Headlines for March 31, 2023
Headlines – March 31, 2023 Stacie Johnson
Colorado Lawmakers Weigh In On Trump indictment
Colorado lawmakers are reacting along party lines to the historic indictment of former President Donald Trump. The Manhattan DA announced the indictment yesterday although the exact charges against Trump won’t be known until his arraignment. That could come as soon as next week.
U.S. Representative Jason Crow called it a somber day for the United States, adding that Americans should have faith in the judicial system. The Centennial Democrat was one of the House Managers in Trump’s first impeachment in 2020.
Colorado Democratic Party chair Morgan Carroll welcomed the indictment, and said the same charges against anyone but Trump would already have landed that person in jail.
Trump has been under investigation in New York for alleged hush money payments to porn star stormy Daniels during his 2016 presidential campaign.
Dave Williams, the head of the Colorado Republican Party, called the indictment part of a political witch hunt. Representative Doug Lamborn, also a Republican, acknowledged the indictment is an unprecedented event, but questioned the motives of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. Lamborn called the indictment politically motivated, with the goal of derailing Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign.
Trump has denied any wrongdoing.
Lawsuit Reveals Xcel Energy Is Under A $31 Million Obligation To Clean Up Contaminants At Elitch Gardens
Xcel Energy may spend another $25 million to clean up the Denver Elitch Gardens Amusement area. According to court documents, Xcel’s $25 million investment will be in addition to $6 million the company has already spent for environmental cleanup at the Denver park. Developers want to turn the sixty-acre site into a new neighborhood called River Mile.
Xcel’s predecessor, Public Service Company of Colorado, operated a manufactured gas plant there from 1889 until 1928, according to the Denver Post. By the early 1980s, long after the plant had been demolished, environmental testing showed contaminants in the soil and groundwater. The City of Denver said Xcel could be liable and the company agreed to reimburse the costs of the testing.
The current 60-acre amusement park site is owned by developer Revesco Properties and Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, the owner of the Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche, who are also targeting Xcel’s former plant as the source of the site’s contaminants.
The companies plan on developing the area near the South Platte River and Speer Boulevard in the decades to come, along with development around Denver’s Ball Arena.
Also according to the Denver Post, Xcel filed a lawsuit earlier in the week against its insurance carrier, Continental Casualty Co., saying Continental is refusing to cover the $6 million Xcel has already spent and the additional $25 million it could spend.
CU Athletics Ends Ties With PointsBet
CU Athletics and PointsBet, a Denver based online sports betting company, announced Wednesday that the parties are ending their partnership early. CU and PointsBet had three years remaining on the lucrative sponsorship deal which started in 2020 as CU became the first Power 5 conference school to engage with an online betting sponsor. CU’s relationship with the sports betting sponsor has been controversial from the start, according to the Daily Camera. Over the course of the five-year deal, CU was to receive at least $1.6 million from the online gambling operator.
According to reports by ESPN, Maryland, Michigan State, LSU, and the University of Denver also forged relationships with the gambling industry.
The American Gaming Association announced new guidelines earlier in the week that prohibit partnerships between colleges and sports betting companies. A source from BuffZone told the Daily Camera, the decision to end the agreement was not related to the announcement by the gaming association.
Environmental Groups Announce Support For BLM’s Proposed Public Lands Rule
The Bureau of Land Management is opening up a 75-day public comment period for its Public Lands Rule, which supporters say will shift the Bureau’s focus to prioritizing recreation, conservation, and protection of public lands and cultural resources while combating climate change. Supporters say the proposed rule will also have area managers work more closely with Tribal nations.
Among several Colorado groups announcing their support for the new rule are The Wilderness Society, Next 100 Colorado, Colorado Wildlands Project, The Mountain Pact, and Rocky Mountain Wild. The environmental advocates say several businesses, along with several local, state, and federal elected officials are calling on BLM to enact greater protections and conservation of public lands.
Gusty Winds Spur Wildfires Along Colorado’s Front Range
As weather officials issued a red flag warning for the Denver area Thursday and continue to issue one for today, crews battled wildfires at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge and in Elbert, Park, and Teller counties yesterday.
The South Adams County Fire Department took out a six acre fire at the Arsenal Refuge which is about 10 miles northeast of downtown Denver.
Authorities issued a mandatory evacuation notice for eastern Park County and western Teller County as a wildfire burned over 1,000 acres south of Lake George yesterday.
A growing grass fire forced residents in the Elbert county town of Simla to evacuate yesterday. The 1,000 acre blaze south of U.S. 24 burned one structure. Authorities later lifted the evacuation order after containing the wind-driven fire.
Headlines – March 31, 2023 Stacie Johnson