The Home Front: Some Colorado lawmakers want to keep juvenile autopsy reports from ‘the public, including the media’

“A piece of legislation being considered by state lawmakers aims to keep juvenile autopsy reports from being made available to the public, including the media,” reports The Steamboat Pilot. “The lawmakers who introduced the bill have expressed concerns over the privacy of families of children who have died. Those against the bill include media advocates, who have cited past instances where juvenile autopsy reports played a crucial role in reporting on cases that included the JonBenet Ramsey murder, the Columbine High School shootings and the Aurora movie theater shootings. In Steamboat Springs, juvenile autopsy records were used to help report on the death of 3-year-old Austin Davis, who died March 27, 2014.”

“Efforts under the Trump administration to repeal and replace Department of Interior regulations are made more challenging by a legal structure more designed to impose new regulations, an Interior attorney says,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “‘All of the structure of federal environmental law was designed to go forward, not backward,’ Matthew McKeown, regional solicitor for the Rocky Mountain Region of Interior, said this week during the Sixth annual Energy and Environment Symposium.”

“After a decade of serving Glenwood Springs’ residents and tourists their favorite libations, Ricky Rodriguez, owner of Loyal Brothers Lounge, officially closed his business,” reports The Glenwood Springs Post-Independent. “The next day, Rodriguez reopened but with a new name, different look and a tasty twist. Meet Native Son. Located in the heart of downtown at 813 Grand Ave., Rodriguez described his new venture as a place where “James Bond would come in and have a martini but also kind of an edgy coffee house style restaurant.” Native Son welcomes patrons with a full service kitchen, a coffee bar as well as graffiti walls, photographs, and a pool table on one side and an expanded 43-foot bar, a lifted stage, and Vegas-esque chandeliers on the other. The spacious layout and eclectic decor promotes Native Son’s mission: feed your body, fuel your soul.”

“The year was 1968, and when Dick Bond looked out the window of his Illinois State University office at students milling about, he saw a bunch of kids in isolation,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “Illinois State is in Normal, Ill., smack in the center of the state, at the time a town of about 20,000 with a population nearly 90 percent white. Bond, Illinois State’s vice president for academic affairs, had just returned from three years living in Liberia. That experience changed him, and he wanted his students to have the same chance to escape the cloister of the rural Midwest. “When you get away from isolation and meet different people with different values, you learn a lot about the world,” Bond said.”

“Neither school closures nor boundary changes will solve the Thompson School District’s financial problems, so the district’s Master Plan Committee has recommended the school board ask voters for more taxes for facilities,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “‘I think we’re unanimous in coming to the conclusion that we need to ask (about support for a bond),” board President Lori Hvizda Ward said at an April 18 board meeting, though no specific numbers have been discussed. Another board member, Pam Howard, said, “I’d definitely say I’m hearing a sense of urgency. … I haven’t heard anything from the public except for an ask to go for a bond and meet these needs. “Our job is to listen to the community. It seems like the path is pretty clear … to fix these things, and that’s a bond.'”

“A vote of only 28 delegates in support of his bid for governor at the Colorado Republican assembly last weekend means Larimer County Commissioner Lew Gaiter will have to find something else to do for the next four years,” reports The Coloradoan in Fort Collins. “But he’s used to that. He’s used to making new plans and new goals. Since 2009, 58-year-old Gaiter has been battling multiple myeloma, a blood cancer for which there’s no known cure. He suffered from a bacterial meningitis in 2008, which started the long journey of hospital visits before he was ultimately diagnosed with cancer. The diagnosis isn’t something everyone around him knows about, but he also doesn’t try to hide it.”

“Boulder County District Attorney Michael Dougherty is forming a cold case unit to investigate unsolved homicides and missing persons cases, which would include the 1996 slaying of JonBenet Ramsey,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “There are over 30 other names on this list, and the impact on the families and the community is extremely significant,” Dougherty said. “And that’s what drives us.” Boulder County has more than 30 cold cases, including four John Doe cases, which have unidentified victims who were believed to have been murdered. Some go back decades, while others are more recent, such as the 2013 missing person case of Tiannah Marie Annibal. Colorado has a total of 1,500 cold cases.”

“Lourdes Mendoza’s commitment to supporting the low-income, Latino community solidified over a weekend leadership summit for LGBTQ people of color held in Longmont,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “I set this really big goal of wanting to interrupt intergenerational poverty,” she said. “This summit really moved me. We can collaborate and connect.” Out Boulder County’s LGBTQ People of Color Leadership Summit culminated Sunday with a reception at the Longmont Museum. The summit is part of an Out Boulder County initiative funded by an almost $50,000 grant from the Colorado Health Foundation. Mardi Moore, executive director of Out Boulder County, said she’s often invited to participate in community groups that are “mostly white folks” and wanted to find ways to bring more LGBTQ people of color into leadership roles.”

“Depending on where in the West you are, this winter was either a winner or a big bust: Montana, for example, is swathed in snow while parts of the Southwest are dismally bare,” reports The Durango Herald. “As of late March, the Upper Colorado River Basin snowpack was well below average. But the longterm trend is clear: Years of research show that the region’s snowpack is declining as the climate warms. About two-thirds of the West’s water comes from snow, and “we’re losing that natural reservoir,” says Sarah Kapnick, a hydroclimate scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Forecasting the coming winter’s bounty months in advance could help Westerners prepare for surplus or scarcity, Kapnick says. Better predictions would allow officials time to implement flood control or water conservation measures, for example, and help farmers decide whether to plant thirsty crops or hardier ones.”

“The Bridge Youth Center hosted its inaugural Bridge Bash on Saturday night to educate residents about what the center has to offer, as well as help raise funds for the organization,” reports The Cañon City Daily Record. “‘Our primary goal here at the Bridge Youth Center is to be able to build relationships with these kids so we can bridge the gap and earn the right to enter into their lives to help them out,” Pastor Shawn Johnston said. The evening consisted of a Hawaiian-style dinner catered by Chicago Bobs, many different raffle prizes and a silent auction. Presentations were given by the director of the youth center Justin Smith and Pastor Johnston.”

“Cary Kennedy sees two waves potentially carrying her into the governor’s mansion in November: not only a blue wave of support for Democrats, but also potentially a women’s wave born of frustration with President Donald Trump and the many sexual-harassment scandals that have plagued Congress and the Colorado Legislature,” reports a ColoradoPolitics story in The Gazette in Colorado Springs. “I see women all over the state motivated and getting involved, getting engaged because they’re frustrated. They’re mad at the president. They want to see women treated better,” the former state treasurer told Colorado Politics. “They want to see equality, with women represented in leadership positions, and they’re engaging in the political process like I’ve never seen before.” Kennedy is coming off a Democratic state assembly win in Broomfield on April 14 that saw her claim the top line on the June 26 primary ballot by a margin of 61.65 percent of the delegates to 32.85 percent for the presumed Democratic front-runner, U.S. Rep. Jared Polis of Boulder.”

“They have hovered right outside windows, alarming homeowners who are opening the shades in the morning,” reports The Denver Post. “They’ve buzzed over Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre, capturing unauthorized concert footage while perched above thousands of unsuspecting fans. As unmanned aerial vehicles — or drones — multiply in number, more Colorado communities are putting in place regulations to control how and where the devices are used. But crafting those rules is not easy, as cities and towns strive to balance public safety and privacy with a burgeoning consumer industry that one market research firm estimates could be worth more than $9 billion by 2024. To further complicate things, drone regulation brings to the fore the clash between local government power and the authority of the Federal Aviation Administration, which controls airspace in the United States.”

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