The Home Front: Synthetic opioids, more Colorado clown threats, 3 shot in Molina

“Do not pick up hitchhikers. If seen call 911,” read a digital highway sign near Molina, Colorado after three men were shot. “At this point, there are more questions than answers about what happened,” The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reports. “…the suspects are not from the area and it’s not yet known what they were doing in the Plateau Valley area.”

It just wont stop. “A day after Greeley schools experienced absenteeism as the result of Facebook threats involving clowns, Windsor police say schools here saw a similar threat, while residents reported three separate sightings of people in clown masks at night,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “In the first case, about 10:30 p.m. Sept. 30, a person in a clown mask was seen driving a black Chrysler through a neighborhood on the 700 block of 7th street. The driver made a hand gesture with thumb and fingers to simulate a gun, the report stated. About 3:15 a.m., Oct. 1, two people in clown masks were seen walking down Buffalo Drive, but they weren’t acting in a threatening manner. The last was a call at 12:30 a.m. Sunday, when a driver called to report a person wearing a clown mask on the side of the road, and holding an object that looked like a firearm.”

A rise in synthetic opioids —”fentanyl and carfentanil, the latter of which can be 10,000 times as potent as morphine and can kill a human in dosages as low as one grain”— is concerning local law enforcement and officials in Routt County, according to Steamboat Today. Law enforcement haven’t yet found the synthetic drugs in their community, they’re just worried they might.

The Longmont Times-Call reports local nonprofits say there will be overnight spots for homeless in the area. “The six part-time staff members are currently experiencing homelessness. Their job will be to stay awake overnight at the shelter to troubleshoot any problems that may arise.”

“Rising costs for bringing electricity and water to homes and businesses could mean higher bills for Fort Collins Utilities customers for years to come,” reports The Coloradoan. “The recommended 2017-18 budget for Fort Collins calls for higher rates in all of the city’s utilities — electrical, water, wastewater and stormwater. Inflation and higher operating costs are driving the proposed increases, but so are long-range plans to build and maintain costly infrastructure needed to provide services to a growing community, said Mike Beckstead, the city’s chief financial officer.”

The Beulah fire, which might have been sparked by an excavator, is all over today’s front page of The Pueblo Chieftain. Residents who lost their homes will qualify for $5,000 in state aide, and locals expect a “whopping” overtime bill for the effort to fight the blaze, which started Monday.

The Loveland Reporter-Herald is reporting “customers within the Little Thompson Water District have been notified that elevated levels of lead were discovered during recent water testing.”

“The Boulder County Coroner’s Office on Thursday night identified the machete-wielding suspect who was shot and killed by police inside the Champions Center at the University of Colorado’s Folsom Field on Wednesday morning as Brandon Simmons, 28, of Thornton,” according to The Daily Camera. “Two police officers shot and killed Simmons on Wednesday morning after the man refused to drop his weapon. It was a move police said was in the “best interest” of the campus. CU spokesman Ryan Huff said Simmons is not affiliated with the school.”

The Durango Herald is reporting how Republican U.S. Senate candidate Darryl Glenn supports a Muslim travel ban and profiling.  “Islam and the Constitution are in clear conflict,” Glenn said, according to the paper. The Herald quotedImam Shafi of the Colorado Muslin Society, saying Glenn’s comment “doesn’t qualify him to be a good leader if he has such thick ignorant stereotypes.”

Prepare for more rent hikes in the Mile High City, The Denver Post reports. “Metro Denver rent increases, after slowing this year, should kick it up a notch next year, with the biggest hikes coming in more affordable areas and outlying communities such as Bailey, Elizabeth and Black Hawk, according to a new forecast from Zillow.”

The Gazatte has more on the excavator that might have started the Beulah fire. “Officials could not say who would be held financially responsible for the fire, which grew about 5 acres overnight to 5,232 acres burned Thursday morning and remained 50 percent contained. Since the blaze ignited Monday afternoon in Beulah, a small mountain community about 20 miles southwest of Pueblo, it has destroyed eight homes and 16 outbuildings. About 1,950 residents and 700 homes have been evacuated.”

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