Headlines – July 17, 2023

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    Headlines – July 17, 2023 Por Jaijongkit

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New Denver Mayor Takes Office Today

Former state senator Mike Johnston will be sworn in as Denver’s 46th Mayor this morning. 

Johnston went through two rounds of voting; first in a crowded field of 17 candidates, then in a June 6 run-off against Kelly Brough.

The new mayor says he will prioritize affordable housing, investing in the homeless population and improving police diversity in the city.

Johnston is facing criticism after failing to attend any of his 28 public forums over the last 10 days. 

He will be sworn in at 10 a.m. today at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. 

Colorado Senators Promote Wilderness Conservation Bills

Last week Colorado Democratic Senators John Hickenlooper and Michael Bennet promoted two bills in the U.S. Senate that together would protect almost 500,000 acres of public lands in the state.  

The first act would protect almost 70,000 acres along a 70 mile area of the Dolores River. A second bill, the Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy Act (CORE), would protect over 400,000 acres of wilderness, including parts of the San Juan Mountains and the Thompson Divide.

The legislators said both bills were developed over the years by bipartisan collaborators, including indigenous leaders, county commissioners, ranchers, sportsmen and conservationists. 

The Bureau of Land Management would oversee most of the proposed conservation areas. Together with the U.S. Forest Service, officials would manage the lands to protect fish habitat and recreation. While existing livestock grazing would remain, new developments such as dams and mining would be banned from the areas.

Complaint Filed Against Use of Solitary in ICE Detention Center 

Immigration advocacy groups have filed a complaint urging an investigation into the misuse of solitary confinement at the privately-owned immigration detention facility  in Aurora, Colorado. 

The complaint, filed by the American Immigration Council, the National Immigration Project, and the Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network, alleges that Immigration and Customs Enforcement and GEO Group have jeopardized the health and safety of detained individuals. 

It describes instances of detainees placed in solitary confinement for minor infractions, such as eating slowly or expressing distress, and highlights concerns about safety, mistreatment of people with disabilities, and lack of professional conduct by facility staff. The complaint includes personal testimonies from individuals who have experienced mistreatment.

The complaint calls for systemic reform, the termination of the contract allowing the operation of the facility, and the release of all individuals detained there. 

First Colorado Drone Pilot Degree Launched

Aims Community College will soon offer a drone pilot program. 

Starting this fall semester, students at Aims Community College will have the opportunity to earn an Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Associate of Applied Science Degree.

The campus located in Windsor will host the new program in a newly built location equipped with a drone design lab, a takeoff pad and a landing area for drones. According to UAS Chief Instructor Pilot Jake Marshall, demand for drone pilots has increased, inspiring the creation of the degree program. 

Marshall emphasized that the industry is in its pioneering stage and students who obtain the UAS degree will be leaders in the field. The drone job demand is expected to increase exponentially in the upcoming years and Aims Community College is hoping to be ahead of the trend. 

Boulder Council Discuss New BMOCA Home

Boulder City council members expressed overwhelming support Thursday for a mixed use redevelopment plan that would include a new home for the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art.

The proposed development at 4401 Broadway would include over 17,000 square feet each for the museum and for commercial space. 67 residential units and parking are also part of the plan.

However, council members said the proposal would require land use codes that are not currently in place in the North Boulder Art District. 

According to Boulder principal planner Chandler Van Schaack, “flex zone” regulations created in the mid-2000s might offer guidelines for how to accommodate the project. 

1 Man Drowns, 2 Rescued in Lake Pueblo Boating Accident

A man died on Lake Pueblo Saturday when a small ski boat sank. According to a press release from Colorado Parks and Wildlife, two other passengers wearing life jackets survived after being rescued by park rangers. The third passenger, who was not wearing a life jacket, drowned when he tried to swim to shore. 

Winiger Ridge Road Work Will Suspend Area Recreation

A popular dispersed camping destination near Gross Reservoir will close for maintenance starting today. According to the U.S. Forest Service, Winiger Ridge Road will be closed until July 24.

All recreation will be affected by the road closure, which provides access to the west side of the reservoir. For more information, go to fs.usda.gov.

Stay In A/C Today! 

A heat advisory is in effect for most of the Front Range today from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. 

Denver Parks and Recreation will offer recreation centers as free cooling centers during regular business hours for those who need to get out of the heat. Most Denver Public Library locations will also be available for the same purpose.

The National Weather Service is advising people to drink lots of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, avoid the sun and check on relatives and neighbors who may be vulnerable to heat stroke.

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    Headlines – July 17, 2023 Por Jaijongkit

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