The EPA accidentally released 3-million-plus gallons of polluted water from the Gold King Mine near Silverton last week. Waste flowing downstream reached the confluence of the San Juan river in New Mexico Saturday, but EPA officials haven’t yet disclosed just how much toxic heavy metal now lurks in the the murky orange Animas River. Via The Durango Herald.
Cream and sugar?
Water in the Animas River is as acidic as black coffee in some places. And there could be another surge in acidity soon, since rainfall could stir up contaminants that have settled along the banks. Via The Denver Post.
U.S. prosecutors are trying to sway Ireland into releasing an international terrorist suspect, but Ireland refuses to extradite him. Why? The Supermax in Florence, Colorado. “It’s not because they want to prosecute him themselves or believe he is innocent. Rather, the Irish court ruled that Damache, if sent to the United States, would probably be locked up in the federal “supermax” prison. And to the court, that amounted to ‘cruel and unusual’ punishment,” writes Richard Serrano in the LA Times.
Harrowing heroin tale
Reporter Jakob Rodgers sits down with Suzanne Wall Vils whose son Stefan is one of 360 Coloradans who’ve died of heroin-related deaths from 2012 through 2014. They talk addiction, scarce treatment and collateral damage in this Gazette report on Colorado’s drug problem that’s ruining more lives — but getting less attention — than marijuana.
Would do it again
Critics say the James Holmes trial was a huge drain of taxpayer dollars and caused unnecessary trauma for already traumatized victims, but Arapahoe County DA George Brauchler defends his single-handed decision to seek the death penalty: “If this case comes in the door tomorrow — and I pray to God it does not — there’s a 99.9 percent chance we’ll be right back in there fighting for this.” Via The Denver Post.
Researchers at CU Boulder find that college students are more likely to pick majors with better job prospects during a recession. Women, more so than men, are steering away from the humanities toward science, technology, engineering and math. Via The Daily Camera.
The Pueblo Police Department paid out $300,821 in settlements since 2005. Now, officers there wear body cameras. Peter Roper of The Pueblo Chieftain doesn’t ask whether the cameras will save lives. He asks: Will they save the city money?
Singled out for double-speak
Luc Hatlestad says Sen. Cory Gardner’s vote to defund Planned Parenthood stands in direct contradiction to campaign promises he made — not that anyone should be in the least bit surprised that purple state politicians tend to say one thing then do another. Via 5280.com.
Spotlight on Colorado
Colorado lawmakers travelled to Seattle this weekend for the National Conference of State Legislatures’ annual meeting to participate in a panel discussion about marijuana legalization. They shared their experience dealing with public consumption, pot clubs and drugged driving, as a handful of other states contemplate taking the plunge into legalization. Via The Denver Post.