Colorado Squirrel

Squirrel in Colorado tests positive for the bubonic plague – CBS News

A squirrel has tested positive for the bubonic plague in the Town of Morrison in Colorado, Jefferson County Public Health officials announced in a statement over the weekend. The squirrel, discovered on Saturday, is the first case of plague in Jefferson County, the statement said. 

A spokesperson for Jefferson County Public Health told CBS News on Tuesday that someone in Morrison reported seeing at least 15 dead squirrels around the town. Officials tested one, and since it was positive for bubonic plague, they expect others are also infected.

In a statement, officials warned that plague, an infectious disease caused by the bacteria Yersinia pestis, can be contracted by humans and household animals. They said humans can be infected through flea bites, the cough of an infected animal or by coming in direct contact with blood or tissue from an infected animal. 

Cats are highly susceptible to the plague and can catch it from flea bites or a rodent scratch or bite, or by ingesting a rodent. Cats may also die if not properly treated with antibiotics, officials said.

Dogs are not as susceptible to plague, according to the statement. However, dogs can pick up and carry fleas infected with the plague. 

Officials advise pet owners who live near wild animal populations, or suspect their pets are ill, consult a veterinarian.

In its statement, Jefferson County Public Health recommended several precautions to protect against the plague, including eliminating sources of food and shelter for wild animals, avoiding sick or dead wild animals and rodents and consulting with vets about flea and tick control. 

“Risk for getting plague is extremely low as long as precautions are taken,” the statement said.

The statement said plague symptoms include sudden onset of high fever, chills, headache, nausea and extreme pain and swelling of lymph nodes, which could occur within two to seven days after exposure to the bacteria. 

The report from Colorado comes about one week after officials in China announced a suspected bubonic plague case in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. The Associated Press reported that authorities in the Bayannur district raised the plague warning earlier this month, ordering residents not to hunt wild animals such as marmots. It also ordered residents to send anyone with fever or other possible signs of infection for treatment. 

Plague killed millions of people worldwide during the Middle Ages, and outbreaks have occurred since, including the Great Plague in London in the 1600s.

Today, plague can be deadly in up to 90% of those who are infected, if not treated. The CDC said modern antibiotics are effective in treating it. 

“Presently, human plague infections continue to occur in rural areas in the western United States, but significantly more cases occur in parts of Africa and Asia,” the CDC said. 

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Appoints Colorado

Colorado Gov. Appoints Special Prosecutor To Reopen Probe Of Elijah McClain Death – NPR

Elijah McClain’s family, including his father LaWayne Mosley (left) have been calling for justice for the officer-involved death of the 23-year-old for nearly a year.

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Elijah McClain’s family, including his father LaWayne Mosley (left) have been calling for justice for the officer-involved death of the 23-year-old for nearly a year.

Andy Cross/DP

What does it take to reopen an investigation into a police-involved death of a young Black man after the district attorney refuses to press criminal charges and the officers have been cleared of any wrongdoing?

In Aurora, Colo., the answer is millions of people signing an online petition, thousands of calls to local and state elected officials and intense social media pressure compounded by national media coverage. All as the nation erupts in grassroots protests against police brutality and systemic racism.

On Thursday, nearly a year after the death of Elijah McClain who died in police custody, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis appointed a special prosecutor to “determine whether the facts justify criminal charges against members of law enforcement” involved in the arrest.

“Elijah McClain should be alive today, and we owe it to his family to take this step and elevate the pursuit of justice in his name to a statewide concern,” Polis said in a statement.

Today I signed an Executive Order designating Attorney General Phil Weiser to investigate and, if the facts support prosecution, criminally prosecute any individuals whose actions caused the death of Elijah McClain. 

Executive Order:

Statement below:

— Governor Jared Polis (@GovofCO) June 25, 2020

“Now more than ever, we must do something within our power to foster public trust and confidence in law enforcement and the criminal justice system,” he added.

New Investigation Is A Rare Step

Polis acknowledged it is an “exceptional” step to disregard a district attorney decision not to pursue criminal charges. But the governor explained previous investigations omitted pertinent details about the incident.

“The State rarely steps in to investigate, and potentially prosecute, an incident over the individual decisions of district attorneys. This, however, is the truly exceptional case where widely reported facts are not addressed in any current investigation,” Polis wrote.

“These omissions merit a supplemental evaluation of the case by an independent prosecutor and thus warrant this Executive Order.”

‘He Looks Sketchy. He Might Be A Good Person Or A Bad Person’

On Aug. 24, 2019, McClain was walking home from a local convenience carrying a bottle of iced tea.

He was wearing a ski mask and listening to music on the kind of headphones that fit snugly inside the ear.

McClain, who was anemic, often wore a ski mask when he felt cold, his family has said.

His waving arms caught the attention of a man named Juan who was driving down the same street and he called 911.

