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Ernest LuningErnest LuningJanuary 30, 201811min705

More than 150 politicos of all stripes packed the historic Carriage House at the Governor’s Residence at Boettcher Mansion in Denver Wednesday night for a session-opening shindig thrown by Colorado Politics. Republicans rubbed shoulders with Democrats, toasting the young political news website and the nearly 120-year-old publication it incorporated last year.


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Ernest LuningErnest LuningJanuary 8, 201814min4027

The nonprofit formerly known as the Centrist Project, a group working to elect nonpartisans officials nationwide, on Monday unveiled a slate of four unaffiliated Colorado candidates running this year for the Legislature  in the opening salvo of its assault on the two major parties' unbroken rule of the state's government. It also announced it's changing its name to Unite America and will call the state-focused organization Unite Colorado.


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Joey BunchJoey BunchNovember 9, 20172min843
The race to succeed Rep. Pete Lee in House District 18 in Colorado Springs next year got a little more crowded when former Manitou Springs Mayor Marc Snyder signed up for the race last week. Lee is running in Senate District 11 to succeed Mike Merrifield, a former Manitou Springs city councilman who is retiring […]

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Joey BunchJoey BunchNovember 6, 20173min530
The way justice is meted out in Colorado could change, giving judges more say in habitual offender and sex offender cases, through bills bound for the legislature. The Sentencing in the Criminal Justice System Interim Study Committee is proposing bills to allow judges more leeway in sentencing to make sure the punishment fits the crime. The […]

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Joey BunchJoey BunchOctober 23, 20173min708

The new director of Colorado Office of Behavioral Health has another new title: Friend of Children.

Robert Werthwein received the award from Court Appointed Special Advocates, or CASA.

Werthwein was recognized for his work with the Colorado Department of Human Service’s Office of Children, Youth and Families from March 2015 to September 2017, before DHS promoted him last month.

For 24 years, CASA has given the Friend of Children Award “to those who personify the values of humanitarian outreach and volunteerism with children, families and the community,” DHS said.

The award typically goes to judges, law enforcement, doctors, legislators or individuals who work to make life better for kids.

“At CDHS, we’re charged with ensuring every child in our care knows that they can rely on us, that we’re going to work to equip them with the tools they need to succeed and when the burden is too much, we’ll be there to help lighten the load,” Werthwein said in a statement. “Our kids are our future, and we’re going to keep showing up for them every day to help put more Colorado youth on a path to success.”

Since earning his doctorate in clinical psychology, Werthwein has worked to strengthen child-welfare programs and improve treatment for at-risk children. At the Office of Children, Youth and Families, Werthwein focused on juvenile justice, child welfare, human trafficking and other complex issues.

DHS referenced his work on House Bill 1207, the legislation sponsored by Rep. Pete Lee, D-Colorado Springs, and Sen. Kevin Priola, R-Henderson, that removes incarceration as an option for children younger than 12.

The rule already applied to children 10 and younger. The bill signed into law by the governor in May.

“Dr. Werthwein worked tirelessly to advocate for 10-12 year olds in the juvenile justice system, keeping those youths with low-level offenses from mandatory detention facilities,” DHS said.


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Joey BunchJoey BunchSeptember 8, 20173min977
Jillian Likness, a Republican political activist and strategist, is in the race to succeed Rep. Pete Lee in House District 18 in Colorado Springs next year. Lee, a Democrat, is term-limited in the House and said last weekend he plans to run for Senate District 11. The incumbent there, Democrat Mike Merrifield, said he’s stepping […]

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