News Bites – June 3, 2021
Berthoud residents who live near Douglas Place and Eighth Street south of Berthoud High school were notified late Friday afternoon to shelter in place as police responded to an incident in the area.
Shortly after 5 p.m. Larimer County Sheriff’s Office responded to a 911 call made by a woman who stated her husband had slapped and choked her. Additionally, the woman said the man had put a pistol to her head and stated that if she attempted to contact law enforcement, he would have a “shootout” with them.
The reported threat made by the man along with information provided that the man was also in possession of an AR-15 rifle elicited the notification to residents to remain in their homes with doors and windows locked.
The man who was reportedly intoxicated emerged from the home independently and was taken into custody. Charges against the man include 2nd Degree Assault, Prohibited Use of a Firearm and Domestic Violence.
Residents received an all-clear notification around 6:30 p.m.
The Colorado state senate passed several bills Tuesday utilizing federal funding allocated to the state through the American Rescue Plan. Two of these policies will establish mechanisms to manage the influx of federal dollars. The third bill will preserve over $800 million for future investments following an interim stakeholder process this summer.
SB21-291 allocates $848 million for future legislative investments to be made following a community stakeholding process over the next six months. In addition, this bill allocates $40 million for small businesses grants economic development following the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as $10 million to incentivize small business development in rural Colorado and those that hire remote employees in rural areas of the state .”
SB21-288 creates the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 Cash Fund to hold $3.8 billion that the state is receiving from the Federal Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund. Additionally, this bill sets aside nearly $380 million from this fund to support the state highway and multimodal transportation infrastructure projects.
SB21-289 creates the Revenue Loss Restoration Cash Fund, which will receive $1 billion in federal funding and will go toward supporting K-12 education, housing, asset maintenance, seniors, criminal justice, state parks, agriculture, and transportation infrastructure in the 2022 legislative session. Overall, this legislation works to fortify the state budget and maintain fiscal integrity.
All three bills now head to the House for further consideration. To learn more about the legislation and track their status, visit leg.colorado.gov.
Monday the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment removed coronavirus restrictions on large indoor gatherings and updated face-covering requirements beginning Tuesday.
The face-covering order began in March 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic first hit the state.
The state’s new face-covering requirement applies to people 12 or older, who are eligible for the vaccine but are either unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated, according to the order. The face-covering requirement was first amended in mid-May, allowing people to go without masks at most Colorado businesses if they were vaccinated.
Individual businesses can still set their own, stricter rules but many have stopped requiring masks for customers.
Updates to the public health order include:
Modified face-covering requirements as follows:
- Changed face-covering requirements to start at age 12, reflecting the state’s vaccine-eligible population.
- Revised face-covering requirements to only apply to unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated individuals in settings such as schools, camps, Colorado Department of Motor Vehicle offices, prisons, jails, and other settings outlined in the order. This update clarified that patients, staff, and visitors in health care settings are included in these requirements.
- Changed the exemption age for face coverings to individuals age 11 and younger.
The changes also removed restrictions for large indoor gatherings and removed all references to the face-covering Executive Order as it expires.
The CDPHE continues to recommend that businesses and government offices provide work accommodations as needed while continuing to use practices like requiring masks.
Restrictions may be issued once more if hospital capacity exceeds 85%.
According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment more than 542,000 Colorado residents — nearly 10% of the population — has had a confirmed coronavirus infection since the state began tracking data in early 2020. The CDPHE also says 6,580 have died as a result of the virus.
The Colorado Supreme Court released its decision Monday in regards to Colorado’s independent redistricting commissions and an effort by lawmakers to influence the process from staying on track after a delay in finalized Census data.
The court ruled that Senate Bill 247, which was moving through the state legislature to have the commissioners use preliminary Census data to draw maps, was unconstitutional. Legally, the court said lawmakers cannot remove the authority of the independent commissions or influence them in any way. This decision also reaffirms the 2018 amendments Y and Z made to the state constitution voted on by Coloradans that established the new process of redistricting led by independent commissions.
The ruling rebuffs lawmakers, the governor, secretary of state and the attorney general who voiced support for a bill that would change this year’s redistricting process. The effort was ruled to be an unconstitutional infringement on the redistricting commissions’ authority to decide how to go about their once-a-decade effort of redrawing the state’s political maps.
