Headlines — February 13, 2023

February 13, 2023

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    Headlines — February 13, 2023 Stacie Johnson

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Colorado AG Joins Coalition Of States In Objecting Challenges To Medication Abortion 

Colorado has joined a coalition of 22 states and the District of Columbia in opposing a challenge by anti-abortion groups who want to overturn the Federal Drug Administration’s approval of mifepristone. 

The drug is best known as an abortion inducing pill, but is also used to treat ulcers and Cushing disease. Scientists are also researching the drug’s potential for treating different forms of cancer and addiction disorders.

The multi-state coalition filed their amicus brief in the North Texas federal court case of Alliance of Hippocratic Medicine v. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser says the coalition argues that a FDA withdrawal of the approval would significantly reduce safe access to abortion care and miscarriage management, including states like Colorado where abortion is legal. The coalition also argues the withdrawal would jeopardize abortion care for low-income, underserved, and rural communities, as well as undermining the FDA drug approval process. 

The FDA has approved mifepristone since 2000 as a single-dose oral medication for early-term abortion. 

IRS Says No To Collecting Taxes From State Relief Payments 

The IRS announced Friday that Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights or TABOR checks issued by Colorado are not subject to federal taxation. The announcement came a week after the IRS asked tax payers to wait to file their tax returns. This guidance came as officials and politicians across the nation urged the IRS not to tax relief  payments  related to general welfare and disaster. 

The IRS, in weeks prior, considered taxing the $750 TABOR tax refund for individuals or $1500 for joint filers as part of Colorado’s residents’ income. States across the nation issued similar checks to residents during the pandemic. Friday, this was answered as they would not be taxing the refund. 

Aurora City Manager Announces Retirement 

The Aurora City Manager announced his retirement after nearly five years on the job. Aurora City Manager Jim Twombly is set to retire on April 7th after more than four and a half years as the city’s top appointee. Twombly, a grandfather of six, stated that he wants to spend more time with his family. According to the Aurora Sentinel, Twombly served 42 years in public service, including as city manager in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Pella, Iowa.

The Aurora Mayor and City Council members praised Twombly for his leadership during the Covid-19 pandemic and wished him a successful retirement. The City Council will meet later today to begin the process of appointing a new city manager. 

Boulder Open Space Board Of Trustees Keeps Controversial Spin On E-Bikes 

Volunteers to the Boulder Open Space Board of Trustees voted 3-2 last week against a staff proposal to allow e-bikes on certain open space trails. According to the Boulder Reporting Lab, city council members will have the final say on the contentious issue likely in the coming months.

Staff from the city’s Open Space and Mountain Parks Department proposed allowing e-bikes on open space trails, especially for trails that connect to the county’s system of trails that allow e-bikes.

A sticking point is the definition of the term, “passive recreation” which generally involves non-motorized activities. Those opposing e-bikes on open space trails argue that changing the definition of passive recreation should go through a ballot measure rather than by city council vote. Supporters say the term is vague, and members should interpret it in the modern context.

The Boulder Reporting Lab reports biking on city open space trails has a contentious history as Boulder banned mountain bikes for the western half of its open space system in 1987 and the Open Space Board of Trustees voted against a pilot study of e-bikes in 2013. 

Colorado Board Of Education Reviewers Cite Allegations Of CU Speech Professor Mistreating Students 

The Colorado Board of Education approved 11 teacher preparation programs for the University of Colorado last week, but only gave partial approval to the school’s speech-language program citing allegations shared by two students of unethical, confrontational, and objectionable behavior by an unnamed professor.

Despite the allegations and incomplete approval of the program, the state board of education report did issue a positive evaluation for how the school trains teachers on reading instruction and that students showed a clear understanding regarding the science surrounding how children learn to read.

Chalkbeat Colorado reports state reviewers will visit CU Boulder again in the fall to determine if the school has done enough to address the reported behavior and provide support for students.

DIA Sets A New Record Of Annual Passenger Traffic

Denver International Airport officials announced Friday that the airport set an all-time passenger traffic record in 2022 with over 69 million passengers traveling to and from the airport. DIA officials say they had projected a higher total, but a cold snap in December and subsequent delays and cancellations by Southwest Airlines lessened the amount of passenger traffic for the year.

Airport officials applauded DIA’s quick recovery from the pandemic, which slumped passenger traffic to 33.7 million during 2020. According to a DIA consultant, the airport is showing signs of robust activity with airlines using new gates.

The consultant also projects DIA will have 80 million annual passengers by 2025 and 100 million by 2032. 

Driver Crashes And Flips SUV Into North Boulder Home 

A driver of a sport utility vehicle crashed into a North Boulder home just after midnight Saturday. Boulder police say when they arrived on scene, they found a male driver upside down in the vehicle which was partially inside the house on the 3500 block of Fourth Street. The crash did not result in any major injuries.

Police charged the 42-year-old driver with a DUI, careless driving, and texting while driving and took him to the Boulder County Jail. 

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    Headlines — February 13, 2023 Stacie Johnson

Stacie Johnson

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