Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

SUNRISE: Police seek victims of camper trailer burglaries

Staff reports Updated: March 6, 2013 at 12:00 am
Colorado Springs police is looking into burglaries of six camper trailers.
The vehicles were broken into some time between 6 p.m. Monday and noon Tuesday at self-storage units at 3436 Sinton Rd.
Police responded to the call just before 3 p.m. Tuesday. They ask anyone who may be a victim of the burglaries to call the department at 444-7000.

  

WEATHER

The high will reach 59 Wednesday with a low overnight of around 31, according to the National Weather Service. The service says you can expect an even warmer Thursday with a high of 61 under mostly sunny skies.

   

AROUND COLORADO

Fort Collins bans fracking within city

FORT COLLINS (AP) — The Fort Collins City Council has banned fracking within city limits, opening the door to possible legal action.

According to the Fort Collins Coloradoan (http://tinyurl.com/cq3x3ed ), the council voted Tuesday to impose the ban despite threats from Gov. John Hickenlooper, who said the state would sue any municipality that bans oil and gas development.

The governor says such restrictions would violate the state's authority over oil and gas regulation.

Meanwhile, in Loveland, the city council approved incentives Tuesday for oil companies to follow higher standards than state regulations require, while not imposing conditions that would cause court challenges.

Hydraulic fracturing, also called fracking, is a gas drilling process that blasts chemical-laden water deep into the ground. Environmentalists say the technique pollutes groundwater and the chemicals are unsafe.

Denver light rail trains shut down by accident

DENVER (AP) — Light rail trains are shut down in Denver after a man was hit by an RTD light rail train.

RTD said Wednesday there is no movement north or south bound on the track. RTD said all routes through downtown Denver are affected.

According to KMGH-TV (http://tinyurl.com/bx7zp46 ), buses are picking up passengers stranded by the accident.

There is no word on the victim. RTD issued a statement calling it a train passenger accident.

New patent office may not open until 2014

DENVER (AP) — A government official says the opening of the new U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in downtown Denver might be delayed.

The federal government said last year it was opening regional patent offices in the Detroit, Silicon Valley, Denver and Dallas areas.

So far five Colorado-based administrative patent judges have set up shop in temporary office space in Lakewood.

Chief Judge James D. Smith told The Denver Post on Tuesday that it's still possible the permanent Denver office space could be ready in October or November, as originally planned, but early 2014 is looking more likely (http://bit.ly/Zeynjf). He says there could be delays due to efforts to get LEED Gold environmental certification.

The Denver office is expected to eventually have 20 judges and about 100 patent examiners.

Rural co-ops challenge Tri-State rate structure

DURANGO (AP) — Three rural electric cooperatives have joined some oil and gas companies in filing a complaint against Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association's new rate structure.

The Durango Herald reports (http://bit.ly/VCOafd) the parties are taking issue with Tri-State's new structure of charging customers based on average electricity usage, rather than encouraging people to use electricity during off-peak hours instead of peak hours.

Tri-State could ask the Public Utilities Commission to dismiss the complaint if it doesn't think the matter is in the commission's jurisdiction, or it could file a response to the complaint filed by parties including La Plata Electric Association Inc., Empire Electric Association Inc. and White River Electric Association Inc.

Girl takes stand in trial of accused abductor

DENVER (AP) — A girl who was 8 when she was kidnapped from a Denver alley while she was with a friend says she made her abductor pinky promise that he wouldn't hurt her, but it didn't stop him from sexually assaulting her.

The girl testified Tuesday in the trial of Bret Lee Luckett Thompson. He has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to kidnapping and sexual assault charges stemming from the abduction in 2011. Thompson's attorney Natalie Frei says Thompson has multiple personality disorder.

The girl was released about 90 minutes after her abduction and sought help at a gas station.

Thompson was arrested in New Jersey. His foster mother was sentenced last year to 60 days in jail after pleading guilty to perjury for misleading authorities over his whereabouts.

