The Home Front: BB guns cause police problems, Springs gang unit gone, state poverty drops and coal job losses

BB guns and air-soft rifles are causing problems for some Colorado police, according to The Greeley Tribune. Greeley police Sunday night used a Taser on a woman they thought had a 40.-caliber handgun in her waistband when they didn’t know it was a BB gun. “What concerns me is the regularity with which we’re running into these weapons,” said Greeley Police Chief Jerry Garner. “It would be wrong to say we’re seeing them nightly, but it’s certainly every week, and sometimes multiple times a week.”

Poverty rates are dropping in Colorado while incomes rise, reports The Denver Post today, but there’s a caveat: Coloradans are paying out much more money in rent. The statistics come from new census numbers. “For the most part, these statistics tell a positive story about the Colorado economy,” Broomfield economist Gary Horvath told the paper.

Goodbye gang unit in Colorado Springs. The Gazette reports the local police department there “will disband the gang unit indefinitely and reassign those officers to patrol duty amid a ‘critical’ staffing shortage,” Chief Pete Carey announced Thursday.

If students in Mesa County’s District 51 schools watch a video about their local drainage district “that portrays the drainage district as the agency leading the effort to deal with stormwater,” then the drainage district will reimburse the school $114,000. the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reports.

In Longmont, police dogs are competing for a bullet proof vest, The Times-Call reports.

“Pueblo police are investigating after a male was fatally shot and another male was shot and injured in a South Side neighborhood before the sun rose Thursday morning,” reports The Chieftain.

The Loveland Reporter-Herald reports a judge has ordered a mental health exam for a woman charged with first degree murder and assault last year after she busted in the door of a neighbors house and stabbed him a bunch of times.

“Boulder Councilman Bob Yates says he wants to pull close to a third of the funding proposed for the city’s ongoing municipalization bid in 2017,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “The drafted city budget for next year calls for up to about $3.2 million for Boulder’s Energy Future office, which has been leading the charge to separate from Xcel Energy and form a municipal electric utility. Of that total money, about $2.2 million would come out of the voter-approved Utility Occupation Tax, which will be in its third and final year of effect in 2017. The remaining $934,000 proposed for Energy Future would come out of the city’s general fund.”

The Durango Herald reports today that the King II coal mine in Hesperus “has restructured, resulting in the lay-off of seven full-time employees” because of “pressured of a depressed industry.” The coal mine has slashed 30 percent of its workforce since January. “GCC Energy, which owns the mine, has not filled vacant positions, and through attrition, the labor pool shrank from 128 to 102 over the year. On Wednesday, GCC laid off seven full-time miners, four temporary workers and one interagency transfer, bringing the employee count down to 90.”

A Cañon City school district is using robots to help teach kids to read, according to The Daily Record. “Most days during the 2016-17 school year, elementary students in the Cañon City School District will see a robot roaming the hallways. With wheels attached to an iPad, the machine is the district’s newest teacher.”