Headlines for April 28, 2022
Colorado Lawmakers Approve In-State College Tuition After 1-Year Of Residency
The state Senate passed a bill Wednesday that would make Coloradans eligible for in-state college tuition after one year of residency. The current requirement is three years.
If signed into law, officials predict the bipartisan House bill would make over 200 additional students eligible for in-state tuition each year. Colorado’s college enrollment has dropped since the start of the pandemic.
Some lawmakers opposed the new bill because it would expand upon a 2013 bill that allowed undocumented students who met residency requirements to qualify for in-state tuition. Supporters say the bill will strengthen the local workforce and help to remove barriers to enrollment in college.
Fairview Alum First Black Woman To Serve On International Space Station
A graduate of Fairview High School will be the first Black woman to serve on the International Space Station (ISS). Jessica Watkins, 33, will live and work as a geologist on the ISS as part of NASA’s 6-month SpaceX Crew 4 mission.
Other than being the first Black woman to visit the station, Watkins is the seventh Black person to visit the station out of close to 250 astronauts before her. She’s the fifth woman to travel to space and the first Black person to live and work on the International Space Station for an extended period.
Watkins, who grew up in Boulder County, said to NPR, “I think it really is just a tribute to the legacy of the Black women astronauts that have come before me, as well as to the exciting future ahead.”
House Advances Safer Colorado Bills
The Colorado House of Representatives identified two ways to make Colorado a safer place: more fire-mitigation and better protection of religious freedom.
They moved forward three bills along these lines, Wednesday.
The first would set aside more funding for forest management to coordinate with wildfire mitigation goals. It also increases the capacity of plants and trees in the state to remove carbon from the air.
The second bill invests resources to prepare local fire departments and their firefighters for wildfires. This bill would make local volunteer fire departments eligible for reimbursement for wildland fire suppression activities.
The final bill the house moved forward approves grant funding to ramp up security at faith-based institutions facing increasing threats, including synagogues, churches, temples and mosques. Antisemitic incidents grew by 53% in 2021 and reached the highest level nationwide in more than a decade.
The bill would create the Colorado Nonprofit Security Grant Program in the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. The program would offer grants to eligible entities to enhance the physical security of Colorado’s faith-based and charitable organizations.
Saliman Confirmed For CU Regents President
The University of Colorado confirmed Todd Saliman as president of its Board of Regents. The former state legislator was the sole finalist for the position. Saliman has served as interim president since July, when he replaced Mark Kennedy. Kennedy was censured by faculty for failing to lead the school in diversity, equity and inclusion.
Boulder County Announces Climate Innovation Fund
Boulder County has launched a Climate Innovation Fund to support projects involving carbon dioxide removal and landscape restoration.
Officials hope to offset the impacts of wildfires, poor air quality and extreme heat. The County Office of Sustainability, Climate Action and Resilience is seeking proposal applications through May 27th.
Boulder To Join NOAA’s Climate Heat Mapping Project
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration chose Boulder as one of 16 communities worldwide to take part in a climate change research project.
The Urban Heat Island Effect study will train residents to use sensors to collect scientific data like temperature and humidity during hot summer days. The program’s goal is to help communities at risk develop equitable solutions for managing deadly heat waves.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture designated Colorado a primary natural disaster area because of extreme drought conditions.
The announcement Tuesday opens up emergency funding for farmers and ranchers throughout the state’s 64 counties. Affected agricultural producers can apply for loans on the USDA’s website.
Gust-nado Wind Burst Reported At DIA
A strong wind from a thunderstorm blasted Denver International Airport Wednesday, delaying flights. Called a gust-nado, the downward wind grounded 44 planes in the afternoon.
Rocky Mountain National Park Fees To Increase This Year
Rocky Mountain National Park will increase its one-day vehicle pass fee on May 27. Fees will bump up from $25 dollars to $30 dollars. Campground fees will go up in October, from $20 dollars a night to $30 dollars. Summer camping fees will increase in summer 2023. Park officials say the change will help cover trash removal, toilet servicing, snow plowing and general maintenance services.
Rocky Mountain National Park will also return to its timed entry permit system from May 27 to October 10. The system requires a reservation to enter the park.