The Home Front: ‘No city official has called for the resignation of Hancock’ in wake of Denver mayor’s inappropriate texts

“Denver Mayor Michael Hancock’s brewing sexual harassment scandal drew expressions of disappointment from several City Council members Wednesday and raised questions about both his re-election bid next year and any longer-term political aspirations,” reports The Denver Post. “So far, no city official has called for the resignation of Hancock as he navigates the fallout. On Tuesday, he publicly apologized after revelations that, in early 2012, during his first year in office, he sent several sexually suggestive text messages to a member of his security detail, Detective Leslie Branch-Wise. But even as some council members ducked requests for comment, others made clear that the text message exchanges — revealed Tuesday night by Branch-Wise in an interview with Denver7 — unnerved them and prompted more questions.”

“Following Dick’s Sporting Goods’ announcement Wednesday of a limited ban on some gun sales, area gun sellers have no intention of following suit,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “Dick’s CEO Edward Stack said in a company statement that Dick’s would stop selling assault-style rifles and high-capacity magazines and that its stores no longer would sell firearms to anyone under 21. This announcement comes on the heels of the latest school shooting Feb. 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., in which Nikolas Cruz, 19, killed 17 people.”

“Boulder bike shops are putting pressure on popular outdoor gear brands whose parent company invests in guns and ammo, including semi-automatic rifles,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “At least one has instituted a boycott of the brands, and others are contemplating action — a move they acknowledge as risky in an industry already struggling to grow sales amid shifts in retail. Utah-based Vista Outdoor is the target of the efforts. Among Vista’s brands are Bell and Giro, known primarily for cycling helmets and, in the case of the latter, shoes; Blackburn, which makes a range of bike gear from bags to water bottle cages; and leading hydration pack brand CamelBak.”

“A Gunbarrel resident is urging Longmont leaders to draft and adopt a gun-safety ordinance that would ban assault weapons in that city,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “Kimberly Gibbs told City Council members on Tuesday night that Longmont’s measure would ideally include bans on ‘military-style assault weapons’ and high-capacity ammunition magazines. The request did not draw immediate reaction from council members, though some have suggested a community forum might be appropriate to discuss ways to prevent gun violence in Longmont following the massacre last month at a school in Parkland, Fla. The suggestion, though, was alarming to Jake Tiff, an employee of Grandpa’s Pawn & Gun in Longmont. On Wednesday, he said such an ordinance ‘could put us out of business.'”

“A man sentenced to more than 300 years for violent sex offenses against children was freed from prison on Tuesday after a court determined his right to a speedy trial had been violated,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “The appellate court ruling, which was allowed to stand by the Colorado Supreme Court, found that the trial was delayed beyond Colorado’s speedy-trial requirements.”

“While the survey overwhelmingly said ‘yes’ and a report revealed a host of benefits, the idea of a four-day school week wasn’t immediately embraced by the Pueblo City Schools (D60) board of education,” reports The Pueblo Chieftain. “On Tuesday, the board received a task force’s report, with Eric DeCesaro, executive director of human resources, delivering the information.”

“Cherry trees were blooming in Washington D.C., and daily temperatures were peaking above the freezing mark near the North Pole as Steamboat Springs City Council, without hesitation, voted unanimously Tuesday night to join the Compact of Colorado Communities to address climate change,” reports The Steamboat Pilot. “Councilwomen Sonja Macys and Kathi Meyer told fellow council members they were inspired during a recent Colorado Communities Symposium, which outlined climate work being conducted across the state.”

“It’s an election year, so we’ll all soon enough face an onslaught of campaign speeches and advertising,” reports Vail Daily. “But election years begin on a much more quiet note: county caucus meetings. Caucus meetings are relatively rare these days — they survive in only 16 states. But for almost as long as there have been political parties, those parties started election-year organizing the same way: with neighborhood get-togethers among party members. At those meetings, party members talk about the pros and cons of various candidates for office, and nominate delegates to county assemblies. At those meetings, candidates are chosen for county-level elections. Delegates are also chosen for legislative district assemblies, as well as the state party conventions.”

“The city of Fort Collins is hosting a public event Thursday for residents to meet and learn more about the five finalists vying to be the city’s new police chief,” reports The Coloradoan in Fort Collins. “City officials announced the finalists for the top position at Fort Collins Police Services in mid-February and hope to have a new chief in the position by May.”

“The dean of Pueblo Community College’s Fremont Campus plans to retire this summer after five years of leadership, officials said Wednesday,” reports The Cañon City Daily Record. “Dr. Lana Carter, who started in the role in March 2013, will finish out her last semester with the campus before helping her replacement transition into the role over the summer. Her retirement comes after nearly 20 years with the college, which has one main location in Pueblo and three branches, located in Cañon City, Durango and Mancos.”

“Scott Blackmun designed the groundwork for a superior and safer American Olympic Movement, but the past, full of horrors, overtook him,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. “He failed, along with dozens of others, to do enough to stop Larry Nassar, a doctor who preyed on young gymnasts. Nassar exposed the United States Olympic Committee’s troubling weakness. The organization lacked the power, and the will, to protect its athletes, leaving dozens of young women vulnerable to a beast. Blackmun saw the weakness in the USOC and its National Governing Bodies. He knew the USOC needed to offer athletes a simple yet powerful avenue to expose abusers. Blackmun’s foresight led to the 2017 creation of Denver-based SafeSport, which seeks to find the creeps.”

The Colorado Independent is a statewide online news source operating in a time when spin is plentiful, but factual, fair and unflinching news in the public interest is all too rare. Our award-winning team of veteran investigative and explanatory reporters and news columnists aims to amplify the voices of Coloradans whose stories are unheard, shine light on the relationships between people, power and policy, and hold public officials to account. We strive to report the news with context, social conscience, and soul, and to give Coloradans the insight they need to promote conversation, understanding and progress in this square, swing state we call home.

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