Headlines Feb. 15, 2022
Embattled Mesa County Clerk Running For Colorado Secretary Of State
Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters announced Monday she is running for Colorado Secretary of State.
Peters, who is under investigation for official misconduct and security breaches to her county’s election system, made the announcement during the podcast hosted by Steve Bannon, former strategist to President Donald Trump. According to Colorado Newsline, Peters has not yet filed to run for the position and still has an active campaign to run for another term as clerk and recorder in Mesa County.
Peters, along with the former President and his proponents, has consistently echoed conspiracy theories about the 2020 election. Authorities arrested Peters last week for obstructing officers as they attempted to execute a search warrant for an iPad she allegedly used while recording a hearing that was against a judge’s order.
After the arrest, Peters appeared in Castle Rock at a gathering of far right activists in which a speaker called for the hanging of Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold.
Boulder County’s Board Of Public Health Votes To End Indoor Mask Order
Boulder County Board of Health Monday unanimously agreed to lift its mask order for indoor public settings, including school and child care settings.
The Daily Camera reports that about 700 people signed into last night’s board meeting with 30 people making comments during the public statement period.
Many residents spoke out against forcing young children to wear masks, saying the mandate has been detrimental to children’s mental health and ability to learn.
Board President Gregg Thomas said that they placed the mandate last Sept. because of the rise of cases from the Delta variant and continued the mandate with the rise of the Omicron variant. He said that a mask mandate may be reinstated if COVID-19 cases surge again.
COVID-19 cases in the county are falling but are still above 2021 levels, keeping Boulder County’s transmission rate high.
State Health Department Updates COVID-19 Guidance For Schools, Colorado Surpasses Mortality Milestone
The Colorado Health Department announced new guidance for schools on Friday. Beginning Feb. 28, students exposed to the coronavirus at school will no longer have to quarantine and districts can scale back contact tracing unless there’s an outbreak.
As new Omicron infections subside, Colorado marked a new grim milestone yesterday by officially surpassing 12,000 deaths from COVID-19. According to The Denver Gazette, roughly 4,000 people have died of COVID-19 since October. Unvaccinated people making up a disproportionate number of those deaths.
Cherry Creek School School Board Moves Meeting Online After Threat
The Cherry Creek School District moved its Board of Education meeting to a virtual broadcast last evening because of a perceived bomb threat by an individual with a documented criminal history.
A district spokesperson told the Aurora Sentinel the threat did not reference a single issue or policy.
The Aurora Sentinel reports a similar scenario occurred last week for Jefferson County Public Schools. During a study session, a person who wanted masking in schools to end made a threatening phone call to the superintendent’s office. The threat prompted school officials to secure the building where the board session was occurring.
According to the Aurora Sentinel, Cherry Creek School District board meetings have grown more contentious since the summer, as attendees have argued about pandemic health measures and critical race theory.
U.S. Senate Designates Amache Japanese Internment Camp As National Park
The United States Senate passed legislation Monday making the former Amache Japanese Internment Camp, located outside the town of Granada in southeastern Colorado, a National Historic Site. The incarceration camp, one of several across the United States, held nearly 8,000 Japanese Americans during World War II. The United States House of Representatives passed the Amache legislation last year, which was co-sponsored by Colorado Representatives Joe Neguse and Ken Buck. The Senate’s passage of the bill comes just before the 80th anniversary of when President Franklin Roosevelt signed an executive order on Feb. 19, 1942, forcibly placing 120,000 Japanese Americans to prison camps.
Denver Expands Its Alternative Police Response Program
Denver City Council unanimously approved a near $1.4 million contract with Mental Health Center of Denver to expand the Support Team Assisted Response or STAR program. Under the program, teams of emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and behavioral health clinicians — instead of police — respond to low-level, nonviolent situations. The program began in June of 2020 and has responded to people experiencing crises such as mental health episodes, homelessness and substance abuse.
Last night’s approval by the city council funds the program through the end of this year. Under the program’s expansion, Mental Health Center of Denver has hired new clinicians and EMTs and will now respond to calls seven days a week, 16 hours a day, throughout Denver. Officials estimate the program will respond to 10,000 calls annually. The new contract also requires a 15 member community advisory committee to provide oversight and tracking of the program.