The Home Front: Six Colorado counties are trying to create a model to prevent suicide ‘that could be used nationwide’

“La Plata and Montezuma counties are among six in Colorado selected to participate in collaboration to create a model for suicide prevention that could be used nationwide,” reports The Durango Herald. “The goal of the Colorado-National Collaborative is to create a suicide-prevention model to reduce suicide 20 percent statewide by 2024, said Jarrod Hindman, deputy chief of the Violence and Injury Prevention-Mental Health Promotion Branch of the state health department. National suicide-prevention groups wanted to work with Colorado because it has one of the highest suicide rates in the nation, 20.3 people per 100,000 in 2016, Hindman said. Across the country, the suicide rate is 13.5 per 100,000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Colorado also has a high number of suicides, with 1,140 suicide deaths in 2016, according to the Office of Suicide Prevention. This sets it apart from other Western states with lower populations that have high rates but don’t have a high number of deaths by suicide, he said. State leaders are motivated to address the state’s growing problem, which also factored into its selection, he said.”

“A license plate that will be available to Coloradans later this week is connected to Marcus McCauley’s 2,000 chickens that are being raised for meat at the McCauley Family Farm in Longmont,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “The McCauley chickens are part of a relatively new effort in Colorado called carbon farming. In carbon farming, farmers and ranchers try to mimic the natural cycles of the earth in order to keep carbon out of the air and in the soil, where it can help to grow plants that can neutralize carbon dioxide.”

“On June 28, Cameron Eldridge reported to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “Sir, yes, sir. Ma’am, yes, ma’am. He sure did. “It was pretty abrupt,” the 19-year-old recent graduate of Johnstown’s Roosevelt High said in a phone interview Saturday. “You walk in and the first words they tell you are, ‘From this point forward, the first and last words out of your mouth will be sir or ma’am.'”

“Before Harold Cressler died in 2015, he told his family he wanted his body donated to science, in the hopes he could help provide a cure for the lung cancer that took his life,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “The former uranium miner from Nucla felt good about having his body used for cancer research and he didn’t want to be buried in the family plot, said his daughter, Judy Williams of Grand Junction. But now the family wonders what, in fact, happened to the 84-year-old man’s body.”

“Kristine Edland bought two pygmy goats in May as pets and to teach her son animal husbandry, thinking that they are legal within the city limits of Loveland as long as they are show animals,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “Frankie and Ellie May Sue, nearly full grown just below knee-high, have become beloved pets that she cuddles, walks on leash and considers part of her family. But in the three months she has had them, she has not yet shown them. And because of that, the Larimer Humane Society, responding to neighbor complaints, has given her eight weeks to find a new home for her kids, leaving Edland devastated and feeling targeted.”

“If approved, the proposed Black Hills Energy transmission line west of Pueblo would be under construction in the spring 2019 and set to go online in 2021,” reports The Pueblo Chieftain. “The utility, which operates more than 640 miles of transmission line in Colorado, has filed a House Bill 1041 application with Pueblo County, which would allow for the construction of the 39-mile, single-circuit 115 kilovolt transmission line that would travel from Pueblo West toward the Canon City area. The Canon West Reliability Project would cross about 18 miles of land in Pueblo County: 14.8 miles on private land and 3.4 miles on property owned by the Pueblo West Metropolitan District.”

“Schools in Morgan County are getting really close to their start dates,” reports The Fort Morgan Times. “In fact, Weldon Valley School and many of the schools in Fort Morgan are set to begin classes grades yet this week, and Brush and Wiggins will start the following week. For families, that means getting together the school supplies and everything needed for beginning a new school year. At least 550 of the students heading to these classes have new backpacks filled with school supplies after attending the recent Back to School Bash that the Morgan County Interagency Oversight Group and its many partner agencies held at Morgan Community College.”

“George Brauchler stopped by the Logan County Fairgrounds Saturday after participating in the fair parade on a campaign tour of northeast Colorado,” reports The Sterling Journal-Advocate. “Brauchler, the 18th Judicial District Attorney who is seeking to be Colorado’s next Attorney General, grabbed a cheeseburger and eyed the competition at the NJC Young Farmers’ Pedal Tractor Pull, but wasn’t able to get on the tractor before he had to depart. Brauchler touts himself as a “Colorado kid;” he grew up in Lakewood with two working parents and attended public schools, from elementary through law school at the University of Colorado. His wife is a small business owner; his four children, ranging in age from 8 to 15, also attend public school and are involved in Scouting. Brauchler tried his first case 24 years ago, and his prosecutorial experience includes the Columbine School massacre, the Kobe Bryant rape case and the Aurora movie theatre shooting. In 2006, he started a private law practice that grew to five attorneys and three support staff.”

