Headlines – August 29, 2023 Stacie Johnson
Accused King Soopers Mass Shooter in Court Today
The alleged gunman behind the mass shooting at the King Soopers grocery store on Table Mesa in Boulder is due in court today. The Arvada man accused of the mass killing, Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, has been deemed competent to stand trial after more than two years of psychiatric treatment.
Today’s legal proceeding is a status conference, in which the defense and prosecution meet with a judge, usually prior to the start of a trial.
Denver City Council Agrees To $4.7 Million Settlement For Black Lives Matters Protestors
The Denver City Council approved Monday a $4.72 million settlement that will go to more than 300 Black Lives Matter protesters who were arrested in Denver during the summer of 2020. The settlement covers demonstrators who say police violated their first amendment rights during the protests in the aftermath of the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd. City officials claim police arrested the 300 plus individuals after they violated a curfew order. Denver officials also deny that the police’s enforcement of the order violated constitutional rights.
Monday’s settlement is separate from court ordered payouts to injured protestors. According to CBS Colorado, Denver is appealing in federal court a jury award of $14 million to 12 injured protestors. Earlier in the year, Denver did agree to a $1.6 million settlement for seven injured protestors.
Denver City Council Approves Funds For Pallet Shelters
On Monday, Denver city council set up a 7 million contract with Pallet PBS Inc. to supply Denver with 200 homeless shelter pallets. The city will use the 70 to 120 square foot pallet shelters as temporary housing for some of the city’s 5,000 unhoused people. The pallet shelter order will include 200 individual shelters, 11 bathroom pallets, and nine laundry units.
According to the Denver Gazette, the pallet units are set to arrive in November and each have a bed, desk, storage shelf, AC unit, heater, and power outlet. Although the pallet shelters are a temporary response to Denver’s emergency homeless crisis, according to the Denver Gazette, they are meant to be a first step towards fulfilling Denver mayor Mike Johnston’s vow of sheltering a thousand unhoused people by the end of the year.
Grant Recipients Announced For Electric School Buses And Low- And Zero-Emission Fleet Vehicles
The State Health Department announced last week recipients for two grant programs that will fund electric school buses and low- and zero-emission fleet vehicles. The Air Pollution Control Division selected 13 school projects under the Colorado Electric School Bus Grant Program with Boulder Valley School District, Boulder Preparatory Charter High School, and Denver Public Schools among the recipients.
According to the Daily Camera, Boulder Valley School District plans on covering the cost of 10 electric school buses at close to $400,000 each, plus ten charge stations with each costing $5,500. School officials say the electric buses are quieter, do not produce fumes, and will cost less to maintain.
For the other grant program covering low-and-zero emitting fleet vehicles, grant recipients include Western Disposal, Denver International Airport, and CU Boulder.
SNAP Cardholders May Be Able To Replace Some Stolen Electronic Benefits
The Colorado Department of Human Services announced Monday that some Coloradans who have had their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits stolen electronically may be eligible to have the benefits replaced. Other benefits applicable for possible replacement include Adult Financial or Colorado Works.
The Department says new federal guidelines passed by Congress in December 2022 are allowing replacement for electronic theft that occurred from October 1, 2022 forward. For benefits stolen after June 30th, cardholders have 30 days to report the loss.
Boulder Police Release ‘Reimagine Policing’ Plan
The Boulder Police Department has released its long-term plan to “reimagine policing.” The plan, which has been in the works for nearly two years, would invest more in training and launch neighborhood meetings with the goal of prioritizing prevention and problem solving. The 49-page plan would also increase staffing levels for the city’s police force from 190 officers to 206.
The Boulder Reporting Lab reports that the Boulder Police Department is proposing to spend more time preventing crime rather than reacting to it. This would focus primarily on targeting hotspots where officers receive a disproportionate number of calls. According to their statistics the department found 10% of addresses accounted for 72% of calls.
Other goals of the plan would be to increase training for de-escalation techniques, expand mental health services for officers and monitor officer behavior by allowing residents to provide feedback in real time through an app.
The Boulder City Council is scheduled to hold a public hearing on the plan and decide whether to adopt it on Thursday Sept.7.
Douglas County Libraries Facing Sharp Increase In Content Challenges
Douglas County Libraries are reportedly experiencing a sharp increase in content challenges this year. The library, which calls requests to remove content as “citizen appeals”, received five appeals in 2022 and three in 2021. So far this year, the library system has received 19 citizen appeals.
The library’s executive director told 9News he believes the reason for the increase correlates to national politics. So far this year, content involving sexual orientation and gender are the focus for most of all of the challenges experienced by Douglas County Libraries.
Polis Awards Bear-Human Conflict Grants
Last week, Colorado Governor Jared Polis awarded almost $1 million in grants to decrease the risk of clashes between people and bears. The 2023 Human-Bear Conflict Reduction Community Grant provided funding to communities, businesses and nonprofits that need assistance to prevent dangerous bear interactions. Funding will go towards measures such as bear-resistant trash containers, electric fence kits, and community outreach.
Headlines – August 29, 2023 Stacie Johnson