The Home Front: Three students from ‘a group from Afghanistan’ have gone missing in Colorado

“Three students from the International Correctional Management Training Center in Cañon City are reportedly missing, a news release said Sunday morning,” reports The Cañon City Daily Record. “According to its website, the International Correctional Management Training Center is a division of the Colorado Department of Corrections, “(that) has begun operation of a residential corrections training center to provide training to corrections officials from foreign countries.” On Sunday, Mark Fairbairn, the public information officer for CDOC said in an email that three of the programs’ students failed to appear Saturday night at a designated pick up point in Colorado Springs after a sponsored trip. “The three students are part of a group from Afghanistan that are correctional staff who are authorized to be in the United States for training,” Fairbairn said in an email.

“When political upheaval leaves voids in government leadership, Mark Garcia helps keep towns running across Southwest Colorado,” reports The Durango Herald. “In 2009, Garcia took over as town clerk and administrator in small-town Center in the San Luis Valley when its clerk Bill McClure committed tax fraud and went to jail. In 2014, Garcia stepped in as interim town manager in Silverton when the town board fired both the town manager and public works director after months of conflict. And now, Garcia is serving as part-time interim town manager in Ignacio, taking over after the town board fired Lee San Miguel in 2015, without cause.”

“Environmental organizations are gearing up to battle a company’s plan to drill 108 oil wells in the Whitewater Basin area, while local governments are looking to the project as a potential boon,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “The Mesa County Commission today is to consider a letter to the Bureau of Land Management regarding the drilling plan proposed by Fram Operating LLC to produce about 8.7 million barrels of oil in 20 years, creating as many as 70 jobs. Opponents of the plan flew over the basin last week to point out what they said are flaws in the project, including questioning its potential effects on Grand Junction’s watersheds, air quality and views of Grand Mesa from Palisade and East Orchard Mesa. The complaints, however, are generic attacks that frequently are used against energy projects, an industry spokesman said.”

“The best seats in the house at the mellow, family-friendly 27th annual Rocky Mountain Folks Festival in Lyons may not be in the front row, but instead in the shallow St. Vrain River that flows near the stage,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “We came for the line-up of musicians, we came for the creek, we came for all of it,” said Lafayette’s Emily Clark. The three-day festival, at the 15-acre Planet Bluegrass Ranch in Lyons, wraps up today. Headliners for the festival weekend were Gregory Alan Isakov, The Revivalists and Dave Rawlings Machine.”

“This week’s Freedom Conference & Festival, organized and hosted by The Steamboat Institute, will feature artwork by a former president, a visit from a former presidential candidate and inspiring words from a Boston Marathon bombing survivor,” reports The Steamboat Pilot. “New this year, the event will show two films free for the public to attend. ‘We are trying to broaden the overall audience for the event by broadening the message a bit,’ organizer Jennifer Schubert-Akin said.” She also told the paper, “Many people don’t realize that President George W. Bush turned out to be quite the artist after his presidency.”

“Renee Schell, program director of Frontier House and vocational services, said when people choose to join Frontier, it’s like joining a club,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “It goes beyond clinical mental health treatment and aims to approach mental illness and substance abuse holistically. It helps to create a natural support system, Schell said. Many folks who come through the doors, such as Baker, don’t have family or friends to turn to. Many times, in fact, addicts have to leave those friends and family because they use drugs, as well. At Frontier, folks develop healthy, positive relationships. Folks also can get help getting back into the workforce through the program. Frontier seeks out local businesses willing to offer jobs to people with criminal records.”

“As the owner of a tree-trimming service, Jason Writz knows what it’s like to take time out of the day to drive a truck full of wood chips to the nearest dump site and then pay a fee to get rid of the wood waste,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “And as an arborist, he knows that using organic mulch “is the single best thing you can do for your plants’ health.” So the Loveland resident decided to tackle two needs with one load of chips. Writz has launched, a web-based service that puts together tree services looking to take a load off and homeowners and gardeners who could use a free pile of wood chips.”

“In filings that followed the conclusion of Boulder’s nine-day municipalization trial, staff for the regulators now tasked with making a ruling offered a bit of positive news for the city,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “The staff’s statement of position advises that the Public Utilities Commission “should move forward with the (city’s) plan to municipalize its electric utility service according to a multi-phased approach similar to the one already proposed by Boulder.” Even if Boulder is able to move ahead toward separating from Xcel Energy and form its own local electric utility, “there is still much work to be done” in the near future, staff wrote.”

“About 1,000 people attended a rally Sunday at the Colorado Springs City Hall to show solidarity with protesters who opposed white nationalists and neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Va., on Aug. 12,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. “While they came with common cause, they didn’t always find common ground. Speakers called for unity, love and peace in the effort to keep violence and hate crimes out of Colorado Springs. But a group of anti-fascist activists, known as Antifa, called for stronger, less nonviolent measures. One of the Antifa demonstrators, many of whom were dressed in black, their heads and faces covered by hoods and gas masks, held up a sign reading, ‘Silence is violence Punching Nazis is self-defense.'”

“Hate never left Colorado,” reports The Denver Post. “From massacres of American Indians in the 19th century to the Ku Klux Klan’s control of state politics in the 1920s to modern acts of violence such as the 2013 assassination of the state prisons director by a white supremacist gang member, Colorado has dealt with its share of racism. Now, though, a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., that turned violent and a president who has struggled to outright denounce the racists or their actions have raised awareness across the country, including in Colorado. And people are ready to speak out.”