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5 things you need to know for Wednesday, March 31

Posted at 6:08 AM, Mar 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-31 08:37:03-04

Good morning southern Colorado and here's what you need to know on your Wednesday, March 31.

If you'd like to read the full story, be sure to click on the story headline.
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Locals with special needs rebound from pandemic

As we work to rebound from the effects of the pandemic, we’re showing you a special Goodwill program in Colorado Springs, that despite COVID-19, continues to enable adults with developmental disabilities to see all the possibilities their lives can hold.

From the outside, it looks like a typical Goodwill store or warehouse, but on the inside, is an entire simulated town called Possibilities. It’s a day program for adults with developmental disabilities.

The simulated town has a bank, café, general store, gym, apartment with kitchen, art room, recreational room, spa, and classrooms. It’s aimed at helping individuals learn how to live well-rounded lives in a controlled and safe environment.

Now, their clients are finding their independence and newfound confidence in their everyday lives.

Possibilities is the first of its kind program in the entire nation. Other places are trying to model programs after this, some coming from as far as Africa to learn more about what they do. Click here to find out more.

We’re told Possibilities is funded through your donations and by shopping at Goodwill stores, and also third-party funding, mostly Medicaid waivers from the clients.

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CDC extends eviction moratorium to June 30th, city invites public to a Renter Rights workshop

The eviction moratorium implemented by the CDC was set to expire at the end of March, but is now being extended until the end of June. It's something many landlords believe is unnecessary as the rent will only accrue.

"Extending the Moratorium is just kicking the can down the road," said Alex Yoder, director of real estate management for Dorman Real Estate. The Colorado Renters Association is also angry at the CDC's decision, saying it affects all parties by delaying rent, utilities, and other bills.

While all the information surrounding the moratorium can be confusing, the city has set up virtual Renter Rights workshops for folks who have questions regarding the extension, lease basics, and updates for recent Colorado legislation on housing matters.

Upcoming dates for Renter Rights 101 Workshop:

  • May 18, 6-8 p.m.
  • August 24, 6-8 p.m.
  • November 9, 6-8 p.m.

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Decline in tips to Safe2Tell raising concerns

We continue to learn about the impact the pandemic has had on our lives. Now, we're learning there are concerns about the impact it's having on the Safe2Tell program designed to help keep our students safe.

Since 2004 the Safe2Tell program has received more than 88,000 tips helping to address school threats and safety issues impacting our students. The program lets students, teachers, and others anonymously report a threat to life, with dispatchers standing by around the clock who are ready to alert the authorities if needed.

But the pandemic delayed school openings and sent many school districts into distance learning practices, which officials say has impacted the number of tips Safe2Tell is getting.

From August 2020 to the end of February 2021 Safe2Tell received 6,751 tips. That's a 58% decrease compared to this time last school year. Despite the overall decrease in tips, suicide threats continue to be the top issue reported to the program. The founder of Safe2Tell and Colorado's attorney general are concerned.

"I don't think the numbers are reflective of the issues facing young people. I think if anything they have gone up and we really need to be strategic in focusing on prevention and preparedness as they return back to a more normal school environment," said Susan Payne, the founder of Safe2Tell.

The Safe2Tell program stands to serve students both on campus and in a virtual learning environment. You can submit an anonymous tip 24/7 by calling 1-877-542-7233, or by visiting safe2tell.org, or using the mobile app.

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Memorial service for fallen Boulder Police Officer Eric Talley

The memorial service for fallen Boulder Police Officer Eric Talley was held Tuesday at Flatirons Community Church in Lafayette.

Talley, a 51-year-old father of seven, was the first responding officer to Monday's mass shooting, which left ten people dead. At his memorial service, his direct supervisor Sergeant Adrian Drelles, said "from the time that Eric entered the store, and confronted the suspect, no other civilian was hurt."

Officials have said Talley's actions, running toward the gunfire along with his colleagues, saved lives.

"He died charging into the line of fire to save people who were simply trying to live their lives and go food shopping," Boulder County District Attorney Michael Dougherty said.

Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold said Talley was one of the first officers to respond to a 911 call from the grocery store and encountered the suspect, who was armed. Talley had been with the Boulder Police Department since 2010.

You can watch the memorial service on your time via our streaming platform KOAA News5 on Roku, FireTV, AppleTV, AndroidTV.
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Get your latest First Alert 5 Weather Forecast

The weather is about to get a lot warmer and we're going to be feeling like spring soon! Our snow and clouds from Tuesday is gone and we'll see sunshine today across most of Colorado.

We will have lighter winds today and temperatures will be in the 40s and 50s across the I-25 corridor and plains to our east.

We'll be clear and cold tonight with lows dropping into the 20s. Thursday is going to be sunny and warmer with light winds and more sunshine.
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