August 30, 2022
Colorado Judge Suspended for 30 days for threat with AR-15
The State Supreme Court has issued a 30-day suspension against Fifth Judicial District Judge Mark Thompson. The court suspended Thompson without pay for threatening his stepson with an AR-15 rifle earlier this year. Thompson pointed the rifle at his stepson’s chest during an argument last year. He later pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor of disorderly conduct in connection to the threat.
Thompson formerly served as chief judge for the district that includes Clear Creek, Summit, Eagle, and Lake counties. His 30-day suspension will stretch from October 15 through November 13. He also must serve a year of unsupervised probation and has to complete an anger management course but will continue to preside over non-criminal cases.
Lawsuit Over Mine Spill Begins Today
The New Civil Liberties Alliance is presenting an oral argument on behalf of Gold King Mine owner Todd Hennis before the U.S. Court of Federal Claims this morning. On the morning of August 5, 2015, the EPA dug away tons of rock and debris that blocked the portal of Hennis’s Gold King Mine near Silverton, Colorado. Opening the closed portal of the mine released over 3,000,000 gallons of acid mine drainage and 880,000 pounds of heavy metals onto the private property below and into the waterways downstream, including the Animas River located in the San Juan Mountains near Durango. It took the form of a bright, yellow-orange toxic sludge, and the pollution lingers to this day. Hennis says he is seeking compensation for the years the EPA has been using his property without his consent under the Fifth Amendment’s Takings Clause, which forbids private property to be taken for public use, without just compensation.
United States Department of Labor Finds Colorado Company Liable For Workplace Injury
The United States Department of Labor determined a Colorado Springs company willfully exposed a worker to life-threatening injuries. The worker was performing maintenance inside a cement mixer back in March of this year when a co-worker turned on the machine, nearly killing him.
The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration – OSHA found the company, Lindsay Precast Inc. failed to comply with federal workplace safety standards. The company supplies precast burial vaults to the Department of Veterans Affairs. OSHA has cited the company for prior violations in 2017 and in 2019 and is proposing a fine of over 200 thousand dollars for the most recent violation. During the investigation of the March incident, OSHA uncovered other safety failures that included not properly training their workers on safety laws in general and on powering on and off machinery in particular. The company has 15 business days from the date of the citation to comply with safety laws.
Rocky Mountain Region funded for projects addressing clean water
The Rocky Mountain US Forest Service has announced funding for a series of projects to improve water quality, roads, trails, and fish habitat through the new Collaborative Aquatic Landscape Restoration Program and the existing Legacy Roads and Trails Program.
Some of the areas that will benefit from the funding will be Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forests, Pike and San Isabel, San Juan National Forest, White River National Forest, Black Hills National Forest, Bighorn National Forest, Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest, and Shoshone National Forest. Frank Beum, the Rocky Mountain Forester, said in a press release the funds will, “address much needed critical road, trail, and stream improvements benefiting local communities and forest visitors in the Rocky Mountain Region.”
Lafayette’s Angevine Middle to offer mental health literacy program for students
All six graders at Lafayette’s Angevine Middle School will be able to take part of a mental health literacy program this year. The Boulder Valley School District is partnering up with The All Advocates for All Youth program and the University of Colorado Anschutz to run the programs. The programs will last six weeks and volunteers that are teaching students will follow a curriculum with activities that will help support students to increase their resilience and self-efficacy skills. According to Impact, this will help students manage and lower their stress.
According to the Daily Camera, Allison Billings, Impact on Education’s executive director said that “Rather than just addressing the kids who are struggling, it helps everybody understand more about mental health and well-being,”