The Home Front: Anonymous racist letter sent to Colorado family: You’re ‘in Trump’s country now’

“A racist letter sent anonymously to a Longmont family last week has spotlighted community fears that Donald Trump’s administration has emboldened messages of discrimination in the months since his election,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “The letter reads, ‘You and your family should not be in this white neighborhood. You and your brown boys are not welcome. Go back where you came from. Your (sic) in Trump’s country now. #MAGA.’ The hashtag stands for “Make America Great Again,” President Donald Trump’s campaign slogan. Longmont police plan to fingerprint a letter to potentially track down the person who mailed the message, Cmdr. Joel Post said. He said the letter was Denver postmarked April 20 and that the family received it Wednesday. He said police were called that night.”

“Despite a lawsuit attempting to stand in the way, a controversial Colorado Parks and Wildlife predator control plan targeting mountain lions and black bears in the Piceance Basin began Monday,” reports The Glenwood Springs Post-Independent. “Mike Porras, CPW’s northwest region public information officer, said the Piceance Basin portion of this program will run through June, seeking to remove five to 10 mountain lions and 10 to 20 bears. The agency’s plan, however, could call for more predators to be killed — up to 15 lions and 25 bears. WildEarth Guardians and the Center for Biological Diversity are suing CPW in an attempt to halt the program.”

“It will cost 27 percent more to permit construction of a new building during the second half of 2017 under a plan approved Monday by the Mesa County Commission, a development that left builders and conservative politicians alike remarking on the peculiarity of industry seeking a rate increase,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “The commission voted to increase fees charged by the building department — which provides services to the county and five municipalities — for the first time since 1988. “It’s pretty crazy to think I’m here asking you to take more money from our operation,” developer Ron Abeloe told the commission about the proposed increase.”

“A former Fort Collins elementary school teacher was sentenced to serve 90 days in jail and 10 years of intensive supervised probation on Monday after he pleaded guilty to sex offenses in February,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “Dean McCollum, 44, a former teacher at Bauder Elementary in Fort Collins, was arrested in October on allegations of sexual assault on a child with a pattern of abuse, sexual assault on a child by someone in a position of trust and aggravated incest, all felonies, for his alleged activity with children in his care from 2001 to 2006, court documents show.”

“For the past 10 years, Emergency Medical Technician Darin Johnson has worn a bulletproof vest to work nearly every day, a rarity among local paramedics and EMTs,” reports The Coloradoan in Fort Collins. “That is about to change as UCHealth implements a new policy aimed at protecting a group of employees who face an increasing level of risk on the job. UCHealth is joining the growing ranks of hospitals across the country that are outfitting EMTs and paramedics with bulletproof vests. The industry shift comes amid increased high-profile hostility toward first responders, including Monday’s incident in which a gunman shot a Dallas paramedic treating a gunshot wound victim.”

“In the wake of the biggest construction season in nine years and with the 2017 season already off to a fast start, the leadership of the Routt County Building Department is in a state of flux once again, and there’s even a possibility the county and the city of Steamboat Springs will go their own ways when it comes to permitting and inspecting construction projects,” reports The Steamboat Pilot & Today. “The Routt County Board of Commissioners isn’t wasting time looking for a new chief building official to replace Ben Grush, who retired last month from the head job at the department that serves both the city of Steamboat Springs and most of the county outside Steamboat. There are eight applicants for the opening.”

“With the expiration of more than five years of Boulder County oil and gas moratoriums only a few hours away, opponents of oil and gas development gathered on the Boulder County Courthouse plaza on Monday to repeat their demands for county government to continue to prohibit fracking,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “About 50 people showed up for the noon-hour rally organized by Frack Free Colorado, chanting and carrying signs — many of which focused on their alarms at the process of hydraulic fracturing that’s used to free up underground oil and gas deposits. “We will, we will protect this place! It violates our rights to frack on open space!” went one of the chants. Boulder County has had a series of consecutive moratoriums in place since February 2012 against accepting and processing new applications for oil and gas development in unincorporated parts of the county. The latest one ended at the conclusion of the workday on Monday.”

“Administrators from Southern Peaks Regional Treatment Center, residents in the vicinity of the facility and the Cañon City Council are working together to come up with a solution to citizens’ concerns about juveniles walking away from the center and potentially causing problems in local neighborhoods,” reports The Cañon City Daily Record. “During a special meeting Monday, Interim Police Chief Allen Cooper said between Nov. 1, 2016, and Monday, there were 116 calls for service to the facility, and of those, 72 were runaways.”

“The final stretch of the Colorado legislative session is becoming a must-watch political theater — with huge stakes,” reports The Denver Post. “Republican and Democratic leaders are negotiating behind closed doors on a far-reaching spending overhaul designed to erase a half-billion-dollar financial hit to hospitals Senate President Pro Tem Jerry Sonnenberg, a Republican, unveiled early Monday what he believed was an agreement on the legislation only to receive a note moments later from Democrats calling off the deal. The reversal initiated a day-long drama at the Capitol with he-said, she-said finger-pointing that showcased the difficulties for the measure ahead of the May 10 adjournment.”

“Despite a dramatic back-and-forth Monday over a plan to free money for critical state services, legislative leaders said Monday they are close to a compromise,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. “The proposal would create a 20-year bond program to direct $1.8 billion towards critical infrastructure, including roads and such highway projects as improvements to Interstate 25. The first iteration of the legislation started with a $1.35 billion bond program. Lawmakers have just days left in the legislative session to strike a deal and advance a bill to the governor.”