U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos began her first day in office by thanking and praising the Department’s career employees for ensuring a smooth and professional transition. DeVos addressed the staff at the Department’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. Prior to her remarks, DeVos began the morning by visiting staff located at the Union Center Plaza and Potomac Center Plaza buildings, and continued meeting with staff one-on-one upon concluding her remarks.
Governor of Colorado
Gov. John Hickenlooper said he sees big business possibilities in a relationship between Colorado and Cuba following a weekend trip to the country amid uncertainty about the island nation’s relations with the United States under President Donald Trump. Colorado could share with Cuba its expertise in clean energy to agriculture.
Mayor of Denver
The City of Denver has a new program to help people experiencing homelessness gain better access to the county court system and avoid deeper involvement with the criminal justice system. Denver Outreach Court is designed to increase stabilization and reduce future interactions with the justice system for individuals experiencing homelessness or receiving homeless or transitional services. The court helps individuals take action on municipal level citations or warrants and provides direct access to mental health services and enrollment in Medicaid.
Denver Zoo welcomes new resident
Denver Zoo’s new Amur tiger, Nikita, is exploring the yards of The Edge, a brand-new, larger home for the species, opening to the public on March 17. The Edge is located on nearly an acre on the southeastern edge of the Zoo, providing an expansive space for tigers, while offering guests several unique ways to see these animals from multiple perspectives.
House of Reps passes disapproval of methane waste rule
The House of Representatives passed a resolution of disapproval to eliminate the Bureau of Land Management’s methane waste rule, which limits flaring and venting from drilling operations on public lands. If signed by the president, this Congressional Review Act would eliminate the BLM’s methane rule and block the agency from issuing “substantially similar” rules in the future.
Town Hall Meetings with Colorado Democratic Latino Caucus
Members of the caucus include Senate Democratic Leader Lucia Guzman, Assistant Minority Leader Leroy Garcia, Senator Irene Aguilar, Senator Dominick Moreno, Speaker of the House Crisanta Druan, Representative Adrienne Benavidez, Representative Donald Valdez, Representative Joseph Salazar, and Representative Dan Pabon, who may participate in future meetings across the state including Southern, Northern and Western Colorado locations a well as other Metro Denver locations.
Breweries urge EPA and DOD to uphold Clean Water Rule
Colorado’s clean water is a valuable commodity for thousands of businesses across the state, including New Belgium Brewing in Fort Collins. The fourth-largest craft brewery in the United States is one of 234 businesses that joined Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Defense, Final Rule: Clean Water Rule: Definition of “Waters of the United States this week, urging a federal court to uphold the Clean Water Rule which was finalized in 2015. Since beer is 90 percent water, said Jenn Vervier, New Belgium’s director of sustainability and strategy, federal protections have been critical for the craft-brewing industry.
DPS launches new bilingual talk radio station
Denver Public Schools (DPS) has officially launched www.EDUCAradio.org – an online, bilingual talk-radio station. The EDUCA online radio station, KDPS, provides English programming from 3 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Spanish programming from 3 p.m. to 3 a.m. The channel will be led by EDUCA Radio personalities Salvador Carrera, Beto Gaytan, Julieta Quinonez and German Gonzalez, bringing listeners the latest news and information from the largest school district in Colorado. The station launched at midnight on Feb. 2, 2017. Hard wired and wireless online radio provides the opportunity for DPS to deliver relevant, real-time information and resources to help families better navigate the educational system.
New Cyber-crime unit
Acting U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer announced the creation of a new unit in the Colorado U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division: The Cyber-crime and National Security Section. This section will be staffed with six Assistant United States Attorneys who are experts in investigating and prosecuting cyber-enabled crimes and national security cases.
Spread the Love in support of local food banks
Each year food banks are in need of nonperishable food items following the holiday season. Now in its tenth year, Spread the Love has provided nearly 5,000 jars of peanut butter to Commerce City food banks. New to the program this year is a special event inviting the public to help “Cram the Police Cruiser” with donations of peanut butter and jelly at both King Soopers locations in Commerce City on February 19 from 10 a.m. to noon. Donations of peanut butter and jelly jars are also accepted at one of these public drop-off locations through February 14: Commerce City Civic Center, 7887 E. 60th Ave.; Commerce City Recreation Center, 6060 E. Parkway Dr.; Older Adult/Senior Center, 6060 E. Parkway Dr.