Two men were arrested early Friday and face multiple charges for allegedly stealing cigarettes and other tobacco goods from a Shell Gas Station on East Platte Avenue.
Colorado Springs police officer Todd Eckert at 1:31 a.m. was driving on East Platte near North Murray Boulevard when he spotted two males running south along Platte. The two ran behind a shopping center on the southwest corner of East Platte and Murray, then headed west.
About a minute after he spotted the two, a call came in indicating that a burglar alarm from the Shell at 4270 East Platte Ave. was going off. Officers there found the station had been burglarized.
Officers found the two men hiding in a fenced-in complex in the 3900 block of East Bijou Street, police said. They also located two large bags that the suspects had been carrying and inside the bags found packages of cigarettes and other tobacco items.
From about 9 a.m. forecasters say there will be a 30 percent chance of snow Friday, with areas of freezing fog before 8 a.m. You can expect mostly cloudy skies with a high near 30, the National Weather Service said.
Friday night there will a 30 percent chance of snow before 8 p.m. with a low around 11.
The weekend's best day will be Saturday, with a 30 percent chance of rain under mostly sunny skies and a high near 44. The weather service expects less than a tenth of an inch of new precipitation and a low Saturday night around 18. Sunday the chance of snow is 40 percent with a high near 27 and a low of around 12. The week starts Monday under mostly sunny skies and a high near 37.
Mansion near Steamboat Springs sold at auction
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS (AP) — The buyer of a mansion near Steamboat Springs got a bargain when the home sold for more than $5 million.
The 14,000-square-foot, seven-bedroom home overlooking Stagecoach Reservoir was previously listed for about $10 million. The buyer was not identified.
According to Steamboat Today (http://tinyurl.com/b39439k ), the auctioneer was able to move the price up by offering to include most of the furniture in the home, a membership at Christie Club at the base of Steamboat Ski Area and a Bobcat skid steer with a snow removal attachment.
CDOT adds I-25 information to smartphone app
DENVER (AP) — A smartphone app that has been helping travelers track traffic on Interstate 70 has added details for part of I-25 too.
The Colorado Department of Transportation launched the CDOT Mobile app in September with real-time information on highway conditions and traffic on I-70. On Thursday, the department added information on the I-25 corridor between Colorado Springs and E-470 in the northern Denver suburbs.
CDOT operations director Ryan Rice says the app has had about 50,000 users so far.
Future phases of the app will focus on other major highways in the Denver metro area and the rest of the state.
Denver limits sports fields access due to drought
DENVER (AP) — As drought conditions linger, Denver Parks and Recreation is closing its grass fields for sports including soccer until April 1.
Parks spokesman Jeff Green says the fields are in bad shape because of not enough moisture, and parks officials want to try to let the grass recover enough to be available this summer.
Green says the snow this week has helped, but the fields still need more moisture.
Fields for baseball and softball will open March 18 because those sports lead to less wear and tear on the ground, but fields for others sports won't open until later.
Parks officials plan to keep monitoring the fields.
Ex-officer of NM project pleads guilty in tax case
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The former director of an economic development project for the Navajo Nation has pleaded guilty to federal tax evasion.
New Mexico prosecutors say 62-year-old Hak Ghun entered into a plea agreement Thursday with the U.S. Attorney's Office.
They say Ghun will be given a prison sentence of 12 to 18 months and must pay nearly $250,000 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service.
Ghun, of Durango, Colo., was accused last April of evading nearly $368,000 in federal taxes in 2005 to 2007.
He was the chief executive officer of BCDS Manufacturing Inc. in Shiprock, N.M.
The tribe invested economic development funds in BCDS and became the majority owner of the company by 2004.
The indictment claimed Ghun used BCDS funds to pay personal expenses and filed false corporate tax returns.
Report says Boulder could replace Xcel Energy
BOULDER (AP) — A report that will be presented Tuesday to the City Council of Boulder says the city can create its own utility and offer comparable rates than what customers would pay Xcel Energy.
Xcel spokeswoman Michelle Aguayo told The Denver Post (http://bit.ly/13pDsHU ) the utility was reviewing the report Thursday.
