A federal district court judge in Denver will hear arguments in a 1 p.m. Friday hearing in a lawsuit seeking to overturn Colorado Springs' new "no-solicitation zone," which bans panhandling in some areas of downtown.
The suit, filed Wednesday by the Colorado American Civil Liberties Union, asks for a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction. The suit describes the zone as an “ill-advised ordinance that effects a breathtakingly broad suppression of First Amendment rights.”
The case is being heard Friday because the ACLU requested an expedited hearing, said ACLU spokeswoman Jenny Davies-Schley. The group wanted to get their case before a judge as soon as possible, because the ordinance is scheduled to go into effect Sunday.
If approved, the temporary restraining order would prevent enforcement of the new law until the lawsuit is concluded, said Davies-Schley.
The no-solicitation zone was approved by City Council on Tuesday by an 8-1 vote, with Councilman Val Snider dissenting. Among other things, the ordinance would prohibit anyone from asking strangers for money.
The zone covers a 12-block radius between Boulder Street on the north, Nevada Avenue on the east, Cucharras Street on the south and Cascade Avenue on the west. The zone includes Acacia Park. The council also approved a change that forces panhandlers to stay at least 20 feet away from any business within city limits.
The National Weather Service forecasts a high temperature of 63 degrees along with mostly sunny skies Friday in Colorado Springs. We get nearly a carbon copy over the weekend with forecast high temps of 63 Saturday and 63 Sunday.
Police continue search for missing Springs boy
DURANGO (AP) — Authorities say they aren't giving up their search for Dylan Redwine, a 13-year-old Colorado Springs boy missing for 12 days in southwest Colorado.
A task force of 50 members has been going door to door since Tuesday looking for any information that could help them find the boy.
On Thursday, authorities searched the home of the boy's father because it's the last place Dylan Redwine was seen before he disappeared.
Authorities say it was just a precaution because Mark Redwine has previously allowed investigators to search his property.
Dylan Redwine was visiting his dad for Thanksgiving as part of a court order. He lives with his divorced mother in Colorado Springs.
Park renamed in honor of Jessica Ridgeway
WESTMINSTER (AP) — A city park has been renamed in memory of a 10-year-old Colorado girl who was abducted and killed last month.
The Denver Post reported Thursday (http://tinyurl.com/d2rf9yq ) the Westminster City Council voted to change the name of Chelsea Park to Jessica Ridgeway Memorial Park. Jessica lived in Westminster.
City officials say the old park sign has been removed and will be replaced in about two weeks.
A plan to redevelop the park has been moved up from 2014 to start next year.
Officials say planners are working with Jessica's family to develop a theme that will be a happy celebration of her life with some of her favorite things, such as a zip line and the color purple.
Officials say city funds are being used and donations will also be accepted.
Crews building line around national park fire
ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK (AP) — Crews are building a fire line on the southwest side of a 2.3-square-mile wildfire in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Park officials said Thursday crews set up pumps to draw water from a creek to help with firefighting.
About 60 people are fighting the fire.
The fire started Oct. 9. The cause is still under investigation.
Workers prepare for new jet Dreamliner at DIA
DENVER (AP) — Boeing's new jet Dreamliner made a stop in Denver to help United Airlines train its employees on the new model.
According to the Denver Post (http://tinyurl.com/cx9mgmc), United on Thursday began training more than 100 ground team employees, 15 mechanics and 20 customer-service employees.
The airline plans a Denver-to-Houston route beginning in December.
By March, United is scheduled to begin flying the new aircraft between Denver International Airport and Japan's Narita International Airport.
State could lose $2B from federal fiscal cliff
DENVER (AP) — Colorado could lose $2 billion in revenue and federal funds if Congress cannot agree on budget cuts by the end of this year.
If Republicans and Democrats cannot reach a compromise, automatic budget cuts could hurt Colorado defense contractors, elderly-community centers, local governments and education programs.
According to the Denver Post (http://tinyurl.com/cx2578r ), the estimates come from business groups, defense contractors and the Colorado governor's office.
Glider crashes west of Boulder, injuring 2
BOULDER (AP) — Authorities say a glider has crashed in the foothills west of Boulder, injuring two people.
The Boulder County Sheriff's Department says the glider crashed on Gold Hill Road at about 1 p.m. Thursday.
The pilot was being treated at a Boulder hospital for a possible back injury. A passenger was treated and released.
Deputies say it appears the glider entered a downdraft and lost elevation, and when the pilot tried to land in a field, one wing struck power lines, causing the crash.
The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.
Homemade chemical bombs detonate; no one injured
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS (AP) — Police say someone detonated four small, home-made chemical bombs around the northwestern Colorado town of Oak Creek, but no injuries or damages have been reported.
Steamboat Today reported Thursday (http://tinyurl.com/c5tbqph ) the bombs consisted of plastic bottles with ingredients that explode when they're combined.
Oak Creek Fire Protection District Chief Chuck Wisecup says the explosion produces chemicals and fumes that can cause burns, respiratory problems and blindness.
Police say witnesses reported hearing sounds similar to gunshots or firecrackers.
Wisecup says similar devices were set off in Hayden in 2007, injuring a police officer who was exposed to the fumes.
No charges in death of 2-year-old hit by SUV
LITTLETON (AP) — Police say the death of a 2-year-old boy who was struck by a vehicle in a Littleton parking lot was an accident, and no charges will be filed.
Police identified the victim on Thursday as Bram Venn. He was struck by an SUV on Nov. 17 in the parking lot of the Aspen Grove Shopping Center. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.
No other details have been released. The driver of the SUV hasn't been identified.
TODAY IN HISTORY
In 1939, the Winter War began as Soviet troops invaded Finland. (The conflict ended the following March with a Soviet victory.)
In 1954, Ann Elizabeth Hodges of Oak Grove, Ala., was slightly injured when an 8 1/2-pound chunk of meteorite crashed through her roof, hit a radio cabinet, and then hit her as she lay napping on a couch.
In 1962, Eastern Air Lines Flight 512, a DC-7B, crashed while attempting to land at New York’s Idlewild Airport, killing 25 of the 51 people on board.
In 1982, the motion picture “Gandhi,” starring Ben Kingsley as the Indian nationalist leader, had its world premiere in New Delhi.
In 1982, the Michael Jackson album “Thriller” was released by Epic Records.
In 1966, the former British colony of Barbados became independent.
In 1987, American author James Baldwin died in Saint Paul de Vence, France, at age 63.
-- “Storytime,” children’s program, read “Bears in Bed,” by Shirley Parenteau, 10:30 a.m., Barnes & Noble, 795 Citadel Drive East.
-- Cheyenne Mountain Charter Academy
Vanguard Holiday Bazaar with homemade and new items, 1-5 p.m., The Vanguard School, 1605 S. Corona Ave., Building C, free admission.
-- Pamela Madsen, 3-6 p.m., University Center, 1420 Austin Bluffs Parkway, free.
-- “Fabulous Friday Fun,” children’s program, 4 p.m., Monument Library Branch, 1706 Lake Woodmoor Drive, Monument, free.
-- “5th Annual Christmas Dinner Theater” with live music, monologues, drawings and each child gets a toy, 6 p.m., Black Forest Chapel, 14190 Black Forest Road, free.
-- Colorado College Choir and Chamber Chorus, 7:30 p.m., Colorado College, Shove Memorial Chapel, 1010 N. Nevada Ave., free.