Friday, September 18, 2020
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Latest Colorado news, sports, business and entertainment at 5:20 p.m. MDT

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VIRUS OUTBREAK-COLORADO

Colorado sees uptick in coronavirus cases as state reopens

DENVER (AP) — Health officials say Colorado is experiencing an uptick in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations as the state gradually reopens its economy. Dr. Rachel Herlihy, the state epidemiologist, said Friday about 4% of people being tested have the coronavirus, and those who have the disease infect about one other person on average. The number of positive cases peaked in mid- to late-April and declined as health officials encouraged people to wear face coverings and to maintain social distancing. Now, with Colorado’s stay-at-home order lifted, Herlihy says the state is seeing a steady increase in infections.

COLORADO BEEF PLANT-PAY DISPUTE

JBS workers walk off job at beef plant over pay dispute

GREELEY, Colo. (AP) — Employees walked off the fabrication floor at the JBS Swift beef plant in northern Colorado as part of a dispute over pay for a certain group of workers. The Greeley Tribune reports Friday afternoon’s protest at the facility involved a pay dispute by the “black hat” cadre of workers on the fabrication floor. It’s unclear exactly how many workers walked off the floor at the Greeley plant. Several workers told the newspaper the black hat position is paid better at the Cargill plant in Fort Morgan, and these employees want to be paid equally. Different color hats at the facility indicate position or supervisory role.

BEAR ATTACKS HOMEOWNER

Homeowner undergoes surgery after bear attack in Colorado

ASPEN, Colo. (AP) — Wildlife officials in Colorado have located and killed a bear believed to have been involved in a home break-in and attack, injuring the homeowner. The Aspen Times reported that Colorado Parks and Wildlife said a team with tracking dogs located the bear on the backside of Aspen Mountain before tracking it to a mine shaft and killing it. DNA from the bear was sent to a lab to verify it was the same bear involved in the break-in. Department officials say the homeowner was scheduled for surgery after a bear broke into his home through the front door and swiped a paw at the man. His injuries are not life-threatening.

RACIAL INJUSTICE-ELIJAH MCCLAIN

Aurora officers fired for reenacting chokehold file appeals

DENVER (AP) — Two Colorado police officers fired for a photo reenacting a chokehold used on a Black man arrested last year are appealing their terminations. Aurora police officers Kyle Dittrich and Erica Marrero were fired last week after Aurora police released a photo showing them and another officer smiling as they reenacted the chokehold their colleagues used on Elijah McClain. The other officer resigned. The city says the appeals were filed Wednesday. A city spokesperson says the Aurora Civil Service Commission will hold hearings and decide whether to uphold the interim police chief’s disciplinary action or reduce it.

AP-US-RACIAL-INJUSTICE-DOCTOR-GUN

Video shows officer point gun at doctor on his own property

A Colorado police department where officers were fired after re-enacting the chokehold death of a young Black man is under scrutiny again after video emerged of an officer pulling a gun on a doctor trying to park at a refugee center he operates. Police body camera video released by Dr. P.J. Parmar’s lawyer as well as Parmar’s own cellphone video show a white Aurora police officer pointing a gun at Parmar, who is Indian American, after Parmar honked at the officer’s police car parked in his way. The incident took place in March, but Parmar posted the video to social media in May. It has received more views since nationwide protests broke out over police brutality. Aurora police declined to comment, citing an internal investigation.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-COLORADO

Colorado unveils coronavirus modeling tool for public

DENVER (AP) — Colorado’s Gov. Jared Polis unveiled a publicly available coronavirus modeling tool at a press conference Thursday. The website allows users to input their own parameters such as percentage of people wearing masks or social distancing to predict the COVID-19 infection rate. It’s available at ColoradoCoronavirusModel.com. Polis said people can create scenarios like what happens if the 20-somethings still party but the 68-year-olds all stay at home. Colorado has seen an increase in the rate of new coronavirus infections for the first time since April. Tthe department reported 1,484 additional cases the week ending June 21.

POLICE REFORM-COLORADO

Denver suburb vows to protect police from lawsuit costs

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. (AP) — A Denver suburb is promising to pay all legal costs for police officers accused of misconduct in reaction to Colorado’s new police accountability law. Greenwood Village passed a resolution Monday that says it will never find that a police officer acted in bad faith. That protects officers from a provision of the law which requires officers to pay up to 5% or $25,000 of any judgement in a lawsuit if they were believed to have knowingly violated the law. One bill supporter, Republican Sen. Bob Gardner, said he thought the resolution was an “attempted end run” around an important part of the law.

OFFICER INVESTIGATED-VIDEO

Colorado police investigate comments on demonstration video

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Police in Colorado are conducting an internal investigation of an officer accused of calling for protesters to be killed in comments during a live social media broadcast. The Gazette reports news channel KRDO-TV notified the Colorado Springs Police Department last week it received a tip about commentary posted during a video stream of a Black Lives Matter demonstration in the city. Demonstrators blocked Interstate Highway 25 for about 30 minutes while calling for an end to racial injustice and police brutality. The Facebook account has since been deleted. Department spokesman Lt. Jim Sokolik would not confirm the accused officer’s name.

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