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Metro Denver counties with rising COVID-19 cases hope public education, targeted orders will stave off new stay-at-home mandates

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New COVID-19 cases have increased in much of the Denver metro area, and county health departments are trying to persuade their residents they need to keep their distance to avoid new stay-at-home orders.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s new dial framework places each county in one of five color-coded levels, with increasing restrictions on business capacity and event sizes.

Each county’s level is based on the rate of new cases compared to population, the percentage of COVID-19 tests coming back positive and how hospitalizations are trending.

As of Friday, 15 counties, or almost one-quarter of the state’s counties, had rates of new cases that could push them to issue additional restrictions if nothing changes. They get at least two weeks to bring the numbers down before more restrictions are on the table, though.

Unlike this spring, when businesses across the state were ordered to shut down, counties are trying to avoid closing large numbers of facilities through awareness campaigns, or targeting orders at populations where the virus is spreading more freely.

John Douglas, executive director of the Tri-County Health Department, said it appears private gatherings are causing a significant portion of the spread in Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas counties. It’s difficult to be sure, though, because not everyone is cooperating when contact tracers call, he said.

Counties could take action if they get multiple complaints about a household hosting unsafe numbers of people, but most of their efforts are focused on convincing people to wear their masks and keep their distance from others until a vaccine is approved, Douglas said. People are tired of social distancing, but sticking with it increases the odds of avoiding a winter surge and new stay-at-home orders, he said.

“The higher we are through the month of October and early November, the

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Our View: Thumbs up to more youth sports facilities, a career of public service, a scholarship winner | COMMENTARY

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THUMBS UP: While we certainly miss many, we do try to recognize long-tenured public servants at the end of successful careers. The latest to retire after a long career with Carroll County Government is Clay Black, who served in various positions for 37 years. He retired last week as bureau chief of development review. “It’s safe to say that just about every development project in the county and the municipalities Clay has either reviewed or supervised over the past 30-plus years,” Tom Devilbiss, director of land and resource management, said in a farewell to Black at the Sept. 24 Board of Commissioners meeting. Commissioner Stephen Wantz, R-District 1, called Black “the heart and soul of Carroll County.” Black worked his way up from the permits office in 1983 to construction agreements coordinator to subdivision review assistant to development systems supervisor before becoming bureau chief in 2005. Black said he enjoyed serving the county commissioners, citizens and businesses in Carroll County. “My position has given me opportunities to help others with their projects. … allowed me to meet a vast amount of individuals and to work with amazing colleagues,” he told us. “Being able to work with citizens, developers, government officials, outside agencies, colleagues and others has been rewarding.” Black said he plans to spend more time with his wife and dogs and that after a scheduled surgery and physically therapy, he will be spending his days, among other things, golfing, traveling, camping, and volunteering. We wish him well in retirement.

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New bipartisan council formed to defend election integrity launches $20 million public education campaign to count every vote

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New bipartisan council formed to defend election integrity launches $20 million public education campaign to count every vote

PR Newswire

WASHINGTON, Oct. 7, 2020

WASHINGTON, Oct. 7, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — A bipartisan group of more than 40 former elected officials, former Cabinet secretaries, retired military officials, and civic leaders called the National Council on Election Integrity has formed to defend the legitimacy of our elections and ensure that every American’s vote is counted in 2020, Issue One announced today.

The National Council on Election Integrity — which includes individuals who have advised presidents, former party leaders, and heads of some of the largest civic organizations in the country — has launched “Count Every Vote,” a new $20 million public education campaign highlighting the country’s ability to hold safe and secure elections during the coronavirus pandemic and stressing that all citizens’ votes must be counted, regardless of whom they vote for.

This effort begins with a $4 million TV and digital ad buy. The Count Every Vote campaign’s TV ads will be airing nationally, including in the battleground states of Arizona, Georgia, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Digital ads will begin running in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

“Americans have always found a way to vote and make their voices heard,” states the new TV ad. “Help make sure every vote is counted — no matter who you voted for … While this election might feel different, we all call America home.”

The Count Every Vote campaign also encourages citizens to sign a pledge at CountEveryVote.org that demands that every vote cast in accordance with applicable laws is counted this November.

Moreover, the National Council is urging Congress to create a bipartisan national commission to help

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Arizona public university presidents tout COVID-19 response during regents call

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All three Arizona public university presidents provided an update on the COVID-19 outbreak on their respective campuses Friday morning during an Arizona Board of Regents meeting. 

They hailed the efforts of their communities thus far while providing insight into what their schools would be doing next.

ASU: Fall will be “last semester for ASU as an archaic, stone-age institution”

Arizona State University President Michael Crow confidently told the board to mark their calendars for January, when he said ASU would prove its oft-repeated designation as the top school for innovation.

Michael Crow (Photo: Deanna Dent, Deanna Dent)

“Fall 2020 is the last semester for ASU as an archaic, stone-age institution,” he said. “We are, by the opening of spring semester 2021, going to be the most advanced teaching and learning program that humans have ever built.”

Crow said the university next year will be launching technology it’s been developing through the pandemic, essentially describing it as a paradigm shift that would forever change the way its students learn and grow during their time at the school.

“We’re throwing away the chiseled ax taped to a piece of wood with some cow hide,” he said. “We are moving forward in the most advanced modalities possible, because now we understand more than we ever understood before.”

Prior to his closing comments, Crow had spent his time with the board, like the other presidents, praising the work done by his university in the midst of a chaotic year.

Crow said the university as of Friday was in its second operations mode, a hybrid model that permits people to come into and out of the university at will.

“We’re operating under the assumption of personal responsibility and choice,” he said, adding that “things are going about as well as could be expected.”

ASU

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See who is endorsing candidates for Kalamazoo Public Schools Board of Education

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KALAMAZOO, MI — From former Kalamazoo mayor Bobby Hopewell to organizations like Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan, community leaders and groups are endorsing candidates in the run for Kalamazoo Public Schools Board of Education.

Incumbents Patti Sholler-Barber, TiAnna Harrison and Jason Morris are campaigning for another six-year term on the seven-member board while Marshall Kilgore and Megan Maddock are trying to win two of those seats in the Nov. 3 general election.

Voters will also decide a two-year partial term on the school board. Incumbent Ken Greschak is running unopposed for that seat.

The three incumbents are campaigning together, with many yard signs and mailers encouraging residents to “vote for experience.”

Sholler-Barber, 71, was first elected to the school board in 2006 and currently serves as president. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and certifications from WMU.

Harrison, 43, first joined the school board as a 2014 appointment and is currently serving as vice president. She is a graduate of the district and Kalamazoo Valley Community College. She also attended Western Michigan University (WMU).

Morris, 43, was appointed in 2018 to fill the remaining term of Trustee Lauren Freedman, who resigned because she was leaving the state. He works at the Bureau of Finance and Accounting Overpayment Verification. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from WMU and a marketing/Spanish high school diploma from Loy Norrix High School.

Former Kalamazoo mayor Bobby Hopewell endorsed Sholler-Barber, Harrison and Morris together.

“These are three amazing people who care so much about our children, our educators and our schools,” Hopewell wrote in a Facebook post. “I can’t begin to tell you all of the hard work they’ve done together to help our children to achieve success in their lives as they take on the promise of Kalamazoo. I support

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