Good morning southern Colorado and here's what you need to know on your Tuesday, June 29.
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Today is going to be generally warmer and less stormy than what we saw on Monday. As a trough axis pulls away from Colorado, we'll still keep enough energy in our mountains for spotty storms, but weak winds up above mean they won't move into the I-25 corridor very well.
A stray storm in Colorado Springs or Trinidad is possible today, but very few storms will leave the mountains. We'll see a high of 72 in Colorado Springs and 80 in Pueblo.
Wednesday looks a little better for scattered storms in the afternoon, not only in the mountains but along the I-25 corridor.
Delta variant of COVID-19 reported in El Paso and Pueblo Counties
A variant form of COVID-19 has arrived in southern Colorado as the El Paso County Health Department reports 109 confirmed cases of the Delta coronavirus in the county, plus another 10 cases reported by Pueblo County Health.
The Pueblo Health Department said this variation of the virus is concerning because of how contagious it is and the reduced effectiveness of treatments and vaccines against it. It's too early to tell what impacts the variant could have on Pueblo.
"We are waiting to see, we are watching this very closely. Obviously, number one is to get people vaccinated so they can prevent the spread of any variant from alpha through delta. We obviously want people to stop the spread of the infection. We still want people to use the prevention strategies we also know work," Dr. Christopher Urbina with the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment said.
The Pueblo Health Department also said the variant has likely been in Pueblo for some time and more cases are likely.
Funeral services, procession to be held Tuesday for Officer Gordon Beesley
Tuesday morning, a funeral service will be held to honor Officer Gordon Beesley, the Arvada police officer killed in a shooting in Olde Town June 21.
A procession will also take place ahead of the funeral services beginning approximately 8:15 - 8:30 a.m. The route will proceed as follows:
- Begin at I-25 and Highway 7
- West on Highway 7
- South on North 119th Street
- North 119th Street turns into 120th Street
- West on South Boulder Road to Flatirons Community Church
The procession route will cause road closures, and drivers are advised to avoid the above areas between 8 - 10 a.m.
The public can be on any public property along the procession route to show their support. The Arvada Police Department reminds anyone interested in coming out to show support to ensure they find a safe location and avoid private property unless there's permission to be there.
The funeral services will be held in a private ceremony at Flatirons Community Church in Lafayette beginning at 10 a.m.
Only family, public safety and invited guests will be allowed into the church. The ceremony will be streamed live on the KOAA News App for streaming devices, KOAA's social media pages and website.
Graffiti vandals mark natural rock formation in Colorado Springs
There is an ugly change to one of the spots in Colorado Springs where people go to enjoy the natural beauty. Someone painted 'Houston 2021' on a rock formation along Lower Gold Camp Road parking pull-off 7.
More often than not graffiti vandals move in quickly when no one is around. With this case, police have a possible lead as a witness snapped photos of the graffiti and two people leaving in a truck with Texas plates.
"I always say do what you’re comfortable with. Never put yourself in danger to stop somebody from defacing a rock formation,” said Sergeant Jason Newton with Colorado Springs Police Department, “This person, in this case, took a picture, was able to report it to us--great. Now we have evidence we can go and confront that person and hold them accountable."
Older foster youth could return to system for expanded services under new law
Older foster youth who leave the system will now have more support and resources after Governor Jared Polis signed a bill into law that aims to support foster youth in transition to adulthood.
HB21-1094 also known as the Foster Youth In Transition Program allows foster youth who meet eligibility criteria to continue receiving certain child welfare services. Returning to foster care would mean access to Medicaid, housing, case management, employment, education, acquisition of driver’s licenses and identification documents, and more.
Hope and Home Director of Child and Family Services Marian Percy says the more support youth can receive at a young age, the more likely they'll have a better start to life. "They have a higher risk of homelessness, sex trafficking, and prison. It's just really difficult, and many of them have children themselves who come into our system," said Percy.
She says there are resources for young adults, but they are very limited. "So you end up with a lot of youth on the street, couch surfing, living with relatives, or living in their car. They are just not equipped and don't have the natural supports that they need," said Percy.
Percy is looking forward to the new law, and the resources that young adults will now be able to utilize.
Alissa Smith with Inside Out Youth Services says the new law will also help LGBTQ+ youth who are over-represented in the foster care system. "LGBTQ+ youth, especially youth of color are more likely to fall through cracks in the system. They might not have the familial support to access housing, employment, healthcare, especially aging out of the foster care system. So having something like this that's going to give them the support system, give them check-ins and consistent adult contact is going to be so important to them to become successful adults," said Smith.
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