Headlines – August 23, 2023 Alexis Kenyon
Vitalant Expands Blood Donor Eligibility, Removes Gender and Sexual Orientation Restrictions
Vitalant, a nonprofit blood donation organization, has broadened its acceptance of blood donors.
According to the updated guidelines from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), blood donor eligibility is determined without consideration of gender or sexual orientation.
Previously, FDA guidelines mandated a three-month deferral for sexually active gay and bisexual men who wanted to donate blood.
In a statement, Vitalant expressed its commitment to advancing evidence-based eligibility policies that allow a wider range of people to contribute to the blood supply while maintaining its safety.
Vitalant is currently facing a shortage of blood donations this summer.
Denver Considers $7 Million Pallet Shelter Proposal for Unhoused Individuals
City officials in Denver are deliberating a contract that would bring two hundred pallet shelters to the city to be used by unhoused individuals.
The proposed contract with Pallet PBS Inc. comes with a price tag of seven million dollars. The company reports that around twenty-eight hundred of their shelters are already in use across eighty-five cities, including Aurora, with a positive impact observed.
A spokesperson for the mayor’s office mentioned that these pallet shelters would serve as transitional housing.
However, critics have voiced concerns to 9news, indicating that these housing options might not align with the preferences of unhoused individuals as they confine them to controlled environments.
The City Council’s Finance and Governance committee unanimously approved the contract. The full council is expected to vote on it within a few weeks. If approved, the pallet shelters could arrive in Denver by November 1st. The specific location for a pallet community has not yet been named.
Mayor Johnston issued an emergency order last month to address Denver’s homelessness issue. Recently, the City Council extended the order until September 18th, marking the second extension.
West Nile Virus Claims Life of Boulder County Resident
Boulder County has reported its first West Nile virus-related death this year, bringing Colorado’s 2023 West Nile fatalities to five.
County health officials disclosed the death yesterday, identifying the deceased only as a resident of Longmont.
Similarly, Larimer County health officials confirmed their first West Nile-related death in the region. Public Health Director Tom Gonzalez told 9News that, unfortunately, cases of the West Nile virus are likely to persist for the next month or two.
Health experts emphasize that the virus cannot be transmitted directly between humans. It is acquired through mosquito bites, which pick up the virus from infected birds.
To protect against the West Nile virus, health officials recommend wearing long pants and sleeves when outdoors during dawn and dusk—the peak mosquito feeding times. They also advise eliminating standing water in yards.
Colorado Independent Ethics Commission Addresses Complaint Against Erie Mayor
The Colorado Independent Ethics Commission has rejected a motion to dismiss a local complaint against Erie Mayor Justin Brooks. Resident Ryan Kenward filed the complaint against Mayor Justin Brooks earlier this year. Kenward accuses Brooks of leveraging his influence to secure investments from the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Board for a non-profit led by Brooks himself. Kenward also alleges that Brooks violated a corporate social responsibility code.
Erie’s Town Attorney Kendra Carberry responded on behalf of the mayor, including the motion to dismiss in her response.
The Independent Ethics Commission stated that they are obligated to investigate the case and that dismissing the complaint prior to an investigation is not viable.
An investigation by the Independent Ethics Commission is pending.
Suspect Identified in Connection with Double Homicide in Denver
Denver Police have released images of a man believed to be involved in a fatal shooting in the Five Points neighborhood.
The shooting occurred at 3:50 a.m. on Saturday. In the images provided, the suspect can be seen wearing yellow pants.
The incident resulted in three people being shot, two of them fatally.
Images of the suspect can be found on Denver Police’s page, formerly known as Twitter. Anyone with information regarding the case is urged to contact Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867.
Denver Music Venue ‘HQ’ Flooded, Launches Fundraiser
The Denver music venue ‘HQ’ has been inundated with ten feet of water, potentially leading to the club’s closure for up to four months. HQ is a cornerstone of Denver’s South Broadway cultural scene, hosting punk, rock, and electronic music acts.
Club owners Scott Happel and Peter Ore stated in a press release that their entire 3,200 sq. ft. basement, with 10-12 ft. high ceilings, was completely submerged in water from floor to ceiling. The flooding occurred due to a water break that pushed against one of the venue’s basement walls, causing it to collapse on Monday. Consequently, the basement was inundated with water, mud, and debris.
The club issued a statement requesting donations to support them through the rebuilding process, which they anticipate could take 3 to 4 months to complete.
Denver Schools Without Air Conditioning Forced to Close Amid Record Heat
The unprecedented heatwave has compelled several Denver schools to close early this week.
Fourteen Denver public schools dismissed students early due to high temperatures around midday yesterday. Seventeen principals have indicated plans for early closures today, according to The Denver Post.
Although eleven DPS schools received new air conditioning installations during the summer, many others are still without it.
Headlines – August 23, 2023 Alexis Kenyon