Denver, CO

Hump Day in Denver: Locals split over encampment sweeps, DougCo Health Department director to form anti-mask department

Steven Bonifazi

By Steven Bonifazi / NewsBreak Denver

(DENVER, Colo.) Greetings and happy hump day, Denver Rounderuppers!

Welcome back to yet another Wednesday edition of the Denver Daily Round-Up, bringing you the top stories in and around the Denver metro.

If you have a chance, get out and enjoy the dry, sunny and warm weather Wednesday before the snow arrives this weekend. 

Without further ado, take a look at some of the city's most newsworthy events for this Wednesday:

1. Residents are sharply divided over encampment sweeps

Denver residents are divided over homeless encampment sweeps, with some angry at Denver City council members for allowing the sweeps to take place and others applauding and requesting more.

Some believe that the encampment sweeps are a racial, class and immigration issue such as a woman named Maya who said that it is unfair to deal with people experiencing homelessness as an issue when failed policies put them in their current predicament, NewsBreak Denver's David Heitz reported. Craig Arfsten praised Denver for the encampment sweeps and said that the camps result in disease, human waste, prostitution and more.

One regular council commenter, Tess Dougherty expressed that not all homeless people fit stereotypes as she, a white person with a master's degree has been homeless before.

2. ‘Repairman’ to form anti-masking DougCo health department
Michael Hill, recently hired as Douglas County's first public health department executive director.(Douglas County)

The first-ever Douglas County Public Health Department leader, Michael Hill, intends on creating a health department that spawned from the county's resistance to masks from the ground up.

NewsBreak Denver's Mike McKibbin reported that Hill was appointed by the County Board of Health as executive director of the department on Feb. 10 and started the job on Monday. He brings 30 years of local public health agency experience leading public health programs in states including California, Florida, Texas and Illinois with him.

Hill spoke with Commissioners Lora Thomas and Abe Laydon on health-related issues facing the county, including the opioid crisis, the homeless situation, health education and what caused the county to leave Tri-County.

3. 46th annual Denver March Powwow features intertribal dancing, drums, storytelling

The 46th annual Denver March Powwow will return later this month to the Denver Coliseum, bringing hundreds of dancers, dance contests and drum groups to tell stories of tribes.

The event will additionally feature storytellers in the tradition of sharing history through tribes with spoken word. Those planning on attending the festival can also partake in an arts and crafts show and will have a chance to devour Native American food including fry bread and Indian tacos, according to CBS Denver.

The festival is scheduled to take place from March 18 through March 22 from 10 a.m to 10 p.m. each day.

4. Marshall fire victims allege price gouging, Colorado AG investigating dozens of claims under new law
In this aerial view, burned homes sit in a neighborhood decimated by the Marshall Fire on January 4, 2022 in Louisville, Colorado.(Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images)

The Colorado Attorney General's Office is looking into dozens of allegations of price gouging against people who lost their homes in the Marshall fire. 

Department spokesperson Lawrence Pancheco said that a majority of the complaints involve rent. The Denver Post reports that complaints were made in less than a month under the state's 2020 law against price gouging following a natural disaster. 

One family said that their landlord refused to renew their lease on a month-to-month basis until spring and implemented a 10% increase for the time being.

Local Housing Listings

  • 3450 W Dakota Ave., Denver, 80219: $300,000, $1,325 estimated monthly. Single-family. 2 beds, 1 bath, 705 sq. feet. Find more information here.
  • 12234 E Berkeley Pl., Denver, 80239: $465,000, $1,974 estimated monthly. Single-family. 5 beds, 2 baths, 2,269 sq. feet. Find more information here.
  • 3050 W 32nd Ave., Unit B107, Denver, 80211: $555,000, no monthly estimate listed. Condominium. 2 beds, 2 baths, 1,430 sq. feet. Find more information here.
  • 1011 S Valentia St., Unit 109, Denver, 80247: $719,900, no monthly estimate listed. 3 beds, 2.5 baths, 2,758 sq. feet. Find more information here.
  • 713 E 1st Ave., Denver, 80203: $849,999, $3,530 estimated monthly. Single-family. 3 beds, 3 baths, 2,024 sq. feet. Find more information here.

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