The city is reviewing whether to work with Xcel or create its own utility as it looks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and get more electricity from renewable sources.
The analysis by a group of consultants and citizen working groups found that the basic cost of buying Xcel's infrastructure would be $150 million, and additional costs could reach $255 million.
The City Council plans to decide April 16 whether to move forward with potentially creating a municipal utility.
CU considers plan that would raise tuition costs
COLORADO SPRINGS (AP) — University of Colorado budget officials are proposing a plan that would amount to an 8.7 percent increase in tuition next fall for most in-state students on the Boulder campus, bringing their annual rates to $8,760.
The Daily Camera reports (http://bit.ly/YpB28x) CU finance chief Todd Saliman unveiled the tuition proposal Thursday at the regents' meeting in Colorado Springs. The Board of Regents isn't expected to vote on it until the spring.
The tuition plan would change how students are charged. Currently full-time students pay for 11.25 credit hours a semester at $358 per hour, yet they can take up to 18 credits, or sometimes even more with campus approval. University officials are now proposing charging full-time students for 12 credit hours at $365 per credit hour.
Woman accused in fatal wrong-way crash arrested
WESTMINSTER (AP) — Westminster police have arrested the woman suspected of driving an SUV the wrong way on U.S. 36, leading to a fatal crash.
Britni June Bunn of Broomfield appeared in court Thursday morning. She faces several charges including driving under the influence of alcohol and vehicular homicide following the collision early Wednesday.
Police say the SUV was traveling the wrong direction on U.S. 36 when it crashed into an Acura. SUV passenger Vincent Michael James Gibson of Broomfield was killed, and two people in the Acura were injured. Bunn also was taken to a hospital.
Erie man pleads guilty to harassing 2 cyclists
BOULDER (AP) — A 75-year-old SUV driver accused of harassing two cyclists in Boulder County by honking the horn at them almost continuously for several minutes has been sentenced to a year of probation.
The Daily Camera reports (http://bit.ly/XPjNxG) James Ernst, of Erie, also will be required to undergo anger management and do community service. He pleaded guilty to two counts of harassment and two counts of improper use of a horn.
Ernst was arrested after the cyclists posted an online video of the SUV honking its horn at them last year. The Colorado State Patrol investigated, tracked the SUV to Ernst, and ticketed him.
Ernst told a judge Thursday that he hadn't wanted to cross over a double yellow line on a narrow uphill road to get around the cyclists.
5 American Indians chosen for 'champions' program
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Five Native American youths are being honored in a spinoff of a White House program called "Champions For Change."
The Aspen Institute's Center for Native American Youth said in a statement Thursday the program is meant to promote hope and leadership opportunities.
The participants are 14-year-old Cierra Fields of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma; 19-year-old Vance Home Gun of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes in Montana; 22-year-old Joaquin Gellegos of the Jicarilla Apache Nation and Pueblo of Santa Ana in Colorado; 18-year-old Sarah Schilling of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians in Michigan; and 15-year-old Dahkota Brown of the Wilton Miwok of California.
They head to Washington for a May 4 reception for the National Congress of American Indians' conference. They also will participate in a discussion in the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Hearing Room.
United Airlines delays Denver-Tokyo flights
DENVER (AP) — United Airlines is delaying the launch of a new route from Denver to Tokyo-Narita airport while U.S. regulators investigate problems with the new Boeing 787 aircraft.
The airline said Thursday it now hopes to begin the service on May 12, but that will depend on getting the aircraft in service.
In the meantime, United Airlines is taking the troubled Boeing 787 out of its flying plans for the rest of this month.
Federal officials say it could be weeks before they know what caused a 787 battery fire last month
FBI looking into 2010 death at Denver jail
DENVER (AP) — The FBI is looking into the 2010 death of a street preacher who died after Denver sheriff's deputies restrained him in jail.
FBI spokesman Dave Joly told The Denver Post (http://bit.ly/XBSnOs ) that the agency and the Department of Justice are reviewing the Marvin Booker case to see if it warrants a federal civil rights investigation.
