The Home Front: Haven’t voted? Colorado’s county clerks say cast your ballots ‘early as possible today’

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

“County clerks across Colorado are asking residents who waited until Election Day to vote to cast their ballots as early as possible today, as an expected deluge of late-day voting may delay final results for a day — or longer,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “The deadline doesn’t hit until 7 p.m., but several clerks around the state, including Mesa County Clerk Sheila Reiner, are asking voters to turn in their ballots as soon as they can. “The earlier they can turn them in, the earlier we can give them the results,” Reiner said. ‘This might be the first time we will ever call it quits at midnight and come back on Wednesday to finish. I’m expecting that volume. We’ve always finished before midnight.'”

“Boulder and Larimer counties are at risk of losing out on a combined $70 million in reimbursements on 2013 flood recovery projects due to recently enacted Federal Emergency Management Agency rules, a Monday letter from four Colorado congressmen said,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “U.S. Sens. Michael Bennet and Cory Gardner, and Reps. Jared Polis and Ken Buck sent a joint letter to FEMA Administrator William Long urging the organization to reimburse Colorado counties for disaster recovery projects, and provide guidance to ensure pending projects are reimbursed. Boulder County could stand to lose between $40 million and $50 million, while another $20 million-worth of projects in Larimer County could be rejected “without greater flexibility and guidance” from FEMA, a news release said.”

“Operators of the 10 facilities in Weld County that reported the highest volume of greenhouse gases in 2017 work to bring Front Range residents energy, waste management and glass containers,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently released 2017 data from the greenhouse gas reporting program, with more than 7,500 facilities reporting 2.91 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent — about half of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, according to the EPA. In Weld, 25 facilities reported emitting a total of more than 4.3 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent.”

“The chairwoman of the Pueblo County Republican Party is challenging County Clerk Gilbert ‘Bo’ Ortiz over allowing voters to turn in more than 10 mail ballots at a time,” reports The Pueblo Chieftain. “Marla Reichert, GOP chairwoman, is complaining that county election officials aren’t enforcing the 10-ballot state law. When Colorado switched to mail ballot elections in 2013, a rule was added to say a voter could not turn in more than 10 ballots in an election. Presumably. that allows a person to turn in ballots for family members and friends, but bans wholesale ballot collecting or ‘harvesting.'”

“Questions have been raised both internally by Glenwood Springs’ mayor and externally by the current South Canyon Landfill operator, after City Council decided last week to bring the facility back into the hands of city staff,” reports The Glenwood Springs Post-Independent. “Council voted 5-1 at its Nov. 1 meeting to take over day-to-day operations of the landfill starting next spring, as opposed to contracting out to a private entity for management of the facility.”

“The traditions surrounding Veterans Day are something that Army veteran and longtime Steamboat Springs resident Jim Stanko never takes lightly,” reports The Steamboat Pilot. “It’s the day that we recognize the service of all of our veterans from Routt County and Steamboat Springs,” said Stanko, who served in Germany during the Vietnam War. “You know, people don’t realize this, but we have a pretty good military tradition in Steamboat Springs.” When events recognizing Veterans Day begin Wednesday, Nov. 7, Stanko said he will be overcome with a sense of pride — a feeling he not only shares with veterans from Steamboat but with soldiers from surrounding areas.”

“Platte River Power Authority officials heard a majority of Longmont residents at a meeting Monday night express a preference for 100 percent renewable energy, even if it means paying more in utility costs each month,” reported The Longmont Times-Call on the front page of The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “About 50 people attended the meeting at the Longmont Museum hosted by Platte River — the nonprofit, member-owned wholesale power provider for Longmont, Loveland, Fort Collins and Estes Park. The public forum was the third held by Platte River to gather feedback from residents of its member cities regarding its integrated resource plan, which will lay out the energy production resources the power provider will use for decades to come.”

“The maximum sentence of 89 years in the Department of Corrections was handed down Monday to the man who was found guilty earlier this year of an attempted execution-style shooting June 28, 2017, in Chandler,” reports The Pueblo Chieftain. “A jury delivered four guilty verdicts in August in the case of Matthew Smith, 27, who was found guilty on an attempt to commit first-degree murder after deliberation — Jacob Durand; first-degree assault – deadly weapon — Jacob Durand; menacing with a deadly weapon – Jeremy Jackson; and possession of a weapon by a previous offender.”

“The national office of the Sigma Pi fraternity on Monday said it’s trying to determine whether its Boulder chapter violated an order to cease operations after social media posts emerged suggesting the local members held a formal in Aspen over the weekend,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “The Sigma Pi fraternity in Boulder was temporarily suspended Thursday and ordered to cease operations as the national office launched an internal investigation following allegations that University of Colorado students were drugged while partying on Boulder’s University Hill. Police have said Sigma Pi is not a suspect in the drugging investigation.”

“The past week’s parade of impressive snow storms here in the High Country has resulted in such promising conditions that Vail Resorts’ two premier Summit County properties will open early — each for the first time in nearly a decade,” reports Summit Daily. “Both Breckenridge Ski Resort and Keystone Resort will open on Wednesday, rather than the originally-planned Friday, for the 2018-19 winter season. The resorts say up to five feet of snow has fallen across Breckenridge and Keystone since mid-October, with up to four feet of snow in the past week alone.”

“The Colorado Springs-based U.S. Olympic Committee, in an unprecedented move Monday, filed papers to revoke the charter of USA Gymnastics, blackballing the governing body from Olympic sport,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. “Slammed with scores of allegations of sexual assault against athletes, including the case of former gymnastics Dr. Larry Nassar, the governing body over gymnastics has faced increasing pressure for reform. The move by the USOC is considered the “nuclear option,” the strongest step it can take under its congressional charter. Essentially, the Colorado Springs committee will exercise direct control over gymnastics in the absence of a governing body.”

“Colorado State Patrol Sgt. Dave Evridge sounded tired,” reports Vail Daily. “The first big blast of winter in this part of the Rockies stretched resources thin along this part of the Interstate 70 corridor. The wintry blast resulted in numerous accidents and several road closures. On the evening of Sunday, Nov. 4, the State Patrol took the unusual step of stopping all vehicles headed eastbound on I-70 to check their tires. No one was turned around, but troopers checked tires and asked those without all-wheel-drive, four-wheel-drive or without good snow tires on front-wheel-drive vehicles to wait a while so other vehicles could work the road surface into something more driveable.”

“In the era of #MeToo and increased media attention on complaints of sexual harassment and sexual assault, the city of Fort Collins is now tracking the number of sexual harassment complaints it receives each year,” reports The Coloradoan in Fort Collins. “A Coloradoan investigation earlier this year showed that more than half of the county’s public employers, including the city of Fort Collins, either did not track or would not release data on sexual harassment complaints. As part of that investigation, the city said complaints weren’t kept in one location and staff needed more time to review whether disclosure would be appropriate under state law.”

“Today is Election Day, the last day to turn in ballots for the 2018 midterm elections,” reports The Cortez Journal.

“When 23-year-old Curt Baker had two buddies visiting from Arkansas over to his new Denver digs last week, he knew there was one spot everyone had to check out: the Denver Central Library,” reports The Denver Post. “‘I’ve only lived here about a month, but I love the connections and public resources available here at the library,” Baker said Friday afternoon at the public library’s downtown location. “We all really like libraries, so I thought I’d show my friends while we explore the city.” Baker has joined social events at the Denver Central Library that encourage conversations over coffee and donuts, and is using the downtown location’s printers and free Wi-Fi as he applies for jobs.”

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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