“He looks sketchy. He might be a good person or a bad person,” Juan told the operator.

That was enough to put out a call for officers to respond to the scene.

From what little is available of the body cam video footage, officers didn’t waste much time confronting McClain. At least four officers showed up, getting out of their respective squad cars calling for the 23-year-old to stop walking.

It’s unclear if McClain could hear them or not, but after some confused exchanges, he stopped walking. He appears taken aback by the officer’s sudden appearance.

The officers can’t be heard offering an explanation for the stop, although they can be seen surrounding the man. Blocking his path.

When a few hands reached out to grab at him, McClain recoiled, saying, “I am an introvert. Please respect the boundaries that I am speaking.”

Officers repeatedly ordered McClain to “stop tensing up.”

From there, the camera footage becomes a jumble. However, even without the visuals the at least two body cameras capture audio of the scene.

McClain is pinned down for several minutes in a carotid hold. He can be heard moaning, sobbing, repeating that “it hurts” and pleading with the officers to stop.

“I was just going home. I don’t have a gun. I don’t do that stuff. I don’t even kill flies. I don’t even eat meat.”

“I’m just different,” he whimpers.

Throughout McClain’s anguished monologue, the officers can be heard talking to each other. Going over the initial 911 call and saying that McClain showed “incredible strength.”

They seem to ignore McClain entirely.

Minutes later, one officer says to another, “Move your camera, dude.”

Then one can be heard claiming that McClain tried to go for his colleague’s gun.

That leads to more grunts and sounds of a scuffle.

“We have his arm,” one officers says. Another calls back, “I have his other arm.

Someone picks up a body camera and McClain can be seen lying on his side with both hands restrained behind his back, and one officer jamming his knee on the man’s torso.

When McClain attempts to roll over to vomit, they shout at him to “stop fighting us.”

“If you keep messing around, I’m going to bring my dog out here and he’s going to bite you,” says an officer standing over McClain.

McClain proceeds to vomit.

“I can’t fix myself,” he says weakly.

McClain’s body goes limp and he passes out.

Eventually one officer asks, “Are you OK?”

But he’s not asking McClain. He’s speaking to the officer on top of him.

“Yeah, I’m good,” the officer says shifting his weight.

When the members of Aurora Fire Rescue later arrived on the scene, a fire medic injected McClain with ketamine to calm him.

Officers tell the medic they believe McClain is on drugs.

“Whatever he’s on, he has incredible strength,” one officer says. (McClain’s autopsy revealed he had marijuana his system.)

More than 20 minutes after the confrontation began, McClain was placed into an ambulance where he stopped breathing. He suffered cardiac arrest on the way to the hospital and on August 30 he was removed from life support.

Public Confidence In Law Enforcement Is Low

“I was moved by speaking with Elijah’s mother and her description of her son as a responsible and curious child who became a vegetarian to be healthier, and who could inspire the darkest soul,” Polis said Thursday.

He continued: “Public confidence in our law enforcement process is incredibly important now more than ever,” Polis said. “A fair and objective process free from real or perceived bias for investigating officer-involved killings is critical.”

Earlier this month, attorney Eric Daigle, an independent investigator who was looking into the case, was removed over concerns that he may be biased. Members of the public pressed local officials for his removal after learning Daigle was previously a police officer in Connecticut and has subsequently defended law enforcement agencies in other legal cases.

The officers involved in the fatal altercation — Nathan Woodyard, Jason Rosenblatt, and Randy Roedema — were placed on administrative leave for about three months following McClain’s death.

All three were cleared of wrongdoing by the Aurora Police Department in February. Police department officials determined that everyone involved had used an appropriate level of force throughout the confrontation and that it was consistent with training.

The Adams County Coroner’s Office concluded that he died from “undetermined causes.” But it left open the possibility that the police carotid hold and ketamine injection may have contributed to his death.

“Based on my review of the EMS reports, hospital records, bodycam footage from the restraining officers, and the autopsy findings, I cannot determine which manner of death is most likely,” the coroner report said, according to 9 News.

Ultimately, Adams County District Attorney Dave Young declined to file criminal charges. And as recently as Wednesday, Young told the news station he had no grounds to reopen the investigation.

“I’m not trying to justify the officers’ actions. I’m only saying I cannot prove a crime beyond a reasonable doubt,” Young added.

McClain Family Seeks Justice

“They murdered him. They are bullies with badges,” McClain’s mother, Sheneen McClain, told CBS News on Thursday.

Mari Newman, a lawyer for McClain’s family, told NBC News that the family is dismayed it has taken a national outcry to prompt officials to reinvestigate.

“It’s unfortunate that it takes international media pressure and petitions signed by two million people before the elected officials would do their jobs, and by elected officials I mean the DA and the mayor,” Newman said.

