The Home Front: Colorado Sen. Randy Baumgardner is ‘facing another allegation of sexual misconduct’

“Sen. Randy Baumgardner is facing another allegation of sexual misconduct after a former legislative aide filed a formal sexual harassment complaint against the politician that accused him of inappropriate physical contact, according to KUNC, a Front Range media outlet,” reports Summit Daily. “On Tuesday, KUNC reported details gleaned from a source who claims to have filed the formal complaint against Baumgardner (R-Hot Sulphur Springs) over sexual harassment that was said to have occurred over multiple months in 2016. The woman, who asked KUNC to allow her to remain anonymous, claimed Baumgardner slapped and grabbed her buttocks multiple times inside the Colorado State Capitol. Formal complaints of any type of harassment at the Capitol, including sexual harassment, are handled through the General Assembly’s workplace harassment policy, and are not subject to public inspection.”

“Colorado health officials on Wednesday ignored state scientists and delayed for two years a decision on a mining giant’s push to weaken statewide limits on molybdenum pollution of streams, including a creek flowing into Dillon Reservoir, Denver’s drinking water supply,” reports The Denver Post. “Denver Water contends that Climax Molybdenum’s campaign to jack up molybdenum pollution limits 43 times higher than at present could cost ratepayers up to $600 million for expansion of a water treatment plant. Trace amounts of molybdenum — below a health advisory level — already flow out of Denver taps. But Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment officials and federal Environmental Protection Agency officials on Wednesday rescheduled a Dec. 12 molybdenum rule hearing for November 2019. A CDPHE hearing officer said the delay will allow time for industry-financed studies to move through a peer-review process and for the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry to make decisions on molybdenum toxicity. A “temporary modification” that currently allows elevated molybdenum pollution from the Climax Mine was extended this year through 2018, and CDPHE officials at Wednesday’s meeting opened the possibility it could be extended again.”

“No citations or charges will be filed in the case of a therapy dog that was killed by another dog earlier this month,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “Douglas Frye, manager of Mesa County Animal Services, said Wednesday the agency came to that decision after reviewing the case and interviewing the pet owners. “After review of the evidence and discussion with the city attorney’s office, we do not have proof beyond a reasonable doubt (that) either party violated any ordinance,” Frye said in a statement. “There will be no citations issued in this case and the case is now closed.” The incident occurred in Sherwood Park on Nov. 3, but there is a difference of opinion about what exactly happened.”

“Weld County added 2,300 more jobs in the second quarter of this year than initially reported, proving to be one of the strongest-growing areas in the state, according to modified numbers released Wednesday by the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “The rebound of the oil and gas industry this year has largely driven the employment growth, according to department Senior Economist Ryan Gedney, as well as the construction industry for the rapidly growing area. The mining and logging sector — a.k.a. oil and gas — and construction industries were significantly underestimated across the state. That’s why Greeley’s Metropolitan Statistical Area is now seeing job numbers a lot higher than previously reported, he said.”

“The traffic on busy Lincoln Street rarely slacks off and the houses that line it already have shortened driveways and yards,” reports The Pueblo Chieftain. “But they’re going to lose even more front yard — and some stately trees as well — when the Colorado Department of Transportation starts widening one of, if not the city’s busiest street in March 2019. State highway officials estimate they will take between 6 and 12 feet off the yards on both sides of the four-lane street in order to create a new center turning lane that will run the five blocks from Abriendo to Orman avenues.”

“While the entire path forward isn’t yet clear, the city of Fort Collins is laying out the first steps toward municipal broadband,” reports The Coloradoan in Fort Collins. “City staff will start seeking price quotes on the build-out of infrastructure and start the search for staff to lead a city-run telecommunications utility, after City Council instruction from a Tuesday work session. Big questions concerning underlying policy — from its ultimate fit in city government to pricing structure to user privacy — are still being discussed.”

“Longmont has received 13 applications from companies hoping to get a city license to operate a retail marijuana sales establishment inside the city limits, according to Assistant City Manager Shawn Lewis,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “The city is not yet disclosing the applicants’ identities and the locations they’re proposing for their shops but expects to be able to make some of that information public on Friday, Lewis said in a Wednesday evening email.”

“The La Plata County Commissioners are considering new ethical policies that address paid travel, lobbying and perceived conflicts of interest,” reports The Durango Herald. “Commissioners reviewed a draft of the new rules during a work session Wednesday. They plan to revisit the proposed policies in January after they have had a chance to submit written comments in December.”

“About 100 University of Colorado graduate students and supporters packed the University Memorial Center fountain area Wednesday morning to protest the proposed Republican tax plan that would dramatically increase taxes for many students around the nation,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “Hasti Rahemi, a Ph.D. student in CU’s Leeds School of Business, was among the crowd lamenting whether she’d even be able to finish her studies if the plan passed. ‘A lot of us international students might not choose to continue our education because we can’t afford it if this goes through,’ said Rahemi, who is from Iran.”

“A man accused of stabbing a Cañon City Police officer in December 2014 has waived his right to a trial by jury and instead opted for a trial by court,” reports The Cañon City Daily Record.

“Leaning on his cane, Pastor Bill Chancy exhorted visitors in the crowded basement of Grace Be Unto You Outreach Church to behold a miracle in their midst,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. “‘We got issues down here, don’t we?’ Chancy called out, pointing toward Airport Road. “But look it down here — we got a sidewalk out here! Did y’all notice that?” The building is a 10-minute drive south and east from downtown. And previously, with only a couple feet of hardscrabble between fence lines and the curb, walking to get food or a spiritual boost could be dangerous.”

“Job growth in El Paso County slowed in the second quarter to its slowest rate in nearly three years amid a worsening labor shortage, according to data released Wednesday by the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment,” reports ColoradoPolitics. “The slowing growth rate is “absolutely due to a tight labor market, but 2.4 percent is still a very healthy growth rate. The trend in Colorado Springs is similar to Denver and the state as a whole,” said Ryan Gedney, senior economist with the department. The number of openings at the Pikes Peak Workforce Center has exceeded the number of people looking for work since early 2015 though the gap has narrowed in recent months to about half the level it had reached earlier this year, said Tatiana Bailey, director of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Economic Forum.”

“City officials want to buy the Colorado Department of Transportation’s current headquarters in southeast Denver and then turn around and sell the land to a developer to build affordable housing, according to the Denver Department of Finance,” reports Denverite. “CDOT spokeswoman Amy Ford confirmed that the state transportation agency and the city and county of Denver have reached a deal for the land but declined to provide an exact closing price. The state was looking to fetch in the ballpark of $17.7 million for its properties in Virginia Village, Ford said. The purchase contracts and more details about the project are expected to be shared with Denver City Council members during a committee meeting next week. The sale is anticipated to close in mid-2018, said Courtney Law, spokeswoman for Denver Department of Finance.”


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