Denver news in 5 minutes: What you need to know today, Dec. 21

(Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

staff photo

Hi. We’ve all got places to go and people to be, and also some news to read. Today, the roundup includes your holiday planner, a tax bill rundown and more.

Aerial view of commercial buildings, houses and churches in downtown Denver, Colorado. Shows the Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist (also called Saint John's Church in the Wilderness and St. John's Episcopal Cathedral) on 20th (Twentieth) and Welton Streets, and the Swedish Church. Distant landmarks include the First Presbyterian Church, Union Station, the Windsor Hotel, and East Side High School; a house is under construction in the foreground. Circa 1890. (William Henry Jackson/Denver Public Library/Western History Collection/Z-11777)  high school; denver public library; dpl; archive; history;

Downtown Denver circa 1890. (William Henry Jackson/Denver Public Library/Western History Collection/Z-11777)

Holiday:

Yes, this list is jam-packed with holiday cheer. But if that’s not for you, there are plenty of other options, including multiple Rebirth Brass Band shows, performances of “Waitress,” sweet beer pairing events and more. (Denverite)

Snow may fall through about 2 p.m. in Denver today. (Denverite)

Taxes:

Rep. Mike Coffman is loud and proud about the tax bill, saying it will pay for itself and boost the economy. Economists aren’t so sure about that. Erica has the rundown of the political fight, which isn’t over here in Colorado. (Denverite)

Brian Eason explains why changes in the federal tax code will increase state taxes and what lawmakers want to do with the money. (DP)

Immigration & health:

Pregnant women in Colorado who are insured through the CHIP program have been told they won’t be covered if they give birth in February because money is running out. Meanwhile, Gov. John Hickenlooper has asked state lawmakers for a $9.6 million “bandaid to keep the program going. (Public News Service, AP)

Starting May 1, law enforcement in Colorado won’t be allowed to jail people simply because they are having a mental health crisis. It will force sheriffs — many of whom lobbied for the change — to work with specialists and hospitals. Noelle Phillips reports. (DP)

The ACLU is investigating the death of an Iranian man at the immigration detention center in Aurora. Details are unclear. Chris Walker reports. (Westword)

Housing:

The restrictions that keep affordable housing affordable are set to expire on some 2,300 units in the next few years. A new law allows Denver to buy those units to keep them affordable, but it hasn’t done so yet. We broke down the situation. (Denverite)

Denver construction workers received more than $800,000 by settling a lawsuit that alleged stolen wages and discrimination at the construction site of SkyHouse Denver. (Denverite)

Only 11 percent of Denver residents in a CNBC survey said they would definitely work for Amazon if it came here — the second lowest among eligible cities — and 17 percent said HQ2 would definitely not be a good thing for Denver. (CNBC)

Transportation:

Brighton Boulevard will soon be back to normal, except with sidewalks now.(Denverite)

Six cars of a freight train derailed and closed Havana Street near Smith Road overnight. No injuries or hazardous materials reported. It is open again. (DP)

Drugs:

Recreational marijuana could drive California prices down to $500 a pound. Colorado prices have dropped from $2,000 to $1,115 a pound. Bart Schaneman reports. (Marijuana Business Daily)

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