Colorado Trail adds 80 miles in Collegiate Peaks

GOLDEN (AP) — The 486-mile Colorado Trail between Denver and Durango is adding 80 miles of trail through the Collegiate Peaks, which is home to a dozen mountains topping 14,000 feet.

The Colorado Trail Foundation says the Collegiate West route offers Colorado Trail users a western alternative to an existing 80-mile stretch of trail on the eastern side of the Collegiate Peaks south of Leadville.

The new section also is part of the 3,000-mile Continental Divide National Scenic Trail that runs from Canada to Mexico.

Fort Collins man rescued from his burning garage

FORT COLLINS (AP) — Firefighters are crediting a Fort Collins utilities employee, a home health care employee, and a neighbor with helping a man escape his burning garage.

The Coloradoan reports (http://noconow.co/WHu6nW) the resident and another person were treated at the scene Friday for smoke inhalation.

The Poudre Fire Authority says the fire appears to have started accidentally in the garage. No other information was available.

Firefighters kept the flames from spreading to the living area of the home.

Betty Benavidez, first Latina in Colo. House, dies

DENVER (AP) — Elizabeth "Betty" Benavidez, the first Hispanic woman elected to the Colorado House of Representatives, has died.

Her family says Benavidez passed away Friday after a heart attack. She was 77.

A lifelong resident of Colorado, Benavidez was elected to the state House in 1970 and served from 1971 to 1974. She had not worked in politics before, but the community urged her to run, according to her daughter-in-law, Celina Benavidez.

She says the Denver Democrat was an advocate for the union labor movement, farmers' rights and women's rights. She once fasted with Cesar Chavez to support fair treatment for workers.

According to Celina Benavidez, Betty viewed politics as an equalizer, and she was especially proud of her work on a bilingual education bill.

3 accused of helping launder drug money

DENVER (AP) — A federal grand jury has indicted three people accused of helping launder drug money through automobile sales.

Raul Mendoza and Julia Castillo-Caraveo, both of Denver, and Isidro Noe Mendoza-Ortiz, of Thornton, are scheduled to be arraigned Friday on charges of structuring and money laundering.

Banks are required to report deposits that top $10,000. An indictment alleges the defendants conspired to structure daily cash receipts from Mendoza's business, Chopeque Auto Sales in Commerce City, so that they wouldn't trigger the reporting requirement.

The indictment also says undercover officers using money that they said came from drug dealing bought vehicles from Mendoza's business. The vehicles each cost more than $10,000, but the indictment alleges Mendoza's business didn't file the required reports for cash transactions topping $10,000.

Plan guides protection of tribal sacred sites

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Four federal agencies and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation have come up with a plan for improving the protection of sites held sacred by American Indians and Alaska Natives.

The plan announced Tuesday stems from a memorandum of understanding signed in December by the council and the departments of Agriculture, Defense, Energy and Interior. They all agreed to work together over the next five years to protect sacred sites as well as improve access for tribal members to sites that are on federal land.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says the new plan will help guide the agencies, which have a responsibility to respect and foster tribal heritage.

Salazar also says his department plans to put together a report on several listening sessions on sacred sites that were held last year.

Public getting more time with sage grouse proposal

DENVER (AP) — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans to give people more time to comment on a proposal to list the Gunnison sage grouse as endangered.

The agency has proposed designating 1.7 million acres in southwest Colorado and southeast Utah as critical habitat for the bird, which is related to the greater sage grouse.

Members of the congressional delegations for both states had asked for a 60-day extension in the comment period, which originally was set to close March 12. U.S. Fish and Wildlife spokesman Steve Segin (SAY'-gihn) tells The Daily Sentinel it's unclear if the agency can extend the deadline or if it will have to open a new comment period, but the agency plans to give people three more weeks to weigh in.

Gold destined for Colo. Capitol dome sent to Italy

DENVER (AP) — Gold mined in Colorado will be used to restore the gilding on the state Capitol's dome but not before a stop in Italy.

