The Home Front: Amid uncertainty of Child Health Plan Plus, Colorado advises pregnant women to research alternatives

“As uncertainty around the funding for Child Health Plan Plus drags on, the state is advising pregnant women and parents of children enrolled in the public low-cost health insurance program to research alternatives,” reports The Durango Herald. “The Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing sent letters last week advising Child Health Plan Plus members to look into plans offered by Connect for Health Colorado because funding for CHP+ could run out on Jan. 31, according to a news release.”

“Mesa County Chief District Judge Brian Flynn is a man in conflict,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “While Flynn argues that defendants who have not been convicted of a crime have a right to be released before their trial, he also understands that there are public safety concerns with those defendants who are seen as a risk to others. But because there are conflicting laws about when to allow a defendant to post bond, the judge has issued conflicting rulings about when to allow bonds for defendants and when to hold them in custody, inviting prosecutors and defense attorneys to appeal him. While Flynn said he cannot comment on the two orders because the Code of Judicial Conduct prohibits him from discussing specific cases, others believe he did that to force the appellate courts to weigh in on the subject.”

“A single shoe reminds Silvano Pedro how blessed he is,” The Greeley Tribune reports. “It used to belong to a child in Chihuahua, Mexico, who came to get new shoes from Zapatos Sin Fronteras, or Shoes Without Borders. The child wore the small purple and black high tops as he stood in line to get his feet measured. They looked like decent shoes, if a little scuffed. Other kids in line told him to leave and save the shoes for those who needed them. He started to tear up as he got out of line. That’s when Cesar Torres, founder of Zapatos Sin Fronteras, noticed the bottom of the shoe was completely worn through. The bottom of his foot was bare, from toe to heel. That solidified Pedro’s passion to work with Shoes Without Borders. He began as a volunteer after a chance encounter with Torres.”

“The Colorado High School Activities Association’s football committee will hold an official meeting Thursday night to vote on a number of new classifications across the state,” reports The Glenwood Springs Post-Independent. “Among them: the Rifle Bears football program dropping down to 2A for the 2018-19 scheduling cycle. Under the proposed classification changes, Rifle would go from being one of the smallest schools in 3A, in terms of enrollment, to one of the largest schools in 2A. Currently, 2A classification means the school has between 348 and 787 students enrolled. In CHSAA’s latest enrollment projections for football classification, Rifle comes in as the fifth-largest school in 2A, with a projected 759 students.”

“Longmont Mayor Brian Bagley on Tuesday is to proclaim his personal commitment to work with the city’s municipal utility and its power provider toward achieving a goal of ‘a 100 percent clean, renewable electricity supply by the year 2030,'” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “Bagley’s proclamation, which he’s scheduled to read during Tuesday night’s City Council meeting, expresses his intent to work collaboratively with Longmont Power and Communications and the Platte River Power Authority board of directors “to continue diversifying” LPC’s and PRPA’s energy portfolio “and adding carbon-free energy” in that effort.”

“Fort Collins could designate smoking areas in Old Town and even lift its smoking ban from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m,” reports The Coloradoan in Fort Collins. “The City Council is set to take up the proposals at its Tuesday meeting and might also create a lesser penalty for people found violating the smoking ban in downtown. The council will consider three options in regard to allowing smoking downtown: the creation of designated smoking areas in certain alleys; allowing smoking in all alleys; and lifting the ban altogether between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. throughout Old Town.”

“Sandy and Craig Carpenter say their business of renting baby gear helps people make memories,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “For just over a year, they have been independent partners for a business called Babierge, renting different baby equipment out of their home just north of Loveland. They rent car seats, cribs, high chairs, Pack ‘n Play pens, bins of toys for designated ages, strollers and more. You name it, they rent it. And if they don’t have it, they’ll get it upon request. “It’s clean; we’re really big on cleanliness,” said Craig Carpenter. “It’s current; it’s not old. It’s convenient — clean, current, convenient.” When they started with Babierge in October 2016, they were the 12th independent partners to launch in the United States. Now, there are more than 100, a few even outside the country, according to Craig Carpenter.”

“The town of Gypsum has given initial approval for a plan to develop an age 55-plus community on property south of the Eagle County Regional Airport, clearing the way for the Siena Lake project team to flesh out details for the proposed 559-unit development,” reports Vail Daily. “Property owner George Roberts, along with Tambi Katieb, of Land Planning Collaborative, and Alison Perry, of Vail Land Co., presented the project sketch plan to the Gypsum Town Council last week. The property is the site of the former Saddleridge proposal that was annexed into the town back in 2002.”

“Shelly Benford said she’s ‘constantly surprised’ by how little many in Boulder seem to know about all the things one can do at Chautauqua Park that don’t involve hiking,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “And now that she’s been named full-time director of the Colorado Chautauqua Association, she said her focus is on better marketing for a local icon well known for the Flatirons, but with a wealth of other offerings.”

“It all began with a cake, but now businesses across the wedding industry are closely watching what happens when the U.S. Supreme Court convenes Tuesday to hear the case of a religious Colorado baker who refused to do work for a gay couple who were getting married,” reports The Denver Post. “At issue is whether Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, had the legal right to turn away fiancés Charlie Craig and David Mullins when they asked him to bake a wedding cake in 2012. Phillips contends his cakes are art and that doing so would violate his Christian values and right to free expression; Craig and Mullins counter that it’s discriminatory to refuse them a service offered to other customers.”

“First come the scattered plunks and plops of bloody syringes hitting a trash can by the dozens,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. “Then arrive brown paper bags stuffed with scores of unused needles and a trove of tools to help an addict cook the next fix of heroin. The entire exchange takes three minutes, maybe four. It’s necessary, advocates say, to stem the rising tide of blood-borne infectious diseases, which are rising at alarming rates across El Paso County amid an epidemic of heroin and illicit prescription drug use. On Monday, the El Paso County Board of Health will begin formal discussions on whether to green-light the Pikes Peak region’s first syringe exchange program. No vote is expected. If approved in coming months, though, Colorado Springs would join every other major Front Range city in turning to a program hailed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a key means to combat the life-altering and expensive diseases that have accompanied the nation’s epidemic of heroin and illicit prescription drug use.”

“It seems as if the small southeastern town of Trinidad is fine-tuning regulations for the industry that saved it from the ‘abyss of nothingness,'” reports ColoradoPolitics. “Earlier this month, the Trinidad City Council decided to amend the way it charges a $25 fee for each pound of cultivated retail marijuana. Up until now the city’s fee called for the marijuana to be weighed after it was cut, not after it was dried. That ultimately meant the cultivators were being charged more money for less marijuana.”

“Hundreds of gray plastic bags line the metal shelves of a fluorescent-lit room at St. Francis Center,” reports Denverite. “Each is tagged with a person’s name, and each contains something worth saving: a fresh sweater and a pair of pants, a walking cane, a birth certificate. Every few minutes, someone comes to claim theirs. This room contains their most important possessions. “You have to have a place … You can’t take it with you,” explained Brian, a middle-aged man who has been staying in the city’s emergency shelters for a month. “You have to be light.” The nonprofit St. Francis Center has hosted these storage spaces for decades. Now, the city government and a local pizza shop are following suit — and there’s plenty of demand. About 10,000 different people last year visited St. Francis Center, which offers a variety of services, and more than 600 are using its storage spaces.”

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