Headlines – September 12, 2023 Alexis Kenyon
Front Range Makes Progress Towards Improving Air Quality
The Front Range has made progress in improving the region’s air quality. But there is more work to be done, especially when it comes to ozone, according to the Regional Air Quality Council. The Council says ground-level ozone is the most pressing air quality problem on the Front Range. Ozone is an invisible, odorless pollutant that is caused when emissions from fossil fuels combine in the summer heat.
The Council says that with the hottest summer days behind us, Colorado’s air quality is nearing the national ozone standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency. Even so, the Council warns that more needs to be done: for instance, limiting the use of gas-powered lawn and garden equipment.
Denver Approves More Racial Justice Protest Settlements
The Denver City Council has approved more than $1.1 million in settlements stemming from how city police handled racial justice protests, in the spring and summer of 2020. Denver’s city council approved the latest settlements yesterday. That brings the city’s total in legal bills from those protests to nearly $9.4 million, according to the Denver Post. That could go even higher if the city loses an appeal of a $14 million jury award.
The most recent payments cover five different settlements. Four of them are from a lawsuit filed against the city alleging excessive force after police used tear gas, pepper balls, and rubber bullets without warning against peaceful demonstrators. The fifth settlement is from a suit by a woman who said she had to have a tooth pulled after being hit by a police projectile.
Another city council-approved agreement, for $4.7 million dollars, settled a class action lawsuit on behalf of 300 people arrested for emergency curfew violations.
The 2020 demonstrations in Denver were part of a wave of national protests, following the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police.
Boulder Police Seek Crash Witnesses
Boulder Police are turning to the public for information about two-weekend car crashes that hospitalized two pedestrians. One of the crashes happened early Saturday, shortly after midnight. Police say a man driving a 2014 Ford Focus made a U-turn on Broadway, then jumped a curb and hit two people on the sidewalk. The victims, an eighteen-year-old female and a nineteen-year-old male, were hospitalized, but are reportedly in stable condition.
The driver of the Ford Focus faces multiple charges, including driving under the influence, and vehicular assault. Police are investigating whether that suspect was involved in another crash a few hours earlier when multiple parked cars were hit in the 15th Street and Cascade Avenue area.
Denver Health Hosting Suicide Prevention Program
Denver Health is hosting a suicide prevention program this week, as part of Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. The suicide rate in Colorado was more than 1.5 times higher than the national rate in 2020. In 2021, it was the eighth leading cause of death in the state, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Organizers say their message to the public is that suicide is preventable and that no one should have to go through a crisis alone.
Wednesday’s event is set for 11 a.m. in Denver, at the outside main entrance to the Federico F. Peña Southwest Family Health Center, at 1339 South Federal Boulevard.
East Age Well Center Reopening Delayed
The reopening of the East Age Well Center in Boulder has been delayed until next Monday, as repairs to the center’s roof continue. The facility has been closed for repairs since late last month. Administrators extended the closure following the discovery of additional roof issues. Inclement weather also contributed to delays. The East Age Well Center offers onsite and virtual programs for older adults.
RTD Funds New Transit Service for Boulder’s Gunbarrel Area
The Regional Transportation District, or RTD, is funding a new on-demand transit service in Boulder’s Gunbarrel area. RTD awarded the city $650,000 for the route, for contracted operations from 2024 to 2026. It will cover an area of over four square miles in Gunbarrel and unincorporated Boulder County.
Officials say this “microtransit” project will offer important first- and last-mile connections for some 20,000 people in the area.
Colorado Has Its First Snowfall Monday
Colorado had its first snow of the season yesterday in four areas across the Front Range. The National Park Service even closed part of Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park because of ice and snow. It has since re-opened. The other areas seeing snow were Pikes Peak, Longs Peak, and Loveland Pass.
The season’s first snowfall was actually a little late this year: the high country ordinarily gets its first snow in the latter part of August. There’s been no snow reported at lower levels: Denver doesn’t usually see any snowfall until mid-October.
Headlines – September 12, 2023 Alexis Kenyon