The Home Front: Can you sip a beer in Colorado while carrying a gun?

“Fremont County sheriff’s officials on Tuesday released reports connected to an incident which occurred Saturday at the Canon City Rodeo Grounds involving a former Marine who wore a gun on his hip as he sipped a beer,” reports The Pueblo Chieftain. “A story published Tuesday in The Pueblo Chieftain about the Saturday event has sparked debate about whether residents in Colorado are allowed to open carry a firearm and consume alcohol.”

“On its second year at the bottom of the state’s accountability rating system and up for a contract renewal with School District 51, the teachers and administrators at Juniper Ridge Community School are under pressure to prove that the school’s unconventional methods can produce successful students,” The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reports. “The school’s nontraditional education philosophy is causing hundreds of Mesa County families to enroll, but it also makes it difficult for the fledgling charter school to meet state accountability standards. Juniper Ridge is based on the Waldorf education philosophy, an approach to learning that’s based on child development and which considers lessons about art, music and movement to be as important as math, science and reading.”

“Longmont will prohibit people from sitting or standing on traffic median islands where it’s been deemed unsafe — but the new local law isn’t intended to pick on panhandlers,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “That was the conclusion Longmont’s City Council members appeared to reach during a Tuesday night discussion of an ordinance that will now make it illegal “for any person to access, use, occupy, congregate, or assemble” on some of the center medians leading up to nine specific intersections. Council members voted 7-0 to adopt the ordinance, which will apply to medians in the nine locations where the city staff has said accident histories, relatively high traffic-lane speed limits and the narrowness of the medians themselves are particularly unsafe for people to stand or sit on. The rule applies whether or not those people are there to wave protest signs, promote politicians or political causes, advertise businesses or solicit donations.”

“A Greeley City Council work session grew heated Tuesday after Xcel Energy officials spent 40 minutes pitching a substation that would serve Windsor, Severance and Timnath while pushing back Greeley work by another six months,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “Xcel officials would like very much to build a substation north of Timnath, on land the city of Thornton owns. Calling Thornton officials “bullish,” Xcel’s Lucas McConnell asked the Greeley City Council to send a letter of support for the station.”

“Carbondale trustees decided Tuesday that the town should join a new lawsuit as a co-plaintiff in the continuing court battles over the Thompson Divide,” reports The Glenwood Springs Post-Independent. “This is the second litigation that Carbondale has recently entered concerning the Bureau of Land Management’s record of decision in November to cancel 25 oil and gas leases in the Thompson Divide.”

“A new tool in the local schools that allows people to anonymously submit tips may have prevented a tragedy this week,” reports The Steamboat Pilot. “On Sunday, Steamboat Springs Middle School administrators received a Safe2Tell tip that one of their students had ‘threatened harm and actions that may or may not have included harm to others,’ according to a letter sent to parents Monday afternoon.”

“The Boulder Valley school board unanimously voted Tuesday to fire Superintendent Bruce Messinger, who’s been on paid leave for more than a month while an unspecified personnel issue was investigated,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “The board didn’t address the reason for his termination on Tuesday. Instead, school board President Sam Fuqua thanked people for their patience and said the board proceeded in a “deliberative and cautious manner” with the investigation, adding that the nature of the complaint can’t be discussed.”

“John Straayer wrote the book on Colorado politics. Actually, that sells the political science professor’s 50-year career at Colorado State University short,” reports The Coloradoan in Fort Collins. “Straayer wrote both books on Colorado politics. And now he’s slow-walking to retirement. The first step: handing off a legislative internship program he coordinated for almost 40 years. The program forever changed the way the Capitol operates and kick-started careers that reached Congress and the Senate. Today marks the end of the final session to see Straayer personally drive a busload of CSU juniors and seniors to the Capitol to help legislators across all political aisles and corners of the state.”

“The first panel called in for jury selection in the trial of Jerome Grant Blasingime was dismissed Tuesday morning after ‘irregularities’ occurred,” reports The Cañon City Daily Record. “Blasingime, 20, is being charged with vehicular homicide-DUI, vehicular homicide-reckless, three counts of vehicular assault-DUI, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or both and reckless driving.”

“Eight years ago, Colorado created a program to give hospitals more money to cover uncompensated costs on the promise it would lower insurance rates for all,” The Denver Post reports. “The state’s hospitals received $6.4 billion since then to cover charity care and unpaid bills from indigent patients — all money intended to reduce the cost-shift to people with private insurance. But private payers — which make up the majority of Colorado — never saw the benefits trickle down. The latest state figures show patients with private insurance paid $1.58 for every $1 of medical care at hospitals in 2015, an increase from the $1.55 rate before the program took effect.”

“Pegged as one of the most important bills of the legislative session, a last-ditch effort to fund transportation, schools and hospitals appears poised to cross the finish line,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. After hours of debate on Monday, which continued into early Tuesday morning, the House backed an effort to create a 20-year bond program to direct $1.8 billion towards critical infrastructure. A host of amendments were offered during the hours-long debate, as attempts were made to find existing funding. Democrats, who control the House, shot down those amendments, declaring that the $26.8 billion proposed budget is already stretched.”