Your Evening News - December 15th, 2014

Dec 15, 2014

ACS Gets High Marks in State Rankings

The Aspen Community School is one of the top-ranked schools in the state according to a new analysis. The school near Woody Creek ranked 6th out of 500 middle schools. The organization Colorado School Grades releases its report card annually on nearly 2,000 public schools. The group uses data from the Colorado Department of Education and a formula developed at the University of Colorado Denver to come up with its rankings. The formula looks at a school’s academic achievement, academic growth and gaps in education. In 2014, the Aspen Community charter School received an “A-plus” for grades six through eight. Other schools in the Roaring Fork Valley received grades. The Aspen High School scored a “B-plus” and Roaring Fork High School in Carbondale received a “C,” as did Glenwood Springs High School. Bridges High School in Carbondale was one of the lowest scoring high schools in the state. A link for the full list can be found here.

Today is the State Health Care Early Deadline

Today is the deadline to buy the most affordable health care plans through Colorado’s online health insurance marketplace. Officials have been encouraging residents in the Roaring Fork Valley to sign up to get the best prices for health insurance. Prices are going down next year for at least one of the more affordable plans. But, residents who already have insurance won’t qualify unless they sign up now. Tax subsidies will also change in 2015. While the enrollment period continues until mid-February, officials say changing plans now or signing up for the first time is the best way to lock in the lowest prices and guarantee coverage for January 1st.  Penalty fees for not having health insurance are going up next year.

Gay Kids Have Harder Time in School

Students who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual face more challenges than students who identify as heterosexual according to a statewide survey. Students who call themselves lesbian, gay, or bisexual are more likely to be bullied, commit suicide, or forced into sex. They’re also more likely to smoke cigarettes or marijuana according to the 2013 Health Kids Colorado Survey. The survey found LGB teens are less likely to attempt suicide if they have someone to talk to, participate in extracurricular activities, or feel safe at school.

“Good Behavior” Lawsuit Goes Before State Supreme Court

A lawsuit heading to the state supreme court could mean thousands of inmates could be released from Colorado prisons. The Denver Post reports the Colorado Supreme Court is heading the case of Randal Ankeney. The case centers on the Department of Corrections not factoring in good behavior for early release of prisoners. Ankeney says he spent two years longer in a Colorado prison than he should have and the state Court of Appeals agreed, releasing him in August 2013. The Department of Corrections appealed the ruling to the state’s high court and has refused comment at this time. The state Supreme Court is expected to rule in a written opinion in the New Year. A federal lawsuit has also been filed against the Colorado Department of Corrections seeking damages.