The Home Front: A judge’s ruling ‘is raising doubts’ about BLM plan for 100,000 acres of oil-and-gas leases

Your morning roundup of stories from the front pages of newspapers across Colorado

“A federal judge’s ruling is raising doubts about whether the Bureau of Land Management can proceed with offering more than 100,000 acres of oil and gas leases in greater sage-grouse habitat in northwest Colorado in December,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “It also could have broader implications because the judge challenged the agency’s limit on public comment opportunities on upcoming lease sales. That’s something that activists, local governments, Gov. John Hickenlooper and U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., all have been critical of in the case of the upcoming December Colorado sale, in which the BLM altogether is seeking to offer some 224,000 acres of leases, mostly in northwest Colorado.”

“About 20 parents and community members told the Greeley-Evans School District 6 Board of Education on Monday night they’re concerned about students’ safety as many students have to find alternative ways to reach their schools,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “Shortly after the 2016-2017 school year, District 6 decreased the number of bus routes offered for elementary and middle schools, and eliminated high school routes by increasing walk distance to three miles from the schools, due mainly to the lack of school bus drivers and funding, said Theresa Myers, director of communications for the district.”

“Boulder County commissioners spiked a decision Monday on whether to build a 100-to-150-foot telecommunications tower in east Boulder, plans at the center of a roadside protest last week, and instructed land use staff to reexamine alternative options previously abandoned over regulatory obstacles,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “The temporary halt — Monday’s motion vote did not specify when commissioners would return to the issue — comes as a relief for nearby residents who said the tower’s proposed location, at the northeast corner of a city-owned, 20-acre parcel just south of Arapahoe Road, about 4,000 feet west of Arapahoe and 75th Street, would mar one of the area’s most noted view corridors.”

“If Pueblo City Schools (D60) decides to consolidate and/or close schools, the policies dictating the process are now in place,” reports The Pueblo Chieftain. “During its regular September meeting, the board of education adopted, on second reading, the pair of policies, one new and the other an update of a long-standing policy. Although there was opportunity for public comment, no one addressed the board relating to the strategems.”

“The centuries-old search for the fountain of youth may finally be within your grasp,” reports The Glenwood Springs Post-Independent. “The length of one’s life comes down to how active you are, your diet, keeping a sharp mind and even how much you socialize. Nearly 100 Roaring Fork Valley residents came out for a panel discussion and to listen to guest speaker Tony Buettner of the “Blue Zones” at the Longevity Project event, presented by the Glenwood Springs Post Independent in the Morgridge Commons at Colorado Mountain College in downtown Glenwood Monday.”

“The Loveland City Council on Tuesday will discuss solutions to opioid addiction, suicide and homelessness, which a task force identified as the ‘top problems facing Loveland,'” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “During the study session, council will seek to define each problem, identify what is currently being done in the community to solve them, examine other communities’ successes and determine if similar approaches may work for Loveland, point out gaps in current care, and look at opportunities for the city of Loveland to play a role in reducing or eliminating the gaps in care.”

“Turnover of top managers and doctors at Southwest Memorial Hospital has become part of the challenge of an ongoing financial recovery process, officials say,” reports The Cortez Journal. “This year, management consulting firm Community Hospital Corp. was contracted by the hospital to conduct a financial audit and implement a corrective plan. Overstaffing was identified as a key issue, resulting in 40 layoffs in August. Current staff at the hospital is 380.”

“After sub-par early snow the past two seasons, a Vail Resorts plan to expand snowmaking on Vail Mountain is drawing mostly positive reviews from local business owners,” reports Vail Daily. “Buzz Schleper, owner of Buzz’s Boards in Vail Village, said the plan, which would expand snowmaking on the mountain, would add much-needed beginner and intermediate terrain in the early season.”

“A shooting of a Colorado state Senate candidate’s truck on Sept. 12 has raised questions about whether other reported shootings in Northwest Fort Collins are related,” reports The Coloradoan in Fort Collins.

“The Cañon City School Board filled its open seat during Monday’s meeting after Robin Reeser was appointed to replace Kristyn Econome, who resigned in August to accept a teaching position at Cañon City High School,” reports The Cañon City Daily Record. “‘I have been out of education for about four years,’ Reeser said. ‘I miss the kids, I miss making a difference, I miss all of it so this was just a really unique opportunity for me.’ Reeser has a background in both education and in finances as she has worked for the University of Houston, managing and creating budgets. Reeser went to Texas A&M, where she was the assistant controller and then promoted to assistant to the president of budget and finance.”

“A newly created resource center to support University of Colorado students is seeing more changes,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “This summer, university officials combined three resource centers into one — the Center for Inclusion and Social Change. Previously, the Cultural Unity and Engagement Center; Women’s Resource Center; and Gender and Sexuality Center had operated separately. Now, university officials are moving the center into the division of academic affairs from the division of student affairs — a move they said is meant to build student community and connect faculty and staff members with educational resources. They announced the change Monday.”

“As a child in Santa Fe, Daniel Chamberlain Lehman knew what he wanted to be when he grew up,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. “A military man. A protector of his country. One who serves a greater cause. ‘He cared so deeply about people and about freedom,’ his mother, Laurie Lehman, said last week. ‘He was a West Point type of guy, Army all the way. He was a patriot, and he wanted to serve his country, always.’ Police found the body of Army Capt. Daniel Lehman at the end of a trail of blood near East Costilla Street and South Wahsatch Avenue in Colorado Springs, a couple of blocks from where investigators believe he was shot about 2 a.m. Sept. 15.”

“The Cherry Creek School District will pay $11.5 million to five teenage girls who were sexually assaulted by a middle school teacher, making it one of the largest settlements in Colorado history involving a school’s failure to respond to reports of sex assault,” reports The Denver Post.

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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