Insurance deadline looms two years after Marshall Fire and woman arrested for death of bicycler on Diagonal,



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Magnus White Death Arrest

The Boulder County District Attorney’s office is charging a 23-year-old woman in connection with the death last summer of a rising Boulder cyclist.

Yeva Smilianska, of Boulder, is facing charges of vehicular homicide in the death of 17-year-old Magnus White. Smililanska allegedly crashed into White while he rode his bicycle on the shoulder of Southbound Diagonal Highway last summer.

Police said in an affidavit that before the accident, Smilianka had been up all night and was probably asleep at the wheel when the midday crash occurred. She first said her car had a steering malfunction. But a State Police investigation concluded that there was no steering problem, according to the Daily Camera.

In a court appearance yesterday, Smilianska’s lawyer said she has no criminal history and is a Ukrainian who came to the United States to escape the war there. She was granted a $100,000 personal recognizance bond, but remains in custody and is due back in court tomorrow.

Magnus White was a National Team cyclist and a rising star in the sport. At the time of his death, he was about to compete in world championships in Scotland, before starting his senior year in high school.

Defense Rests In McClain Paramedics Trial

Defense lawyers are expected to begin calling witnesses today, in the trial of two paramedics facing charges in the death of Elijah McClain.

Jeremy Cooper and Lieutenant Peter Cichnuiec are charged with reckless manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, and assault. Aurora Police stopped 23-year-old Elijah McClain in 2019. The confrontation escalated and one of the officers placed him in a carotid hold to subdue him. When paramedics arrived on the scene, they injected the 140-pound McClain with enough Ketamine to sedate a 220-pound individual. Prosecutors argue that the dosage sent McClain into cardiac arrest. He died several days later.  

In two previous trials, Colorado courts acquitted two of three police officers. A third officer still faces sentencing after being convicted of criminally negligent homicide and third-degree assault. The prosecution rested their case against the paramedics yesterday. 

Denver Homeless Plan Update

Denver officials say Mayor Mike Johnston remains committed to his pledge to get a thousand homeless people off the streets by the end of this year. 

In a statement this week, city officials say they will relocate the majority of unhoused people into converted hotels and around a dozen micro-communities. Mayor Johnston proposed building a series of what he called micro-communities during his campaign earlier this year. So far, no micro-communities are ready, though the Denver Post says one is scheduled to open at the end of December.

The city has converted several hotels into shelters and began moving people out of encampments this fall. They say they will close twelve more homeless encampments in the coming weeks.

Children’s Hospital Tuition Reversal

Children’s Hospital Colorado has done an about-face and says now that it will keep paying full tuition to eligible employees.

The hospital had said earlier that those employees who are working toward certain health-related degrees would only get $5,250 in tuition assistance next year.  A hospital spokesperson says that after talking to some of those who would have been affected by the changes, they’ll maintain their full or partial tuition.  The Denver Post says that will change next year for employees who hadn’t already been in the program, who will get a maximum of $5,250.

Marshall Fire Insurance Deadline Approaching

People who lost their homes to the Marshall Mesa fire nearly two years ago are coming up against an insurance deadline, and some are turning to the legal system for help.

The customary two-year deadline for people seeking damages from their insurance companies for underpayment, or substantial delays in payments, is the end of December.   

According to 9News, roughly 400 families have not yet received building permits to rebuild a home or business.  As of last month, certificates of occupancy had been issued for only about 200 re-built homes out of the roughly 1000 lost in the Marshall Fire. 

 Most insurance companies working with victims of the Marshall Fire currently have a 2-year period during which they will help their insured pay for living expenses; that period will also end at the end of December if further extensions are not granted.

RTD Offers Free Rides To Welcome The New Year

The Regional Transportation District is offering free rides on its bus and rail system this New Year’s Eve.  It’s the fifteenth year RTD has offered free New Year’s Eve rides. It begins at 7 pm on Sunday, December 31st, and goes until Monday at 7 am.  RTD officials say Coloradans can consider RTD their designated driver, to ensure they celebrate New Year’s Eve safely and responsibly.

9News reports that more than 48,000 individuals took advantage of the free New Year’s Eve service last year.

Alexis Kenyon

Alexis Kenyon

Alexis Kenyon is an experienced radio reporter with more than 15 years of experience creating compelling, sound-rich radio stories for news outlets across the country. Kenyon has master's degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, Graduate School of Journalism in radio broadcast and photojournalism. She has worked in KGNU's news department since 2021 as a reporter, editor, and daily news producer. In all her work, she strives to produce thought-provoking, trustworthy journalism that makes other people's stories feel personal. In addition to audio production, Kenyon runs KGNU's news internship program and oversees the department's digital engagement.

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