Headlines – July 31, 2023

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    Headlines – July 31, 2023 Por Jaijongkit

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Denver Housing Authority Announces Hotel Purchase

The Denver Housing Authority’s board of commissioners has approved the purchase of another hotel that will be turned into supportive housing.

The 194-unit Best Western Central Park hotel is at 4595 Quebec Street. While the purchase is awaiting City Council’s action, the move is seen as a swift response to Mayor Mike Johnston’s pledge to help 1,000 unhoused people find indoor shelter.

In a City press release, Mayor Johnston said the acquisition “puts us on a solid path to achieving our goal…and improving quality of life in neighborhoods across our city.”

The recently renovated property costs over $25 million. Funds for the purchase come from the Housing Authority, a Northern Trust bridge loan, and potentially the American Rescue Plan Act.

The city has invested about $25 million towards other Housing First projects, mainly in collaboration with the nonprofit Colorado Coalition for the Homeless. These include the Coalition’s purchase of the former Clarion Inn—now called Renewal Village—and the Park Avenue Inn, which was formerly a La Quinta Inn.                              

Newly Passed Defense Bill Includes Colorado-Led Initiatives 

The U.S. Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) late last week, complete with its Colorado-specific provisions. 

The NDAA increases funding for Colorado’s aerospace research and development centers.

Colorado Senator John Hickenlooper set spending limits for some of the aforementioned air force programs, but also increased pay for service members and expanded benefits for spouses of military personnel.

The bill also includes $5 million to study the health effects of so-called “forever chemicals” near military bases, including near the Peterson Space Force base in El Paso County.

Areas of Cherry Creek Reservoir Closed Due to Algae 

High levels of algae bloom toxins have been detected in the water of Cherry Creek Reservoir. Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) has closed recreational access to the marina and West Shades area of Cherry Creek Reservoir due to toxic blue-green algae blooms. No swimming or paddle boarding are allowed but boating and fishing are deemed safe. 

Eight micrograms per liter of the toxin, microcystin, is considered dangerous for skin contact. Water samples found microcystin levels of ten micrograms per liter in the recreational area waters, categorizing the water as a level “red” zone.

Cherry Creek Operations Manager, Larry Butterfield, recommends both humans and pets make no contact with the water and that dog owners keep them on leashes to prevent them from drinking the water. 

The swim beach at North Sterling reservoir is also closed due to high amounts of algae blooms and caution is advised when visiting Prewitt and Jackson Lake recreational areas. 

Symptoms of toxic algae exposure include rashes, fever, joint pain and liver damage. If algae toxin symptoms arise, authorities recommend calling Poison Control or a health provider for treatment.

Motorcyclist Dies in Crash With Tandem Bicycle 

A motorcyclist died on Saturday, following a crash with a tandem bicycle.

Around noon on Saturday, Colorado State Patrol received a call about a crash between a motorcyclist and a tandem bike on Lefthand Canyon Drive. 

The patrol told the Daily Camera they assumed the motorcycle was speeding when it collided with the tandem bicycle. 

According to Colorado State Patrol, the motorcyclist attempted to flee the scene, and fell off the side of the Lefthand Canyon Drive. The motorcyclist hit a tree branch, and died. 

The two passengers of the tandem bike both sustained injuries and were rushed to the hospital.

Another accident on Saturday involved a 17-year-old American cyclist who was training for an upcoming world championship.

According to the Denver Post, cyclist Magnus White was fatally struck by a vehicle while on a training ride in Boulder, near his home.

White was a rising cyclocross champion who was chosen for the U.S. national team. He was training for the upcoming junior world mountain bike championships in Glasgow, Scotland, when the accident occurred.

Thieves Steal $13K in Comic Book Store Robbery

The Boulder Police are investigating a costly break-in at a popular comic shop in town. Time Warp Comics & Games, which has been in business for almost 40 years, was robbed early Friday morning of thousands of dollars in merchandise.

Store surveillance footage showed a person in a mask and hoodie use a hammer to smash the front door, then a glass case holding over $13,000 in comics.

According to the Denver Post, cameras also captured the suspect’s white Acura in the parking lot, but not a clear image of the license plate number.

A second person was caught on camera coming into the store after the first suspect left. That suspect took money, then quickly left.

Lowline Fire Growing Amid Dry Weather

The Lowline Fire near Gunnison has continued to spread over several days of dry weather with high temperatures.

As of Sunday morning, the blaze was reported to be 7% contained, though it had grown from some 200 acres in size over two days to over 1,000 acres. While the wildfire, which started from a lightning strike, is relatively small at about two square miles, its proximity to homes and other structures has firefighters worried.

Fire officials are hoping that rains forecast for this week along the mountains arrive to help weaken the fire.

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    Headlines – July 31, 2023 Por Jaijongkit

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