Headlines — July 22, 2022

July 22, 2022

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Judge Rules Boulder King Soopers Suspect Remains Incompetent For Trial 

Boulder County District Court Judge Ingrid Bakke ordered Thursday that the man charged with killing 10 people at the Boulder Table Mesa King Soopers remains mentally incompetent to stand trial. 

The ruling stems from recent findings by experts at the state mental health hospital in Pueblo. 

Court proceedings against 23-year-old Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa have been on hold since December when Judge Bakke ruled he was not competent to stand trial and sent him to the state mental hospital for treatment.

Hospital officials last reported in April that Alissa still was mentally incompetent, however, said there was a substantial probability Alissa’s mental competency could be restored and remain competent by taking medication. 

The court scheduled the next meeting to assess Alissa’s mental health status for October 21st.

Local Governments Urge The State Air Quality Control Commission To Look At The Data

Representatives from Boulder County, Broomfield, Longmont, and Erie challenged the Air Quality Control Commission to take action at its monthly meeting Thursday.

The Boulder area governments presented their own independent air quality reports and studies and pleaded with the state commission to look at the numbers.

 According to the Daily Camera, Boulder County officials pointed to the county’s persistent ground level methane recordings and increases in ozone.

Broomfield researchers said their data shows individuals living less than one mile from multi-well, horizontal oil and gas sources report upper respiratory and acute health symptoms more often than residents living at a greater distance.

Boulder County documented recurring oil and gas leaks at nearly 65 percent of oil and gas facilities over multiple calendar years. 

Over 100 people attended Thursday’s virtual meeting with many urging committee members to do more to lower emissions across the state.

Survey Shows 13% Increase In Homelessness In The Metro Area  

The Denver Metro area has seen a 13% increase in its unhoused population over the past two years. 

The Colorado Sun reports that the preliminary data from a Metro Denver Homeless Initiative point-in-time survey said that regionally, 784 more people lost their homes during the pandemic. 

At the beginning of this year, they counted just under 7000 people without homes around the Denver metro areas; the team estimated that the number of unhoused people was close to almost 31,000 people throughout the course of the year.

Tina Peters Faces Another Arrest Warrant 

The Fruita Police Department has sought a second arrest warrant Thursday afternoon for Tina Peters, the embattled Mesa County Clerk who is facing charges stemming from a security breach of her county’s election system done last year. 

In March, a grand jury indicted Peters with 10 counts of felony and misdemeanor charges, including attempting to influence a public servant, criminal impersonation, identity theft, and first-degree official misconduct.

The arrest warrant alleges Peters violated the terms of her bond and protective order by emailing the Mesa County Elections Director Brandi Bantz at 2:44 AM on July 20th.

As part of her bond and protective order, the Court has prohibited Peters from having any contact with anyone at the Mesa County Clerk’s office.

In the email sent to Bantz and 61 county clerks, Peters said she would seek a hand count of the June 28th Republican primary results for Colorado Secretary of State, a race she ran for and lost.

The Colorado Secretary of State’s Office says that candidates seeking recounts among races without close margins must pay $250,000 upfront, which Peters did not do.

Matt Crane, executive director of the Colorado County Clerks Association, said in a written statement that Peters’ request was improper and again shows her complete lack of knowledge about the rules and laws that underpin Colorado elections.

Peters faced an arrest warrant last week by failing to receive court permission to travel out of the state.

Mesa County Court Judge Matthew Barrett dismissed the warrant based on an admission by Peters’ attorney that he failed to advise his client on the terms of her bond.

Supporters Turn In Enough Signatures For Magic Mushroom Initiative To Be On November Ballot

Colorado voters will get to decide in November if the state should decriminalize the use and possession of magic mushrooms.

The Colorado Secretary of State’s Office said on Thursday the agency received enough signatures for the initiative to qualify for the upcoming statewide ballot.

The November ballot question will also ask voters if the state should allow healing centers where individuals can purchase and consume magic mushrooms that contain the psychoactive compound psilocybin [sal-la-si-bin or sai-luh-sai-bn].

The initiative, if passed, will also allow individuals to cultivate magic mushrooms for their own personal use and would be legal for people 21 and over at the state level.

Psilocybin [sal-la-si-bin] will remain illegal at the federal level.

Colorado would be the second state, behind Oregon, to legalize magic mushrooms if the initiative passes.