The Eating Recovery Center Denver building, on Monday, March 13, 2023, in Denver, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/Denver Gazette)

Today is March 20, 2023 and here is what you need to know:

In Colorado, one in 10 residents will be diagnosed with an eating disorder in their lifetime, with many more going undiagnosed, according to the Denver-based Eating Disorder Foundation. Nationally, around 9% of Americans experience eating disorders, with the most common being anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder. 

Eating disorders are the second-deadliest mental illness, beat only by opioid-related deaths, according to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders. Those with anorexia are 18 times more likely to die by suicide, with suicide being the second-leading cause of death for the disorder, a 2018 study found. 

The issue of eating disorders has only been exacerbated since the COVID-19 pandemic. The Eating Disorder Foundation in Denver said its average monthly sign-ups for support groups have increased 1,000% since 2019. Emergency room visits for eating disorders among teen girls nearly doubled nationally during the pandemic, and the Eating Recovery Center in Colorado similarly reported a “remarkable” uptick in patients in the last three years, particularly among teens and children. 

A clash among powerful developers and dark money donors has started to dominate the Colorado Springs mayoral and city council elections, with new mailers and ads over access to city water hitting TV and mailboxes in recent days. 

For example, a new ad backing mayoral candidate Wayne Williams presents him as a defender of city water, while depicting another mayoral front-runner, Sallie Clark, as "in the pocket of" county land-speculators and opposed to the city's new water rule, which could limit annexation. 

Another ad attacks Williams for his support of that same rule, which could give Norwood Development Group, the owner of 18,000 acres of Banning Lewis Ranch, more guaranteed access to city water. Both ads were funded through committees with untraceable donations. 

The controversial rule requires Colorado Springs Utilities to have a 128% buffer of water needed to serve the city and any future land annexations. It has split developers based on whether they will benefit or not and they are now weighing in with campaign dollars.

While the city of Aurora already implemented drought restrictions for 2023, next door, the city of Denver doesn’t expect to declare a drought this year.

The tale of two cities left some in Aurora scratching their heads, and the city's drought restrictions garnered pushback from at least two of the city's councilmembers.

Aurora's drought declarations are occurring at time when western states are scrambling to save the Colorado River system, which is beset by two decades of drought and over appropriation that have put the system upon which 40 million people rely in a precarious condition, threatening the region’s viability. In response to the crisis, major municipal and public water providers, including Aurora, have outlined and implemented actions to conserve water use, among them turf replacement programs.

Aurora approved Stage I drought restrictions in February, which take effect in May, the time most people start turning on sprinklers. The goal is to reduce water use in the city by 20%. Under the rules, residents should not water their lawns more than two days a week.

Colorado public health officials vaulted to prominence three years ago when residents started to sicken and die of COVID-19, kicking off a pandemic that would spark fierce, even violent political debate and offer clear lessons for the future. 

At the outset, the outpouring of response was vast and relatively harmonious. Crafters made thousands of masks, local colleges made 3-D printed face shields, pilots flew badly needed personal protective equipment to rural hospitals in dire straits. Residents beat together pots and pans or howled outdoors at 8 p.m. to demonstrate noisy support for health care workers.

Moreover, many agencies and hospitals came together to provide testing. Vaccinations came online with incredible speed. 

But as the pandemic wore on, community resolve started to fracture.

Former President Donald Trump’s calls for protests ahead of his anticipated indictment in New York have generated mostly muted reactions from supporters, with even some of his most ardent loyalists dismissing the idea as a waste of time or a law enforcement trap.

The ambivalence raises questions about whether Trump, though a leading Republican contender in the 2024 presidential race who retains a devoted following, still has the power to mobilize far-right supporters the way he did more than two years ago before the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. It also suggests that the hundreds of arrests that followed the Capitol riot, not to mention the convictions and long prison sentences, may have dampened the desire for repeat mass unrest.

Still, law enforcement in New York is continuing to closely monitor online chatter warning of protests and violence if Trump is arrested, with threats varying in specificity and credibility, four officials told The Associated Press. Mainly posted online and in chat groups, the messages have included calls for armed protesters to block law enforcement officers and attempt to stop any potential arrest, the officials said.

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