The Home Front: Motorist in Colorado ticketed for spewing an ‘obnoxious cloud of dark exhaust’ on March for Our Lives demonstrators

“A driver was cited by Steamboat Springs police Sunday after interrupting a peaceful demonstration with an obnoxious cloud of dark exhaust,” reports The Steamboat Pilot. “The local ‘March For Our Lives’ demonstration was held early Saturday evening on the Routt County Courthouse lawn. It was part of a nationwide movement aimed at raising awareness around gun violence and school safety. The event was connected to last week’s National Walkout, where students from schools across the country, including Steamboat, walked out of class to recognize the 17 people killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Saturday’s peaceful protest turned hostile when a blue pickup drove by and spewed exhaust at the demonstrators on the sidewalk. Demonstrators took pictures of the incident, and the truck’s license plate was clearly visible. … The demonstrators told police that multiple trucks had driven by and were ‘rolling coal.’ Police contacted a male driver and issued him a $113.50 citation for the offense.”

“Gov. John Hickenlooper is poised to sign a bill to allocate $115 million in the next five years to extend high-speed internet to rural Colorado, a significant step toward achieving his goal to connect the entire state,” reports The Denver Post. “The measure is a legacy piece for the term-limited governor and a major victory for state lawmakers who prioritized the needs of beleaguered rural communities as a way to bridge their deep divide with the state’s robust urban areas. ‘People didn’t think we could get it done — I wasn’t sure we were going to get it done — but I think it’s something that down the road will make this state stronger and more resilient forever.’ Hickenlooper said in an interview. This legislative session, Hickenlooper made rural Colorado a top focus — a move his critics say is long overdue, but one the governor believes has been a constant throughout his two terms.”

“The Pikes Peak Cog Railway isn’t the region’s only tourist attraction, yet its closure over the next few years looms over the area like its namesake mountain,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. “Manitou Springs, where passengers board the 126-year-old railway for three-hour, scenic round trips to the summit of Pikes Peak, will take in about a half-million dollars less in tax revenue without the attraction, the city’s mayor estimates. Restaurants and stores in Manitou’s eclectic downtown expect fewer customers because some of the several hundred thousand Cog Railway passengers no longer will pass through town on their way to and from the train.”

“The vast majority of Christian leaders in Pueblo say they are against medical aid-in-dying,” reports The Pueblo Chieftain. “The official position of the Roman Catholic Church is strict: The killing of a human being, even by an act of omission to eliminate suffering, violates divine law and offends the dignity of the human person. The Rev. Michael Chrisman, a priest with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pueblo, said Christians seek to pattern their lives after Jesus Christ.”

“Family and friends of Rita Gutierrez-Garcia held a prayer vigil Sunday afternoon in Longmont’s Thompson Park, offering comfort to each other as they covered branches of a tree with colorful ribbons and cards with prayers for her return,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “Diane Romero, Gutierrez-Garcia’s mother, had a message for her daughter, telling her the she won’t give up, reminding her that their heats are connected and pleading with her to “make your way back home.” “You know we love you,” she said. “You know your sisters and I love you.” Longmont police continue to search for Gutierrez-Garcia, a 34-year-old mother of three, who vanished a week ago.”

“Summit County’s most recent sales-tax reports show that Breckenridge, Silverthorne, Frisco and Dillon have started the year 6 to 31 percent ahead of where they were after the first month of 2017,” reports Summit Daily. “Throughout last year, Summit County’s four biggest towns registered record-setting sales tax revenue, each logging from 3.3 to 9.7 percent growth and continuing an upward trend that dates back to the end of the recession. According to the towns’ most recent financial reports, this January marked one of the best starts to a year ever for taxable sales with Dillon finishing the month up 31.1 percent, Breckenridge up 10.5 percent, Silverthorne up 8.2 percent and Frisco up 6.1 percent.”

“Three federal lawmakers from Colorado are among six Democrats who are asking that the Bureau of Land Management hold public hearings over its proposal to revise its 2016 rule limiting methane emissions from oil and gas development on federal lands,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “A letter signed by U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet and U.S. Reps. Diana DeGette and Jared Polis (also a candidate for Colorado governor) and three others also asks that the BLM extend a 60-day public comment period by an additional 30 days.”

“After a long and successful career up on the saddle training horses and their owners across the country, John Lyons wanted nothing more than to retire, ride off into the sunset and sell his 70-acre Parachute ranch for the next generation to take the reigns,” reports The Glenwood Springs Post-Independent. “Known far and wide as “America’s Most Trusted Horseman,” last year Lyons moved forward with his plans to sell, even meeting with a potential buyer who felt the ranch could be a great location for a hemp and CBD (Cannabidiol) oil facility. But when Lyons began reflecting on his life and retirement he knew he wasn’t ready to walk away from his home for the past 40-plus years. Those potential buyers invited Lyons to join them at an expo on the CBD oil and hemp industry last August to learn more about the business they hoped to start. That’s when, instead of retiring, John and his wife Jody, an emergency room nurse and RN, found their next calling. Lyons’ mindset soon changed from eager seller to investor.”

