Good morning southern Colorado and here's what you need to know on your Tuesday, June 22.
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Three people are dead, including a veteran officer of the Arvada Police Department, following a shooting in Olde Town early Monday afternoon.
The Arvada Police Department confirmed Officer Gordon Beesley, a 19-year veteran with the department and school resource officer at Oberon Middle School, was responding to a call of a suspicious incident near the Arvada Library.
About 15 minutes later, the department received calls of shots fired in the area and that an officer had been hit by gunfire. By the end of the day it was know Beasley, a Good Samaritan, and the suspect had all died.
A procession to honor Beesley took place Monday evening, starting from Ralston Road to Wadsworth Boulevard, then continuing on I-70 until it arrives at 6th Avenue and ending at the Jefferson County Coroner’s Office.
News5 will continue covering this story throughout the day as we learn more about the victims.
SB 21-116 also known as the “Prohibit American Indian Mascots” bill, prohibits any American Indian Tribe name, symbol, or image in public schools, charter schools, and universities across the state. It also imposes a $25,000 fine for schools that continue to use them past June 1, 2022.
The Native American Guardian’s Association (NAGA) is planning to challenge the constitutionality, claiming the law violates our First and Fourteenth Amendment rights and rights.
“NAGA believes that it is important for Colorado public schools to teach their students about the proud history of Native Americans, a history shared by all Americans. In NAGA’s view, SB 21- 116 is attempting to eradicate Native American culture from the public view, further consigning Native Americans into historical oblivion," said NAGA Board Member Eunice Davidson.
Members of the indigenous community disagree.
"I disagree that mascots and commodified imagery such as logos and mascots for entertainment such as sports are the means that's going to educate other non-Native Americans in a way that is accurate, respectful, and not racist. The public school curriculum is already rife with inaccurate and colonized portrayals of indigenous history and NAGA outright states that they want to partner with schools to develop logos and images, not education or curriculum," said Raven Payment.
She says there is still scientific data that shows that Native American imagery is harmful to their community. "On top of the scientific studies, more than 1500 native organizations have come forward to ask for a ban on native culture in sports," said Payment.
She's disheartened that the lawsuit may be yet another barrier to get the imagery and logos changed, but she says they'll continue fighting until it's accomplished.
We're going back to the high heat today and tomorrow. High temperatures in the plains will be in the 90s today but we'll see a few more triple digits by Wednesday. We won't have any record-breaking heat today, but it'll still be uncomfortable to work outside in the afternoon.
Smoke is expected to be thicker today and leave a hazy across the skies in central and eastern Colorado. This smoke is from fires in Arizona, Utah, and western Colorado.
COLORADO SPRINGS: High: 92; Low: 61. Sunny and hazy skies through the early afternoon with mostly cloudy conditions by the end of the day. We could see a few gusty winds come out of dry thunderstorms at the end of the day with very hot afternoon conditions.
PUEBLO: High: 99; Low: 60. Sunny and very hot today with hazy skies and increased cloud cover by the end of the day. We should stay dry today and tonight.
Hot air comes with increased smoke and hazy skies later today. There are 5 active fires burning in Colorado: the Sylvan, Oil Spring, West Muddy Slide, and Trail Canyon Fires.
Of these fires, the Oil Springs and Sylvan fires are the largest at 5,000 and 1,424 acres respectively.
One of the more recent and quicker-growing fires is the Sylvan Fire located near Sylvan Lake State Park in Eagle County. The fire grew large enough Sunday to prompt officials to issue pre-evacuation notices and evacuate campers and others recreating from Sylvan Lake State Park.
A high-pressure ridge, the same one bringing highs back to the 90s today and tomorrow, will sweep smoke from the west into central and eastern Colorado. Smoke will be noticeable this morning, but the haze will grow thicker in the afternoon as warm air rises during the day and is then carried east by upper-level jetstream winds.
A pattern change later this week will bring cleaner air to southern Colorado and a chance for rain from Thursday through the weekend. Drought conditions across the western slope will not be quenched anytime soon, and fire will likely stay active for some time.
It is officially race week for the 2021 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. The annual race to the clouds is back to its normal date on the last Sunday in June, as it was delayed last year to August due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year, the race will allow spectators after now allowing any last year due to the pandemic. Monday was technical inspection day at the Broadmoor World Arena for the 99th running of the race.
The second oldest auto race in the United States will begin practices and qualifying runs on Tuesday, which will run through Thursday.
Gates open at 2:30 a.m. Sunday and tickets can be found here.