The Home Front: The free drinking water mystery well near Cripple Creek will stay open until April

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

“A free artesian well at Gillette Flats near Cripple Creek will stay open until April to give thousands of users time to find alternative water sources, the state Division of Natural Resources announced Monday,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. “Instead of capping the spigot and removing the water tank from South Colorado 67 at mile marker 57 in November, as planned, the state will stop the supply in April, said Bill Tyner, water engineer with the Colorado Division of Natural Resources. ‘We had solid indication that some homeowners were attempting to get permitted wells drilled and were running into delays due to the drillers’ work schedules,’ Tyner said.”

“A trip to Weld County Motor Vehicle Department in the past two and a half months, for most residents, has meant waiting in line for two to three hours to see a clerk,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “On the other side of the desk, the clerks have been spending more time at the office, too, working longer hours to adjust to a new statewide computer system implemented by the Colorado Division of Revenue in August. That extra time is adding up, Weld County Finance Director Don Warden said Monday in a special Board of Weld County Commissioners work session. In September, the Weld County Clerk and Recorder’s Office used 974 hours of overtime, he said, which is the equivalent of more than five full-time positions. As of Sept. 30, the department has spent $185,542 on overtime, averaging about $28,ooo per month.”

“It’s clear, after the city of Longmont’s second community conversation regarding homelessness, that people have no shortage of ideas for addressing the homelessness crisis,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “But, amid funding cuts at the state and federal level what service providers say they need most is money. ‘There isn’t a lot of money out there for this,’ said Edwina Salazar, executive director of Our Center, a homeless outreach center based in Longmont. ‘A lot of community members are complaining about the homeless that are on the streets, but it’s going to take their agreement to create more funds to address the issue. A lot of the funding that’s been cut over the years is from the federal level and to come up with other solutions is really difficult. I know there are some jurisdictions on the West Coast that are creating new taxes, but it’s going take to buy in from the whole community.'”

“A 55-year-old Arkansas hunter was rescued from the Flat Tops Wilderness Area near Meeker after being trampled by a horse he was leading,” reports The Steamboat Pilot. “Routt County Search and Rescue assisted the Rio Blanco Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement, Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the Meeker Fire Department in rescuing the man, said Search and Rescue volunteer Delbert Bostock.”

“Judging from the name on the building, one might think what goes on inside is centered on art. It’s called the Veterans Art Center, after all,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel.

“Pueblo County ballots were mailed Monday and now it’s up to voters to check their mailboxes and make their selections no later than Election Day,” reports The Pueblo Chieftain. “There are 40,125 registered Democrats and 25,106 registered Republicans. There are 32,638 unaffiliated voters. In local races and matters, citizens will be deciding on a mayor, a new county commissioner, a county coroner and an assortment of ballot issues. Statewide, they will be deciding on their next governor, whether to increase state taxes to fund public schools, and numerous other issues.”

“One person was transported to Medical Center of the Rockies on Monday morning after his or her car rolled into the Big Thompson River near Sulzer Gulch west of Loveland,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “According to Loveland Fire Rescue Authority Operations Chief Greg Ward, dive teams were dispatched at 10:34 a.m. to a bridge on County Road 29, where the road crosses the Big Thompson River. Firefighters and a Thompson Valley EMS ambulance arrived on scene to find a silver Pontiac Vibe upright in approximately 2 feet of water.”

“Ute Mountain Utes elected Alston Turtle and Selwyn Whiteskunk to the Tribal Council during a well attended election Friday, according to unofficial results,” reports The Cortez Journal. “Sixteen candidates threw their hats into the ring, and the top two vote-getters earned three year terms. Turtle had the most support, earning 195 votes. Whiteskunk garnered the second-highest tally with 90 votes, winning by just 12 votes over Blair House Sr.”

“Boulder is working toward buying a $9 million piece of land to relocate an old fire station, but a developer of long-planned townhomes on the site is suing the city to stop the deal from closing, accusing his business partner and city officials of thwarting the project,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “The move comes one day before city council was scheduled to give the OK for the sale to proceed.”

“The Garfield County Board of County Commissioners selected the 2019 Human Services grant recipients on Monday, as around two dozen local organizations received a total of $482,000 in funding,” reports The Glenwood Springs Post-Independent. “The county received just over $900,000 in Human Services grant requests. Another 14 organizations that submitted requests did not receive them.”

“Cañon City’s Sears Hometown Store will not be affected by the recent bankruptcy announcement by Sears Holdings,” reports The Cañon City Daily Record. “USA Today reported that Sears Holdings plans to close another 142 unprofitable stores, as part of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy, on top of 46 store closings announced in August. Liquidation sales at the additional stores are expected to begin within two weeks, according to a court filing. John Hazen, the owner of Sears Hometown Store that is located at 1700 Rainbow Drive, said Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores, Inc. has not filed for bankruptcy and is not part of the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing by Sears Holdings Corporation.”

“’The OEHHA chronic benzene REL considers several studies published after USEPA’s 2002 benzene assessment, which found increased efficiency of benzene metabolism at low doses, decreased peripheral blood cell counts at low doses (800−1860 μg/m3)…’ reports The Denver Post. “It takes another 20 words — with terms like “metabolic enzymes” and “benzene detoxification” — to close out this sentence from a recent University of Colorado study that looked at the potential health impacts of Front Range oil and gas operations. Thousands of equally abstruse passages fill hundreds of other studies from around the world examining the effects of drilling and hydraulic fracturing on human health. Welcome to the science behind Proposition 112, the oil and gas setbacks measure that will likely be among the most complex ballot issues to ever go before Colorado voters.”

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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