“Every second, one million new nuero connectors are formed in an infant’s brain, said Tami Haverly, executive director of the Discovery Learning Center,” reports The Steamboat Pilot. “And about 90 to 95 percent of brain development occurs by the time a child enters kindergarten. It’s “an amazing time,” she said, when kids learn critical thinking and social-emotional skills and “set the stage for the rest of their lives.” While research leaves no doubt about the magnitude of development in the first five years of life, there is a lack of prioritization nationally, and it remains a persistent challenge locally for families to find affordable, high-quality childcare. It impacts not only families, but the entire economy as parents weigh the cost of working and paying for child care — if they can find it — versus staying at home.”

“Former Denver Mayor Benjamin Stapleton was born the same year Ulysses S. Grant took the presidential oath of office,” The Denver Post reported in a story on the front page of today’s The Cañon Cty Daily Record. “Colorado treasurer and gubernatorial hopeful Walker Stapleton, Benjamin’s great-grandson, was born the same year Gerald Ford became the nation’s 38th president. The sweep of time between both men exceeds a century, and neither strode the earth when the other did. But Benjamin Stapleton’s notorious role as a member of the Ku Klux Klan, while serving five terms as mayor of the Mile High City in the first half of the 20th century, lurks just below the surface of this year’s race for governor and presents pitfalls for the both Stapleton and his Democratic opponent, Jared Polis. Last month, The New York Times published a story titled “Family History Haunts GOP Candidate for Governor in Colorado,” while other news outlets have raised the issue of ancestral roots with Stapleton, who in past political campaigns has lauded his great-grandfather for helping bring the former Stapleton Airport and Red Rocks Amphitheatre to Colorado. Several seasoned election watchers told The Denver Post last week that voters are discerning enough to recognize that the younger Stapleton is not his great-grandfather and grew up in a different time in the state’s history. Still, the dark chapter in his family’s past is an issue that the Republican brushes aside at his own peril, they said.”

“An ambitious plan for development that includes a 55-plus community and a smaller home development on property south of the Eagle County Regional Airport will go before the Gypsum Town Council on Tuesday night, Aug. 14,” reports Vail Daily. “Siena Lake, planned on a 170-acre site that was annexed to the town in 2002 as the former Saddleridge proposal, includes a total of 591 residential units in a mix of housing types. Earlier this summer, the Gypsum Planning Commission unanimously recommended approval of the plan.”

“Longmont’s and Boulder’s chambers of commerce will host separate presentations about the potential local impacts on the funding of area transportation projects if Colorado voters approve either of a pair of competing measures likely to be on November’s statewide ballot,” reports The Longmont Times-Call on the front page of today’s Boulder Daily Camera. “The Colorado Secretary of State’s Office is still counting the petition signatures turned in by backers of the two measures to verify whether enough were submitted to qualify for the ballot.”

“This is a good year to be a Democrat running for state and federal offices in Colorado, campaign finance filings show,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. “‘They have a lot more contributions and a lot more enthusiasm than on the Republican side,’ said Robert Duffy, a political science professor at Colorado State University. The blue wave anticipated by many political experts and pundits is reflected in Democrats’ fundraising for the Nov. 6 election, said Matthew Hitt, another political science professor at CSU. The wave is particularly strong among Democrats facing Republican incumbents, candidates who usually face significant fundraising challenges.”

“A slew of approved and potential tax measures for Denver’s November ballot are poised to test the tax tolerance of one of the state’s friendliest counties for spending measures,” reports The Denver Post. “Campaigns are gearing up to pitch sales tax increases in support of several causes that, on their own, each sound noble. Already approved for the ballot are a City Council-referred sales tax increase to support more parks and an initiative by education, nonprofit and business leaders to fund college scholarships for the city’s youth. Initiative petitions for another tax that would support mental health and drug treatment programs now are under review, and on deck is the filing, in coming days, of petitions for a fourth tax that would raise money for healthy food programs serving at-risk children. Add in an amendment that would raise the state income tax on higher-wage earners for education and a likely statewide tax measure for transportation, and the state’s largest county has the makings of a tax pileup on its Nov. 6 ballot. Will voters flinch?”

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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