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Latest Colorado news, sports, business and entertainment

By: Associated Press
March 29, 2016 Updated: March 29, 2016 at 3:01 am


Chokehold ban among Colorado police bills nearing approval

DENVER (AP) — A limited ban on police chokeholds and other limits on law enforcement are nearing approval in the Colorado Legislature, a year after Republicans blocked measures aimed at curbing police abuse. A series of compromises appear to have made the difference. For example, the chokehold ban now would ban only chokeholds that cut off air flow, not chokeholds that cut off blood flow. Police say that's an important distinction. A Republican-controlled Senate committee approved four bills Monday to address police misconduct. Others included an expansion of the ban on racial profiling to include sexual identity and other aspects. Another bill requires authorities to expunge criminal records when people are victims of identity theft.


Bill to close prison defense loophole awaits governor's pen

DENVER (AP) — A loophole in Colorado law that allows inmates to use deadly force to defend their prison cells is close to being closed. The state Senate voted 35-0 Monday to amend Colorado's so-called "Make My Day" law, which allows deadly force against threatening intruders. The law has twice been used to clear murder charges against state inmates accused of stabbing to death another inmate who entered their cell. The prisoners successfully argued that the prison cell was their home and that they felt threatened. Lawmakers have said the "Make My Day" law was never intended to authorize a prison-cell defense.


Suit: Denver police seized phone as woman recorded arrests

DENVER (AP) — A woman says Denver police violated her rights when they confiscated her cell phone as she was using it to videotape her husband's arrest during a protest. Fort Collins resident Jessica Benn says in a federal lawsuit filed Monday that she was not interfering with officers when they took her phone during an April 2015 demonstration against police brutality. She says she was standing on a public sidewalk, clearly recording police as they arrested protesters. The lawsuit says Benn never got her phone back despite contacting police several times. The suit blames the police department for failing to train its officers on First Amendment rights and seeks unspecified damages.


Ted Cruz to campaign at Colorado state GOP convention

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Ted Cruz is coming to Colorado next week as he tries to pick up delegates to support him at the Republican National Convention. The Colorado Republican Party announced Monday that Cruz will address delegates when they gather at the state GOP convention April 9 in Colorado Springs to pick delegates for the national convention. GOP chairman Steve House says the party is hopeful that Donald Trump and Ohio Gov. John Kasich will also make their pitch there. Colorado Republicans caucused earlier this month on state and local races but didn't weigh in on the presidential race because the national GOP required a binding delegate vote.


US museum returns 10th century Khmer statue to Cambodia

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — Cambodia has welcomed home a 10th-century Khmer statue it says was looted during the country's civil war and spent the past three decades at an American museum. The sandstone Torso of Rama statue was formally handed over Monday at a ceremony in Phnom Penh. It was attended by government officials, the US ambassador and the director of the Denver Museum of Art, which acquired the statue in 1986. Cambodian Secretary of State Chan Thani thanked the museum for voluntarily returning the piece, which he said shows the museum's sensitivity to Cambodian culture and "also highlights the serious looting in the past that had occurred in our country and the government's efforts to repatriate those artifacts that left the country illegally which are parts of our soul as a nation."


Colorado farmers, ranchers respond to low feed prices

(Information from: The Tribune of Greeley, Co,

GREELEY, Colo. (AP) — Many cattle feeders and dairy owners have been able to buy their feed at low prices lately, but they are also making less off the milk and meat they sell. Rick Podtburg of Long's Peak Dairy in Pierce told The Greeley Tribune that it's been a net neutral effect: The depressed commodities market has made it more affordable to feed animals, but the price of milk has also gone down. Magnum Feedyard owner Steve Gabel says his industry has also lost value in the marketplace, but the less expensive feed helps. Other farmers say the lower grain prices have had a definite positive impact on their operations.


