Headlines March 29, 2022
Headlines — March 29, 2022 Alexis Kenyon
NCAR Fire 68% Contained As Of Monday
The Boulder Office of Emergency Management released an update on the NCAR Fire Monday afternoon and said crews have contained the fire to 68% with its size holding at 190 acres.
The next public briefing will be today at 10:00 AM.
Investigators have not determined the cause of the fire and are asking anyone who was in the trail area south of NCAR Saturday afternoon to contact the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office.
Emergency Alert System Notified Many Outside Of Fire Evacuation Zone
The City of Boulder issued a statement over the weekend explaining why alerts reached individuals well outside the evacuation zone during Saturday’s fire in southwest Boulder. The recently implemented Wireless Emergency Alert system uses technology similar to that of the AMBER Alert, but is less precise with geographic location.
Official say the preexisting Everbridge alert system — which requires users to opt-in — will “always be the most focused and most accurate system for receiving important safety notifications.” Users can sign up for those alerts at the Boulder Office Of Emergency website.
Wildfire Sparks East Of Estes Park
Another fire sparked late Monday afternoon in Larimer County east of Estes Park, prompting mandatory and voluntary evacuations. According to the Forest Service, the 23-acre-fire, dubbed as the Soul Shine Fire, was 30% contained as of Monday night.
Adams County Fire Rescue Responds To Apartment Fire
Adams County Fire Rescue responded to an apartment fire around 4 AM this morning in the northeast vicinity of Interstate 25 and US Highway 36. The fire department confirmed one fatality. According to 9News, crews evacuated residents upon arrival and extinguished the fire. The name of the apartment complex is Waterview on Parkway.
Colorado Health Officials Say It’s Too Early To Tell If An Uptick In COVID-19 Cases Is A New Wave
Colorado health officials said Monday that they are closely monitoring a recent increase in the percentage of positive COVID-19 tests. State epidemiologist Dr. Rachel Herlihy said that, as of Monday, the rate of positive tests has increased to around 3.3% from the prior rate of around 2.5% reported on March 17.
The positivity rate in Colorado remains under the five percent threshold, but health officials note the shift to at-home tests means not all test results are reported in the official data.
In Monday’s media briefing, state health officials said higher transmissibility of the BA.2 Omicron sub-variant could contribute to the increased case numbers. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is tracking variants in wastewater. Reports show that the BA.2 sub-variant is present in around half of Colorado’s wastewater systems.
Union Organizers Secure Win For Registered Nurses At Longmont United Hospital
Nurses at Longmont United Hospital secured union membership on Friday making them the first private hospital in Colorado to unionize. The victory comes after a nearly yearlong battle which included Longmont Hospital’s parent company, Centura Health challenging the validity of mail-in ballots.
Union organizers have accused the hospital of delaying the election outcome as an attempt to avoid negotiations for better pay and working conditions. The nurses involved with the union campaign say the hospital does not employ enough staff and has increased the staff workload in recent years, which puts patients at risk.
Registered Nurses at the hospital will become members of the National Nurses Organizing Committee, an affiliate of National Nurses United. The hospital’s RNs will next elect a team of peers to represent them in contract bargaining.
Colorado Charter Schools Want More Authority And Support For Special Education
Colorado charter schools are backing a bill that would allow them to have more responsibility for educating students with disabilities. The bill would let charter schools assume full legal responsibility for educating students with disabilities, as well as take control over state and federal funding that currently flows to school districts.
Colorado Chalkbeat reports that charter schools serve far fewer students with disabilities than district-run schools. Dan Schaller, president of the Colorado League of Charter Schools, said that charter schools do not have access to the same legal structures that would allow them to serve greater percentages of students with disabilities.
The House Education Committee passed House Bill 1294 with unanimous bipartisan support last week.
Colorado Supreme Court Rules Parts Of Cyberbullying Law As Unconstitutional
The Colorado Supreme Court released a decision Monday that strikes down a portion of a 2015 cyberbullying statute meant to strengthen protections for cyberbullying victims. The justices say the law, as written, is overly broad, limits free speech and violates both the state and U.S. constitutions.
Justice William Hood wrote in the court’s opinion that the law criminalizes constitutionally protected speech such as negative restaurant reviews, irate emails, social media posts about public health protocols, diatribes about public figures, or antagonistic comments left on new sites.
The Denver Post reports the court’s decision strikes down only the phrase “intended to harass” and leaves in place the rest of the statute prohibiting threats of bodily hard, threats of property damage, and obscene communications.
Headlines — March 29, 2022 Alexis Kenyon