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announces Colorado

Colorado announces no new coronavirus-linked deaths for second straight day – Fox News

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For the second straight day, Colorado reported no new deaths linked directly to the novel coronavirus, according to official estimates.


The news comes as deaths from the coronavirus in the Centennial State have continued to decline since peaking in mid-April, the Denver Post reported. 

Hospitalizations due to COVID-19 are also falling, with some 297 people currently hospitalized in Colorado. The newspaper noted this is the first time since March 27 that less than 300 people in the state have been hospitalized at once due to the coronavirus.

The news comes after Colorado made a significant change to the way it counts COVID-19 deaths that reduced the statewide figure from more than 1,000 to 878 in mid-May. The change came after Colorado’s Department of Public Health admitted that its COVID-19 death toll was counting those who tested positive for the coronavirus but had died of other causes. The state now separates the two, now listing “deaths among cases” and “deaths due to COVID-19” in separate categories in its official estimates.


Colorado has reported 26,378 cases of the novel virus, with some 1,181 deaths due to COVID-19, according to the latest estimates. 

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Colorado health

Colorado health officials under fire for saying drunk man died of coronavirus – Daily Mail

Colorado health officials claimed drunk man died of coronavirus when his blood-alcohol content was seven times the legal limit

  • Montezuma County Coroner George Deavers found that Sebastian Yellow, 35, who tested positive for COVID-19, had died of acute alcohol poisoning
  • Deavers’ investigation determined Yellow’s blood alcohol content was .55, which is about seven times the legal limit
  • The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, however, categorized Yellow’s death as being due to COVID-19  and updated its daily tally
  • There have been 20,475 confirmed cases in Colorado of the coronavirus, which has been blamed for 1,062 deaths
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

By Ralph R. Ortega For

Published: | Updated:

Colorado state health officials are being challenged by a county coroner for saying that a man who tested positive for the coronavirus succumbed to the deadly infection when an investigation showed he had literally drunk himself to death.

Montezuma County Coroner George Deavers conducted an investigation that determined Sebastian Yellow, 35, had died of acute alcohol poisoning after his blood alcohol content came back at .55. That’s about seven times the legal limit. 

Yellow’s body was found by police lying in a public park in Cortez on May 4. 

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, however, categorized Yellow’s death as being due to COVID-19, and the information was used to update the state’s death tally from the virus. 

Montezuma County Coroner George Deavers (pictured) conducted an investigation that determined Sebastian Yellow, 35, had died of acute alcohol poisoning after his blood alcohol content came back at .55. That’s about seven times the legal limit

The body of Sebastian Yellow body was found by police lying in a public park in Cortez on May 4. Yellow is pictured in an undated photo

‘I can see no reason for this’, Deavers told KCNC.  

There have been 20,475 confirmed cases in Colorado of the coronavirus, which has been blamed for 1,062 deaths. 

Across the country there have been 1,451,988 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, which has been blamed for 86,719 deaths.

The coroner’s challenge of how Yellow’s death was blamed on the coronavirus, when in fact he died from drinking, comes as the state has come under scrutiny for reclassifying deaths contrary to what doctors already have determined. 

An investigation found state health officials reclassified three deaths at a Centennial nursing home as COVID-19 deaths after attending doctors ruled they were not related to coronavirus, reports KCNC.

Each of the dead residents had tested positive for the coronavirus, but their passing was blamed on other causes by the physicians, KCNC, which conducted the investigation, reports. 

The state’s official tally then increased the number of coronavirus deaths at the Someren Glen facility from four to seven, based on the disputed deaths.

On Thursday, Rep. Mark Baisley, a Republican representing Douglas and Teller Counties, wrote to District Attorney George Brauchler of the 18th Judicial District, calling for a criminal investigation into the reclassification of the deaths as well as criminal charges against state health department director Jill Ryan.

Baisley charged in a letter to Brauchler that the reclassificaitons were ‘deliberate acts of certificate falsification.’

‘I believe these acts of falsely altering death certificates to be criminal acts of tremendous concern to you and my constituents. I hereby request that you investigate this matter with the intent of bringing criminal charges against Jill Ryan.’

At an April 7 news conference, Dr. Deborah Birx of President Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force compared how other countries classify the deaths to US reporting.

At an April 7 news conference, Dr. Deborah Birx (pictured) of President Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force compared how other countries classify the deaths to US reporting

‘There are other countries that if you had a pre-existing condition and let’s say the virus caused you to go to the ICU and then have a heart or kidney problem – some countries are recording that as a heart issue or a kidney issue and not a COVID-19 death,’ Birx first said. 

‘Right now … if someone dies with COVID-19 we are counting that as a COVID-19 death,’ she added, about the US reporting. 

That statement left some in the medical profession questioning whether COVID-19 data will be skewed when counting the actual number of people who died from the virus. 

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