The Home Front: Rural Colorado teachers are arming themselves

The Home Front: Rural Colorado teachers are arming themselves

“Teachers and staff members in at least a dozen of Colorado’s most remote school districts are arming themselves instead of waiting for local law enforcement to rescue them in the face of a Columbine-style attack,” reports The Denver Post. “Those districts have employees carry concealed weapons, train like law officers and then be the first line of security should a school or classroom be targeted by assault. Colorado law prohibits firearms in the classroom but does allow for security personnel to be armed. These smaller districts, fearing their vulnerability because of their far-flung locations, are training and reclassifying some teachers and staff as security personnel and overseeing the safe storage of their weapons.”

The Gazette reports the city council in Colorado Springs “voted unanimously Tuesday to ban pedestrians from narrow medians on busy streets with fast traffic, citing public safety concerns.” The paper reports an activist “was escorted out of the meeting Tuesday after an emotional outburst just before the final tally. But city officials were eager to address what most recognize as a safety issue, as panhandlers teeter atop skinny, peaked or domed medians alongside heavy, fast-moving traffic. Advocates for homeless people had testified at length, urging the council to reduce the penalties of a maximum $500 fine, probation or both.”

“Developers in Greeley built half as many homes in 2016 compared to 2015, and hotel occupancy rates slipped in the same timeframe, but city officials say the sky isn’t falling — it’s just reverting to the mean,” reports The Tribune. “The year 2015, said Assistant City Manager Victoria Runkle, was an outlier, featuring 449 permits for single-family homes and 290 permits for multi-family dwellings. It’s a pace Runkle said a city Greeley’s size might not be able to maintain. The drop, to 244 for residential homes and 139 for multi-family, isn’t cause for alarm, she said in a phone interview Tuesday.”

The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reports on a judge asking a special prosecutor to “look into possible criminal wrongdoing by Garfield County Commissioner John Martin in connection with travel expense reimbursements, and Martin’s attorney is hoping the investigation targets his accusers as well.”

“After Longmont residents voiced their concerns around a seismic survey set to occur on eastern Longmont lands in Weld County, City Council approved the request Tuesday night,” The Longmont Times-Call reports. “The City Council approved the seismic survey on a vote of 5-2 with Councilwomen Polly Christensen and Joan Peck dissenting. Cub Creek Energy LLC, which is partnering with TOP Operating, want to do the seismic survey on land around Union Reservoir, under Union Reservoir and in and around Sandstone Ranch in order to get a picture of the underground oil and gas field. Getting that picture would allow the city and Cub Creek to hopefully reduce the number of wellpads under the city’s master contract that governs oil and gas development, city staff told council members on Tuesday.”

The Steamboat Pilot & Today reported on how a work session“focused on addressing community housing shortfalls was marked by new commitments from elected officials and a back and forth between a city council member and the head of one of the city’s largest lodging properties about how much of a role local employers will play in helping to solve the problem. The Steamboat Springs City Council appears ready to start moving ahead with some of the recommendations presented by a steering committee that spent months studying regional housing woes.”

“About 30,000 low-income coloradans would lose access to reproductive health care if federal funding is stripped from Planned Parenthood,” The Coloradoan in Fort Collins reports. “Pledges by the newly minted Trump administration and congressional Republicans to strip the nationwide nonprofit of Medicaid reimbursements have been met by a round of protests in Fort Collins.”

The Pueblo Chieftain reports how the local sheriff “is hopeful that a court decision issued this week that says law enforcement can destroy marijuana it seizes as evidence and not care for it and save it as previously required provides clarity to law enforcement about how to proceed in handling marijuana in criminal investigations.” The sheriff told the paper, “I think it’s a common sense ruling. What it’s going to change by this ruling I hope, and law enforcement hopes, is that district attorneys will allow law enforcement agencies to destroy (marijuana plants) prior to adjudication.”

“A solar array and wind turbine installed Tuesday at Walt Clark Middle School will produce enough energy to power a new LED light that will illuminate the school’s east parking lot — the results of a $20,000 grant that students earned by saving energy,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “This is the final project of four at different Loveland schools whose students won a combined $50,000 for energy-saving projects.”

The Durango Herald reports on a lull in a storm that’s giving residents a chance to dig out from under a pile of snow.

“Fremont County Communities That Care is the first stand alone community board to host an orientation in the state, which took place Tuesday at the Garden Park Building,” reports The Cañon City Daily Record. “Fremont County is one of 47 communities that has adopted the prevention planning system aimed at helping communities prevent problems before they develop, including delinquent behavior and alcohol, tobacco and drug use. The system is funded by statewide excess marijuana tax collected in its first year of legalization in the form of marijuana education and prevention programs.”

The Boulder Daily Camera reports on the latest issue for Boulder: Tall buildings. “It’s not clear what, exactly, the city will do in early April when the 2015 moratorium on taller buildings in many areas of Boulder expires,” the paper reports. “During a joint study session of the City Council and Planning Board on Tuesday night, the ordinance’s extension did not appear to be a sure thing. Only four of the nine council members supported extending the 2015 policy. Four others said they were unsure. Planning Board members were more strongly in favor, but also not settled as to how a potentially renewed ordinance would look.”

The Colorado Springs Independent reports how alternative weeklies are joining to investigate the “Trump/Pence regime.” Trump Tracker “is a new column designed to take the prefix ‘alt’ back from the racists and hold President Donald Trump’s regime accountable,” the paper reports. “Papers like ours have never had ‘access’ at a national level and therefore have never had to worry about losing it. We have always reported as outsiders and Trump Tracker will continue that tradition, cultivating sources in the agencies and committees where policies will become reality, making liberal use of Freedom of Information Act requests and public meetings acts to get beyond the lies that the administration seems intent on using as a modus operandi. The column will expose any creeping authoritarianism and norm-violations and call them out with outrage when warranted, and gallows humor when possible.”

Denverite reports on Trump’s plans to block funding to sanctuary cities like Denver.

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About the Author

Corey Hutchins

is a journalist in Colorado, and Columbia Journalism Review's Rocky Mountain correspondent for the United States Project. Follow him on Twitter @CoreyHutchins and email him at CoreyHutchins [at] gmail [dot] com.

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