The Home Front: In Colorado Springs, jaywalking is ‘one of the most frequent causes of fatal crashes’

“As in most cities, jaywalking is a common sight in Colorado Springs. Even the most law-abiding citizens do it from time to time,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. “But Colorado Springs police are warning that jaywalking also is one of the most frequent causes of fatal crashes in the city — along with aggressive driving, impaired driving and street racing. Of the 35 fatalities reported to police through Wednesday, seven of them have involved pedestrians. In previous years, there have been as many as 11.”

“The use of body cameras by Durango Police Department officers is slated to begin in early November with a 30-day trial, and public comment on policies that will guide their use began with a town hall meeting,” reports The Durango Herald. “‘In a meeting with officers, the main question we got was: When are we going to get one,’ said Cmdr. Ray Shupe at the town hall held Wednesday at the Durango Community Recreation Center and attended by a half dozen residents.”

“School District 51’s Board of Education selected three finalists for the post of interim superintendent on Thursday, picking a former District 51 administrator and two former superintendents from the Roaring Fork Valley and Colorado Springs,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “Matt Diers, the former executive director of high schools and academic options for District 51, Norman Ridder, a former Colorado Springs superintendent, and Diana Sirko, a former Roaring Fork School District superintendent were all selected as finalists for the interim job.”

“Boulder County in July struck an agreement with the owner of the deserted and crumbling former Great Western Sugar Factory just southeast of Longmont that mandates upkeep of the property’s fencing and signage to deter trespassers,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “But county officials this week said the unsafe building remains uncompliant. The county’s focus on preventing people from entering the building sprung from two fires in the structure since 2016, including most recently on Dec. 25 last year. While firefighters determined the building was too unsafe to enter for investigating the cause of either blaze, Dick Thomas, the sugar factory’s owner since 1980, believes kids sparked them.”

“Two Ohio banks are out $15,800 after someone cashed four bad checks containing account information belonging to an account managed by the Routt County Treasurer’s Office,” reports The Steamboat Pilot. “‘The banks who cashed them are the ones that are out the money,’ Chief Deputy Treasurer Patrick Karschner said. On Aug. 29, three checks totaling $10,800 were cashed at Park National Bank. The next day, a fourth check for $5,000 was cashed at HTM Area Credit Union.”

“Following a full summer of stringent fire restrictions, Garfield County fire districts and the White River National Forest have decided to lift all restrictions for unincorporated private lands and area public lands starting Friday,” reports The Glenwood Springs Post-Independent. “Fire restrictions will no longer be in effect for unincorporated areas of the county, as well as municipalities and all lands within the Colorado River Valley Field office of the Bureau of Land Management. Other area counties and municipalities have also announced that restrictions have been lifted. According to the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, the joint decision was made by the county and public lands officials, along with the six fire districts serving Garfield County — Carbondale & Rural Fire Protection District, the Glenwood Springs Fire Department, Colorado River Fire Rescue, Grand Valley Fire, Gypsum Fire and the De Beque and Lower Valley Fire.”

“Mayoral candidate Larry Fancher will appear first on the November general election ballot and candidate Dennis Flores will appear in the 16th slot,” reports The Pueblo Chieftain. “The order in which the 16 mayoral candidates will appear on the ballot was determined Thursday morning at City Hall where the candidates each picked a number out of a box to see where their names would be listed. Before they picked their ballot position number, another drawing was held in which the candidates also chose numbers to determine in what order they would select their ballot position.”

“Kindergartner Justin Creque marched up to volunteer Cindy Gray and exclaimed, ‘I get a bike,’ then wrapped his arms around her neck,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “Justin was one of 200 students at Winona Elementary School who received brand new bikes and helmets Thursday through the nonprofit Wish for Wheels. Everyone enrolled in kindergarten, first and second grades at the school chose a shiny set of black and green wheels to take home. ‘It’s amazing,’ said Janesa Murray, whose daughter Amaia, a kindergartner, received a bike. ‘We are feeling very blessed. … Having a brand new bike is like Christmas.'”

“About two years ago, Ty Starks and his dozens of teammates on the Greeley West football team were each tasked with raising $1,700 in two years for a trip to Florida,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “How does a high school sophomore raise that kind of money? While raising money for last week’s season opener, this collection of mostly 16- and 17-year-olds did everything from collect old Christmas trees and turn them into mulch to babysitting for couples during Valentine’s Day. But for Starks — and no doubt many of his cohorts — the most gratifying, and perhaps the most fruitful, of the odd jobs was working with injured horses over the summer at a farm northwest of Greeley near Severance.”

“Nederland Town Marshal Larry Johns glanced outside his window earlier this week to look at the aspen — and noticed they seemed ‘more grey-black than green,'” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “Welcome to the onset of foliage season 2018, which in some areas appears to be starting early, but might not be quite the stuff of picture postcards, at least as compared to some other years. ‘We are seeing some yellowing, but not any real change,’ Johns said. ‘It looks like, to me, we are seeing drying of the leaf ends. I don’t think it’s going to be a good leaf season.'”

“Breckenridge’s parking ambassadors — the people who write the tickets — have issued more than twice the number of citations over previous years, even though the vast majority of those won’t ever get paid,” reports Summit Daily. “Contracting with a private company, Breckenridge turned over parking enforcement responsibilities to Interstate Parking in November. A couple positions were eliminated from the town’s community service department in the transition, though no workers were laid off thanks to reassignments and attrition.”

“Financing options for a proposed stormwater capital improvement plan were discussed during Wednesday’s General Government meeting. With three council members absent and two culvert studies pending, the committee agreed to meet again in mid-October to review the study results for the Hydraulic Ditch and Dawson Ranch, as well as to resume talks on financing options and potential projects,” reports The Cañon City Daily Record. “The total estimated amount to take care of all the city’s stormwater system improvements is about $75 million. City Administrator Tony O’Rourke said in order to take care of the problem without financing, stormwater fees would have to increase by 2,000 percent. To jumpstart the program, City Finance Director Harry Patel presented the option of investing $8 million in stormwater projects in 2019, 2020 and 2021 with incremental stormwater fee increases.”

“A magistrate set a $125,000 bond for an 18-year-old accused of killing another teen in Loveland, despite pleas from his stepfather for a lower amount,” reports The Coloradoan in Fort Collins. “Gabriel Jesus Romero Ventura is accused of shooting and killing 17-year-old Aric Whaley in the early morning hours of Tuesday in the 3000 block of North Duffield Avenue in Loveland. He appeared via video conference from the Larimer County Jail. Whaley died from a gunshot wound to the chest, according to Larimer County Coroner’s Office.”

“Michael Browning was a professor at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center when he started producing antibodies to use for his research in neuroscience,” reports The Denver Post. “The National Institutes of Health, which had provided funding, suggested he start commercial production so other scientists would have tools to study proteins and their connection to diseases. In the late 1980s, Browning’s inventory of antibodies was small enough to fit on one shelf of a freezer. Now, his company, PhosphoSolutions, produces more than 350 types of antibodies. The small vials are shipped to labs around the world. And instead of one shelf in one freezer, vials in stacks of metal boxes fill huge chest freezers in his company’s lab. Browning credits the Fitzsimons Innovation Community, a biosciences facility on the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, for allowing him to build the company while continuing to teach and conduct his research.”

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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