Headlines – August 17, 2023

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    Headlines – August 17, 2023 Jacob Agatston

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Mudslide Reports Briefly Close I-70 Near Glenwood Canyon

Part of I-70 in Glenwood Canyon was closed for a few hours last night following reports of mudslides. The National Weather Service issued a flash flood advisory as a thunderstorm dumped rain in the area at around 5 pm. By 9 pm, the Colorado Department of Transportation had reopened the corridor between Dotsero and West Glenwood.

Denver Archdiocese Sues Colorado, Seeking To Exclude LGBTQ People From Universal Preschool 

The Denver Catholic Archdiocese is suing the state of Colorado after they were deemed ineligible to participate in the state’s universal preschool program. 

St. Mary Catholic Parish in Littleton, St. Bernadette Catholic Parish and the Denver Catholic Archdiocese argue that their exclusion from participation in the preschool program violates their First Amendment rights. 

The lawsuit was filed against Lisa Roy, the executive director of the Colorado Department of Early Childhood and Dawn Odean, the director of Colorado’s Universal Preschool Program.

Discrimination based on a child’s religion, sexuality, or gender identity forbids schools from participation in the universal preschool program. 

The catholic schools’ administration prohibits transgender and gender non-conforming students from enrolling in their programs. Same sex parents of children who attend the schools are also allegedly treated differently from heterosexual parents.  

The lawsuit says parents who enroll their children into the Catholic schools agree to adhere to the Catholic worldview and morals. They claim this does not count as discrimination but rather, exercising their freedom of religion. 

Vail Corp. Agrees To Environmental Damages Settlement 

A Colorado ski resort company is officially set to pay the state after dumping hazardous snowmaking water into local creeks. 

Vail Mountain will pay $275,000 to the state of Colorado for accidentally releasing hazardous water from its snowmaking system into Mill and Gore creeks back in 2021. 

The spill killed at least 120 fish, damaged about one-and-a-half miles of water, and turned the creeks a blue-gray color. The snowmaking water contained chlorine and an algaecide toxic to fish but not to humans when diluted in water.

The majority of the settlement money will be used for a restoration project in the Gore Creek basin, with the remaining funds going toward the Water Quality Improvement Fund.

Brothers Indicted In May Flagstaff Shooting

Two brothers have been indicted in connection to a May 12 Flagstaff Road shooting. 

21-year-old Jafet Hernandez-Gonzalez and his 17-year-old brother, Josue Hernandez-Gonzalez, were both indicted on charges of attempted first-degree murder.

The Boulder County District Attorney’s office intends to try both brothers as adults, despite Josue still being a minor.

According to a release from the DA’s office, Jafet got into a verbal altercation with a group of people on Flagstaff Mountain the night of May 12. Jafet allegedly then drove away to get a gun and returned with his brother.

According to the indictment, Jafet admitted to the shooting with his brother and said that Josue was driving the car. 

Both brothers are currently still in custody awaiting their respective hearings.

Man Suspected Of Attacking Lone Female Hikers Charged

The Jefferson County District Attorney’s office has charged a 20-year-old man with multiple counts of aggressive sexual behavior on local hiking trails, including indecent exposure, unlawful sexual contact and criminal attempt to commit sexual assault.

Suspect Glenn Braden of Evergreen is accused of targeting women hiking alone on trails on several separate occasions, reported between April and August.

Braden was arrested on August 8. According to 9News, an affidavit says he admitted to his behavior but argued that he could not control his impulses. 

Braden is due in court on Thursday morning. He’s being held on a $100,000 cash-only bond.

Workers’ Rights Organizations File Suit Against Jared Polis for Backroom Deal Exempting Southwest Airlines from Following Paid Sick Leave Laws 

Colorado-based Flight Attendant Union, TWU Local 556, has filed suit against Colorado Governor Jared Polis, the Colorado Department of Labor, and Southwest Airlines. 

The lawsuit filed Monday alleges that the state agreed to stop investigating sick-leave complaints from Southwest’s unionized workers in Colorado.

This agreement goes against the State’s investigation of the airline, which revealed that Southwest had previously refused sick leave for employees and for children of the employed, as well as penalized workers for using sick leave time. That investigation led to a hefty $1.3 million fine against the airline, but the settlement reduces that fine significantly.

The union is asking a Denver judge to throw out the settlement and rule that the union’s workers are covered by the paid-leave law. It also wants the court to reinstate and investigate workers’ complaints.

Spokespeople for Polis and the labor department declined to comment yesterday, according to The Denver Post, citing litigation.

The airline previously argued that its collective bargaining agreement exempted sick leave from the law, but the labor department has already rejected that claim and said that it was “resoundingly clear” that Southwest’s existing collective bargaining agreements were not sufficient to comply with state law.

NIST Officially Opening New Boulder Facility 

A Boulder research institution famous for its atomic clock technology is celebrating its first major renovation in decades.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology, or NIST will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony today with Colorado Senator John Hickenlooper, Governor Jared Polis and Congressman Joe Neguse participating as speakers.

NIST’s Boulder campus was built in the early 1950s. The renovated Wing 5 of Building 1 now features 16 cutting-edge laboratories for research that will advance timekeeping.

Colorado Geographical Renaming Board Evaluates New Monikers 

Colorado officials tasked with evaluating the controversial names of geographical sites are meeting this evening.

The Colorado Geographic Naming Advisory Board was established by Gov. Jared Polis to make official name-changing recommendations.

Tonight’s meeting is expected to review name changes that include Devil’s Head to Thunder Mountain, Redskin Mountain to Mount Jerome, and Chinaman Canyon to Toisan Canyon.

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    Headlines – August 17, 2023 Jacob Agatston

Jacob Agatston

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