The Home Front: Changes to the carpool lane, a struggling wheat crop and pot stores in Pueblo

Colorado’s new requirements for the carpool lane are frustrating owners of two-seater vehicles, the Denver Post reports. Starting in 2017, the high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane on Interstate 25 will be only be open to cars with three or more occupants, up from a two occupant requirement this year. Two-seater owners will have to pay extra for the privilege.

Racial profiling is evidently flourishing in Colorado,” the Colorado Springs Gazette writes today, according to a new state report. “While African-Americans made up 4.2 percent of the state adult population in 2015, they constituted 12.4 percent of arrests and summonses and 10.5 percent of court case filings, says the report by the state Department of Public Safety.”

A warm, dry fall has left wheat farmers worried about their crop this year, reports the Greeley Tribune this morning. Increased winter snowfall could help alleviate the problem.

The new year could bring a boost to oil and gas drilling across Colorado, the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reports. Why? Thank rising commodity prices.

Annual passes to Rocky Mountain National Park are set to increase from $40 to $60 next year, the Loveland Reporter-Herald writes today. That’s largely thanks to the national park’s growing popularity: Rocky Mountain is on track for a record number of visits this year, at 4.5 million.

The Boulder Daily Camera fronts a story this morning about an uptick in reports of abuse among elderly and disabled people in Boulder County. But the county district attorney’s office says the increase is likely due to a new state law on mandatory reporting, not a higher incidence of such crimes.

A water line break caused by frigid temperatures has closed a section of County Road 203 in north Durango, the Durango Herald reports.

The Pueblo Chieftain writes today that after stalling for several years, Pueblo City Council “finally crossed the finish line Tuesday in its long march to licensing recreational marijuana stores — adopting rules and regulations that allow only eight stores in the city, along with zones where they can operate and fees they will pay.”

The bridge that carries Lincoln Avenue across the Poudre River will close in January for about six months for demolition and reconstruction, the Fort Collins Coloradoan reports this morning. Construction is expected to begin the week of Jan. 9.
The Colorado Independent is a statewide online news source operating in a time when spin is plentiful, but factual, fair and unflinching news in the public interest is all too rare. Our award-winning team of veteran investigative and explanatory reporters and news columnists aims to amplify the voices of Coloradans whose stories are unheard, shine light on the relationships between people, power and policy, and hold public officials to account. We strive to report the news with context, social conscience, and soul, and to give Coloradans the insight they need to promote conversation, understanding and progress in this square, swing state we call home.

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