The Home Front: Opioid addiction, a 22-pound lung tumor and the temporary end of a Christmas tradition in Colorado Springs

The Greeley Tribune reports today that a teaching assistant at Jefferson Junior High has been arrested for sexual assault on a 14-year old male student. Jerica Zoe Enriquez, 24, works with special needs students but the student involved is not a special needs student at the school.

Pastor Mike Wuertenberg of Fruita survived the removal of a 22-pound tumor from his right lung, according to the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. The pastor didn’t have health insurance; a GoFundMe account has been set up to cover the $163,000 in medical bills.

The Longmont City Council spent part of its Tuesday night meeting discussing the opioid epidemic, the Longmont Times-Call reported today. About 8.5 percent of the 1,300 people who sought help with the local Mental Health Partners came in for help with opioids.

The Durango Herald also reported on opioid addiction, from the perspective of a local man who talked about his fight to get off painkillers.

Pueblo County commissioners are putting $1.5 million in marijuana-funded projects on hold, the Pueblo Chieftain said, because of a ruling from the Colorado Court of Appeals. The ruling, which came in a case involving Adams County, dealt with the county’s special tax on marijuana; the court said the tax was illegal. Pueblo County also has its own special sales tax on marijuana.

A Christmas Day food giveaway in downtown Colorado Springs won’t take place this year, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette. The Miracle on Tejon, which has fed thousands in the past 11 years, won’t happen this year due to the closure of the Tejon St. Old Chicago, the event’s long-time host. However, event organizers believe it will come back in 2017.

The Transportation Security Administration says it is better prepared to handle holiday travelers at Denver International Airport than it did a year ago, in a report in today’s Denver Post. TSA has increased staffing levels to handle what is expected to be the airport’s busiest holiday travel season ever.

U.S. Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) toured the Islamic Center of Fort Collins this week, the Loveland Reporter-Herald says, to show solidarity with Muslims and to discuss a possible Muslim registry, proposed by President-elect Donald Trump.

The Glenwood Springs Post Independent reports the city plans to move its recycling center from downtown Glenwood Springs to a landfill west of town next spring, a move that irks local residents because of the inconvenience. The move is prompted by a voter-passed initiative that will expand the local elementary school.

Finally, opioid addiction is also on the front pages of the Steamboat Today. Their story focuses on efforts by a community group to propose a substance abuse tax. The town’s city council previously voted down that tax in August but suggested they would be open to revisiting the issue in 2017.

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