(AP) — A statewide Amber Alert has been issued for two Federal Heights children who have been missing since 2:30 p.m. Thursday.
Celena Romero, 11, and Charlie Romero, 7, both disappeared from a bus stop in 9400 block of Elm Court in Federal Heights, according to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.
Authorities think they were taken by their biological mother, Tammy Rees-Romero, and her boyfriend, Jacob Lake-Sahm.
The children reportedly had extra clothes in their backpacks when they went to school today.
Police found .38-caliber bullets and moving boxes at their mother's home while looking for the children.
Celena is described as 5 feet, 1 inch tall, 90 pounds with green eyes and shoulder-length blonde hair. She was last seen wearing a black jacket and jeans.
Police said she wears heavy makeup and appears to be 18 to 19 years old.
Charlie is 4 feet, 3 inches tall, 50 pounds, and wears his blonde hair shaved into a Mohawk. He was wearing a Denver Broncos jacket and jeans.
He is "very timid and shy," according to the CBI.
Tammy Anne Rees-Romero is 35 years old, 5 feet, 3 inches tall and 140 pounds. She has red, shoulder-length hair.
Her boyfriend, Jacob Lawrence Lake-Sahm, 22, is 5 feet, 9 inches tall and weighs 130 pounds. He has short brown hair and a short beard.
They are driving a 1997 maroon Mercury sedan with Colorado license plate number 618-SZM.
Anyone who encounters them should immediately contact their local law enforcement agency.
Sunny conditions with a high of about 62 degrees will accompany strong winds Friday in the Colorado Springs area, the National Weather Service said. Winds should be in the 20 to 25 mph range with gusts pushing 40 mph, resulting in continued high fire danger and another red-flag warning for Colorado Springs and southern El Paso County.
Saturday and Sunday could be wetter and a bit colder with temperatures in the upper 40s to low 50s each day. According to the weather service, there will be about a 40 percent chance of rain or snow all weekend.
Authorities see Columbine similarities in mall fire
(AP) — Authorities say they're concerned about similarities to the Columbine High School shooting after a fire forced the evacuation of a mall just two miles from the campus.
Just like Columbine, an unexploded pipe bomb and propane tank were discovered Wednesday at Southwest Plaza Mall.
The blaze also coincided with the 12th anniversary of the deadly shooting that left 12 students and one teacher dead.
Jefferson County Sheriff Ted Mink says that they are concerned, but do not have any solid link.
No arrests have been made, but dozens of law enforcement agents were scouring security video and following other leads to identify a man seen entering the mall through a side door not normally used by the public.
No one was injured and the mall reopened Thursday.
Fire prompts some evacuations east of Aspen Park
(AP) — A wildfire burning in the foothills southwest of Denver has prompted evacuations of nearby homes.
Officials said the fire was burning Thursday off U.S. 285 at Meyer Ranch Open Space park, about a half mile east of Aspen Park. The fire has scorched approximately 40 acres in Jefferson County and is about 20 percent contained.
An official with Inter-Canyon Fire and Rescue says four small subdivisions south of the fire have been warned to be ready to leave. There are 55 firefighters at the scene and crews plan to stay overnight.
Authorities say they made calls to 62 phones alerting them of the evacuations.
An air tanker is dropping fire retardant on the flames and a helicopter is dropping water.
Douglas County teen suspect in subdivision fires
(AP) — Officials have filed second-degree arson charges against a 15-year-old male suspected of starting several fires in a Douglas County subdivision.
Authorities at South Metro Fire Rescue said Thursday they've responded to three fires in the Pinery Subdivision over the past few weeks. Charges were filed against the teen last week.
Fire investigators said the fires appeared to be related and intentionally set. They say the case isn't associated with the wildfire that burned about 2.5 square miles and temporarily forced 8,500 people out of their homes last month in the same area.
Investigators say they identified the suspect after several days of surveillance.
The fires were started in open space and threatened nearby homes.
Boulder Co. man convicted in hate-crime trial
(AP) — A 23-year-old Boulder County man has been convicted of assault in a hate-crime case.
