November 30, 2022
Senate Subcommittee Conducts Hearing On Proposed Kroger Albertsons Merger
Federal officials debated a proposed grocery store merger between Albertsons and Kroger yesterday. The $25 billion deal would result in Kroger, King Soopers’ parent company, acquiring Albertsons, Safeway’s parent company. The proposed merger has raised concerns about a near monopoly within the grocery store industry at a time when high inflation is pushing up food prices.
Six United Food and Commercial Workers unions went to the United States Capitol Tuesday in representation of over 100,000 Kroger and Albertsons employees. Unions say the merger could undermine collective bargaining power for fair pay and healthcare coverage for essential workers.
Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser is launching an investigation into the proposed merger, which is expected to close in early 2024.
U.S. Marshals Service And Aurora Police Find 11 High-Risk Children
The U.S. Marshals Service announced Tuesday that they had located 11 high-risk missing children across Colorado. The mission to find the missing children lasted two weeks and was run by the Aurora police, the U.S Marshals Colorado District and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
The three offices coordinated to launch Operation Lost and Found on November 7th. By November 18th, according to the Aurora Sentinel, they had located 11 critically endangered missing children that had indications of high-risk factors such as sex trafficking, child exploitation, sex abuse, physical and psychological abuse, and medical or mental health conditions. Out of the eleven kids, the youngest was 12 and the oldest was 17.
Aurora Civil Service Commission Resists Hiring Changes By Independent Monitor
The City of Aurora’s Police and Fire independent consent decree monitor presented a study to the city’s Civil Service Commission Tuesday suggesting that the city change the way it hires police and firefighters.
According to the Denver Gazette, tensions boiled between the commission and the city departments throughout the three-hour meeting as the monitor cited a study and evaluation of the commission’s hiring practices which have faced criticism from Aurora’s Interim Police Chief Dan Oates during recent meetings. Oates told the council that the civil service commission undergoes an excessive amount of time to vet candidates and hires at a much lower rate than neighboring jurisdictions, situations that are making staffing challenges worse.
The commission’s chairperson, Harold Johnson, argued the proposed changes remove the checks and balances by the commission and would give more power to the department chiefs that could usher in a good ‘old boy’ legacy hiring culture where they give preferential treatment to friends and family.
The commission will meet later this week to continue the hiring process discussion.
CU Says Commercialization Activities Injecting Billions Into National And State Economies
A report by the University of Colorado Leeds School of Business says the university’s commercialization activities are churning out billions of dollars in local and national economies, with much of the activity occurring in Colorado. The report says CU, over the last five years, has had an $8 billion impact nationally and a $5.2 billion impact for Colorado, a four-fold increase since the previous 2019 study.
Commercialization activities by the university include innovations originating at CU, which CU then owns and licenses out. Two of the university’s more well known start-ups include the Thornton based Solid Power, which makes solid-state electric vehicle batteries, and Boulder’s Cold Quanta, which created the quantum-matter machine named “Albert.”
Boulder Police Take Hostage Into Custody
Boulder Police have identified a man they say provoked a possible hostage situation in North Boulder Monday night and into early Tuesday morning. Officers responded to a report of an adult male and adult female held against their will at a home in the 3300 block of Broadway around 9:15 Monday night.
A police department press release indicates the suspect answered the door, engaged in an altercation and an officer discharged their firearms with no resulting injuries. The man then allegedly barricaded himself inside the residence as the adult male and female escaped through a window.
Police took the suspect into custody just before 1AM Tuesday morning and then executed a search warrant. The 56 year-old suspect has been charged with three felony counts of second-degree assault, two felony counts of menacing, one misdemeanor count of resisting arrest, and one misdemeanor count of obstructing a peace officer.
Forest Service Set To Begin Slash Pile Burning
The United States Forest Service for the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests announced Tuesday the agency’s firefighters will begin seasonal slash pile burning later this week and will continue to do so throughout the fall, winter, and spring months when conditions allow. According to the Forest Service, fuel managers will ignite the piles of sampling and brush when they are confident conditions are safe. The ongoing monitoring for safety includes assessing snow conditions, wind, temperature, available staffing, and smoke dispersal.
Forest Service officials say they will likely begin burning piles later this week in the Sulphur and Canyon Lakes Ranger Districts. The public may check the forest service’s inciweb website for a list of planned areas where the burning may take place.