“It’s been three months since the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act — which many feared would have a chilling effect on charitable giving — but Boulder County nonprofit groups say they’re not quite ready to push the panic button,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “Late last year, organizations around the country, including the Colorado Nonprofit Association, strongly opposed the federal legislation. They argued restructuring the tax system to raise the standard deduction would discourage charitable giving from those who had previously itemized donations to reduce their tax burden. Estimates put the reduced annual giving in Colorado by as much as $250 million and as much as $24 billion nationwide, according to the Council on Foundations.”

“Officials are looking for an offender who reportedly escaped from Skyline Correctional Center,” reports The Cañon City Daily Record. “The Fremont County Sheriff’s Office is reporting that Robert Roberts, 22, a white male, was last seen wearing dark green inmate clothing. He was last seen on foot near the river between Mackenzie Avenue and Pathfinder Park. The sheriff’s office asks residents to avoid the area. Roberts has brown hair and brown eyes. He is 5′ 09″ tall and weighs 170 pounds. Anyone with information is asked to call dispatch 719-784-3411 and press 1 at the recording.”

“With rising building materials costs and increased real estate transaction numbers, Eagle County is poised to transition from moderate to high growth mode,” reports Vail Daily. “The downvalley communities of Eagle and Gypsum have seen this before, and they know they had better be ready for an influx. Their municipal preparedness is particularly evident, as the towns look at large-scale infrastructure improvements. In Eagle, the much-publicized Lower Basin Water Treatment Plant is a $23 million project with construction slated to begin this summer. Eagle anticipates that Phase I of the plant will be complete in 2020. Gypsum also is looking at its infrastructure needs, and last week, the town approved a $38,000 contract with SGM, of Glenwood Springs, to conduct a communitywide wastewater system study.”

“With a 3-D printer, heavy fishing line, files, super glue, tweezers, bolts and a screwdriver, a team of Loveland residents are literally making prosthetic arms — a gift they delivered to an 8-year-old girl in Kansas City, Mo., on Feb. 17,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “‘She was really excited and thought it was cool and wanted to try it out right away,’ said Ashley Wilson, mother of 8-year-old Zadie, who now has a pretty pink arm decorated with a sparkly skull and crossbones as well as a rainbow. “She’s excited to make one of her own as well when she outgrows this one.” All of the pieces of the arm — 32 total — are made with 3-D printers by a team of volunteers who meet at Creator Space in downtown Loveland to work on designs and to assemble the arms for people who otherwise may not be able to access a traditional prosthetic.”

“Dolores and Montezuma County commissioners are debating whether a National Conservation Area designation for the Lower Dolores River is worth pursuing,” reports The Durango Herald. “In the lively meeting at Bubba’s Restaurant in Lewis, commissioners juggled arguments about water rights, oil and gas revenue, environmental issues and federal influence. The complex land, fish, boating and water-management issues on the river below McPhee dam have been a topic of spirited debate for decades. The Lower Dolores flows through both counties, but commissioners disagree on the merits of an NCA. Dolores County is willing to consider it, but Montezuma County is adamantly opposed to it. A Natural Conservation Area is a federal land designation passed by Congress to protect sensitive lands. It creates a long-term plan for environmental protections plus preservation of multiple-use recreation, water rights, agriculture and industry.”

“More students will be able to get a head start on college — and be able to cut down its cost — because Gov. John Hickenlooper signed House Bill 1052 into last week,” reports ColoradoPolitics. “Students already can rack up college and technical education credits before they finish high school. However, the community college in their “service area,” as set by the Colorado Commission on Higher Education, has to be able to fit them in. Under the new law, if they could seek a spot in another Colorado community college’s early enrollment program, which also helps even out the participation for other two-year schools. It also would apply if a course a student needs is not offered at their nearest community college. The law takes effect Aug. 8.”

“Quick reminder — all non-essential city offices will be closed on Monday as Denver observes César Chávez day,” reports Denverite. “Besides giving you the opportunity for free meter parking, César Chávez Day provides Denver residents with a designated moment to reflect on Chávez’s life and legacy. Not only is Chávez a critical historical figure for his strategic organization of labor and immeasurable impact on workers rights in America, he is a cultural icon and a cornerstone of the Chicano movement in the state of Colorado. Due to Colorado’s vast agricultural industry and its budding reputation as a Chicano hub, the state became a primary battleground for Chávez in his fight for tolerable working conditions. The prominent, youth-led, Denver Chicano movement in the late ’60s and early ’70s proved to be fertile ground for Chávez’s message of nonviolent protest.”

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