Headlines June 8, 2021
Tornado Touches Down in Weld County
A tornado touched down late Monday afternoon in Weld County east of Interstate 25 and covered a path of about 14 miles. No injuries to humans were reported, but the tornado did at least two animals. Downed power lines caused a house fire and the temporary closure of a highway.
Denver Residents Want Housing Expansion Overturned
A Denver group unhappy with the City Council’s decision to change rules about how many people can live together have collected enough petition signatures to ask voters to overturn the Council’s decision this November. The Council’s decision of increasing two unrelated people living in a single home together to five unrelated people living in a home together will now be up to the voters. Voters will also be deciding whether to overturn expanding the number of available plots in the city for halfway homes, including out of industrial areas. The Denver Post reports that the group Safe and Sound Denver, which collected the signatures, have argued that both increasing group living numbers and allowing halfway homes outside of industrial areas would harm neighborhoods. In Boulder, the group Bedrooms Are for People has gathered signatures to place a measure on November’s ballot that would eliminate a decades-old restriction that allows no more than three unrelated people to live together and instead allow for one person per bedroom plus one additional person per house. The signatures have been submitted to the city and the group is awaiting verification it will appear on the ballot.
Mead High School Resignation
Mead High School Principal Rachael Ayers announced her resignation Monday, 2½ weeks after a photo of three Mead High students reenacting George Floyd’s murder in the school parking lot was shared on social media. Ayers did not issue an explanation for the resignation, and the superintendent said he couldn’t comment on personnel matters. Ayers had worked for 12 years as a teacher, assistant principal and principal at Mead High School. Frederick High Principal Brian Young was appointed to take over as Mead High’s principal. The Daily Camera reported that in response to the photo incident, the NAACP Boulder County Chapter and other local organizations have asked the district to take several steps to address the incident and systemic racism in schools.
Boulder County COVID Clinics Close
Boulder County Public Health announced Monday it would begin ramping down its testing efforts by closing several COVID-19 testing sites. In a news release, the health department said the need for testing sites had diminished because vaccinations have gone up. A testing center run by BCPH at Boulder County Fairgrounds will close on June 9, and the St. Vrain Valley Schools Innovation Center testing site will close June 18. The testing site at Stazio Ballfields is currently scheduled to remain open through Sept. 30. Despite closing the locations, the county still encourages those with symptoms of COVID-19 to get tested, even if they have been vaccinated.
Louisville Ends Face Coverings
The city of Louisville has announced fully vaccinated individuals are no longer required to wear masks in city buildings, including the Louisville Recreation and Senior Center, the Louisville Public Library and the museum. The decision was guided by the recommendations of state and local health agencies. The city said those who are unvaccinated, including children aged two and older, are still recommended to wear masks while indoors.
Thornton Removes Carousel Horse With “Highly Insensitive” Imagery
A carousel horse at the Carpenter Park in Thornton has been removed after the city was made aware of its insensitive imagery. Over the weekend, a rider on the park’s carousel noticed the imagery on the horse in front of her was that of a Native American head in a saddlebag. The carousel was made in the 1920s. It was purchased by the City of Thornton from a local store that went out of business and moved to Carpenter Park in 2013. The city said it was grateful a park patron brought the inappropriate horse to its attention and regrets others were exposed to the “highly insensitive” imagery for far too long.
Bankruptcy filings were down in Boulder County
Bankruptcy filings were down in Boulder County in May and across much of northern Colorado. A BizWest analysis of U.S. Bankruptcy Court data showed statewide there were 646 bankruptcy filings in May, down from 733 a year ago. That means the total bankruptcies in the state were down almost 21 percent from May 2020. Boulder County recorded 14 bankruptcy filings in May, compared with 21 in May 2020. Similar reductions were also true for Larimer and Weld Counties.
Thornton Sues Weld County Board over Water Pipeline
The City of Thornton has gone to court against the Weld County Board of Commissioners after the commissioners denied the city’s application to build a water pipeline.
The Colorado Sun reports that Thornton is nearing a deadline to construct a pipeline from a reservoir near Fort Collins. City officials believe that the quickest and most direct way for the city to get approval for a Weld County pipeline is through the courts, rather than submitting a whole new application.
Thornton started the process for the Weld County section of the Thornton Water Project in 2015 and three years later the city formally submitted its application to build a pipeline through 34 miles of unincorporated county land. The city is engaged in a separate legal battle with the Larimer County Board of Commissioners, who denied a similar application from Thornton in 2019.
Senate Bill 273 Dies at State House
A controversial bill that would have limited Colorado law enforcement from making arrests for low-level criminal offenses died in a statehouse committee on Monday after it failed to receive enough support from Democrats to move forward. It was the second version of the legislation to be rejected this year. Senate Bill 273 sought to reduce jail populations statewide by limiting what offenses law enforcement could arrest someone for, instead requiring police officers and sheriff’s deputies to issue summonses. The bill failed in a 6-5 vote in the House Finance committee, with two Democrats, Rep. Shannon Bird of Westminster and Rep. Matt Gray of Broomfield, joining the four Republicans on the panel in voting “no.”