The Home Front: Colorado GOP chair lectured incoming lawmaker ‘about racist comments’

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The Home Front: Colorado GOP chair lectured incoming lawmaker ‘about racist comments’

“Newly selected state Rep. Judy Reyher no sooner claimed the House District 47 seat this week than she was lectured by Colorado Republican Chairman Jeff Hays about racist comments she made to a Denver newspaper and her past Facebook postings attacking President Barack Obama, Muslims and others,” reports The Pueblo Chieftain. “Reyher, a Swink Republican, got six of 11 votes at the district vacancy committee meeting Monday in Fowler, a vote that Pueblo candidate Tamra Axworthy unsuccessfully contested. Reyher is taking the place of Clarice Navarro, who stepped down to become executive director of the Colorado Farm Service Agency. But Reyher gave an interview Tuesday where she questioned whether Obama was born in the U.S. and apparently called Democrats and African Americans racists. Political websites also posted some of Reyher’s past Facebook postings, including one that called the Obamas ‘squatters’ in the White House.”

“The Grand Junction chapter head of a Chicago-based gang has been linked to murder, robbery and burglary by an indictment stemming from an investigation into local gangsters believed to be trying to earn their stripes with their larger organization,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “Mesa County’s grand jury on Wednesday returned an indictment against 31-year-old Christopher Michael Wilson, who police believe is the “chief” of Grand Junction’s chapter of the Folk Nation gang Satan’s Disciples. Wilson — who also goes by the name Christopher Fafejta — already faced arson, burglary, theft and other charges following his June arrest in connection with a home invasion at his elderly landlords’ house in the 2800 block of Mesa Avenue. Wilson is now facing a total of 24 felony charges, including racketeering, for his alleged role organizing and ordering a string of crimes in Mesa County from late 2016 to mid-2017, according to the 28-page indictment that also describes the structure of Grand Junction’s Satan’s Disciples chapter.” 

“The officer whose job it is to talk a barricaded suspect into surrendering to police is officially called the ‘lead,'” reports The Greeley Tribune. “Informally, though, Sgt. Dennis Lobato and the rest of the Greeley Police Department’s crisis negotiation unit have another name for the position. They call it the hot seat. That’s because that officer is in direct communication with the person police are trying to arrest. Sometimes people who have warrants for their arrest refuse to surrender to police for a variety for reasons. In many cases, they lock themselves in a house or another building — sometimes with weapons. Those are the situations for which the crisis negotiation team is called.”

“In the six weeks prior to receiving their smartphone breathalyzers, 28 percent of the first-time impaired driving offenders in the Colorado Department of Transportation’s (CDOT) 2017 Breathalyzer Program indicated they may have driven a vehicle impaired,” reports The Sterling Journal-Advocate. “Since receiving the breathalyzers, only 9 percent think they drove impaired. This is just one of several insights gleaned from the CDOT campaign. The program results emphasize the value of having accurate information about impairment levels heading into CDOT’s next DUI enforcement period. To coincide with holiday parties and related celebrations marked by increased alcohol consumption, The Heat Is On Holiday Parties DUI enforcement period begins Friday, Dec. 1, and will run through Dec. 11. Colorado State Patrol and statewide law enforcement will deploy increased and saturation patrols during the crackdown on impaired drivers. Last year, 102 agencies arrested 568 impaired drivers during the 10-day enforcement period, an average of 57 per day.”

“A developer is considering a rural property near Catherine Store east of Carbondale to propose a residential development of potentially hundreds of compact homes,” reports The Glenwood Springs Post-Independent. “But first they’ll have to get Garfield County to create a new land use designation allowing higher density developments. The 41-acre property sits near the northeast corner of the intersection at Colorado 82 and Garfield County Road 100, also known as Catherine Store Road. The project is still early in the process. Developer Ken Arnold said he doesn’t have conceptual drawings yet and doesn’t know how many homes his group will design into the project. But, depending upon what level of density they can get the county to approve, it could be anywhere from about 200 to 400 homes, said Arnold, managing member of Gatorcap, based in Aspen and Miami.”

“The city of Steamboat Springs plans to spend up to $20,000 to find out what kind of economic impact the several miles of new hiking and mountain bike trails being built around town are having on the city,” reports The Steamboat Pilot. “Upcoming interviews with trail users will also aim to find out who is using certain types of trails and what kinds of trails the city should fund in the coming years. And when it’s all done, the city could have an answer to a debate about what kinds of trails are attracting the most visitors to town.”

