Headlines – May 19, 2023 benita
Flash Flooding May Have Led To Drowning
Severe thunderstorms have caused flooding throughout Colorado, which may have contributed to one death.
In some areas of Denver, almost two inches of rain fell in Thursday’s storm. Flash flood warnings were issued for parts of Boulder and Weld counties.
In Colorado Springs, a passerby called 911 after spotting a body in Monument Creek, which was running fast and high from the steady rains. Emergency workers and police later recovered the body from a rocky area. Officials are investigating how the person was swept into the creek.
If there’s a silver lining to all this rain, it’s that severe drought conditions in parts of Colorado have eased.
Hancock Calls Out Texas Governor For Busing Migrants To Denver In Protest
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock is criticizing Texas Governor Greg Abbott, for what the mayor is calling an act of political theater.
A bus carrying forty-one migrants arrived in Denver from Texas yesterday, sent to Colorado at the direction of Governor Abbott.
The Texas governor said on his Twitter account that he’ll continue busing migrants to sanctuary cities like Denver, until the Biden administration secures the U.S.-Mexico border.
Axios reports that the arrival of migrants from Texas yesterday marks the first time a state government has sent people to Denver. Since December, more than 10,000 migrants have made their own way to Denver, straining the city’s emergency operations. City leaders have called it a humanitarian crisis.
Since last year, Governor Abbott has sent thousands of migrants from Texas to cities other than Denver, all of them run by Democratic administrations.
Colorado Governor Jared Polis said in a statement that the federal government must take action on immigration reform. He also said the issue requires collaboration.
Mayor Hancock called Greg Abbott’s move yesterday “political theater and partisan gamesmanship.”
He added that he’ll be happy to send Governor Abbott the bill for costs incurred by Denver, because of Abbott’s failure to manage his own state.
Colorado Air Pollution Control Adopts New Equity Measures
The state health department has announced new measures to better protect vulnerable communities from air pollution.
The Air Quality Control Commission voted Thursday to enhance its monitoring process to measure how much pollution is coming from specific locations and what the pollutants are.
Health officials say they adapted rules after talking with residents in Commerce City who experience the harmful effect of air pollution first-hand.
Businesses that emit pollution must submit an environmental justice summary with permit applications. They must also install equipment to further reduce emissions if it is financially and technologically within the company’s reach.
In a press release, the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment said the new measures meet and exceed Colorado Environmental Justice Act requirements.
Fort Collins Rejects Local Minimum Wage
The Fort Collins City Council on Tuesday rejected a proposal to raise the local minimum wage.
Before the 3-4 split vote, council members in opposition discussed conversations with local business owners who said the change could hurt the economy.
The Council considered implementing a minimum wage increase by 2026 of either $16 or $17 per hour.
According to The Coloradoan, some restaurant owners said they were already paying non-tipped workers such as line cooks above the state’s minimum wage. They said having to increase the pay of tipped workers could hurt business by forcing them to raise their prices for customers.
In a press release, the Northern Colorado Labor Council said several low-wage workers showed up to the City meeting in support of the wage raise, citing struggles to keep up with basic living expenses, such as housing and childcare.
Fort Collins will continue to apply Colorado’s minimum wage, which is $13.65 per hour for non-tipped workers and $10.63 per hour for tipped workers.
Living wage calculations by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology indicate that for a single adult in Fort Collins working a full-time, 40-hour week, a living wage is close to $19 per hour. For two working adults with one child, it’s almost $22 per hour.
Colorado Senators Introduce Act To Allow Military Access To Reproductive Care
Colorado Senators John Hickenlooper and Michael Bennet, along with New Hampshire Senator Jeanna Shaheen are introducing a bill that would protect the reproductive health care rights of military families. The Protecting Service Members and Military Families’ Access to Health Care Act would codify the Department of Defense 2023 policy to ensure service members and their families have access to non-covered reproductive health care in any state in which they are stationed.
Forty percent of service women receive little to no reproductive care, such as in-vitro fertilization or abortion services, which can affect military readiness. According to a statement by Senator Shaheen, quote “those most vulnerable to these dangerous laws are servicewomen and military families, who have no choice over where they are stationed and what state laws may govern women’s bodies.”
With support from reproductive health care organizations and political sponsors, the bill will provide access to reproductive healthcare and privacy protection for all service members and their spouses.
Boulder Police Award Honors Officer Killed In Mass Shooting
The Boulder Police Department for the first time gave one of its employees an award named in honor of the late Officer Eric Talley, who was killed in the King Soopers shooting on March 22, 2021. Officer Talley responded to emergency calls that day, running into the store along with his fellow officers. He was one of the ten victims of the shooting.
Officer Ryan Austin earned the Eric H. Talley Award at the department’s annual ceremony on Wednesday for “helping others within the department both professionally and personally.”
Austin has been part of Boulder’s police force for 15 years.
Are Badgers Back In Boulder?
For the first time since 2008, City of Boulder park officials have spotted an American badger in the area.
The Boulder Parks and Recreation Department posted a photo of the badger on social media Saturday.
A parks spokesperson told The Denver Post that they were keeping the location of the badger — which was caught on camera in April — a secret, so that the animal remains undisturbed by humans.