After a decade of population growth, the state has gained an 8th Congressional District. This means the commissions will be responsible for redrawing what could be dramatically different boundaries from those that currently exist.
The commissions will have flexibility creating tentative electoral maps with the preliminary Census data and in doing so will be able to get feedback from the public.
In a statement released by the commissions, it was expressed that the members appreciated the court’s, “… acknowledgment of their work so far and its recognition of their independent authority.”
Colorado House Republican’s issued a statement on the ruling saying, “Coloradans deserve a truly independent redistricting process free from political influence or partisan gerrymandering. Our citizens are best served by many competitive districts where candidates must compete based on the value of their policies and not the partisan letter behind their name on the ballot.”
The commission will proceed with the process including joint public hearings on the preliminary maps throughout the state between July 7 and August 30. The process will be completed by December according to requirements set out in the state constitution.
For more information about the commissions and future meetings visit redistricting.colorado.gov.
Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park opened for the season. Due to melting snow on the road and the potential for freezing temperatures visitors should be prepared for icy conditions. Winter weather is forecast for higher elevations later this holiday weekend. Park visitors should be prepared to adjust travel plans accordingly and are encouraged to call the park’s Trail Ridge Road recorded phone line at (970) 586-1222. Park staff will update the recorded line when and if the road status changes.
Trail Ridge Road is the highest continuous paved road in the United States, climbs to 12,183 feet and connects the towns of Estes Park and Grand Lake.
National Park Service plow operators began clearing the snow in the middle of April. Crews from the west side of the park and crews from the east side of the park move along the road and eventually meet at the Alpine Visitor Center. The visitor center is the highest in the National Park Service, sitting at 11,796 feet above sea level. Spring storms often impact plowing activities. This year, crews ran into average or above average snowpack on the east side of the Continental Divide and lower than average snowpack on the west side of the Continental Divide.
The Alpine Visitor Center and Trail Ridge Store are also now open.
Rocky Mountain National Park has implemented a temporary timed entry permit reservation system which began, May 28. Park staff are managing for significant increases in visitation to public lands in Colorado, including Rocky Mountain National Park, along with continued Covid-19 concerns, ongoing park seasonal staff shared housing challenges, and residual fire impacts in some areas of the park from historic fires in 2020.
There are two types of reservations available. One permit is for the Bear Lake Road Corridor, which includes the entire corridor and access to the rest of the park. This reservation period is from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. The second permit is for the rest of Rocky Mountain National Park, excluding the Bear Lake Road corridor and includes Trail Ridge Road. This reservation period is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Permits issued using the reservation system will allow park visitors to enter the park within two-hour windows of availability. The reservation system will apply to all areas of the park. To learn more visit https://www.nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/timed-entry-permit-system.htm
Larimer County officials have indicated that they are beginning to see impacts from recent rain events in the Cameron Peak Fire Area. Impacts include: ash flows and heavier stream flows. As of Tuesday the upper end of Big Bear Road is no longer passable due to floodwaters. Community members have plans to work on the road when conditions improve. Officials are reminding residents and visitors to remain vigilant in and around the area as conditions can change rapidly.
Total Cases: 26,900 (+334 from last week)
Total Cases in Berthoud: 1,212 (+7 from last week)
Deaths: 249 (+0 from last week)
7-day case rate per 100k: 34
Hospital Utilization: 75%
ICU Utilization: 60%
7-Day test positivity rate: 1.5%
Risk Score: Low
COVID patients in hospital: 17 (-3 from last week)
*Case data as of Wednesday morning.
7.41% of the population of Larimer County has been reported to have contracted the virus. Deaths attributed to the virus comprise 0.93% of reported cases. Of reported deaths, 26% were age 75 to 84 and 48% were 85 and older.
As of Monday, 350,380 doses of the vaccines have been administered in Larimer County. 63.4% of county residents over the age of 16 have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
The State of Colorado announced this week that more than 3 million Coloradans and approximately 60.7% of those eligible, have been vaccinated with at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, with more than 2.5 million people fully immunized.
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