Berthoud Weekly Surveyor | Covering all the angles in the Garden Spot

News Bites – December 29, 2022

By: Amber McIver-Traywick | The Surveyor | December 30, 2022 | Local News

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is monitoring an increase in pediatric hospitalizations caused by group A strep. Group A strep is a bacteria that can cause many different infections. As the Department has been following recent increases in other illnesses , CDPHE is working with hospital partners in a coordinating role to ensure resources are available for those who need them.

Recent cases range in age from 10 months to 6 years, but anyone of any age can get group A strep. CDPHE is aware of two deaths among these cases. Both were young children who were not yet school-aged. The last reported death in a pediatric patient with group A strep in Colorado was in 2018.

Group A strep commonly causes sore throat, a mild and common condition that can be easily treated. While rare, invasive group A strep infections are severe and cause diseases like pneumonia, sepsis, toxic shock syndrome, and a serious skin and tissue infection called necrotizing fasciitis. An invasive infection occurs when bacteria like group A strep move beyond the throat or skin, where they are likely to cause mild infection, and enter the bloodstream, lungs, fluid in the spinal cord, or other places inside the body they would not typically live.

“While they remain rare, CDPHE is seeing invasive group A strep infections in Colorado that cause severe illness,” said Dr. Rachel Herlihy, state epidemiologist, CDPHE.  Health officials are asking people to stay home when they are sick and practice good hand hygiene — regularly washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol and avoid touching your face. They also recommend calling your child’s doctor if they are experiencing new or worsening symptoms of an illness.

In addition to sore throat, symptoms of group A strep may include fever and chills, or new rashes, skin bumps, or red patches of skin that may be painful. Some severe group A strep infections may occur as a complication of common respiratory infections like RSV, flu, or COVID-19. People should call their child’s health care provider immediately if they develop new or worsening symptoms during their respiratory infection. Early treatment is critical to keeping initial group A strep infections mild and from progressing to more serious illnesses it can cause.

CDPHE is also investigating an increase in reports of other severe or invasive bacterial infections among children, including those due to Streptococcus pneumoniae and Staphylococcus aureus. Cases of Invasive Pneumococcal Disease (IPD), a serious infection caused by the bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae, have also increased in Colorado since Nov. 1. IPD may also be a complication or secondary infection following common respiratory viral infections such as COVID-19, flu, or RSV.


Last Thursday, Governor Jared Polis announced that he had granted clemency to 24 individuals, including 4 commutations and 19 pardons.  The Governor also granted one individual a commutation and a pardon.

The Governor granted commutations to Michael Clifton, Sidney Cooley, Robin Farris, and Sean Marshall. Mr. Clifton and Mr. Marshall are granted parole effective January 31, 2023, with terms and conditions of parole to be set by the Parole Board. Mr. Cooley is granted parole no earlier than January 31, 2023, on a date appropriate based on the completion of his re-entry plan in Colorado, with terms and conditions of parole to be set by the Parole Board. He will be permitted to serve his parole period in Ohio if approved under the Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision. Ms. Farris will be parole eligible on January 31, 2023.

The Governor granted pardons to Vicente Antillon, Marla Bautista, Jay Biesemeier, Wendy Biesemeier, William Bray, Joseph Burns, Daniel Collins, Carey Davidson, Samuel DeBono, Caleb Haley, Mark Harmon, Walter Hooton, Charles Hurlburt, Tell Jones, John Krause, Terrence Miller, Steven Thomas, Staci Tillman, and Ryan Tomka.

The Governor granted a commutation and pardon to Jay Hemphill.

In 2019, Governor Polis re-created the Executive Clemency Advisory Board. The Board reviews clemency applications and makes recommendations to the Governor for commutations and pardons.


Weld County’s assessed value was set at an all-time high reaching $18.7 billion in August, marking a more than $6 billion increase from 2021. Weld County Assessor Brenda Dones attributed the jump to global decisions on oil and gas causing the combined price of the commodity to rise 80%, fueling the higher value. The increase in assessed value was the county’s first since 2019 when the value reached $15.7 billion.

“A strong assessed value helps us meet our goal of providing the best services possible to residents,” said James.


New Years Day participating Colorado state parks will offer unique opportunities to get outdoors and learn about nature with guided hikes, scavenger hunts, prizes and more.

First Day Hikes are a chance to get a jump start on your New Year’s resolutions by exercising in nature and experiencing the beautiful outdoor resources that Colorado has to offer. Participating state parks offer unique opportunities to get outdoors and learn about nature with guided hikes, scavenger hunts, prizes and more.

For a list of participating parks and find the closest 2023 Frist Day Hike event near you visit  


As holiday road trips continue through the New Year’s Eve weekend, the Colorado Department of Transportation advises travelers to be prepared for treacherous road conditions throughout western and southern Colorado. Winter weather advisories and warnings have been posted by the National Weather Service Grand Junction office. All mountain passes along the Western Slope will be impacted by waves of several systems resulting in periods of unsettled weather beginning tonight and continuing through the new year. Significant snowfall and high winds will create areas of blowing and drifting snow. Visibility may be limited making travel difficult. Communities along lower-elevation highway corridors will also experience unfavorable travel conditions.


A collaborative process lasting more than two years between the Weld County Department of Information Technology, Public Safety Communications, the Sheriff’s Office and 42 first responder agencies countywide has resulted in the implementation of new technology that will bring efficiencies to public safety response.

CentralSquare features a new computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system as well as record management and booking software, all of which will enhance workflow and communication between the county’s public safety departments and first responder agencies, enhancing the quality of services the public receives.

“This investment by the county is a huge benefit to residents,” said Commissioner Mike Freeman, Coordinator of the county IT Department. “The tools the new system brings to our law, fire and EMS agencies, as well as dispatch, makes their jobs a bit easier. And the fact so many entities came together to make this transition smooth speaks to the commitment agencies across this county have for serving residents in the best way possible.”

The Weld County Department of Information Technology was integral in the installation and training of the software. In fact, the department spent more than 13,000 hours on the project.


related Local News