The Home Front: El Paso County sheriff renewed a jail deal with ICE despite a ‘high-profile legal battle’ with ACLU

“El Paso County’s sheriff is renewing his deal to jail suspected undocumented immigrants for federal officials, despite the high-profile legal battle prompted by that pact,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. “County commissioners on Tuesday unanimously approved a one-year extension of that agreement with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. It allows the Sheriff’s Office to detain people solely on a request by ICE, though a judge has ordered that practice be suspended pending a lawsuit that the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado filed Feb. 27. The ACLU sued Sheriff Bill Elder on behalf of two inmates. The suit says the Sheriff’s Office has jailed people illegally “for days, weeks, even months” after they posted bond or resolved their cases, because ICE asked that they be detained without providing a warrant signed by a judge.”

“Two men with experience on city or town councils will face off in the Republican primary for Weld County commissioner in District 2,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “Former Greeley City Councilman Mike Finn, with his military and land-use planning background, is a strong supporter of Julie Cozad, who occupies the District 2 seat now but suspended her re-election bid earlier this year. Johnstown Mayor Scott James planned a primary challenge against Cozad, and will bring his municipal government experience as well as nearly three decades in radio to this election.”

“The trial for the man who shot and killed a Mesa County sheriff’s deputy two years ago was called off Tuesday when, a week into jury selection, the defendant agreed to plead guilty to reduced charges in exchange for the hope of freedom,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “Austin Holzer, who was 17 years and 10 months old when he fatally shot Deputy Derek Geer in the face and neck on Feb. 8, 2016, originally pleaded not guilty to a slew of charges including first-degree murder and first-degree assault.”

“The first women’s health clinic in Colorado to provide abortion services is at risk of losing nearly 20 percent of its overall funding should proposed changes to the national family planning program come to fruition under President Donald Trump’s administration,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “The Boulder Valley Women’s Health Center, which has two locations in Longmont and Boulder, receives about $500,000 each year in funding through Title X, a federal grant program dedicated to providing family planning services as well as preventative health services. If enacted, health care providers would not be allowed to perform abortions or refer patients to clinics for abortions if they want to continue to receive Title X funding.”

“A meeting that had been set for Thursday to discuss issues around Glenwood Springs’ homeless and transient populations has been postponed, with no reschedule date, at least at this point,” reports The Glenwood Springs Post-Independent. “And there are indications from some quarters that the meeting arranged at the direction of Garfield County Commissioner John Martin following an April City Council discussion was never meant to be public, at least from the city’s perspective, but rather a staff-level meeting not involving a quorum of elected officials.”

“Those wanting to know how tax dollars have been spent and are going to be spent in the future are encouraged to attend an open house from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday in Steamboat Springs,” reports The Steamboat Pilot. “The public event will be hosted by the 2A Trails Committee, which decides what projects to fund and how $5.1 million in accommodations tax dollars are spent. ‘The open house is not a presentation,” said Winnie DelliQuadri, assistant to the city manager. “It’s just a series of tables with different topics.'”

“’I don’t know where to start.’ Kylie Schumacher clutched a trash bag as she wandered a rain-soaked hillside at Skin Gulch. Though target shooting isn’t allowed at Skin Gulch, bullets, shotgun shells and the neon orange remains of clay targets littered the ground,” reports The Coloradoan in Fort Collins. “Schumacher, a member of the Colorado chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, led a two-hour cleanup here earlier this month. The group of eight filled 15 trash bags.”

“Alyssa Vargas-Lopez thrives on the fact that she has opportunity as a student at Colorado State University-Pueblo,” reports The Pueblo Chieftain. “The senior said a scholarship derived from Pueblo County’s marijuana excise tax has opened up several doors for her. ‘I’ve been able to experience college more. I’ve been more confident in who I am. It broadened my experiences because it provided me with the financial assistance, too,’ Vargas-Lopez said. As a second-generation student, Vargas-Lopez said she would not have received enough financial support to cover college expenses if she hadn’t received this scholarship, as well as others.”

“The Loveland City Council will have to add a new category to the rental fee schedule for the Rialto Theater Center due to the upcoming agreement with Resurrection Fellowship to rent the space,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “The current fee schedule includes standard ticketed, non-profit ticketed and for-profit non-ticketed rates, wrote Cultural Services Director Susan Ison in an email to staff members Friday. As almost all of the Rialto’s events are ticketed, a non-ticketed non-profit rate was not needed — until now, she wrote.”

“Unaffiliated voters in Colorado no longer have to declare a party preference before they can cast ballots in the state’s primary elections,” reports Vail Daily. “But those same voters may be a bit confused when they receive both the Democratic and Republican primary ballots in the mail next week. They will get both ballots but they are only allowed submit one. Proposition 108, which allowed participation for unaffiliated voters in primary elections, was approved by state voters 2016. This June’s primary will be the first time in state history that unaffiliated voters will be able to participate in the primary without first choosing to be a member of a particular party.”

“The BP regional office for the San Juan Basin will move in October from its building near the Durango-La Plata Airport to space leased in the Bank of Colorado building on Main Avenue,” reports The Durango Herald. “Up to 90 employees will move to downtown Durango from the 100,000-square-foot building and BP campus at 380 County Road 309. ‘With routing algorithms, we’re able to push data to our field operators, and they know which wells they need to complete that day. There’s no longer need to start their day at a central office. It’s changed our need for physical office space,’ said Will Burton, vice president of West business operations for BP. “It’s not your granddad’s oilfield anymore.”

“The Fremont County Sheriff’s Office is searching for an escaped offender from Fourmile Correctional Center,” reports The Cañon City Daily Record. “According to the Department of Corrections, Michael Onorato, 37, is a white male with brown hair, brown eyes and a beard. He is 5’4″ and weighs 144 pounds. He was not located at the 3 a.m. Tuesday count at the facility. A DOC press release stated Onorato was working on an outside work crew at the cow dairy when he went missing. The DOC’s Inspector General’s Office and local law enforcement were immediately notified. Onorato is considered dangerous, and the sheriff’s office asks residents to call 911 if they spot him.”

“Broomfield wants to keep students safe in schools — whether that means hiring more school resource officers, enhancing mental health services or supporting existing programs,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “Members of Broomfield’s Moms Demand Action filled seats across the aisle from men and women sporting NRA caps — some American flag-themed and others fluorescent orange — but no comments were taken from either group. Chatter on social media led some to believe Tuesday night’s study session was about gun control, but it was more an exploration of what is already in place in Broomfield and what more can be done — for a moment suspending consideration of the price tag.”

“When a Highlands Ranch woman suddenly veered off U.S. 285, down an embankment and into an aspen grove on the side of Red Hill Pass, she was found five days later suspended upside-down in her car with her feet crushed and her ribs broken — barely clinging to life,” reports The Denver Post. “Could a highway capable of detecting when a vehicle abruptly leaves the roadway have been able to summon help for Kristin Hopkins within minutes of her violent and undetected 140-foot roll off the pass in Park County four years ago? Tim Sylvester, the CEO and president of Kansas City, Mo.-based Integrated Roadways, thinks his startup company’s ‘smart pavement’ — bristling with sensors and the latest fiber-optic and wireless technology — could be a lifesaver in mishaps such as the one Hopkins survived.”

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