Sixty-five ounces of gold donated by AngloGold Ashanti and the Cripple Creek & Victor Gold Mining Co. was shipped to Florence, Italy late Monday. There it will transformed into sheets of gold leaf. The leaf will then be applied to a copper base plate.

An estimated 14,000 sheets of gold leaf will be needed to cover the dome. Installation is expected to start this summer.

State architect Larry Friedberg said the gold originally put on the dome over a century ago was also mined in Colorado.

The companies donated a total of 75 ounces worth about $120,000. The other 10 ounces will be held in reserve.

Teen in intensive care after hit-and-run

DENVER (AP) — A Denver teen hit by a car while crossing the street near her school remains in intensive care nearly a week after the accident.

The family of 16-year-old Deyondrah Bridgeman told KMGH-TV (http://bit.ly/13DeqcR) Tuesday that they hope the tragedy remind people of the importance of careful driving.

Deyondrah was hit on Colfax Avenue near East High School on Feb. 27. A teacher at an Aurora school, Erin Jackson, is accused of running a red light before hitting the teen and fleeing. She turned herself in the following day and has been released on $25,000 bond.

Deyondrah's family has set up a fund at Wells Fargo for anyone who wants to contribute to her medical bills.

Overdose drug expansion advances

DENVER (AP) — An overdose drug that can save the life of an overdosing addict has won initial approval in the Colorado Senate, despite objections the measure could encourage drug users.

The bill gives legal clearance for more people to administer opiate antagonists. The powerful drugs can stop an opiate overdose by "freezing" the brain's receptors for opiates such as heroin or OxyContin.

One Republican senator compared the bill to a needle-exchange program. Republican Sen. Kevin Lundberg of Berthoud said the drug's expansion would send the wrong message to people who use dangerous drugs.

Other Republicans called the measure a potential life-saver for addicts. The measure was approved on an unrecorded voice vote and faces one more Senate vote before heading to the House.

     

TODAY IN HISTORY

In 1836, the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, fell to Mexican forces after a 13-day siege.

In 1853, Verdi’s opera “La Traviata” premiered in Venice, Italy.

In 1857, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Dred Scott v. Sandford that Scott, a slave, was not an American citizen and could not sue for his freedom in federal court.

In 1912, Oreo sandwich cookies were first introduced by the National Biscuit Co.

In 1933, Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak, wounded in an attempt on then-President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt’s life the previous month, died at a Miami hospital at age 59.

In 1944, U.S. heavy bombers staged the first full-scale American raid on Berlin during World War II.

In 1953, Georgy Malenkov was named premier of the Soviet Union a day after the death of Josef Stalin.

In 1967, the daughter of Josef Stalin, Svetlana Alliluyeva(ah-lee-loo-YAY’-vah), appeared at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi and declared her intention to defect to the West.

In 1970, a bomb being built inside a Greenwich Village townhouse by the radical Weathermen accidentally went off, destroying the house and killing three group members.

In 1973, Nobel Prize-winning author Pearl S. Buck, 80, died in Danby, Vt.

In 1983, in a case that drew much notoriety, a woman was gang-raped atop a pool table in a tavern in New Bedford, Mass., called Big Dan’s; four men were later convicted of the attack.

In 1988, the board of trustees at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., a liberal arts college for the deaf, selected Elisabeth Zinser, a hearing woman, to be school president. (Outraged students shut down the campus, forcing selection of a deaf president, I. King Jordan, instead.)

    

HAPPENINGS

-- “Music at Midday,” 12:15 p.m., Colorado College, Packard Hall, 5 W. Cache La Poudre St., free.

-- R&R Military & Veterans Monthly Music Jam, 7 p.m., Stargazers Theatre and Event Center, 10 S. Parkside Drive, free.

-- Rawbert and I, 7:30-10:30 p.m., SouthSide Johnny’s, 528 S. Tejon St.

-- Senior recital, with Oliver Kennan, 7:30 p.m., Colorado College, Packard Hall, 5 W. Cache La Poudre St., free.

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