Headlines – September 14, 2023

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Federal Judge Rules Against DACA

A federal judge in Texas ruled against the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program Wednesday. Also known as DACA, the 11-year-old program allows qualifying undocumented residents brought to the U.S. as children to access work authorization and have certain protections against deportation. 

Many advocates for civil rights for immigrants anticipated yesterday’s ruling, which declared the DACA program illegal. Former President Barack Obama created the program via an executive order after years of inaction by Congress to reform U.S. immigration laws. 

How the ruling will affect those already in the program is unclear. More than 13,000 DACA recipients live in Colorado, with more than 8,000 residing in the Denver Metro area.

 

UnitedHealthcare, Boulder Community Health Reach Settlement

Some 13,000 UnitedHealthcare policyholders will still have in-network coverage at Boulder Community Health, or BCH, after the two organizations reached an agreement Monday. A contract dispute had threatened to interrupt patients’ access to affordable care at the end of the month.

According to Boulder Reporting Lab, both sides would not comment on the terms of the agreement. Earlier reports suggested BCH has expressed concern about price hikes since the onset of the pandemic. It is not clear whether policyholders’ premiums will increase as part of the settlement.

 

Environmental Groups Sue BLM For Overgrazing Lands

Environmental groups filed a lawsuit Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The suit cites mismanagement of livestock grazing on public lands in 13 Western states, including in Colorado. Some 35,000 BLM permit-holders graze their livestock on 155 million acres of public land in the West.

The Western Watershed Project and Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility allege BLM managers in Colorado are not performing required duties. Those include environmental assessments of areas where domestic sheep and wild bighorn sheep graze, and damage reduction to national conservation lands and monuments.

According to The Denver Post, a BLM spokesperson said the agency would not comment on the case.

The complaints echo those of a whistleblower employee who filed a complaint against the BLM last month. She alleged her BLM employers were endangering the ecosystem near the Rio Grande in the San Luis Valley by allowing illegal grazing.

 

Denver Broncos Trolley To Debut This Sunday

Denver trolley’s football shuttle is an open air vehicle that will transport Broncos fans from Confluence Park to Empower Field at Mile High Stadium.

The trolley will be available for the game against the Commanders this Sunday, running all day from two hours before kickoff until 45 minutes after the game ends.

The return trip will start at the beginning of the first quarter. and will take fans back to Confluence Park. A trolley ride costs $10 per person roundtrip and children 3-years-old and younger ride for free. The trolley is operated by the Denver Tramway Heritage Society and is a homage to Denver’s trolley history.

 

Updated COVID Vaccine Approved By CDC

The national Centers for Disease Control has approved a COVID vaccine created to tackle the newer XBB and EG.5 virus strains. They recommend everyone six months and older gets the shot as soon as supplies reach pharmacies and health care providers.

Boulder County officials say COVID cases and hospitalizations rose in recent weeks. Free shots will be available to uninsured and underinsured adults through the Federal Bridge Access Program for COVID-19. More information can be found at www.vaccines.gov.

 

Boulder Publishes First Data With July Homelessness Count 

The City of Boulder has posted results from its first summer count of unhoused people in the area.

Called the Point in Time Count, the data is typically collected in January in communities nationwide to track homelessness data and support local initiatives. For the first time, Boulder officials added a July count to better understand seasonal trends in houselessness.

The Boulder data listed an increase in unhoused people, from 142 in January to 171 in July. Of about 100 people surveyed, roughly a quarter of them said it was their first time experiencing houselessness. Over 75 percent said they had been houseless for a year or longer, and almost 90 percent reported living with a disabling condition.

 

Denver Considers Banning Right Turns On Red

A Denver transportation committee is considering banning right turns at red lights, especially in areas where pedestrian and cyclist accidents are more common.

Mayor Mike Johnston is evaluating recommendations to end right-on-red on busier Denver streets, including East Colfax, South Federal, Lincoln, and Broadway. If Johnston decides to push for a right-on-red ban, the Denver City Council would need to approve the policy change.

 

Police Arrest Suspect For Attacking Child On Boulder Trail

The Boulder County Sheriff’s Office arrested a 32-year-old man Wednesday accused of attacking a child on a trail.

Police received a 911 call from a girl who reported escaping a man who had pushed her down, then had tried to detain her against her will.

The suspect was identified as Cole Priest. Police believe he may have assaulted other victims and are seeking tips from the public.

 

Bear and Cub Sighted Near Louisville Elementary

Louisville police reported two sightings of a mother bear and her cub in the Boulder County suburb. Police first caught a glimpse of the bear family Tuesday night. On Wednesday morning, officers received a report that the same two bears were near Louisville Elementary School. The school brought students inside until 1 pm, when the bear was no longer seen in the area.

Police are urging residents to keep garbage secured, BBQ grills clean, and to take down bird feeders until mid-November when bears are entering hibernation.

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