Headlines – November 29, 2021

Headlines November 29, 2021

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Aurora Schools Take Steps to Deal with Violence

Beginning today, the campuses at all high schools in Aurora will have more security and certain restrictions placed on students. Students will not be allowed to leave campuses during lunch breaks for the next several weeks. The move comes after recent shootings of teenagers in the city.

All high schools in Aurora will have closed campuses beginning today and continuing at least through winter vacation. In a letter to the community, school superintendent Rico Munn said that in addition to increased security there will be mental health support at schools as students return from the Thanksgiving break.

A couple of weeks ago six students from Aurora Central High School were shot, and four days later–in what police are saying was a separate incident– three more students were shot outside Hinkley High School. Arrests have been made in both cases.

Aurora Vigil Held on Saturday 

On Saturday officials and community members gathered in Aurora for a prayer vigil at Nome Park, scene of the first incident two weeks ago. Superintendent Munn told the crowd that the shootings were not school incidents, but violence that is happening in the community and is seeping into the schools.  He added that they want to make sure that they address all the needs and issues surrounding what’s happening with kids.

9News reports that Chief Vanessa Wilson told those gathered that she is pleased they’re getting the public’s help, and she thinks the solution to the violence is giving a voice to youth, listening to them, and being there as mentors.

Sunday Morning Shootings Wound Five Young Males 

Meanwhile, the Aurora Police Department said that five more young men-16 to 20 years old- were shot early yesterday morning. In a release the police said that they are looking into whether this latest incident was connected to a large party on East Colfax Avenue.

Doctors in Colorado Working to Track Omicron Variant 

Doctors in Colorado are already working to track and prepare for the new COVID-19 variant, named Omicron, that has now been seen in southern Africa, Europe and Canada. Dr. Carrie Horn, chief medical officer at National Jewish Hospital in Denver, told KDVR that that it’s likely the variant is already here or, if not, will be very soon.

Doctors are using tests from nose swabs to track new variants of the coronavirus. There is concern that the new variant might be resistant to current prevention methods. Horn said that if it has mutated too far, vaccines may be a little less effective.  However, she added that the best measure one can take is to be fully vaccinated and get a booster.

CU Law Innocence Project and CBI to Review Criminal Convictions of Old Cases 

The cases of fifty-one people currently in Colorado prisons will be reviewed for potentially faulty hair analysis that could have resulted in wrongful convictions decades ago. 

University of Colorado law school professors in the Innocence Project and the state bureau of investigation will look at the cases in which hairs collected from crime scenes were visually compared to determine if they came from a suspect. Colorado Public Radio reports that DNA analysis and current science are more accurate than the visual method used in the past.  Similar reviews in other states have led to convictions being overturned.

Here in Colorado the lawyers and investigators will examine cases that occurred between 1976 and 1995 for which the prisoners are still alive and serving sentences.

West Slope Representative Criticized for Remarks 

Embattled U.S. Representative Lauren Boebert from Colorado’s West Slope is being criticized for remarks she made earlier this month.

The Republican from Rifle has not responded to criticism of her comments about Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.  She said that he should be condemned for taking parental leave and for trying to figure out how to “chest feed.” Buttigieg and his husband announced earlier this year that they had adopted twins.

Boebert made the remarks about Buttigeig at the same event where she implied that Representative Ilhan Omar was a terrorist. Boebert has apologized for those comments to anyone in the Muslim community who was offended.  Omar has called for Congress to take action against Boebert for her remarks.

At the same event where she made those comments, Boebert wore a tee shirt saying, “GUNS DON’T KILL PEOPLE ALEC BALDWIN DOES.”  The reference was to an incident where cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed when Baldwin shot her with a gun he had been told was safe.

Bomb-Making Materials Found in Boulder House 

A road rage incident last week has resulted in the arrest of a Boulder man for possessing suspected bomb making materials. 

The Denver Gazette reports that after a shooting on North 75th Street, a suspect was tracked to a house in the 4600 block of Ipswich Street.  Sheriff’s deputies obtained a search warrant and found guns, ammunition, and tactical gear, in addition to bomb making materials. 

Thirty-nine-year-old David Waters was arrested on charges of attempted murder, possession of an explosive or incendiary device, and dozens of gun related charges.