11 hurt, including 2 babies, in Denver fire

DENVER (AP) — Authorities say a fire in a Denver apartment building forced some residents to jump from the second and third stories after being blocked by heavy smoke in the hallways. Eleven people from the 26-unit building, including two infants, went to the hospital, where two patients were initially listed in critical condition. Fire department spokeswoman Melissa Taylor said it's not clear how many people were injured by jumping and how many may have been overcome by smoke. Three other patients were initially listed in serious condition and six others were in fair condition at Denver Health Medical Center, but the hospital wouldn't provide any updates Monday morning. Firefighters from a station less than a block away rescued other residents at the Federal View Apartments, just northwest of downtown.


Weld County officials look to reunite baby's urn with family

(Information from: Daily Times-Call,

LONGMONT, Colo. (AP) — Weld County officials are trying to return an urn containing a baby girl's ashes to its rightful owner. The Daily Times-Call reports that Weld County Sheriff's spokesman Matthew Turner says the department has no leads since finding the urn in a Longmont ditch on March 3. The urn contains the ashes of Jamesha Janaya Swain, who died May 18, 1997, and was cremated in Antioch, California. The crematory doesn't keep records that old and Turner says it was unable to provide contact information for Jamesha's family members. He says the sheriff's office has followed leads that reached as far away as Georgia, but investigators have not been able to successfully find the owners of the urn.


Man gets 6 years for fatal hit-and-run in Breckenridge

BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. (AP) — A man who was involved in a hit-and-run crash that killed a pedestrian in Breckenridge has been sentenced to six years in prison. The Summit County District Attorney's Office says 55-year-old Steven Gravatt, of Blue River, was sentenced Monday for the Aug. 31 death of 25-year-old Christina Hernandez. Gravatt pleaded guilty in January to vehicular homicide and arson. Prosecutors say Hernandez was found about 20 feet from the curb and was pronounced dead at the scene. Investigators linked Gravatt's burned SUV, which was found in a Denver junkyard, with surveillance video showing the vehicle near the scene of the crime the night Hernandez was killed. District Attorney Bruce Brown says "the crime was aggravated by the defendant's conduct, as he tried to cover his tracks."


Man shot to death by Thornton police ID'd

(Information in the following story is from: The Denver Post,

DENVER (AP) — Authorities have released the name of a Denver man who was shot to death by Thornton police officers. The Denver Post reports 51-year-old Daven Scott Hannu shot an officer during a traffic stop early Wednesday, then returned to his car and fled the scene. The wounded officer pursued Hannu, and the chase was joined by two other police vehicles. Police spokesman Matt Barnes says Hannu stopped in the middle of the street about two blocks south of where the encounter began and exchanged gunfire with officers. He was killed in the shootout, and the officer who was shot was treated at a hospital and released. Hannu had a criminal record in Colorado dating to 1983. His arrests were mainly for traffic offenses, including driving under the influence.


Elderly woman trapped in Berthoud mobile home fire dies

(Information in the following story is from: Loveland Daily Reporter-Herald,

LOVELAND, Colo. (AP) — A 75-year-old woman who was trapped in a home fire in east Berthoud died shortly after she was taken to the hospital. The Loveland Reporter-Herald reports Cecil Ann Dunfee, of Berthoud, died from smoke inhalation Friday. The Larimer County coroner's office has ruled her death an accident. Investigators have not said what caused the fire. Berthoud Fire Operations Chief Rob Stumpf says he expects more information to be released Wednesday.


Former NBA player, coach and GM Vince Boryla dies at 89

DENVER (AP) — Vince Boryla, a former player, coach and general manager in the NBA, died Sunday. He was 89.

The death was confirmed by the Denver Nuggets and the University of Denver, where he's a member of the school's Hall of Fame.

Boryla played five seasons for the New York Knicks in the 1950s before later taking over as their coach for three seasons.

While a general manager with the Nuggets, Boryla orchestrated a blockbuster deal with Portland in 1984 that brought Wayne Cooper, Fat Lever and Calvin Natt to town for Kiki Vandeweghe. Denver made it to the Western Conference finals that season and Boryla was named the NBA's Executive of the Year.

In addition, he was a member of Team USA that won a gold medal at the 1948 Olympics.

Boryla is survived by his wife, Mary Jo, and five children, along with numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren.

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