Headlines – August 15, 2023


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    Headlines – August 15, 2023 Jacob Agatston

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Lewis Coal Mine Fire Mitigation

Authorities will soon begin an effort at what they’re calling a “proactive effort to reduce the potential” for a surface fire in open space south of Boulder.

The Colorado Division of Reclamation, Mining, and Safety will start mitigation work on the Lewis Coal Mine Fire, located beneath private properties near Marshall and Cherryvale Roads. The underground fire has been burning for more than fifty years, according to Boulder County officials cited by 9News.

It is hoped that the state’s mitigation effort will finally extinguish the fire. It is expected to be finished by next spring.

The coal mine fire is near the ignition points of the Marshall Mesa wildfire, which burned at the end of 2021. Investigators concluded it did not play a significant role in that fire, which became the most destructive in Colorado history.

While the Lewis Coal Mine fire mitigation effort is being called proactive, state officials have noticed increased surface activity there recently, and have been monitoring it closely.

Boulder Announces Down Payment Program

The City of Boulder is offering help to middle-income people looking to buy a home in the city.

They’ve started a new Middle Income, Down Payment Assistance Pilot Program that offers up to 200 thousand dollars in zero-interest loans to middle-income people, or thirty percent of the home’s sale price, whichever is less.

There are some restrictions, including that a home must be market-rate and within city limits, and that buyers must occupy it. 

To be eligible for the assistance, program participants must agree to cap the property’s resale price. A goal of the program is to create more permanently affordable housing within city limits for middle income people.

The program was approved by voters in 2019.

Denver Police Shooting Update 

Police in Denver are giving new details in the fatal shooting of a man by an officer earlier this month. 

An unarmed Denver man who was shot and killed by a Denver police officer on August 5, had a magic marker in his pocket. The officer thought that the marker was a knife. 

According to a 911 call, Brandon Cole, 36 was likely intoxicated and had pushed his wife from her wheelchair.

The Denver Gazette reports that when police first arrived on the scene Cole was rummaging around in a car. Denver police released two body camera videos. One of the two videos showed that Cole yelled “Let’s Go” at least five times and walked toward one officer who is in the street pointing a taser. 

Cole then changed direction and walked toward a second officer who asked him to stop. Officers could be heard calling him by his name, trying to deescalate the situation.

Cole did not stop and was shot as he appeared to advance upon the officer. The officer who shot Cole was placed on modified paid leave while the investigation into the shooting continued.

Adams County Deputy Shot

The Adams County Sheriff’s Office is crediting a bulletproof vest with saving the life of one of their deputies.

The deputy was shot in the midsection early Monday during a chase for a suspect that ended at West 74th Avenue and Federal Boulevard. The incident began with an attempted traffic stop by the deputy at East 88th Avenue and Colorado Boulevard, which the suspect ignored.

Though wearing protective gear, the deputy was taken to a hospital as a precaution. He is expected to be okay.

The suspect was taken into custody by shortly after 1 AM Monday.

Adams County Drug Ring Indictments 

Also in Adams County, more than thirty people have been indicted for allegedly operating a drug ring for fifteen years.

The Adams County District Attorney’s Office announced Monday a cocaine trafficking ring was dismantled after an 18-month-long investigation by the North Metro Task Force and the Drug Enforcement Agency. 

The investigation, named Operation Full Circle, also led to the indictment of 31 people on an extensive list of charges including trafficking, money laundering, and racketeering.

According to the DA’s office, the ring was allegedly run by brothers Gustavo and Martin Mena-Flores and operated undetected for close to 15 years.

Of the 31 men and women who were indicted, 18 have already been arrested. Authorities believe that some of the remaining 13 individuals might be in Mexico.

Aurora City Council Opposes “Strong Mayor”

The Aurora City Council has passed a resolution opposing a campaign to change the city’s government to a so-called “strong mayor” system.

The move came in a vote last night.

The “strong mayor” campaign is a ballot initiative that, if passed by voters, would change the city form of government into what is already in place in Denver and Colorado Springs.

In advocating for the strong mayor system, Aurora mayor Mike Coffman has described the city as “rudderless” and “leaderless.”

RTD Discontinues BroncosRide

The Regional Transportation District has decided to permanently end its BroncosRide special bus service.

The service ran between Denver-area Park and Ride stations and Empower Field at Mile High, but has been suspended for the last three football seasons.

RTD said the decision to permanently discontinue BroncosRide aligns with federal regulations that prohibit agencies that receive federal funding from competing with private services.

They added that RTD’s regular bus and rail services have provided enough transportation on game days.

FRCC Receives Metallica Grant 

Front Range Community College is receiving a 100,000 dollar gift from the heavy metal band Metallica.

The college was chosen from a pool of applicants for the funding, which comes from Metallica’s All Within My Hands foundation. The band currently has invested $6 million in workforce education. Of this, their foundation currently supports 42 community colleges across the country. 

School officials say they’ll use the Metallica funding to support students in all of the programs in their Center for Integrated Manufacturing in Longmont, which promotes career and technical education. They add that Metallica will help Front Range Community College students get high-paying jobs.

Students enrolled in Metallica supported programs will develop trade skills sought out by businesses.

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    Headlines – August 15, 2023 Jacob Agatston

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    Headlines – August 15, 2023 Jacob Agatston

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Jacob Agatston


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