Good morning southern Colorado and here's what you need to know on your Monday, March 22.
If you'd like to read the full story, be sure to click on the story headline.
Heavy snow overnight fell across the Pikes Peak Region from Teller County through El Paso County, and the Wet Mountains were also a hot spot for heavy snow. The snow is going to move northeast through Colorado in the early morning, but there could be remnant showers and sprinkles lingering through lunchtime. We'll stay cloudy and cold today, so the roads should be cold enough to hold snow in the Pikes Peak Region through the morning commute.
Highs will be in the 30s and 40s this afternoon with dry skies. Overnight we'll see cold and cloudy conditions with light winds through Tuesday morning.
Beginning today, KOAA-TV and The Gazette are teaming up to bring you live Zoom townhalls that will give you a chance to ask the 21 candidates for six Colorado Springs City Council seats your questions and hear their answers.
On Monday at 12:30 p.m., District 1 candidates will answer questions, including Glenn Carlson, Jim Mason and Dave Donelson. The fourth candidate, Michael Seeger, is unable to attend. The full schedule of forums is available, here.
The forums will be moderated by reporters Alasyn Zimmerman of KOAA and Mary Shinn of the Gazette.
Viewers signed in and watching the forums can submit written questions while the candidates discuss the issues most important to Colorado Springs. You can sign in for any one of the forums at gazette.com/election.
Watch the forums live or on your time with KOAA News5 streaming on your Roku, FireTV, AppleTV or Android TV. Learn more at koaa.com/apps.
A proposed Colorado ballot initiative has those in the ranching industry sounding the alarm--saying it could threaten their livelihoods, as well as our state’s economy.
If passed, proposed ballot initiative 2021-2022 #16 would re-word Colorado’s revised statutes surrounding animal cruelty. Acts like artificial insemination and castration would be considered a "sexual act with an animal," meaning they would be as equally punishable as an "act between a person and an animal involving either direct physical contact between the genitals of one and the mouth, anus, or genitals of the other."
It also proposes ranchers would have to wait until an animal has lived 25 percent of its natural lifespan before being butchered. For cows, that’s five years old. The initiative's proponents say the goal is to reduce animal cruelty and ensure all animals are treated fairly, while reducing suffering. News5's Spencer Humphrey spoke with ranchers who explain the potential impact on agriculture in Colorado, click here to read more.
Colorado will again change its COVID-19 dial system this Wednesday to allow counties to have more flexibility in easing business restrictions as the state vaccinates more people. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) is taking feedback on the proposed changes until noon on Monday before finalizing the dial changes on Tuesday.
Among the changes in the latest proposal are:
- No more state limits on personal gathering sizes, but a request that people follow the CDC’s guidance to avoid large gatherings.
- Counties will be able to apply for the least restrictive phase, Level Green, if they have 35 or fewer COVID cases per 100,000 people. The metric had previously been 15 cases per 100,000 people.
- In Level Green, bars, gyms and indoor event spaces will be able to operate at 50% capacity of up to 500 people, whichever is fewer, but most other restrictions were removed.
- Counties at Level Blue will be allowed to open bars to 25% capacity of 75 people, whichever is fewer.
- Level Blue and Level Green outdoor event spaces will no longer have capacity restrictions, but counties can choose to implement them at the local level
- Retail, offices, and non-critical manufacturing locations in counties in Level Blue can operate up to 75% capacity, up from 50%.
- Level Blue 5-Star businesses can operate with up to 60% capacity if not exceeding 50 people above the caps for restaurants and indoor events, and 25 people above the cap for gyms.
As more Coloradans become eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, it's important to remember side effects are common with any vaccination.
"Some people have side effects with dose one, and not dose two. Some with dose two, and not dose one. Some with both. Some don't have any side effects at all. So it varies, certainly, from person to person and vaccine to vaccine," said Kristi Durbin, the immunization program manager for El Paso County Public Health.
Durbin said side effects after a COVID-19 vaccine are a sign of the immune system working. These may include redness, swelling, and pain near the injection site. Other side effects could be a sore arm, fatigue, a headache, muscle aches, body aches, nausea, vomiting, and fever.