Headlines – July 14, 2023

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    Headlines – July 14, 2023 Por Jaijongkit

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Marshall Fire Victims File Group Lawsuit Against Xcel

Another lawsuit stemming from the Marshall Mesa Fire has been filed against Xcel Energy. In this latest filing almost 250 plaintiffs are seeking compensation for damages caused when one of the public utility’s power lines sparked on dry grass, contributing to the devastating Marshall Fire.

Residents, property owners and businesses came together Monday to file the suit in Boulder County’s District Court.

Last month, the Boulder County sheriff and district attorney revealed the findings of a nearly two-year investigation into the cause of the blaze, which destroyed over 1,000 homes, and caused over $2 billion in property damage.

Investigators said last month that a fire caused by sparks from “unmoored” Xcel power lines was the second of two ignition points that touched off the December 30, 2021 Marshall fire. The first was a fire from embers from a trash fire on property owned by the Twelve Tribes cult, but this latest lawsuit did not name the group as defendants.

In their response, Xcel said “We strongly disagree with any suggestion that Xcel Energy’s power lines caused the second ignition. We believe the second fire burned into an area already burned by the fire from the first ignition, and did not cause damage to any homes or businesses.”

Clear Creek County Sheriff to Retire After Glass Killing

The Colorado sheriff in charge of the officer who shot and killed Christian Glass is retiring next month. 

In June, Clear Creek County’s board of commissioners alleged that Clear Creek County Sheriff Rick Alber’s failure to properly train and discipline officers led to the death of 22-year-old Christian Glass. 

Glass was fatally shot by police in June of 2022 after calling 911 for roadside assistance. A grand jury found that the officers were not in danger and that they escalated the interaction unnecessarily.

In a Facebook post Wednesday, Albers expressed “mixed emotions” about leaving office after 43 years.

Glass’ parents received a $19 million dollar settlement in May for their son’s death, the largest for a police killing in Colorado. According to The Colorado Sun, the Glass family called for Alber’s resignation and asked during their settlement negotiations that the office develop crisis intervention training.

AG Weiser Announces Walmart Settlement for Overcharging Customers

Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser announced a settlement with Walmart on Thursday, related to claims over pricing discrepancies.

The State of Colorado collaborated with Nevada’s Attorney General Aaron Ford to reach this settlement, which will see $3 million invested into local food funds and pantries.

Colorado and Nevada first opened this case during 2022, during which Walmart repeatedly failed price inspections from agriculture department officials.

“All retailers have a duty to ensure the price their customers pay at the register is the same one they see on shelves,” Weiser said in a press release.

Walmart claims they will be taking company wide action to prevent pricing failures in the future, including pricing accuracy inspections that they will report quarterly to the state.

Low Income Housing for Farm Workers Opens Applications

The Boulder County Housing Authority (BCHA) announced Wednesday that its Casa de la Esperanza neighborhood is accepting applications from eligible farm workers for 3 and 4-bedroom rental homes.

The Longmont neighborhood has been offering affordable housing to farmworkers since the 1990s.

Casa de la Esperanza has an after-school STEM learning center, and its program also offers families two food baskets per month, plus wellness and nutrition workshops.

Applications are available on the Boulder County website.

The Economic Impact of Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift’s concerts in Denver could raise Colorado’s GDP by $140 million for two evening performances. That’s according to the Common Sense Institute, a think tank focused on Colorado’s economy.

The researchers say recent polling of concertgoers finds each concertgoer will spend around $1,300 in show-related expenses. This includes not just tickets for what might be the highest grossing music tour in history, but also travel, lodging, food and merchandise.  

The Taylor Swift tour will bring in a potential $4.6 billion in total consumer spending. While the institute says some of the money spent on Swift could have been spent elsewhere in Denver, they are expecting the final numbers after the singer’s stop in the Mile-High city to be record-breaking.

Denver Officials Receiving Hundreds of Calls About Dogs in Hot Cars

Animal protection authorities are reminding people not to leave their pets inside of cars in this hot summer weather.

Denver Animal Protection says it has received over 300 calls about dogs left inside vehicles during extreme temperatures this year, and almost 400 calls about animals unsheltered in dangerous temperatures.

With summer temperatures rising, officials are warning dog owners that temperatures inside vehicles can reach 120 F in minutes leading to heatstroke and death.

Officials say that under Colorado’s Good Samaritan Law, people who discover an animal or people suffering in a hot car can break into the vehicle and rescue them. 

Pet owners who leave an animal in an overheated car can be charged with animal cruelty, fined up to $999 and serve 300 days in jail. Denver Animal Protection says the safest place for animals during hot weather is at home.

Rare Blooms Delight CU Botanists

CU Boulder scientists are enjoying a once-in-a-lifetime event at a garden outside a campus greenhouse.

Two non-native agave plants, relatives of asparagus, are finally blooming, 30 years after they were planted by former linguistics professor and horticulturalist Allan Taylor.

Taylor passed away in late 2022, and CU staff say the impressive, 14-foot, yellow blooms are a fitting tribute to his legacy of garden plant introductions.

While the blooms mean the plants have reached the end of their lives, CU botanists say their seeds will be saved to grow more agaves at the university.

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    Headlines – July 14, 2023 Por Jaijongkit

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