Headlines October 12, 2020

Headlines October 12, 2020

Listen here:

(Download Audio)

Suspect and Victim at Denver Rallies Identified 

Yesterday, Denver Police identified a 30-year-old man as the suspect in a shooting which resulted in one death as dueling protests occurred at Civic Center Park this weekend.

The alleged shooter, Matthew Dolloff, was not participating in the protest but working as a security guard for television station 9News, although he may not have been licensed to work in that capacity.

The victim in the shooting has been identified by his family as Lee Keltner. He became at least the fourth person shot during protests in Colorado so far this year.

The Denver Post reports that the incident occurred when Keltner slapped the security guard in the face before the two backed away. Then it appears that Dolloff shot Keltner who fired a cloud of pepper spray toward the security guard. Dolloff was arrested at the scene.

Denver police said in a statement that they are unaware of whether the suspect is personally affiliated with any political organization. Keltner was there to support police according to his son.

The shooting took place as two opposing groups demonstrated in Civic Center on Saturday afternoon. Dozens of people gathered for a “Patriot Rally,” which was protested by dozens of people who attended an event called a “BLM-Antifa Soup Drive.”

The two groups yelled at each other prior to the shooting, but police kept them separated.

Statewide Mask Order to Be Extended 

Governor Jared Polis said on Friday that he is the most worried he has been since mid-July about the upward trajectory in hospitalizations of COVID-19 patients.

Polis announced that he plans to extend the statewide mask mandate for another 30 days as hospitalizations continue to increase.

The governor noted that the recent growth in patients has been driven by white Coloradans while minority groups including Black, Hispanic and Native Americans have been overrepresented since the pandemic began.

Polis challenged Coloradans to reduce the number of people they see every day in an effort to limit the spread of the virus.

All Deaths Increased During First Six Months of Pandemic

In related news, the number of all deaths in Colorado jumped twenty percent during the first six months of the pandemic.

An analysis by the Denver Post showed that almost 3,800 more residents died than would be expected. The number reflects the outbreak’s toll on human life even beyond those killed directly by the virus.

While the increase is largely due to COVID-19, other causes– including overdoses, cirrhosis, heart disease, diabetes and Alzhermers’–also saw significant spikes.

There are various reasons for the increased deaths.  Some people may have died from COVID-19, but were never diagnosed because testing, especially during the early days of the pandemic, was limited. Other deaths may include people who delayed getting care because they were afraid to visit a hospital or doctor’s office.

The increase in deaths across a broad range of illnesses and diseases, is an indication of the sweeping changes the pandemic has wrought on everyday life.

Opposition to Rifle Club Expansion in Boulder County 

A group of neighbors in Boulder is speaking out against the expansion of the Boulder Rifle Club. A public hearing on the proposal in front of the County Commissioners is scheduled next week.

The Daily Camera reports that the Rifle Club’s goal is to build five additional shooting ranges at its existing location on north 26th Street.

But opponents are concerned about noise impacts, increased traffic and disturbances to wildlife. Supporters say the expansion is a chance to mitigate unsafe shooting practices.

The County Planning Commission has recommended denying the application which would be on fourteen adjacent acres. The main reason for the recommendation was the increase in noise.

Denver Live Streams Ballot Count 

The Denver Elections Division will give voters live video of ballot processing in an effort to counter baseless claims by the Trump Administration that the system is rife with fraud.

The Associated Press reports that starting today, people can watch live 24-hour footage from the room where Denver ballots are received and counted by going to Denvervotes.org. The camera won’t be close enough to identify individual ballots or disclose voter information.

A spokesperson for the Elections Division said the purpose is to show the public exactly what happens when their ballots arrive.  The video stream is one way of increasing trust in the system.

Other cities are doing the same including Seattle, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Windy Sunday Leads to Grass Fire and Trailers Overturning

Hurricane-force winds hit parts of the metro area yesterday. And the hot, dry conditions combined to start a grass fire in Arvada yesterday prompting pre-evacuation orders. The fire near Highway 93 and West 82d Avenue was brought under control.

Yesterday’s strong winds caused a number of problems for Colorado drivers, including those hauling trailers. One trailer overturned on C-470 and another on Highway 93 near Golden. RTD said strong wind caused the N Line trains to stop.