Denver news in 5 minutes: What you need to know today, Dec. 11

Stapleton’s name change debate, Colorado’s economic forecast, shakeups at the Denver Sheriff Department, lights in the sky and more.

staff photo
View of an Owl Club function. A group of African American (Black) teenagers stand in a circle on a ballroom floor in Denver, Colorado. The young women wear formal dresses and the young men wear tuxedos. Other couples crowd the room. Decorations in the distance read: "Be My Valentine" "Love" and "I Love You." (Burnis McCloud/Denver Public Library Western History Collection/MCD-223)

Teenagers dance at an Owl Club function, sometime between 1955 and 1965. (Burnis McCloud/Denver Public Library Western History Collection/MCD-223)

I saw Coco this weekend, so I’m thinking about the passage of time and wondering where the people in this photograph are now, what lives they led and so on. If anyone recognizes a parent or grandparent (or yourself!), I hope you’ll let us know. That would be really neat.

Meanwhile, we’ve got news of a variety of types for you: Stapleton’s name change debate, Colorado’s economic forecast, shakeups at the Denver Sheriff Department, lights in the sky and more. You can get our news round-up delivered to your inbox every morning, and today there’s even more news below.


The debate over changing the name of Stapleton is about memory and history, but it’s also about what sort of community Stapleton is today. That’s probably why it touches a raw nerve for some. This time around, national events have given a new urgency to the calls to abandon the name of Denver’s Klan mayor. The conversation continues with a set of facilitated discussions today. (Denverite)


U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, an Aurora Republican, used Spanish on Twitter to announce his upcoming appearance on Spanish-language radio to talk about the DACA program, and a bunch of right-wing trolls really didn’t like it. Ernest Luning has that report from the underbelly of the internet. (Colorado Politics)

Three Republicans and four Democrats discussed their ideas for fixing health care at Colorado Health Institute’s Hot Topics in Health Conference. Attorney General Cynthia Coffman said we have the data we need to support policies like needle exchange and safe injection sites, and Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne issued a reality check to her fellow Democrats on the politics of making health care policy. I was there. (Denverite)

Holiday spirit

For roughly a decade, a Fort Collins man has bought out the toy section of Goodwill there at Christmas time so that every child shopping with their parents can go home with something special. Alicia Stice reports. (Coloradoan)

Things in the sky

The string of lights over Denver on Saturday night turned out, shockingly, to not be aliens. Ashley is on it. (Denverite)

Come Jan. 1, larger commercial buildings in Denver will have to devote a portion of their rooftop space to gardens. Community Planning and Development says it doesn’t expect to issue many exemptions. Adrian has that look ahead. (Denverite)


Colorado will add fewer jobs in 2018, even as its economy continues to grow at a better rate than its neighbors. That’s the economic forecast from the University of Colorado Boulder Leeds School of Business. As Monica Mendoza reports, we’re looking at 1.8 percent growth next year and some 47,100 news jobs, compared to 2.2 percent growth and 56,300 jobs this year. (DBJ)

Law enforcement

The Denver Sheriff Department has re-organized its top brass, including the promotion of former interim sheriff Elias Diggins, who was recorded in 2015 criticizing his bosses. Sheriff Patrick Firman says the change is about efficiency in operations, but critics say it’s a sign the department is still struggling. Noelle Phillips has that story. (DP)

An Adams County mother is questioning the actions of deputies there who shot and killed her teenage son. He was unarmed and ran from a deputy who was in the neighborhood on an unrelated call. The chase ended in some sort of physical altercation before the deputy shot the 19-year-old. Michael Konopasek reports. An earlier version of this report used an incorrect age. (Fox31)


Los Chingones, the powerhouse of Troy Guard’s ever-growing TAG Restaurant Group, is opening a new location in Colorado Mills in Lakewood. Ashley reports. (Denverite)


Denver Public Schools is looking at changing elementary school boundaries in the far northeast part of the city and in central Denver. These enrollment zones have been controversial, as students aren’t guaranteed a spot at their closest school, but district officials say they’re learning from past experiences with these new boundaries. Melanie Asmar reports. (Chalkbeat)

Not getting around

State regulators won’t make a decision on the G Line to Arvada and Wheat Ridge until February at the earliest. Andy has that story. (Denverite)

The RTD is feuding with a contractor over delays on the N Line to Thornton, according to court documents. Nathaniel Minor reports. (CPR)

You’re supposed to pay your RTD fare even if the ticket kiosk is broken. (Denverite)

Sporting life

The Broncos won! With the playoffs officially out of reach, the team broke an eight-game losing streak to shut out the Jets. Nicki Jhabvala reports. (DP)