The Home Front: Greeley mayor apologizes, anti-panhandling ordinance passes in Fort Collins, and more

The Mesa County Board of Education will need $200 million to for new schools, the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reported today. The new schools would replace two that are more costly to repair than replace, the board was told Tuesday night. Grand Junction High School is 60 years old and systems are beginning to fail, as evidenced by a pipe that burst in February that has yet to be fully repaired. Voters will likely have to approve the funds for “brick and mortar” costs.

Greeley residents demanded  Mayor Tom Norton and city Councilman Mike Finn apologize to a fellow council member during Tuesday’s City Council meeting. The apologies were given, with caveats, to Councilwoman Rochelle Galindo. The dust-up was related to a work session last week, in which Galindo offered a resolution of support for Greeley residents regardless of immigration status. That discussion “morphed” into one on sanctuary cities, and according to the Greeley Tribune, led Norton to shout at Galindo and Finn to tell her she didn’t belong in the community. Nineteen Greeley residents showed up at the city council meeting, demanding Norton and Finn apologize. Norton claimed he was late to the meeting and caught off guard by the discussion; Finn said his words were misinterpreted. Those excuses did not play well with city residents.

Steamboat Today reports that area school employees could be asked to cover some of their health insurance premiums, which would be a first.  A committee made up of employees, administrators and a member of the Steamboat Springs School District board proposed a premium of $40 per month. The district currently pays all premiums for employees, at a cost of about $600 per month, but the employee must cover premiums for spouses and children.

Who will pay for a new route south of Glenwood Springs dominated a forum for prospective city council candidates Tuesday night, the Glenwood Springs Post Independent reported today. The South Bridge route along Highway 82 is projected to cost about $45 million. Several candidates pointed out the route is outside of city limits and not the city’s responsibility, but others said the city should bear some of the cost.

Fort Collins City Council on Tuesday decided to modify a proposed ordinance that would have made lying on a sidewalk a crime, according to the Fort Collins Coloradoan. The ordinance still prohibits “kneeling or lying down in a restroom, sitting on decorative planters and leaving personal belongings unattended in public spaces.” The ordinance passed 6-1 and came at the request of business owners and residents who complained about panhandling.

A wildfire in Logan and Phillips counties this week destroyed five homes, The Denver Post reported today. Dozens of residents from the small town of Haxtun, in Phillips County, joined volunteer firefighters in the battle to quell the 30,000-acre blaze. Emergency managers called the residents’ efforts critical to containing the fire.

The Durango Herald reported today that the Robert DeNier Youth Services Building, a juvenile detention facility, sustained about  $100,000 in damages when a pipe broke five weeks ago, flooding the building with about 3 inches of water. Students were relocated to Pueblo and or Grand Junction while repairs are being made. The facility is expected to reopen next month.

has been a political journalist since 1998. She covered the state capitol for the Silver & Gold Record from 1998 to 2009 and for The Colorado Statesman in 2010-11 and 2013-14. Since 2010 she also has covered the General Assembly for newspapers in northeastern Colorado. She was recognized with awards from the Colorado Press Association for feature writing and informational graphics for her work with the Statesman in 2012.