SUNRISE: Police check out possible Wyo. link to missing girl

Staff reports Updated: October 10, 2012 at 12:00 am • Published: October 10, 2012

WESTMINSTER (AP) — Authorities investigating the disappearance of a 10-year-old Colorado girl are looking into whether it could be linked to the abduction of a girl in Wyoming.

Police in the Denver suburb of Westminster say they're aware of the case in Cody, Wyo. and were working with investigators there on Wednesday.

A man lured an 11-year-old Cody girl into a sport utility vehicle on Monday saying he needed help finding his dog. She was released about four hours later and found by hunters.

Jessica Ridgeway of Westminster has been missing since Friday, when she left home to meet friends at a park for the walk to school. The fifth-grader never turned up at school.

Two days later, her backpack was found on a sidewalk in a neighborhood about six miles north.

Jessica Ridgeway was last seen leaving home to meet friends at a park so they could walk to school. Police say she didn't meet up with her friends or get to school.

The FBI sent a team to the girl's home in Westminster on Tuesday, but they refused to comment on any findings. Her mother, Sarah Ridgeway, said she wants her daughter back.

Authorities went to the Independence, Mo., residence of the girl's father, Jeremiah Bryant, on Friday.

"I just want to find my daughter and bring her back home," Bryant told the Denver Post.

Read more here.

      

WEATHER

The National Weather Service forecasts a high temperature of 66 with mostly sunny skies Wednesday in Colorado Springs. Expect an overnight low of 45.

   

AROUND COLORADO

Vestas laying off 75 more workers

DENVER (AP) — Wind turbine manufacturer Vestas Wind Systems is laying off 75 workers at its blade factory in Brighton.

The announcement on Tuesday comes after the company cut 30 jobs in Brighton and 90 at its tower factory in Pueblo.

The jobs are being cut because a federal wind production tax credit expires in December.

U.S. Sen. Mark Udall says the industry is being politicized in Congress and he believes extending the tax credits should be a top priority when lawmakers return to Washington.

Tipton, Pace prepare for final debate

PUEBLO (AP) — It could be the last time Republican Rep. Scott Tipton and Democrat Sal Pace face off in Colorado's largest congressional district.

Tipton and Pace have a debate planned Wednesday evening in Pueblo. The candidates have debated before but have no additional debates set before next month's election.

Pace is trying to unseat Tipton after a single term. Pace says Tipton sides too closely with Republicans in the House who support big changes to Medicare and other budget cuts.

Tipton is trying to fend off the challenge with appeals on his service to the district, including support for a new Chimney Rock National Monument in Durango. Tipton argues that Pace is too liberal for the district.

Denver man sentenced in kidnapping of drug dealer

DENVER (AP) — One of three men convicted in the kidnapping of a drug dealer and his family at gunpoint in a botched robbery scheme involving a stolen police uniform has been sentenced to 50 years in prison.

Tracy "Tre Dog" Morgan of Denver was sentenced last week. He must serve five years on supervised release following his 50-year prison sentence. Co-defendants, Killiu Ford of Aurora and Augustus Sanford of Denver, are awaiting sentencing.

Federal prosecutors say that in 2009, the men placed a GPS tracker on the drug dealer's car to learn where he lived. They say the men later kidnapped the dealer and his family, with Sanford wearing a police uniform he had obtained by trading marijuana with a juvenile whose father was an officer.

The kidnappers left after receiving cash.

Theater shooting victims' families seek review

DENVER (AP) — Eleven families of people killed in the shootings at an Aurora movie theater asked state officials on Tuesday to investigate a charity that has collected $5.2 million for victims.

The families contend Community First Foundation and its affiliate Giving First broke state law by failing to get their permission before using the slain victims' photographs on a Facebook page and website that encouraged donations.

The families say the foundation also implied that contributions to its Aurora Victim Relief Fund would go to victims' families, but Giving First has said about $100,000 went to nonprofit groups. They said they're concerned about where the donations are going.

A foundation representative didn't return an email seeking comment Tuesday. However, the foundation has said on its website that it gained the benefit of expertise and additional accountability by working through established nonprofit organizations such as Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance, which has agreed that money it receives from the relief fund will go directly to victims and their families.

So far the families of the 12 people killed and 58 injured in the July 20 attack have each received $5,000 for a total of $350,000 distributed to families.

The state attorney general's office and the secretary of state's office said they were reviewing the families' letter.

Ex-Adams County employee pleads guilty to theft

BRIGHTON, Colo. (AP) — A former Adams County public works director accused in a paving scandal has pleaded guilty to theft.

District Attorney Don Quick said Tuesday that Leland Asay pleaded guilty to theft for unlawful and unauthorized use of county trucks and employee services in March 2006.

Asay was one of seven people charged in a scheme in which Quality Paving and Quality Resurfacing allegedly billed the county for projects it never completed.

Former company owner Jerry Rhea was sentenced to nine years in prison and former executive Dennis Coen was sentenced to 13 years in prison for convictions on theft-related felonies.

Former Quality Resurfacing employee Heath Russo and former county employees Stacey Parkin and Sam Gomez pleaded guilty to theft. Parkin also pleaded guilty to official misconduct.

The seventh person was acquitted.

  

TODAY IN HISTORY

In 1845, the U.S. Naval Academy was established in Annapolis, Md.

   

HAPPENINGS

-- “Hillside Senior Health Fair,” 9 a.m.-noon, Hillside Community Center, 925 S. Institute St., free admission.

-- Japanese Biwa concert, 1:30 p.m., Colorado College, Packard Hall, 5 W. Cache La Poudre St., free.

Farmers market, 3-7 p.m., Fine Arts Center Sculpture Garden, 30 W. Dale St.

-- “Christopher Dawson’s Christian Vision of History” lecture with Glenn Olson, 4 p.m., Colorado College, Shove Memorial Chapel, 1010 N. Nevada Ave., free.

-- “Where Economics and Politics Meet” lecture with Ezra Klein, 7:30 p.m., Colorado College, Gates Common Room, third floor of Palmer Hall, 1025 N. Cascade Ave., free.

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