The Home Front: In Pueblo, Colorado, where Donald Trump won, 40% are on Medicaid

Your morning roundup of stories from the front pages of newspapers across Colorado

The Home Front: In Pueblo, Colorado, where Donald Trump won, 40% are on Medicaid

“Cutting the federal Medicaid program by $800 billion over a decade and the federal food stamp program by nearly 30 percent are key pieces of a budget plan released by President Donald Trump this week,” reports The Pueblo Chieftain. “Those are big policy goals. If carried out, the effects would be sharply felt in Pueblo County and other communities in Southern Colorado. State officials report an average of 41 percent of Pueblo County residents — 67,561 people — received monthly Medicaid payments in the 2015-16 fiscal year. They also say that of those on Medicaid, 75 percent are working but still qualify due to their low incomes.”

“When it comes to economic growth, there’s a boogeyman lurking to the west, waiting to lure Colorado-bound business out of the Centennial State,” reports The Coloradoan in Fort Collins. “Colorado’s roads are leaving its economy vulnerable to its neighboring states, transportation advocates and the governor warned Tuesday. Utah has been dumping money into its roads while Colorado has spent years roiling in quagmire about how to pay for its highways. The debate reared up again this legislative session, despite lofty aspirations and an ultimately failed bipartisan push for $3.5 billion in new road funding.”

“Fremont County tax collections hit record numbers in 2016, which likely will be surpassed this year,” reports The Cañon City Daily Record. “County Manager Sunny Bryant shared the monthly tax collection report during Tuesday’s Fremont County Board of Commissioners meeting, which includes Retail Sales Tax, Auto Use Tax, Construction Use Tax, Lodging Tax, and the voter-approved Sheriff’s Tax.”

“Investing in Colorado’s transportation infrastructure, specifically along the Front Range, is necessary to accommodate the high volume of people moving into the area due to the vast economic growth, regional transportation experts say,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “The Northern Colorado Economic Alliance hosted a discussion Tuesday morning at the Windsor Readiness Center, 31725 Great Western Drive, which featured Gov. John Hickenlooper, as well as a panel of four transportation advocates in the industry. The panel included Sandra Hagen Solin, founder of Capitol Solutions, a government affairs and lobbying firm that represents business clients; Kathy Gilliland, a Colorado Department of Transportation commissioner; Curt Burgener, president of Transpro Burgener, a trucking company; and Terri Blackmore, executive director of the Northern Front Range Metropolitan Planning Organization.”

“Two Colorado Republicans want President Donald Trump to leave the Canyons of the Ancients National Monument in southwest Colorado alone as the administration examines other monuments,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “Canyons of the Ancients is an example of what the 1906 Antiquities Act was intended to do, “protect cultural treasures while incorporating the historic use of the land in the management of the monument so that communities support and promote the designation,” Sen. Cory Gardner and Rep. Scott Tipton wrote to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.”

“Protect the pollinators, one group of speakers urged the Longmont City Council on Tuesday night,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “Protect the prairie dogs, another group demanded. Protect both, a few said. The council’s meeting agenda already included a staff-drafted resolution affirming the city’s commitment to policies and practices intended to protect and support bees, wasps, butterflies and other pollinators on city-owned properties and encouraging other Longmont property owners to do likewise. More than five people — several of whom identified themselves as members of the Longmont Coalition for People and Pollinators — spoke in favor of the resolution, while about 20 more in the audience stood to show their support of the measure.”

“Steamboat Springs Police Department officers were called to a report of a bear that had attempted to break into a doughnut delivery car parked in the 3300 block of Columbine Drive,” reports The Steamboat Pilot. “The bear had ripped off the bumper of the car and was gone when officers arrived. No doughnuts were in the car at the time.”

“The case of the missing iron tail feathers ripped off a bronze sculpture that used to adorn the southeast corner of Ninth and Grand in Glenwood Springs has been at least partially solved,” reports The Glenwood Springs Post-Independent. “Recently, a hiker found the ornate piece in the area above Linwood Cemetery on the lower flank of Lookout Mountain. The area has been a problem area for illegal camping over the years. The sculpture, “Raptoround: Standing Proud,” created by the late Chuck Weaver, was vandalized in October 2015, days after Weaver died from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at 76.”

“We want to make sure the river and the roadway are working in harmony with one another,” Colorado Department of Transportation project manager James Usher said during a tour Tuesday of the construction work,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “The 2013 floods obliterated sections of U.S. 34 west of Loveland, along with roads in other counties, cutting off access for rescue crews so much that it became the second-largest air rescue emergency in the United States behind Hurricane Katrina. Emergency repairs allowed U.S. 34 to reopen within two months.”

“An Oregon company, Wellons, said it was stiffed millions of dollars when it built the Gypsum biomass plant,” reports Vail Daily. “Wellons also charges that Eagle Valley Clean Energy, the company that owns and operates the plant, fraudulently hid that money and more to keep from paying Wellons. Eagle Valley Clean Energy insists it did not pay Wellons because of construction defects in the plant, which, the company claims, resulted in a 2014 conveyor belt fire that led to the plant sitting idle for a year. The nine-day civil trial between the two entities started Tuesday with a six-person jury and one alternate — four women and three men — and 21 lawyers in Judge R. Brooke Jackson’s U.S. District courtroom in Denver.”

“In a presentation Tuesday night during a joint meeting of the City Council and Planning Board, Jeff Arthur, Boulder’s director of public works for utilities, lamented that much of the city was developed ‘without a good understanding of flood risk,'” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “Commenting specifically on the controversial, roughly 300-acre CU Boulder South property along Table Mesa Drive and U.S. 36, Arthur noted that there are more than 500 structures and close to 2,000 housing units in the South Boulder Creek floodplain. “From a strictly flood-management perspective, it’d be better to have people not living in the floodplain,” Arthur said. But, he added, ‘We have a lot of competing objectives.'”

“The investigation into the cause of a fire that engulfed 1111 Camino del Rio just before midnight Sunday was ongoing Tuesday,” reports The Durango herald. “It’s a huge scene to process,” said Deputy Chief Randy Black with the Durango Fire Protection District. Investigators were working through the vacated building room by room, and he did not know how long the work might take. “We want a good, thorough and complete job,” he said.

“The hailstorm that pounded west metro Denver with golf ball- and baseball-sized stones on May 8 will rank as the most expensive catastrophe in state history, according to estimates Tuesday from the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association,” reports The Denver Post. “The insurance industry trade group estimates that more than 150,000 auto insurance claims and more than 50,000 homeowners insurance claims will be filed, resulting in $1.4 billion in insured losses.”

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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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