Inside Denver - June 17th, 2019

Inside Denver (Jun 17th, 2019)

Don't fish, swim or tube in the South Platte / Hick, Bennet make debate cut / Broncos owner dies

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 It's a stormy start to the week, with lightning, rain and possibly hail expected Monday. Tuesday and Wednesday will be be a little milder, with highs in the 70s-80s and typical summer afternoon rainstorms.

1. The South Platte may look pretty as it winds through Denver, but it’s virtue doesn’t extend to the dinner table. Fish from the river are not safe to eat, according to officials, owing to high amounts of pollutants such as arsenic, mercury and so-called forever chemicals. The Denver Department of Public Health has even issued warnings against wading, swimming and tubing in the water, though such activities remain legal. The South Platte hosts runoff from streets and wastewater treatment plants, and E. coli remains the top concern. — COLORADO PUBLIC RADIO

2. Colorado governor Jared Polis stopped short of cracking down on exemptions for anti-vaxxers, signing an executive order that instead encourages vaccinations through education and outreach. The state has the country’s lowest kindergarten vaccination rate (87%) for measles, mumps and rubella. Polis set a goal of 95% by 2023. Another Coloradan, Boulderite Jessica Biel, walked a similar line this week by lobbying with an anti-vaxxer in D.C.. While she shirked the anti-vax label, she fought against a bill that would restrict exemptions, saying parents deserve to have a choice. — CPR

3. Denver last week joined 39 cities and counties across the U.S. filing suit against pharmaceutical companies for their role in the opioid epidemic. A 67-page motion was jointly filed by the municipalities in Cleveland. The Mile High City was previously one of 1,800 cities suing solo. Attorneys hope a combined effort will be more successful, netting a monetary settlement that will pay for local treatment and prevention programs. — DENVERITE

4. Elementary school students at Denver Public Schools may no longer be handcuffed by safety officers after the board voted unanimously to ban the controversial practice. Students were placed in handcuffs 65 times over the past two years, according to district data. Ages were not tracked, but at least one fifth-grader was handcuffed repeatedly last year. Middle and high school students may still be placed in handcuffs, as well as students of any age if they are in possession of a deadly weapon. — CHALKBEAT

On Tap

Briar Common Brewery + Eatery is ready for summer, and it has the beer to prove it. Try new One in a Melon Watermelon Wheat at the Release Party on June 18, along with a crawfish boil and watermelon-eating contest.

Great Divide Brewing Company is turning 25! They're hosting a block party on Saturday, June 22, at their Ballpark location with brand new beers, at least 14 different varieties of Yeti, live music, food trucks and more.

On Tap is brought to you by Colorado Beer Girl. Visit her Facebook page for a full calendar of events.

5. John Hickenlooper and Michael Bennet are in, making the cut for the first Democratic presidential debate along with 18 others. Colorado is the only state being repped twice. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

6. Longtime Broncos owner Pat Bowlen died Thursday after a long battle against Alzheimer’s. He was 75. The Broncs won 13 AFC West titles and reached the playoffs 18 times during his rein. — DENVER POST

7. A Denver-made chewing gum is gaining ground after showing up on golf greens everywhere. Tiger Woods is rumored to have been chomping Golf Gum during his recent Masters win, sending sales through the roof. — 5280

8. Camping passes for Colorado’s hottest hot springs are available now. Get your ticket to Conundrum while you can. — THE KNOW

9. Nine breweries have closed in Colorado so far this year. But 15 new ones have cropped up to replace them, and the craft beer industry is going strong, experts say. — WESTWORD

10. More than 39,000 miles of trail are available in Colorado, now accessible with a new app using Parks and Wildlife data. COTREX (short for Colorado Trail Explorer) harnesses the statewide database of 2,350 trailheads to put information at your fingertips. — 5280

Inside Denver is created by Shay Castle, a freelance journalist who has resided in/reported on the Denver metro for seven years. Her work runs the gamut from investigations on state and local government to features on the World Championship of Massage (seriously). She enjoys beer, biking and maintaining a plucky Twitter account, @shayshinecastle.

Editing team: Kim Lyons (Pittsburgh-based journalist and managing editor at Inside), David Stegon (senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology), and Bobby Cherry (senior editor at Inside, who’s always on social media).

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