Headlines – October 16, 2023

Daily local and regional headlines from across Colorado’s Front Range

 

Train Derailment In Pueblo

A truck driver was killed north of Pueblo when a train derailed and caused a bridge over Interstate 25 to collapse.

The derailment occurred yesterday afternoon, and dumped railroad cars and coal across the freeway.

Colorado State Patrol said the truck driver was in his vehicle beneath the railroad bridge when it collapsed. First responders attempted to save him, but it was too late. His name has not been released.

It isn’t known whether any other vehicles were involved. The Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office said multiple law enforcement agencies came to the scene of the accident.

Detours have been established along north and southbound lanes of I-25, but drivers are advised to avoid the area if possible. It isn’t known yet how long the closure will last.

Officials are not sure what caused the derailment.

 

President Biden Visits Colorado

President Joe Biden is visiting Colorado today, his fifth visit since taking office.

According to a White House press release, he will land in Pueblo, part of Colorado’s Third Congressional District represented by Republican Lauren Boebert

In Pueblo he has plans to visits the CS Wind manufacturing plant, which is the world’s largest wind turbine tower plant.

The White House said in a statement that the visit is part of the President’s “Investing in America” tour, in which he’s been highlighting his economic policies.

In a speech earlier this year, the President noted that Boebert and “every other Republican” voted against the Democratic-sponsored Inflation Reduction Act that enabled the company to double its manufacturing capacity.

President Biden’s full itinerary has not been released.

 

Cannabis Company Sues Boulder County Board of Commissioners

Wild Horse Enterprises LLC, a cannabis company, is suing Boulder’s community planning and permitting department and the county’s Board of Commissioners. They say the county misinterpreted a  settlement agreement that is putting a pause in the expansion of its business. 

The 2016 settlement referred to in the lawsuit is between Boulder County and  Emerald Investments, or EIT. EIT leased its land to a medical marijuana grower and after unlawful operations of the marijuana growing business and building without a permit, the county placed a zoning enforcement action against EIT. The County and EIT reached a settlement that limited the operations and uses of the property as it relates to cannabis companies. 

The previous marijuana growers were evicted and Wild Horse began to seek the necessary permits and licenses to establish its business on the property leased by EIT.

In addition to the paperwork, Wild Horse replaced lighting fixtures and ventilation systems, among other necessary fixes, that cost them $400,000, according to BizWest.

After a successful business opening, Wild Horse was ready to expand its business and open a dispensary and manufacturing facility. The county shut this down, saying that Wild Horse could not expand its operations because the 2016 settlement between the county and landlord prohibits the expansion. 

Wild Horse claims the county is misinterpreting the settlement. Boulder county is expected to respond to the lawsuit Nov. 1. 

 

UPS To Hire Thousands

United Parcel Service, or UPS, is hiring more than 2,000 seasonal workers in Denver and more than 100,000 workers nationwide. 

The hiring flurry comes in preparation for the holiday season, peak delivery time for UPS, as it delivers millions of packages a day. 

UPS is hiring drivers, driver helpers and package handlers. Driving positions begin at $23 an hour. 

The temporary jobs could turn full-time for some people. UPS reports that almost half of last year’s seasonal workers earned a permanent position.

 

Governor Polis Creates Criminal Justice Advancement Group 

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis has established a new group in charge of transforming the juvenile criminal justice system.

He introduced the new Working Group on Transforming Criminal and Juvenile Justice last week. They have until March 1st, 2024 to advise on the creation of a permanent commission to recommend policy changes. 

According to Colorado Politics, Gov. Polis said that not having such a permanent entity in charge of criminal and juvenile justice related policies is “shortsighted”.

The Working Group on Transforming Criminal and Juvenile Justice seeks to improve the system and will be composed of seventeen people with different criminal justice backgrounds, including but not limited to a victim advocate, county human services representative, a former offender, a behavioral health representative and law enforcement, among others.

The initiative comes as part of Polis’ plan to make Colorado one of the top 10 safest states in the country.

 

Colorado Matches Local Funds For E-Bike Rebates

The state of Colorado launched a fund matching e-bike rebate grant for local municipalities. Communities can apply for the matching funds and create their own e-bike rebate program. 

The grants range from $25,000 to $750,000. Funds come from a law put in place last year that aimed to spread clean energy across the state. Supporters of the law say commuting on an e-bike can aid the reduction of fossil fuels.

Active e-bike rebate programs in the state, like the one in Denver, have income limits but with the grant, local governments have the freedom to alter the limit as they see fit or target certain demographics.

Municipalities can apply for a grant until Nov. 30.

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Ivonne Olivas

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