The Home Front: Hickenlooper touts ‘an improved view of Colorado across the nation as his biggest accomplishment’ on ‘farewell tour’

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

“Gov. John Hickenlooper touted an improved view of Colorado across the nation as his biggest accomplishment in his two terms,” reports The Durango Herald. “Hickenlooper, who leaves office in 83 days, met with The Durango Herald editorial board and reporters Thursday in Durango as part of what amounts to a farewell tour. ‘I think we have transformed the way we think about the state,’ he said. ‘We’ve transformed the culture to be more pro-business but with high standards that protect our values.'”

“The circumstances surrounding a pair of deaths this past Saturday in Greeley — an overnight vehicle stay, a fire to stay warm — are well known, officials say, even with a variety of overnight shelter options available,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “Weld County Coroner Carl Blesch has not released the official manners or causes of death for Romero Martinez and Martina Salazar, but he said it appeared they might have inhaled carbon monoxide emitted from a fire started inside a car they were sleeping in overnight. ‘Carbon monoxide produced by fires started inside vehicles, tents and other structures to provide warmth are a well-known cause of sudden death in cold weather,’ Blesch stated in a news release.”

“Matt Soper, the Republican candidate for House District 54, may not live where he says he lives, raising questions about whether he is qualified to represent the district and whether he’s committed voter fraud,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “Since entering the race to replace outgoing Rep. Yeulin Willett, R-Grand Junction, for the district that includes most of Mesa County and the western half of Delta County, Soper has claimed to live at 10 Hartig Drive in Delta.”

“Some Colorado high school students can now guarantee their admission to the University of Colorado’s School of Education for next year,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “CU partnered with two concurrent enrollment programs, Teacher Cadet and Pathways2Teaching, to extend the admissions guarantee, according to a CU news release Thursday. Both programs offer college readiness courses and a way for students to learn about teaching as a career path. To qualify for the admissions guarantee, students must be in good standing within their programs; meet both Colorado Commission on Higher Education admission requirements and the university’s minimum academic preparation standard curriculum; maintain a B- or higher in Teacher Cadet or Pathways2Teaching courses; have a weighted high school grade-point average of 3.0 or higher; earn an ACT composite score of 22 or higher or SAT score of 1110 or higher; and complete the CU application process by Jan. 15.”

“Glenn Arnold had a good vantage point as he stood on a knoll Thursday, Oct. 18, and watched as his family’s now-iconic barn as it was moved to become the new gateway to Steamboat Resort,” reports The Steamboat Pilot. “I didn’t think they could do it,” Arnold said. “That’s a huge project. Something that old, it could have fell apart.” Glenn and his wife, Helen Arnold, said they wished Glenn’s older brother, Gerald Arnold, could have been there to see the final fate of the old dairy barn, which was built in 1928. Gerald died in September 2017.”

“A man engaged in a standoff with law enforcement officials outside of Breckenridge was peacefully taken into custody on Thursday afternoon, ending a more than 15-hour stalemate with members of the Summit County Sheriff’s Office,” reports Summit Daily. “The sheriff’s office received a call at about 9:50 on Wednesday night from a concerned family member requesting a welfare check on a man living on Shekel Lane in unincorporated Summit County north of Breckenridge. The family member told officers that the man was heavily intoxicated, and threatening to harm himself and neighbors, Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons said. The suspect’s name has not been released.”

“The plans to put a homeless shelter at the three-story Bargain Box building at 331 E. Fourth St. and a smaller close-by building at 505 N. Chester Ave. are no more,” reports The Pueblo Chieftain. “City Council was supposed to have a public hearing and final reading of an ordinance to purchase the buildings and transform them into a homeless shelter on Monday night, but City Manager Sam Azad said on Thursday that will not be taking place now.”

“Hotels in Loveland continue to lead the state in occupancy levels, with the city showing Colorado’s highest occupancy rate year-to-date in September,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “Through September, 78.6 percent of the hotel rooms in the city have been in use this year, according to the monthly Rocky Mountain Lodging Report from the Colorado Hotel and Lodging Association. In second place, year to date, is Denver at 76.7 percent, while Greeley is in third at 76.6 percent.”

“Political spending in Colorado races already has hit a record this cycle with more than two weeks still remaining before all ballots are cast,” reports The Denver Post. “Statewide, candidates, political action committees and groups pushing ballot measures have pulled in $186 million since December, according to a Denver Post analysis of campaign finance reports. The previous record was the nearly $154 million collected in the 2014 election cycle.”

“Firefighters knew it was arson before they were on the scene. Big fires in the dark create a foreboding glow,” reports Vail Daily. “In the cold, clear pre-dawn hours of Monday, Oct. 19, 1998, three buildings and four chairlifts atop Vail Mountain were engulfed in arson fires set by a group of eco-terrorists called The Family that was associated with the Earth Liberation Front. Almost before the smoke cleared, the FBI was calling it the “the worst act of eco-terrorism in the United States.”

“Jared Polis and Walker Stapleton, the two major party candidates for Colorado governor, debated a number of issues at Colorado State University on Wednesday night,” reports The Coloradoan in Fort Collins. The debate was moderated by 9News journalists Kyle Clark and Marshall Zelinger. The goal, Clark said at the start of the debate, was to get the candidates to go into more detail on various plans and policies. Moderators asked candidates specific questions. Here’s what the candidates said.”

“Ten years before there was NASA, a collection of ambitious scientists at the University of Colorado clustered at the physics building were pioneering studies of Earth’s upper atmosphere with the use of V-2 rockets under the auspices of the aptly named Upper Air Lab,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “Daniel Baker, director of CU’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, recalled an amusing cartoon drawn many years ago by George Gamow, the Russian-born theoretical physicist and cosmologist who ended his remarkable career at CU highlighting how crowded the physics department was becoming. Gamow sent it to the university president’s office with a note cautioning, ‘It’s going to get worse.'”

“The last Fort Carson brigade left in Colorado Springs will head to the Middle East next spring, the Army announced Thursday,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. “The 3rd Brigade Combat Team will take its 4,000 troops and 72-ton M-1 tanks to Kuwait, where they will add firepower to the fight with Islamic State militants in the region and help train America’s Middle Eastern allies as part of Operation Spartan Shield.”

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.