NewsCovering Colorado


5 things you need to know for Wednesday, April 28

Posted at 5:47 AM, Apr 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-28 07:47:23-04

Good morning southern Colorado and here's what you need to know on your Wednesday, April 28.

If you'd like to read the full story, be sure to click on the story headline.

Many school districts opting for outdoor graduations again this year

Come May, most high school graduates in southern Colorado will be handed their diplomas outside.

Colorado Springs School District 11 officials say they’ll allow graduates to have up to six guests in the stands at Garry Berry Stadium, where all of the district’s high schools will hold graduation this year. They say they will be handing graduates their diplomas this year, something they couldn’t do last year since there was so much uncertainty over the virus.

District 49 will hold its graduations at UC Health Stadium, where district officials tell News 5 they’ll likely keep holding it going forward.

D20 and D2 also say they’ll be hosting outdoor graduations.


Get your latest First Alert 5 Weather forecast

After a busy day of strong to severe weather in Colorado, including the first tornado of the year out near Kiowa County and Kit Carson, we're relaxing into a cloudy and calmer day, but still with some rain and snow.

We'll be much cooler today under northerly winds and cloud cover. We're seeing snow and rain in Denver in the morning work slowly south to the Pikes Peak Region.

Rain and snow showers will drift south across the mountains and valleys as well as some of the I-25 corridor today. Any snow accumulation will be pretty low for most cities and towns even over 7,000 feet.

We'll be dry and clear tonight with lighter winds. Thursday looks sunny and warmer with more wind in the afternoon.

A brave space: Sexual assault survivors and poets share stories on Denim Day

Denim Day, Wednesday, April 28, is a chance for people to show solidarity with survivors of sexual assault by wearing jeans.

The global campaign began in 1999, following an Italian Supreme Court decision that reversed a 1992 rape conviction. A 45-year-old driving instructor was sentenced to jail for raping an 18-year-old girl, and then appealed the sentence. A reason contained in the statement from the court that reversed the decision said the victim wore tight jeans at the time, which could not be easily removed. It went on to say the girl must have helped take off her jeans, and by doing that, it was considered consensual sex.

Women in the Italian Parliament were infuriated by this ruling. To protest the "jeans alibi," they wore jeans to work. The movement spread overseas, and a Los Angeles nonprofit called Peace Over Violence began organizing Denim Day.

"Denim day is a protest. It is an active, active revolution... Where we come together, honor survivors, and talk about sexual assault awareness and ending rape culture. It doesn't matter what you're wearing, how tight your clothes are, there is no excuse or reason for sexual assault," said Ashley Cornelius, the co-director of Poetry719.

According to the Centers for Disease Control's National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey from 2015, one in five American women have experienced attempted or completed rape in their lives. Nationwide, almost half of women and about a quarter of men have dealt with some sort of contact sexual violence. "It's most people you know," said Cornelius.

Poetry719's website has a Zoom meeting ID and password posted, so anyone can connect to the Denim Day virtual open mic night. It begins at 6:30 p.m. on April 28.


Ups and downs with El Paso County COVID-19 data

There is a concern in Colorado about COVID-19 cases again on the rise. El Paso County is one of the counties with increasing numbers.

County data also shows a more encouraging trend with the number of COVID-related deaths. The numbers are getting smaller, including days with no deaths reported.

A further breakdown of data shows the most significant drop is among county residents in older age groups. Residents over the age of 70 were the first to get the vaccine. More than 70% of the group has been fully vaccinated.

Along with vaccines, credit is also given to medical teams working hard to figure out better ways to treat the virus.

The number of new incidents is counter to what is happening with death data. There has been a steady rise for several weeks.

The vaccination rate in older people is keeping the ratio from this group small. It means younger people are driving the increase.

“We've got a huge number of people who for whatever reason, either don't think it applies to them or too much of a headache they don't want to get vaccinated,” said Goodwin.

The differing data trends suggest a couple of messages. The first is evidence of progress. Next is a reminder to continue with prevention measures.


Jefferson Awards: Local therapeutic riding center helping our community

KOAA5 wants to celebrate the unsung heroes who selflessly serve those in need. Let us know about amazing people making a difference in our community every day by nominating them for the Jefferson Awards. The prestigious nationwide program recognizes people making extraordinary efforts to make their neighborhoods better through service.

KOAA5 has the honor of presenting this award to people in Southern Colorado and we need your help to discover these gems in our communities.

Our April winner runs a local therapeutic riding center helping people with special needs, one horseback ride at a time.

Nancy Harrison, the CEO of Colorado Springs Therapeutic Riding Center, started the non-profit in 2008.

Harrison works mostly with children who have down syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism, or any kind of special need. The stables, located at 3254 Paseo Drive, provide equine therapy for more than 150 riders.

Because of her willingness to lend a helping hoof, News5 is presenting Harrison with the April 2021 Jefferson Award. This is the first award given as part of the effort.


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