Headlines September 9, 2021

Headlines September 9, 2021

Listen here:

(Download Audio)

Unvaccinated Coloradans Almost 4x as Likely to be Hospitalized for COVID-19 Compared to the Fully Vaccinated

The Colorado Department of Health and Environment has released data sets that compare COVID cases for vaccinated and unvaccinated patients.

As of August 15th, state data indicates fully vaccinated individuals are almost four times less likely to be hospitalized as compared to individuals not fully inoculated. State data as of July also shows the risk of death from COVID is almost 6 times higher for those who are unvaccinated.

In yesterday’s media briefing, the CDPHE also presented data on breakthrough cases by vaccine, with Moderna shots showing the fewest number of breakthrough cases and the one-dose Johnson and Johnson showing the most.

Boulder City Council Expected to Extend Downtown Outdoor Dining and Begin Pilot Program

Boulder City Council is expected to consider extending an emergency order today allowing some downtown establishments to continue expanded outdoor dining into the street.  The current order ends October 31st and is expected to be continued until April 1st.

The Daily Camera reports the city is also exploring if an outdoor dining pilot program should be continued post-pandemic.

Colorado Supreme Court Declines to Hear Daily Camera Lawsuit Against the Daily Camera

The Colorado Supreme Court will not hear a lawsuit from the Daily Camera newspaper that challenges the University of Colorado’s refusal to disclose the finalists for the school president’s job.

On Wednesday, the Daily Camera reported that the court had denied its lawsuit. The Colorado Open Records Act law requires a finalist’s identity be publicly disclosed. The Camera had asked the court under that law to determine who is considered a finalist for chief executive jobs of all publicly funded government entities.

The Associated Press reports that the court’s decision, in spite of the law, the university and other government entities should be allowed to shield information from disclosure.

The Daily Camera sued in 2019, seeking the names of six finalists interviewed by the Board of Regents to replace the retiring-university President Bruce Benson. The job went to Mark Kennedy, who was the only candidate publicly identified by the university.

The Colorado Legislature had passed a bipartisan bill allowing certain governmental entities looking for a chief executive to release just a single finalist.

Supporters of that bipartisan bill said government agencies lose talented candidates when they know their names will be publicized. Opponents, including the Colorado Press Association, say the public has a right to know who is being considered for a taxpayer-financed government position.

Loveland Settles Lawsuit Over Violent Police Arrest of 73-year-old Woman with Dementia

The city of Loveland has agreed to pay a 3 million dollar settlement to an elderly woman with dementia violently arrested by local police last year. The arrest was over 14 dollars worth of merchandise the woman allegedly took from a Walmart. During the arrest, the Loveland police officers threw the woman to the ground, broke her arm and dislocated her shoulder. Later as officers reviewed bodycam footage of the arrest, police department video monitoring shows the officers laughing when hearing the sound of the shoulder dislocation. According to the Denver Post, the officers, who are no longer with the department, still face criminal charges and the incident has brought about a third-party investigation into the police department.

Teenager Shot by a Loveland Police Officer During Mental Health Crisis Dies

Also in Loveland, the Eighth Judicial District Attorney’s Office announced yesterday that a 19-year-old who was shot by a Loveland Police officer while he was having a mental health crisis has died. On August 19th, officers responded to a 911 call asking for assistance with a male family member who was experiencing a mental health crisis and was “actively damaging the home.” The Denver Gazette reports that as officers arrived as the teen was breaking patio furniture. Police body camera footage shows the teen moving toward an officer with a knife and not responding to police orders to put the knife down. According to the Denver Gazette, the officer is on paid administrative leave and the case is under review by the District Attorney’s office with a decision expected later in September.

New Colorado Laws Went into Effect Tuesday

On Tuesday,169 new Colorado laws went into effect. The Denver Post reports that the most notable include a requirement of residents to report lost or stolen firearms, the allowance of bodies to be composted after death, the creation of a new prescription drug affordability board, and that several types of retailers must accept cash. State parks and public lands will also get more funding as a discounted state park pass will automatically be added to most new or renewed vehicle registrations.

The full list of legislation passed in 2021 is available at leg.colorado.gov.