The Home Front: Threatening clowns in Greeley, vampire newspaper owners in Denver, and more

“Clown threats target Greeley schools,” blares an above-the-fold morning headline on the front page of The Greeley Tribune. “The school’s back doors were uncharacteristically locked and parents periodically checked their children out of school throughout the day after discovering the Greeley Police Department was investigating threats to students and others, some involving fake Facebook pages with images of clowns. Authorities don’t believe the threats are credible, but their effect spread throughout the district. One student said she texted her parents to pick her up after she noticed only four other kids showed up to her first block. There are usually about 35.”

“Can The Denver Post survive its hedge-fund owners” is the question on the cover of today’s edition of the capital city alt-weekly Westword, which features an image of a vampire reading a copy of the Post. The story by Alan Pendregrast was described as “heartbreaking, but true,” by the Post’s marijuana editor.

An oil and gas slump has hit the Garfield County library’s budget, reports The Glenwood Springs Post-Independent. “A significant decline in new oil and gas activity in the county is resulting in a huge drop in property tax revenues for 2017, which is causing budget woes for several entities, including Garfield County government, fire districts and other special districts. Library operations benefit from a mix of revenues coming from a dedicated 0.25 percent portion of the county’s 1-cent sales tax, and a 1-mill property levy approved by county voters 10 years ago.”

The Longmont Times-Call reports the city council there has given the green light to a free bus program extension. “The program, where the city and Boulder County paid to buy out the farebox for Longmont local routes as a way to increase bus ridership, began in July 2014. Until 2016, the county paid 72 percent of the program cost, while the city picked up the remaining 28 percent.”

The Denver Post closes out its four-day series on accidental deaths in Colorado’s oil-and-gas fields with an installment about how the state lags behind others when it comes to safety. “Colorado oil and gas regulators receive dozens of reports about workplace accidents every year. But the regulators, lacking legislative authority, don’t punish companies with repeated worker safety problems or share the reports with federal safety officials. And the majority of deaths in the industry go undocumented by the regulators, The Denver Post has found.”

Backers of recreational marijuana want the Grand Junction local government to allow voters to decide whether to allow sales in the city, according to today’s Daily Sentinel. “The group — called Grand Junction Cannabis Action Now, or GJ CAN — has been making appearances around town gathering support for the ballot measure. Group members plan to be on the quad at Colorado Mesa University today, fundraising and promoting the cause.”

The Colorado Springs Independent put on this week’s cover a story by Colorado Independent editor Susan Greene about a ballot measure that, if passed, would allow terminally ill patients to obtain medication from doctors to end their own lives.

“A popular Pueblo City Schools (D60) principal has been on paid administrative leave since Aug. 26 while the district investigates claims of possible violation of board policy related to advertising in schools,” The Pueblo Chieftain reports. “Preston Wenz, principal of Eva R. Baca Elementary, was instrumental in the school becoming the first in the state to join the No Excuses University college readiness network.”

The Coloradoan in Fort Collins fronts a feature about the city’s attempt to preserve the night skies. “City leaders are greeting washed-out night skies with a call for updated lighting standards for homes, streets and businesses. Before you dismiss the move as bureaucratic drivel, consider this: You can gaze upon the Milky Way from a Walmart parking lot in Flagstaff, Arizona, population 70,000. In the southern half of Castle Rock, 30-some miles from Denver to Fort Collins’ 65, a black, star-studded sky belies the city’s population of 57,000.”

The city council in Loveland supports the idea of reducing homelessness, reports The Reporter-Herald. “[They] discussed solutions that have worked in other communities, including permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless adults, rapid rehousing for new homeless individuals and families and transitional housing, such as what’s used by the House of Neighborly Service for families leaving another one of its programs, the Angel House, until they secure permanent housing.”

The Boulder Daily Camera today fronts a story about that city’s grocery bag tax. “The 10-cent fee on all disposable paper and plastic bags at Boulder grocery stores was hugely and immediately effective after its introduction in July 2013, reducing the city’s total number of bags used by 69 percent in its first year, according to records.”

“The Fremont County Board of Commissioners is standing by its position that allowing invocation by a clergy person does not violate any laws,” reports The Cañon City Daily Record. “Fremont County resident Karen Hunter on Tuesday again objected to the invocations, claiming they are offensive to her because she is a non-Christian.”

“Colorado Springs’ latest moratorium on medical marijuana businesses should be left intact with no more provisions for “hardship” cases or relocation, the city’s Marijuana Working Group recommends,” reports The Gazette. “But half of the City Council disputed that idea Monday, and that 4-4 split likely will morph into a 5-4 majority when Councilman Bill Murray returns from a Smart Cities Council conference. “If somebody wants to move to an approved area, why should we stand in their way for the next (nine months)?” asked Councilman Don Knight, who last year launched moratoriums on marijuana enterprises.”