News Briefs 03. 21. 24

Trinidad Meth and Fetanyl Drug Bust, Over 2.25 Million in Goods

On Tuesday, Police in Trinidad seized more than 100 pounds of drugs during a traffic stop on Interstate 25. Officers searched the vehicle and found an estimated street value of $2.25 million in suspected fentanyl and methamphetamine. Authorities say the substances were en route to locations throughout Colorado

One person, Bartolo Rodriquez, was arrested. He’s being held on a $50,000 bond in the Las Animas County Jail and faces felony charges related to possession and distribution of drugs.

Weeks before this, another traffic stop in the same area resulted in the confiscation of roughly a million dollars in drugs. 38 pounds of them being fentanyl pills. As a note from our editors, Be aware, test your drugs, and stay safe.

Snow Storm Leaves Park County Residents Stranded with Muddy Roads

It’s been one week since Colorado’s biggest snowstorm in 3 years yet some Park County residents are still stranded due to the muddy roads left behind. With residents being without life saving medication, food, and bottled water.

Neighbors have reached out to the county for help but were told the heavy-duty equipment needed for the project could get stuck in the snow. Richard Holt, a fellow resident, shared his thoughts with Denver7 on the matter as well. “They need to bring in gravel if necessary, fix the spots that are low and grade it properly,” said Holt. “Just make it livable.”

Denver7 reached out to Park County officials to see if there are plans to pave County Road 53 but have yet to hear back. “You take the chance of not making it back if you leave,” said Flannery.

AI Literacy Funding for Colorado Schools

A program that aims to build artificial intelligence literacy among Colorado students and educators received a $3 million seed grant from the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. It’s one of 43 grants awarded Wednesday by Gov. Jared Polis in the second round of grants to prepare Coloradans for in-demand jobs.

The program, called ElevateAI, plans to bring together industry, education training partners, and Colorado school districts to help meet state hiring needs in computer and math fields. Specifically, it also aims to equip teachers and students with skills in artificial intelligence.

Rebecca Holmes, president and CEO of CEI said [quote]“We want young people from all parts of Colorado to be prepared… We don’t want only students who already have the most resources or the most resourced school districts to be the young people that are ready for that future world.”

As an added bonus, 45% of the funds will go toward a collaboration between rural Colorado and the five districts of the Rural Schools Innovations Zone (or RSIZ) in Texas, which means providing benefits for students in all of these districts

Public Defender Ransomware Attack Exposes Social Security Numbers

The Office of the Colorado State Public Defender has acknowledged personal data may have been stolen during a ransomware attack that crippled the statewide agency in early February — but won’t say much else about the ongoing effort to restore its systems after the hack.

Files [quote]“were copied without permission” during the cyberattack, which was discovered on Feb. 9, and those files may have included names, Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, medical information and health insurance information, the agency said in a statement Friday.

Officials from the public defender’s office are still investigating whose personal data may have been stolen, and whether the personal data of attorneys or their clients was compromised, they said. A statement on the agency’s website urges “individuals” to remain vigilant against identity theft and fraud.

Officials this week refused to answer questions from The Denver Post about what particular parts of the agency’s systems remain inoperable. The public defender’s office also would not disclose the amount of ransom demanded or whether a ransom was paid.