Headlines for March 30, 2023
Headlines – March 30, 2023 John Kelin
CO Universal Pre-K Program Delayed
It’s going to be another month before registered families find out where they can send their children to preschool at no cost, under Colorado’s new Universal Preschool program.
Thousands of families have applied to the program since January, and were supposed to have found out today what program they’d been matched with.
But the state’s Department of Early Childhood has pushed back the notification date to April 26th. The Longmont Leader reports that more than twenty education and early childhood groups requested the delay, citing an algorithm problem with the online registration.
The Universal Preschool program offers ten to fifteen hours of free preschool a week to kids, in the year before they start kindergarten.
So far, more than 29,000 families have registered for a spot. Some 1,800 providers are taking part in the program.
The program begins with the 2023-24 school year.
While the initial enrollment period ended last month, families can still apply at upk.colorado.gov.
Airline Complaints Quadruple
Air travel in the United States remains at a four-year low, but the number of people complaining about air travel service is higher than ever.
A new report by CO-PIRG, the Colorado affiliate of Public Interest Research Group, says there were nearly four times the number of consumer complaints about air travel last year, compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2019.
The most common complaints people had were travelers not getting refunds for canceled flights, and canceled or delayed flights.
Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser says his office has heard from countless angry passengers, complaining about poor airline customer service. He said that since it’s a Federal responsibility, there isn’t much a state attorney general can do to hold airlines accountable.
Yet last summer, he led an effort by attorney generals of thirty-eight states to get Congress to take action.
CO-PIRG says that all told, U.S. airlines canceled more than 190-thousand flights last year, which is 2.7 percent of all scheduled flights.
Boulder Fatal House Fire
Investigators are looking into the cause of a fire that claimed one life in Boulder yesterday.
The fire appears to have started in the basement of a house in the 2800 block of Dartmouth Avenue early Wednesday afternoon. First responders were able to extinguish the flames before they spread.
Investigators haven’t said whether the cause of the fire is suspicious, but the Boulder County District Attorney’s office was part of the response team.
The male victim was declared dead at the scene, according to the Boulder Fire-Rescue Public Information Office, and no one else was hurt.
The name of the victim has not been made public.
East High School Shooting/Conflict Center
A conflict resolution group in Denver says it has concerns about the decision to place armed guards in the city’s high schools, in the wake of a series of shooting incidents.
The Conflict Center said in a press release that while there’s a need for immediate action in the aftermath of these shootings, reactive measures such as having armed guards in schools, fail to address the root causes of violence.
They add that when it comes to school safety, the involvement and input of students is essential.
After a shooting at Denver’s East High School left two administrators wounded last week, the Denver Public School School Board unanimously agreed to place armed guards back in all city high schools for the rest of this school year, beginning after this week’s spring break.
That shooting happened as a student was being searched for weapons before class. The student fled the scene, and after a daylong search was found dead in an apparent suicide.
Barricaded Man Faces Charges
A man who police say barricaded himself in a north Boulder home Monday night is scheduled to appear in court today.
47-year old Milton Rodriguez faces multiple charges, including first-degree burglary, stalking, and violation of a protection order.
Police say Rodriguez broke into the unoccupied house Monday night. The house’s resident saw it on surveillance video and notified police. After police arrived at the house and he refused to come out, a shelter-in-place order was issued. He finally surrendered at 8 AM Tuesday.
The Daily Camera reports that Rodriguez did extensive damage to the house and to police equipment. No injuries were reported.
Coors Field Homeless Sweeps Ahead of New MLB Season
A new Major League Baseball season begins today, but even as anticipation mounts, critics say the City of Denver is targeting homeless people in the vicinity of Coors Field.
The Denver Post and Denver 7 News report the city has conducted sweeps of the area to discourage homeless people from congregating.
A homeless advocate says the city isn’t really trying to solve a problem, but wants to make it look like they’re trying to do something.
The Rockies begin the season today in San Diego. They’ll play their home opener at Coors Field next week.
Headlines – March 30, 2023 John Kelin