmakers want to go back on that decision and allow first-degree murder defendants to be held in jail without bail in cases where judges find there is “significant evidence” against the defendant.

The Denver Post reported that prosecutors could not offer any examples of first-degree murder defendants who posted bail and then fled, and added that they face very high bails and that usually keeps them in jail while awaiting trial.

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Longmont Starbucks joins unionization to protest work conditions

Workers at the Starbucks in Longmont, at 17th Avenue and Hover Street, have filed petitions with the National Labor Relations Board to join the Starbucks workers union.

They were among employees at 21 other Starbucks coffee shops to join this month’s nationwide unionization push.

Longmont Starbucks barista Juniper Krone told The Daily Camera that their store doesn’t have the support they need to meet sales expectations. They added that their hours have been cut and pay rates are too low.

Members of the Starbucks Workers United Union wrote a letter to Starbucks’ CEO echoing similar sentiments. They demanded reliable schedules, less pressure on workers, and more respect.

Employees at nearly 400 Starbucks locations, including those in Boulder, Westminster, and Superior have unionized in recent years.

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Bustang to discontinue its one-a-day route from Colorado Springs to Denver Tech Center

The Colorado Department of Transportation announced Monday that Bustang will discontinue service on its route from Colorado Springs to Denver.

Starting March 1, Bustang will stop service of the rush hour bus route to the Denver Tech Center because of a decrease in passengers since the route was created in 2019.

According to the Denver Gazette, commuters dependent on transportation from Colorado Springs to the DTC can utilize the Bustang’s South Line. Officials say that Line covers a similar route, but has different stops near the Tech Center.

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Jackie Sedley

Jackie Sedley

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