The Home Front: Grand Junction restricted outdoor water use ‘in what may be the time first ever’

In what may be the time first ever, the city of Grand Junction on Tuesday imposed mandatory outdoor water use restrictions, as the ongoing drought has drained area reservoirs and rivers that will struggle to refill if the state endures another dry winter,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “The city’s roughly 9,700 domestic water customers can only water lawns and gardens and use outside water three times each week for the remainder of August. Indoor water use is not restricted.”

“Contrary to the title of the reality show, Justin Tuell was not afraid to go without much food for three weeks. He was not afraid of snakes or bugs or whatever else the Nicaraguan jungle could toss at him,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “He was not afraid of being outside, in the heat or the rain or at night. But he was fairly nervous — even, yes, afraid — about being naked. Tuell, a 31-year-old nurse at North Colorado Medical Center, is someone you’d want on your side when there’s some sort of apocalypse, whether it’s zombies or the flu or a nuclear exchange after President Trump sends one too many offensive tweets to North Korea. He will spend up to two weeks hiking 100 miles per week in the mountains with a lighter, a machete, a tent and sleeping bag and an axe while he hunts for elk with a bow. He does not bring much food or water. He prefers to live off the land. This is what he does for fun.”

“Bad news for parents, but good news for kids who want one more day of summer: Three schools in Summit School District — Dillon Valley Elementary, Summit Cove elementary and Snowy Peaks Junior High/High School — are delaying the first day of school,” reports Summit Daily. “All other SSD schools will open on their regular schedules. DVE students from first through fifth grade will have their first day on Friday instead of Thursday. DVE’s “Hola Hello” program will be held on Thursday from 4–5 p.m. Summit Cove Elementary’s first day will also take place Friday, with the school’s “First Hello” program held on Thursday from 4–5 p.m. Snowy Peaks Junior High and High School will open on Thursday instead of Wednesday.”

“Boulder County commissioners will hold a public hearing Wednesday on Parks and Open Space Department staff recommendations about where electric-assisted bicycles would be allowed — and where they’d be banned — on Boulder County-controlled regional and open space trails,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “Staff has recommended a pilot program allowing Class 1 and Class 2 e-bikes on regional trails and all plains trails where bikes are allowed. The pilot program would run through 2019 and would exclude three trails — the Coalton, Mayhoffer Singletree and Boulder Canyon trails, the latter of which was excluded at the request of the city of Boulder.”

“Last week, county officials considered putting in place additional fire restrictions, and now the conversation has shifted to lifting the ban completely,” reports The Steamboat Pilot. “‘Before we got this rain, it was, ‘Keep the bans in place,’’ Routt County Commissioner Doug Monger said. Weather observers in the Steamboat area reported receiving about three-quarters of an inch of rain from Friday to Tuesday morning, when a storm brought heavy rain to the area and western Routt County was under a flash flood watch. The recent moisture has helped cool the Silver Creek Fire southeast of Steamboat Springs. Routt County remains under Stage 1 fire restrictions, which prohibit campfires unless they are in authorized fire pits.”

“Marie Scott is one of many young professionals who have left Pueblo upon graduating here from either high school or college,” reports The Pueblo Chieftain. “Upon graduating from East High School in 2006, Scott went to a small liberal arts school in Colorado Springs and earned her undergraduate degree in chemistry. Scott then moved north to Fort Collins to go to graduate school at Colorado State University to get her master’s degree in chemistry. Currently, Scott works in Denver at a financial company. “While I could have gone to CSU-Pueblo, the overall educational experience afforded by the schools I attended was better,” Scott said. “Now that I am out of school, I have been able to find well-paying jobs without a ton of effort that I don’t think exist in Pueblo.”

“The city’s Community Partnership Office is working on selecting a consultant to develop a strategic plan to address homelessness in Loveland,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “The proposal period, which began July 9, closed Thursday with 10 applicants. Community Partnership Office administrator Alison Hade said the department is starting to review its responses, but she cannot give much more detail for a few weeks until the process is finished. She said it has not yet been decided when the topic will come before City Council.”