Booker's family is suing the city in federal court. On Wednesday, their lawyers asked a judge to allow them release "documents and information" to the FBI and Justice Department.
According to the suit, Booker died after five deputies placed him in a neck hold and shocked him with a stun gun after he had been handcuffed. He was accused of possessing drug paraphernalia.
Midwest bankers survey suggests economic growth
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A survey of rural bankers in 10 Midwest and Plains states suggests slow economic growth is ahead.
A report released Thursday on the Rural Mainstreet Index says the overall index rose to 58.2 in February, compared with 55.6 in January.
Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the report, and he says it is the index's fifth increase in the past six months. He says he expects economic growth for the region "will continue on a slow but positive pace."
The index ranges from 0 to 100, with 50 representing growth neutral. Any score below 50 on the index suggests contraction in the months ahead.
The index is based on a survey of rural bankers in Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.
Man in custody after shots fired during standoff
DENVER (AP) — Denver police say a man is in custody after multiple shots were fired during a standoff.
Police spokesman Sonny Jackson said police responded to a call about a suicidal man early Thursday, and the man opened fire. Jackson says police did not return fire and evacuated nearby buildings while gunfire continued for four hours.
The man surrendered after police threw chemical charges into the building. Police said they arrested Shaun Tobelmann on suspicion of assault and firing a weapon.
Police say they do not know if the man was targeting any people or authorities. No one was injured in the incident.
TODAY IN HISTORY
In 1732, the first president of the United States, George Washington, was born in Westmoreland County in the Virginia Colony.
In 1784, a U.S. merchant ship, the Empress of China, left New York for the Far East to trade goods with China.
In 1862, Jefferson Davis, already the provisional president of the Confederacy, was inaugurated for a six-year term after his election in November 1861.
In 1865, Tennessee adopted a new constitution that included the abolition of slavery.
In 1909, the Great White Fleet, a naval task force sent on a round-the-world voyage by President Theodore Roosevelt, returned after more than a year at sea.
In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge delivered the first radio broadcast from the White House as he addressed the country over 42 stations.
In 1935, it became illegal for airplanes to fly over the White House.
In 1943, Pan Am Flight 9035, a Boeing 314 flying boat, crashed while attempting to land in Lisbon, Portugal. Twenty-five people were killed; 14 people survived.
In 1959, the inaugural Daytona 500 race was held; although Johnny Beauchamp was initially declared the winner, the victory was later awarded to Lee Petty.
In 1967, more than 25,000 U.S. and South Vietnamese troops launched Operation Junction City, aimed at smashing a Vietcong stronghold near the Cambodian border. (Although the communists were driven out, they later returned.)
In 1973, the United States and China agreed to establish liaison offices.
In 1980, the “Miracle on Ice” took place in Lake Placid, N.Y., as the United States Olympic hockey team upset the Soviets, 4-3. (The U.S. team went on to win the gold medal.)
In 1993, the U.N. Security Council unanimously approved creation of an international war crimes tribunal to punish those responsible for atrocities in the former Yugoslavia.
Ten years ago: Jesica Santillan, the teenager who’d survived a botched heart-lung transplant long enough to get a second set of donated organs, died two days after the second transplant at Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina.
Five years ago: Turkish troops crossed into northern Iraq in their first major ground incursion against Kurdish rebel bases in nearly a decade. Singer-actress Jennifer Lopez gave birth to twins, a girl and a boy. Civil rights activist Johnnie Carr died at age 97 in Montgomery, Ala.
-- “Storytime,” read “When Charlie McButton Lost Power” by Suzanne Collins, with snack and craft, 10:30 a.m., Barnes & Noble, 795 Citadel Drive East.
-- “All Ages Chess Club and Checkers,” 3-5 p.m., Briargate Branch Library, 9475 Briar Village Point, free.
-- The Flumps, 7:30-10 p.m., Rico’s Coffee, Chocolate And Wine Bar, 322 N. Tejon St., free.
-- Tattooed Grin, November Mourns, Glass Delirium, Resonance, 8 p.m., Zodiac Venue and Bar, 230 Pueblo Ave., $5.