Headlines April 21, 2022
Headlines — April 21, 2022 Shannon Young
Wildfires Wednesday in Monte Vista and Longmont
Boulder County firefighters put out a grass fire in Longmont Wednesday. Named the Table Mountain Fire, it began in an area between Nelson and Neva roads and grew to about 50 acres. Heavily grazed and greening grasses slowed the blaze’s progress. There were no injuries or damaged structures reported.
Also on Wednesday, a fire in San Luis Valley’s Monte Vista area destroyed several homes. The blaze started around noon and by evening had burned through about 17 acres. About one hundred residences were evacuated. There were no reports of injuries.
There are red flag warnings out for today and Friday which will see some of the driest conditions this year and wind gusts up to 60 miles per hour from an incoming storm.
Fire officials say conditions will be as severe as the day of the Marshall Fire.
According to Microsoft News, this will be the 18th consecutive day of red flag warnings across the front range – something that has never happened before in Colorado during any month but that is especially rare for April.
Colorado General Assembly Passes Time Change Bill
The Colorado General Assembly approved legislation Tuesday that would make daylight saving time permanent year-round. Governor Jared Polis still needs to sign the bill.
The change would only take place if the U.S. House of Representatives passes a federal law allowing states to stick to daylight saving time. Also, other Mountain time zone states would have to shift to a similar plan for Colorado to be able to move forward.
House Passes Historic Affordable Housing Bill
A historic bill to earmark almost $180 million dollars towards affordable housing grants passed the House Wednesday. It’s the largest investment for this purpose in Colorado history.
The plan would provide direct, flexible and timely funding to nonprofits and local governments. Aside from new construction, the bill would support those impacted by the pandemic with rental and for-sale housing.
Bill Safeguarding Homeowners From HOAs Advances
Colorado representatives passed a preliminary House vote Wednesday on legislation that would make it harder for HOAs to foreclose on homeowners for unpaid fines and fees.
Under the proposed bill, HOAs must alert owners if they are behind on payments. Late fees, fines and interest would be limited to a maximum of $500 dollars total per violation.
And HOAs would have to offer a unit owner a repayment plan before initiating foreclosure. The bipartisan bill follows recent news of multiple foreclosures in the Green Valley Ranch Neighborhood in Denver.
Aurora Picks Former Police Chief For Interim Role
Former Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates will return to his old job temporarily while the city seeks a replacement for fired Chief Vanessa Wilson.
Oates ran the Department during the 2012 theater shooting in Aurora. As interim chief, Oates is expected to focus on fulfilling a consent decree that requires changes in use-of-force, hiring and training policies.
He will also address the city’s rise in crime. Some community leaders opposed Vanessa Wilson’s firing, saying she was forced out by conservative city council members because of her push for police reform.
Bird Flu Detected in Montrose County
The US Department of Agriculture has confirmed that H5N1 Avian Influenza, more commonly known as Bird Flu, has been detected in a commercial poultry operation in Montrose County.
On April fifteenth the state veterinarian’s office was notified of a mortality event at the operation, and samples were then submitted to the Colorado State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory for primary testing which the National Veterinary Services Laboratory confirmed was bird flu.
While bird flu poses little to no threat to humans, the mortality rate for poultry ranges from 90 to100 percent in just a few days.
A quarantine order set to limit the movement of birds has been put in place for Montrose and Delta Counties by the State Veterinarian. This means all commercial and backyard operations are to halt movements of poultry until further notice.
Denver Officials Increase Proposed Recycling Goals
Denver city officials laid out a five year plan on Tuesday to double the city’s recycling and composting volume. Denver’s Sustainable Resource Management Plan, which is the it’s first comprehensive update in 12 years—, calls for an increase in recycling and composting by 70% over the next decade.
Executive Director of Denver’s Office of Climate Action, Sustainability, and Resiliency, Grace Rink said that while the city has made progress, a lot of materials that would otherwise be recyclable are ending up in the dump.
The city plan also includes a “universal waste reduction ordinance” which adds recycling requirements for commercial buildings, multi-family homes, and revised rules for the construction sector. Denver waste officials will brief the City Council on its proposal during its regular meeting next week.
Headlines — April 21, 2022 Shannon Young