“Earlier this summer, a vehicle was found abandoned in La Plata County,” reports The Durango Herald. “Local law enforcement responded and had reason to believe the owner of the vehicle, a man from South Carolina, was suicidal and possibly dead. As search parties were being assembled in an attempt to locate the man, Suess Beyer, a forensic examiner for the La Plata County Sheriff’s Office, began his search for the man using a computer. Beyer found the man’s Facebook profile and sent him and his friends messages. His friends were able to get a hold of the man, who said his car broke down and he took a bus to get back to Durango. Beyer used Apple’s FaceTime to confirm the man was OK. “The speed that we got this done using the tools that we have saved hours of sending more search parties out to try to find him,” Beyer said. “Something that would have taken days to find out, we got handled in a few hours.”

“The Cañon City Council took no action Monday on a pitch to consider allowing retail sales for recreational marijuana in the city,” reports The Cañon City Daily Record. “However, they said if the issue is ever passed by voters, then it would be their duty and obligation to implement it in a safe manner. The council listened to a presentation by Rhonda Schirado and four others who explained why marijuana was made illegal in the first place, the ways CBD oil and cannabis have helped their children who previously suffered seizures, and why most adults and veterans prefer not to pursue a medical card.”

“The Colorado man accused of killing his pregnant wife and two young daughters earlier this month told police that he went into a rage and strangled his wife after witnessing her attack their children during the early morning hours of Aug. 13,” reports The Coloradoan in Fort Collins. “Christopher Watts, 33, of Frederick was formally charged on Monday with nine felony counts, including five counts of first-degree murder, in the deaths of Shanann Watts, 34, Bella Watts, 4, and Celeste Watts, 3. He was in court Tuesday to hear the charges against him. Following the announcement of formal charges, the Weld County District Attorney’s Office requested the public release of the warrantless arrest affidavit for Christopher Watts.”

Christopher Watts, 33, of Frederick was formally charged on Monday with nine felony counts, including five counts of first-degree murder, in the deaths of Shanann Watts, 34, Bella Watts, 4, and Celeste Watts, 3. He was in court Tuesday to hear the charges against him.

Following the announcement of formal charges, the Weld County District Attorney’s Office requested the public release of the warrantless arrest affidavit for Christopher Watts.

“Boulder’s City Council on Thursday will hold a public hearing and vote on expanding non-discrimination protections to low-income and undocumented residents, rejecting landlords requests for more time as members of the governing body and of the public said they felt hoodwinked by property owners opposing the measure,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “The city’s Human Relations Commission in May proposed expanding the human rights protections to make it illegal for landlords to discriminate based on source of income and immigration status. Council passed the measure on first reading that same month and scheduled a public hearing and vote in early June. That was delayed after the Boulder Area Rental Housing Association — a group representing landlords — learned of the proposals and asked for more time and a voice in the process.”

“Charges won’t be filed in the Feb. 5 shootout in which El Paso County sheriff’s Deputy Micah Flick and suspected car thief Manuel Zetina were killed and bystander Thomas Villanueva was partially paralyzed, the 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. “The DA’s Office said the officers “acted reasonably” when they shot Zetina after he unleashed a hail of bullets, wounding four officers and Villanueva, all “before any member of law enforcement fired their weapons.” The report recounts for the first time the harrowing last moments of Flick’s life and what District Attorney Dan May called the ‘horrible tragedy that struck our community.'”

“As state and utility officials sorted through the Trump administration’s proposed sweeping changes to the Obama-era plan to reduce carbon emissions, environmental groups warned that the proposal announced Tuesday could undermine the significant strides Colorado has made,” reports The Denver Post. “A mining industry official, though, said the changes would provide certainty for the coal industry and consumers. In a highly anticipated move, the Environmental Protection Agency rolled out its proposed rule to reduce climate-changing greenhouse gas emissions, which the agency said would replace the “burdensome” regulations of the 2015 Clean Power Plan. The Obama administration’s plan set the goal of cutting U.S. carbon dioxide emissions to 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030, targeting emissions from coal-fired power plants and giving states latitude in meeting specific targets.”

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.