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As temperatures rise and pools and lakes open up, cities in the Denver metro area and throughout Colorado are reporting shortages in lifeguards.

The big picture: It's a national issue striking summer hotspots in states across America, including in Minneapolis and Iowa, our Axios Local colleagues report.

What's happening: Pandemic-related closures at aquatic centers led to a slowdown in the training of new lifeguards, and the backlog comes as many summer-oriented businesses are forced to compete for workers.

  • The dearth is causing some pools to restrict their hours and delay their opening dates.

State of play: State of play: In Aurora, city officials are trying to fill about 100 lifeguard vacancies and have had to close one of their pools on the weekends, Aurora Parks, Recreation and Open Space Department spokesperson Erin Pulliam tells Alayna.

  • In Boulder, pool hours have been limited for the foreseeable future, with only about 60% of its seasonal positions filled, the Daily Camera reports.
  • In Colorado Springs, the city needs roughly 120 more people to man its pools and has cut hours at indoor locations to make do, per Fox21.
  • Loveland is searching for 30 lifeguards and has delayed the opening of Lake Loveland until the end of the month, Denver7 reports.

Yes, but: Not every city is experiencing a lack of lifeguards, including Denver, Parks and Recreation Department spokesperson Cyndi Karvaski tells Alayna.

Yes, but: Not every city is experiencing a lack of lifeguards, including Denver — though the city is short about 30 Parks and Rec workers, Parks and Recreation spokesperson Cyndi Karvaski told Axios.

  • In fact, the city opened eight outdoor pools this week and plans to open three more next week.
  • Grand Junction also isn't experiencing a shortage, because it was able to retain most of its lifeguards during the pandemic by redeploying them to other park jobs, city spokesperson Ken Sherbenou said.

Of note: Many employers are offering better pay and perks to attract summer employees in the face of a nationwide shortage of hospitality and restaurant workers.

Our editor Hadley's thought bubble: Take it from someone who lifeguarded during summers in college: it's a great gig. Aside from learning valuable, literally life-saving skills, you get paid to be outside by a pool all summer.

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Go deeper

Sep 2, 2021 - Axios Denver

The end of eviction protections in Colorado looms

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The last statewide protections against evictions are slated to expire Saturday, and Gov. Jared Polis hasn’t signaled whether he’ll extend the moratorium.

Why it matters: Up until August, rental assistance had moved very slowly toward those who need it. Meanwhile, 51,000 households across Colorado are behind on rent, and 20% are in Denver, according to a recent analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Pentagon approves request for 100 National Guard troops for "Justice for J6" rally

Security fencing has been reinstalled around the Capitol. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has approved a request from Capitol Police to provide 100 D.C. National Guard troops in case law enforcement requires additional support at Saturday's "Justice for J6" rally at the Capitol.

Why it matters: Security preparations have ramped up ahead of the pro-Trump demonstration, where hundreds of protesters sympathetic to the Jan. 6 Capitol attack are expected to gather.

Biden threatens new sanctions against Ethiopian officials over Tigray conflict

Photo: Al Drago/Getty Images

President Biden on Friday signed an executive order allowing the Treasury and State departments to impose sanctions against Ethiopian officials "responsible for, or complicit in, prolonging the conflict" in the Tigray region.

Driving the news: Hundreds of thousands of people are facing famine conditions in Tigray, but less than 10% of the needed humanitarian supplies has reached the region over the last month "due to the obstruction of aid access" by the Ethiopian government, according to Biden administration officials.