Good morning southern Colorado and here's what you need to know on your Tuesday, April 4.
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The latest on COVID-19 vaccines
FDA expected to OK Pfizer vaccine for teens within week
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expected to authorize Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for young adults age 12 and older by next week, setting up shots for many before the beginning of the next school year. The FDA action would be followed by a meeting of a federal vaccine advisory committee to discuss whether to recommend the shot for 12- to 15-year-olds.
Then the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would act on the committee's recommendation. Those steps could be completed in a matter of days. Currently, the vaccine is only authorized in the US for emergency use in people 16 and older.
Denver Broncos cheerleaders and Miles the Mascot will visit the state-run community vaccination site at the Colorado State Fairgrounds in Pueblo on Tuesday.
The Governor's Office said the visit is to encourage Coloradans to get vaccinated. Broncos giveaways will be available to those who received their vaccine and are waiting in the observation area after receiving a vaccine.
Miles and the cheerleaders will be at the State Fairgrounds from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday. Walk-ups are available at this vaccination site but appointments are encouraged. To make an appointment go to www.centura.org/vaccine.
Fort Carson announced Monday that they are currently offering Moderna COVID-19 vaccines on a walk-in basis for TRICARE beneficiaries age 18 and up at the William “Bill” Reed Special Events Center Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Enrollment at Evans Army Community Hospital is not necessary for TRICARE beneficiaries to receive the vaccine.
The Mountain Post said appointments are also available by accessing the DHA Appointing Portal (DAP) at https://informatics-stage.health.mil/COVAX/.
Critics of animal shelter bill "win" with amendments
Two months after being introduced, the animal shelter bill HB21-1160 sounds much different than its original draft.
“I consider it a pretty good win for the opposition!“ said Doug Rae, the Executive Director of Fremont County's Humane Society and a critic of the bill's original draft.
“The language was incredibly vague and they only talked about saving healthy and safe animals… and that was a problem for me because there’s another factor of animals called treatable animals, and they just need time to chill out and this bill was not going to save those animals," said Rae.
Opposition grew through a Facebook Page, "Opposing Deceptive HB21-1160", highlighting the vague language used, like "safe" and "healthy". The major concerns came mostly from "No Kill" shelters in Colorado, who said the bill would make euthanizing a "treatable animal" too easy.
However, the amendments made to the six different versions of HB21-1160 remove the language of "safe" and "healthy" to include "treatable" animals, as well as disposing of the "socially conscious shelter" language. Many of those opposed to the bill's original draft explained that "socially conscious shelter" is more so a brand of a movement, which "No Kill" shelters do not identify with.
“I don’t even understand the purpose of passing this bill at this point,“ said Rae. The next step is for the bill to be signed by Governor Jared Polis. You can read the most recently updated version of the bill here.
Get your latest First Alert 5 Weather forecast
We will be drier today but with more clouds and a few scattered thunderstorms in the afternoon. We'll see energy riding over the mountains spark scattered rain and thunderstorms that will drift across the Pikes Peak Region and Raton Mesa.
COLORADO SPRINGS: High: 56; Low: 38. Mostly cloudy and chilly today with afternoon showers and thunderstorms. We should expect lightning and graupel, but no hail or severe weather is expected.
PUEBLO: High: 62; Low: 42. A few breaks of sun today with highs in the low 60s and a small chance for an isolated thunderstorm in the afternoon.
Number of new apartments in Colorado Springs on the rise, but so are prices
The Pikes Peak region has seen a sharp increase in the number of new apartments being built this year compared to the same time last year. But will this increase in supply finally help bring prices down? The answer is complicated.
The Pikes Peak Regional Building Department reports between January and April of 2020, it issued permits for 709 new apartment units. For that same period this year, it’s already issued permits for 1,013 new units, with many more on the way.
Overall in 2020, the department issued permits for just over 1,500 new apartment units, meaning if 2021 keeps going the way it has, it will easily outpace 2020.
As News 5 has reported before, the short supply of homes on the market has made it almost impossible to buy one.
But how about renters? “The rental market’s pretty similar in that regard,” said ERA Shields real estate broker Eddie Hurt.
The reason is pretty cut and dry. They just can’t build apartments fast enough. but they are trying.
But pick your real estate price-tracking site of choice, and they’ll all show you home and rental prices are still only going one way in Colorado Springs.
And keep in mind, the market will not cool until one thing happens. “Bottom line is they’re just gonna have to build more,” Hurt said.
Letecia Stauch asks for legal counsel, will no longer represent herself
Court documents released on Monday, show Letecia Stauch requested a state attorney be appointed to her case, after waiving her right to counsel and deciding to represent herself.
In the motion filed on April 28, Stauch writes that she does not want an attorney from the Office of the Public Defender. However, an order signed by Judge Gregory Werner on April 30 re-appointed the Office of the Public Defender to her case.
Stauch is accused of killing her 11-year-old stepson Gannon in their Lorson Ranch home on January 27, 2020. She now has an Appearance of Counsel set for May 5.
Recently, her law library privileges were revoked until July after she refused to go during her scheduled slots. The law library is a place where pro se inmates can go to prepare for their court appearances.
Stauch had previously been adamant about representing herself, saying she doesn't believe experts in the legal system hold much value in this case. In her Arguello Advisement, she said she has "23 hours a day to work." She also compared the case to poker and believes she has an "ace in the hole," insinuating she is innocent.
Our Colette Bordelon will be in the courtroom on Wednesday and will bring you updates in real-time on her Twitter account.
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