Hikers report Hanging Lake isn't overcrowded
Surveys indicate that most hikers to a popular scenic Colorado lake say they don't think the trail is too crowded.
A survey conducted of 1,100 people after they hiked to Hanging Lake in Glenwood Canyon shows that more than 95% did not think it was overcrowded.
May was the first month access to the site has been limited to 615 visitors per day under a management plan that aimed to reduce crowding and protect the ecosystem.
The Forest Service and Glenwood Springs contracted H2O Ventures to operate a shuttle and reservation system for the site.
Ken Murphy of H2O says the shuttle drops off no more than 44 people at the trailhead every 45 minutes, so the crowd spreads out as they hike.
GLENWOOD SPRINGS POST INDEPENDENT
Teachers' unions sue over hiring of outside schools manager
Two teachers’ unions have filed a lawsuit against Adams County School District 14 and the Colorado State Board of Education over the hiring of a private company to manage the troubled district’s schools.
The state board had ordered Adams 14 to find a manager for its persistently low-performing schools, with the possibility of turning them into charter schools if the district didn’t comply.
Adams 14 initially chose Mapleton Public Schools as its manager, but the state board deemed Mapleton unprepared for the job and directed Adams 14 to choose a different partner.
The district selected MGT Consulting, a company that has done some turnaround work, in partnership with the University of Virginia and Schools Cubed, another private group.
Adams 14 will pay at least $8 million to its partners over four years, with the possibility of paying out another $1.7 million in incentives, according to the lawsuit filed by the statewide Colorado Education Association and the local School District 14 Classroom Teachers’ Association.
The unions’ lawsuit claims the state board overstepped its authority by requiring Adams 14 to hand over control of its schools to a third party, and that Adams 14’s school board members failed in their duty to constituents by “willfully abdicating.”
State board Chairwoman Angelika Schroeder and Vice Chairman Steve Durham expressed frustration with the lawsuit, and said the board had followed the law.
Forest Service rescinds chain saw use in Colorado wilderness
The U.S. Forest Service has canceled a decision to use chain saws to clear trees killed by bark beetles in two wilderness areas in southwestern Colorado.
Rocky Mountain Regional Forester Brian Ferebee announced the decision in a letter to forest supervisors Monday, citing reports of avalanches blocking trails in the Weminuche and South San Juan wilderness areas.
The agency in May authorized the motorized equipment, prompting a lawsuit by conservation groups that claimed chain saws in wilderness areas would violate law.
San Juan Citizens Alliance Executive Director Mark Pearson says they will dismiss the lawsuit following the announcement.
Ferebee says the decision has been rescinded until the agency's "assessed needs are completed."
Schools bring free lunches to kids on school buses
It turns out there is such a thing as a free lunch, and it rolls in for needy Aurora kids through the end of June.
Through June 28, Aurora Public Schools is offering a new way for taking advantage of the district's Free Summer Food Service Program with their mobile cafes.
In addition to regular summer School Cafe sites, three modified school buses tour Aurora every day, arriving at designated spots, varying from city parks to APS school campuses, according to district officials.
The mobile cafes offer hot and cold meal options, such as pizza and corn dogs or a variety of sandwiches. Fruits and veggies are served with meals, too.
School officials say the best part about this program is that it is for everyone, APS student or not.
Angelica Ramirez has brought her kids to the bus at the Dalton Elementary School stop three times this summer. Ramirez said the Free Summer Food Service program helps with keeping her kids eating habits consistent and similar to their eating schedules while attending school during the school year.
Time of change brings new military leaders
Welcome to summer, when flowers bloom and the military brings in new bosses.
At Fort Carson, several brigades have gotten new commanders recently and its hospital has a pair of new leaders.
One Fort Carson brigade even got a new boss while stationed overseas. The 3rd Brigade Combat team held a change of command ceremony amid the Kuwaiti desert.
Col. Michael J. Simmering took the 4,000-soldier unit to Kuwait late last year for a nine-month tour. He handed the unit’s top job to Col. Grant S. Fawcett, a veteran soldier who led a squadron of the 8th Cavalry Regiment before taking the Fort Carson job.
Fort Carson’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team also got new leaders this month. Col. Dave Zinn and Command Sgt. Maj. Vincent Simonetti handed command of the brigade to Col. Scott Knight and Command Sgt. Maj. Steve Chandler.
At Fort Carson’s Public Health Activity, Col. Matthew Enroth traded the top job with Lt. Col. Gregory Reppas. And the post’s 627th Hospital Center saw Col. Mark Stevens pass command of the Hospital Center to Col. Hope Williamson-Younce.
The Army’s not alone in make a string of changes. The Air Force Academy got a new commandant of cadets in Brig. Gen. Michele Edmondson, and Col. Brian Hartless took over the school’s 10th Air Base Wing from Col. Shawn Campbell.
THE GAZETTE, COLORADO SPRINGS
November hearing for suspect in school attack
A judge has scheduled a November preliminary hearing for a 16-year-old suspect in a shooting at a Highland Ranch that killed one student and injured eight others.
The Douglas County District Court hearing for Alec McKinney will be held Nov. 18, a judge in Castle Rock decided.
McKinney and 18-year-old Devon Erickson face murder and attempted murder counts in the May 7 shooting at STEM School Highlands Ranch.
Police say the teens opened fire with handguns in two classrooms.
An 18-year-old student, Kendrick Castillo, was killed when he and two classmates tackled one of the shooters.
Both suspects have been charged as adults. Neither has entered a plea.
Prosecutors have not discussed a motive for the attack, and the judge has sealed the court files.
Columbine survivor, addiction speaker died of drug overdose
A coroner has determined a Columbine High School massacre survivor and addiction recovery advocate died of a drug overdose.
The Routt County Coroner's Office says an autopsy determined the death in May of 37-year-old Austin Eubanks resulted from a heroin overdose.
Officials say Eubanks was found by his father May 18 in his Steamboat Springs home.
The coroner's report says the death was an accident caused by "acute heroin toxicity."
The report says Eubanks had a history of opioid addiction and illicit drug abuse.
Eubanks survived a gunshot wound but lost his best friend in the 1999 mass shooting at Columbine High in Jefferson County.
He became a nationally recognized addiction and recovery speaker after overcoming his own struggle with painkillers.