Headlines — December 29, 2022

December 29, 2022

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    Headlines — December 29, 2022 Stacie Johnson

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CDOT Cautioning Drivers To Delay Their Morning Commute

The Colorado Department of Transportation is warning drivers to delay their morning commute or work from home this morning as roads are treacherous and full of heavy wet snow along the Front Range and the I70 corridor.  CDOT has closed some roadways in the state with most closures occurring in eastern Colorado. The agency is asking drivers who are out to have appropriate tires, take it slow, and leave plenty of room when following other vehicles. 

The National Weather Service says the total snowfall at the Denver International Airport is 7.1  inches and does not expect any more snowfall for today. 

Boulder County Sheriff Confirms Marshall Fire Investigation Shows Multiple Ignition Points

Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle confirmed with 9News Wednesday that evidence collected for the Marshall Fire investigation shows the December 30th firestorm likely grew from more than a single ignition point. 

Pelle said the investigation is in the final stages and detectives might complete it before he leaves office in less than two weeks. However, he stressed the work is ongoing and that the investigation needs to be done accurately and thoroughly to stand the test of litigation and other expert examinations. 

The sheriff added it is his guess the matter of liability may be the subject to litigation for years to come.

EPA Examining Colorado for Discriminatory Pollution

The Environmental Protection Agency is investigating Colorado’s air pollution regulations to determine whether the state is discriminating against minority residents. The Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, released a letter Wednesday detailing its current investigation into civil rights violations. Officials are focusing on Colorado’s oversight of its biggest polluters, including the Suncor refinery in North Denver.

In March, the EPA said it had “significant environmental justice concerns” about an air permit for the Suncor facility that had been expired for 10 years. Concerns of rights violations against Hispanic residents and other minorities led to the launch of the investigation. The agency said the public wasn’t given enough opportunity to weigh in on environmental protections.

Suncor is Colorado’s only oil refinery. The 90-year-old facility is a major emitter of greenhouse gasses in the state and regularly malfunctions.

In July, the agency also said Colorado had issued permits for smaller polluters like oil and gas wells, even though they could contribute to violations of federal air quality standards.

The Biden administration has been cracking down on environmental discrimination. Under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the EPA can negotiate agreements with states to promote environmental equity.

Boulder Main Library Gets Preliminary Test Results For Recent Meth Contamination 

The City of Boulder announced Wednesday that preliminary lab results suggest the methamphetamine contamination at Boulder’s main library is mostly within the library’s public restrooms and on the surfaces of the restroom exhaust ducts. Results also show small amounts of surface contamination in highly trafficked seating areas at the south portion of the building. 

The city says it plans on undergoing professional remediation of the areas and likely will repurpose the seating areas for another use while also implementing furniture that personnel can clean on a regular basis. 

Attorney General Forms Statewide Task Force To Thwart Online Sales of Stolen Retail Goods

Attorney General Phil Weiser announced Wednesday his office has formed a statewide task force that will aim to provide better coordination among law enforcement officials to thwart criminal rings that steal merchandise from retailers and then resell the stolen goods through online marketplaces.  Weiser said the task force operations will allow law enforcement from around the state to share resources for cross-jurisdictional investigations, share best practices, and be a point of engagement for the private sector and non-profit organizations looking to address the criminal activity. 

Colorado has a new law starting Jan. 1st that will require online marketplace companies to identify and verify online sellers while also providing consumers seller disclosures and methods to flag and report suspicious activity.

Paycheck Deduction Starts in 2023 As Part Of Colorado Paid Family Leave Program 

Coming up in the new year, employers and employees in Colorado will start contributing to the voter-approved Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program by splitting the 0.9% premium requirement of an employee’s wage. 

Starting in January 2024, Colorado workers will begin having access to benefits under the state program that will allow them to have up to 12 weeks of paid leave when they or a family member experiences a serious health condition or situations such as a new child, including adoption and fostering, arrangements for a family member’s military deployment, and safety needs coming from domestic violence or sexual assault.

As part of the state program, employees will see a 0.45% wage deduction on their paychecks while employers will pay the other half of the premium requirement. The new law does not require businesses with nine or fewer employees to contribute to the program, but employees are still subject to the deduction.

Recent Cold Spell Adds To Death Toll Of Colorado’s Unhoused Population 

Last week’s sub-zero temperatures may have killed at least one unhoused person in Denver and four others in Colorado Springs, adding to this year’s rise in known deaths for those unhoused in Colorado. According to the Colorado Sun, the Denver medical examiner is trying to determine the exact cause of death of the unhoused person who died Thursday, but said the death was related to environmental exposure. 

During last week’s arctic cold spell, Colorado Springs police officers found three unhoused people dead and transported one to the hospital where he later died. 

Homeless advocates in the seven-county Denver metro area say the region has had 263 homeless deaths this year, but advocates say information and governmental records are incomplete.



 

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    Headlines — December 29, 2022 Stacie Johnson

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