“Three of the four Brush city council members that made up the council majority that voted on Nov. 13 to deny Mastronardi Produce’s application for a special use permit to construct temporary employee housing at their BrushCo Farms facility offered an explanation for their votes at Monday’s council meeting,” reports The Fort Morgan Times. “Mastronardi had requested such feedback following the rejection of their permit and council had agreed to provide it in a resolution that would be written based on those comments.”

“In the new administrative offices of the Denver Health Paramedic Division at Sixth Avenue and Broadway, a bank of televisions hang above a U-shaped pod of desks,” reports The Denver Post. “One screen displays the calls ambulances are currently on; a second lists hospitals and the number of beds they have available. Justin Kennedy, a captain with the division and a 10-year veteran, gestures toward a third screen — one mapping traffic patterns throughout the city. At midday, it shows mostly open routes. But in just a few hours, the streets on the map will turn red with backups. And that’s when the city’s paramedics will begin an increasingly complicated race: They will try to save lives while also navigating a gridlocked city.”

“On June 9, 2016, Larimer County Sheriff’s Office investigator Drew Weber had already worked a full day when he received a page that would set the course for the next year of his career,” reports The Coloradoan in Fort Collins. “The page directed him to the parking lot at Lon Hagler Reservoir in Loveland, where Ann Marie Doolittle had discovered her 18-year-old daughter Ashley’s abandoned car. Berthoud teenagers Ashley Doolittle and Tanner Flores, who had recently broken up, were missing. In the hours that followed, investigators would follow tips and evidence nearly 300 miles across Colorado to find the 18-year-old rodeo queen’s body in a Western Slope home owned by Flores’ deceased grandfather.”

“Maps and documents obtained by The Wilderness Society and The Washington Post show that dramatic changes to Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments are expected to be announced by President Donald Trump on Monday,” reports The Durango Herald. “Bears Ears would be replaced by two much smaller national monuments, and Grand Staircase-Escalante would be replaced by three smaller monuments.”

“El Paso County commissioners on Thursday launched a preemptive strike on a proposed needle exchange program touted by health officials as a way to cut down on the spread of infectious diseases,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. “The commissioners unanimously approved a resolution opposing the plan, days before the county’s Board of Health planned to hear details of a possible exchange program on Colorado Springs’ west side. Commissioner Peggy Littleton led the opposition – claiming needle exchanges encourage illicit drug use and are inferior to increased drug enforcement and wider use of education and prevention programs.”

“Colorado has passed a milestone in its effort to reduce teen pregnancy: The birth rate for women ages 15 to 19 has fallen by more than half since 2009,” reports Denverite. “The rate of teen abortion has fallen even faster. This is a nationwide phenomenon, but it has happened faster here — most likely because Colorado was a pioneer in providing long-acting contraception for low or no cost. “This is just a tremendous Colorado success story,” said Erin Miller, vice president of the Colorado Children’s Campaign. Now, though, state officials are anxiously waiting to see if President Donald Trump’s administration may make changes to a crucial funding source — and there’s a deadline looming.”

“Rep. Matt Gray, a Democrat from Broomfield, is taking on the effort to expel fellow Democratic Rep. Steve Lebsock of Thornton, who is under fire for allegations of sexual harassment against Capitol colleagues,” reports ColoradoPolitics. “In a statement Thursday, Gray said he would introduce a resolution at the beginning of the 2018 legislative session to expel Lebsock from the Colorado House. Gray has been calling for Lebsock’s resignation for several weeks, after a KUNC report that said Lebsock had sexually harassed a fellow lawmaker, a lobbyist and a legislative aide. State Speaker of the House Crisanta Duran of Denver and Gov. John Hickenlooper have also called on Lebsock to resign. Lebsock continues to fight back. He told Colorado Politics Thursday that ‘I look forward to that vote, especially because the vote will happen after I tell my side of the story and the truth will be out.'”

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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.

1 Comment

  1. Jay on said:

    A Republicans chiding someone for being racist just might be the perfect epitome of hypocrisy.

    They own Trump.

    Forever.

    From now on, you’ll always be the party of racist, misogynistic, anti-science charlatans. The kind of behavior and policy stances that now have Republicans painted in the proverbial corner might have been brushed under the rug one hundred years ago, but now they’ll be immortalized.

    The beatings will continue until you get out of the way and let the majority have their rule.

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