The Daily Camera reports that Joseph Owen Coy of Lafayette was convicted Thursday on felony charges of a bias-motivated crime and second-degree assault in an attack on a University of Colorado student from Nigeria last September. Coy faces up to 16 years in prison when he is sentenced June 3.
Coy's attorney had attacked the credibility of a witness, who testified that he heard racial slurs during the assault.
Authorities say Coy and co-defendant Zachrey Harris yelled racial slurs at Olubiyi Ogundipe and his friend Ahmad Abdulkareem of Saudi Arabia.
The 23-year-old Harris was previously convicted of a misdemeanor charge of bias-motivated harassment and faces up to 18 months in jail.
Child awarded $350,000 by jury for mother's death
(AP) — An 8-year-old boy who sued the driver in the car crash that killed his mother has been awarded $350,000 by a Douglas County jury.
The Denver Post has reported that Dominick Wilmer, the driver, was convicted of two counts of vehicular homicide and was sentenced to 12 years in prison last year. Authorities say Wilmer was drunk and high on pot and was driving 110 mph.
Damon Marquand's mother, Grace Cruthers, and another passenger were killed in the 2009 crash.
The jury Thursday assigned 15 percent of the blame to Cruthers and 85 percent to Wilmer. Marquand's lawyer said this means his client will receive about 85 percent of the reward.
Marquand's grandfather sued Wilmer and the car's owner on the child's behalf.
The jury decided the owner wasn't responsible.
Lawmaker to drop proposed spring bear hunt
(AP) — A Colorado legislator says he'll change his bill on hunting bears to drop a provision that would allow killing bears in the spring.
Rep. J. Paul Brown of Ignacio told the Durango Herald Thursday that he'll amend the bill to outlaw hunting bears in March, April and May.
The bill proposed extending the season to address growing conflicts between people and bears. It would have overturned restrictions on hunting the animals, a move opposed by wildlife advocates who say conflicts occur because people are moving into bears' territory.
Voters in 1991 prohibited hunting bears in the spring because that's when female bears are taking care of their cubs. Voters also banned using dogs and baiting bears.
Brown says state wildlife officials have indicated they'll likely push for limited bear hunting in August.
Aurora Sentinel moving daily editions online
(AP) — The Aurora Sentinel is moving its daily editions to the Web and other digital media portals, but the newspaper will still produce a weekly print edition.
Publisher James Gold says the changes satisfy readers' demand to get their news immediately, whether on computers, mobile devices or phones.
The last daily print edition of the Sentinel will be published May 4. A redesigned weekly print edition debuts the next day.
Aurora Media Group bought the Sentinel earlier this year for an undisclosed amount from the Aurora Publishing Co.
Gold co-directs Leap Media Partners, which created Aurora Media Group.
Gold has previously served as a senior vice president of The New York Times Regional Media Group.
Metro State puts name change on hold
(AP) — Metropolitan State College in Denver will be keeping its name for a while longer.
The college trustees last month endorsed changing the school's name to Denver State University, but voted Thursday to wait until next year. College officials say University of Denver officials have objected to the proposed switch.
The Denver Post reports that the University of Denver is concerned the similar sounding name would encroach on the private school's established identity. Chancellor Robert Coombe wrote to lawmakers to urge them not to pass a bill authorizing Metro State's name change.
Metro State trustees are withdrawing plans to pursue the name change this legislative session, but say they're still interested in pursuing it.
- Yarnettes, have fun with other crafters, 10 a.m., Briargate Branch Library, 9475 Briar Village Point, free.
- Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference 2011 Men’s Lacrosse Championship, noon, El Pomar Sports Center, 44 W. Cache La Poudre St., free.
- “Earth Day Creation Celebration,” 3:30-5:30 p.m., East Library, Teen Center, 5550 N. Union Blvd., free.
- Black Rose Acoustic Society open stage headlined by Nearly There, 7 p.m., Black Forest Community Center, 12530 Black Forest Road, $4-$7.