Disabled protesters plead not guilty
Protesters from Americans Disabled Attendant Programs Today who staged a nearly 58 hour sit-in at Sen. Cory Gardner’s Denver office pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to trespassing charges. Activists from the disability rights organization staged the sit-in to protest the Senate healthcare bill and persuade Gardner to vote no. After initially allowing the protesters to stay, staff eventually called the police. Ten protesters were charged with trespassing and some were also charged with interfering with police. The group claims that their first amendment right to freely assemble and redress grievances before the government was violated. ADAPT protesters were arrested for a similar incident in January.
Protests expected at conservative conference
United States Education Secretary Betsy DeVos will be in Denver Thursday to speak at the annual meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council. Protests are expected to erupt over DeVos’ education agenda. ALEC, a conservative group, shares DeVos’ support for school choice and charter schools, as well as the use of tax dollars to pay for private schools through vouchers. DeVos has been critical of Denver Public Schools’ voucher system in the past. Colorado Senator Michael Bennet has extended an invitation to DeVos to visit DPS and learn more about the struggles they face, but it is unclear whether or not she will take him up on his offer. A “Denver RESISTS DeVos” protest will take place on July 19 outside of the state capital. Several teaching unions, including the Colorado Education Association, plan to attend this protest. Newt Gingrich is also scheduled to speak at the ALEC meeting, which takes place July 19-21.
Colorado crime rate on the rise
New crime statistics indicate that assaults against Colorado police officers and sheriff’s deputies have increased nearly 42 percent between 2012 and 2016. A swelling population, overall increase in crime, more interactions with the mentally ill, rising drug abuse and growing hostility toward police are among the reasons for the increase in assaults cited by law enforcement. Colorado’s general crime rate has increased as well. In 2016, the state’s overall crime rate rose 3.4 percent per 100,000 people, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation reported.
Men’s basketball adds 3 coaches
First-year head coach Michael Bahl has solidified his coaching staff with the additions of three new assistant coaches. MSU Denver athletics this month announced the additions of Jamal McClerkin, Kenny Tripp and Lucas Gabriel. McClerkin played for MSU Denver from 2012- 14 and has spent the past couple of years playing professionally in Europe. Tripp spent last season as a graduate assistant at Regis University. Before that, he served as the student manager of the basketball team at the Division I University of Nevada. Gabriel was most recently the head assistant coach at Chico State in California. He also spent the summer of 2016 serving as an associate head coach to the Chinese International all-star team. The Roadrunners also lost an assistant. Adam Wall, who last year served as interim co-head coach along with Bahl during former head coach Derrick Clark’s absence, is no longer a part of the program.
Denver Nuggets sign Paul Millsap
The Denver Nuggets took a step toward shedding their reputation as a flyover city for NBA free agents when they signed power forward Paul Millsap. Millsap inked a three- year, $90 million contract with a team option for the third year on July 13. Millsap, who spent much of his childhood in the Montbello neighborhood of Denver, has been an all-star in each of his past four seasons with the Atlanta Hawks. Last season, he averaged career-highs in points per game with 18.1, and assists per game with 3.7. He’ll join a frontcourt with the Nuggets breakout star Nikola Jokic. The move creates a log-jam at the power forward position for the Nuggets. They currently have seven power forwards listed on their roster.
Rockies hit rough patch
After having the best start to the season in franchise history, the Colorado Rockies have cooled considerably in the past month. Since June 21, the Rockies are 7-15 and have relinquished their hold of the NL West division. They currently sit 10.5 games behind the division-leading Los Angeles Dodgers, and a half-game behind the Arizona Diamondbacks. If the season ended today the Rockies would hang on to the last Wild Card spot in the NL by 5.5 games.