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Associated Press Updated: July 25, 2014 at 10:15 am 0


Court denies appeal on same-sex marriage licenses

DENVER (AP) — The Colorado Court of Appeals has denied state Attorney General John Suthers' request to stop Boulder's clerk from issuing same-sex marriage licenses.

The court issued its ruling Thursday evening, saying Suthers didn't establish the factors required to reverse a ruling that allowed clerk Hillary Hall to issue such licenses. The court did not elaborate on its decision.

Suthers appealed Monday after state District Judge Andrew Hartman rejected his request to stop Hall.

Hall says "hopefully this means that the Attorney General will respect the appellate court's decision rather than filing more motions or appeals."

As of noon Thursday, her office had issued 183 same-sex marriage licenses.

The state Supreme Court on Friday ordered Denver's clerk to stop issuing same-sex marriage licenses, and Pueblo County's clerk said he reluctantly stopped the practice Monday.


Judge: James Holmes sanity exam can be recorded

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) — The judge in the Colorado theater shooting case says defendant James Holmes' second sanity evaluation can be video-recorded despite his lawyers' objections.

It isn't clear from Thursday's ruling whether the video could be shown to jurors.

The defense objected to videotaping, saying the law doesn't authorize it and it might interfere with the results.

The judge said the law doesn't prohibit recording and the defense didn't demonstrate that it would interfere.

Holmes pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to charges of killing 12 people and injuring 70 in the 2012 attack.

He underwent a sanity evaluation last summer, but the judge ruled it was flawed and ordered another.

The psychiatrist who will conduct the new exam says video provides a better record than handwritten notes.


Colorado wildfire quadruples to 32 square miles

(Eds: Updates with progress on fire, containment. APNewsNow.)

CRAIG, Colo. (AP) — Fire crews took advantage of cloud cover and higher humidity Thursday to keep a 32-square-mile wildfire under control in northwestern Colorado.

Lynn Barclay, a spokeswoman for the Northwest Colorado Fire Management Unit, says the Alkali Fire has destroyed a cabin, barn and propane tank, but no injuries have been reported. The fire is 50 percent contained.

Three head of cattle have been killed and ranchers have moved other livestock.

The fire, burning in sagebrush and grassland, was reported at about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday. It grew from almost 8 square miles to 32 square miles overnight.

About 70 firefighters are battling the blaze on federal and private land about 14 miles north of Craig and 150 miles northwest of Denver. Investigators have not said what caused the fire.


Man accused of bar hopping on mower facing DUI

(Information in the following story is from: The Tribune of Greeley, Co,

GREELEY, Colo. (AP) — A 53-year-old Weld County man accused of bar hopping in Garden City on a lawnmower is facing a DUI charge.

The Greeley Tribune reports Kenneth Welton was arrested at about 10 p.m. Tuesday after visiting two area bars. A deputy said the man had bloodshot and watery eyes, an odor of alcohol on his breath, difficulty with motor skills, slurred speech and was unable to stand without support. Welton refused both roadside sobriety testing and blood or breath tests.

An arrest affidavit says he is a habitual traffic offender and has a revoked driver's license.

The Weld County District Attorney's Office has until Friday afternoon to file formal charges.


Satellites show major Southwest groundwater loss

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A new study based on NASA satellite measurements reveals what researchers called a shocking loss of groundwater in the Southwest's largest river basin.

The study released Thursday by NASA and the University of California, Irvine says the Colorado Basin has lost enough water since 2004 to supply more than 50 million households for a year. It says more than 75 percent of that loss is groundwater.

The basin supplies water to about 40 million people in seven states as well as people in Mexico.

Lead author Stephanie Castle and fellow researchers say the losses raise further questions about the long-term sustainability of the basin's water supplies to the Southwest and Mexico.

The basin encompasses parts of California, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming.


Judge strikes down Longmont's fracking ban

LONGMONT, Colo. (AP) — A district judge has struck down Longmont's voter-approved ban on hydraulic fracturing, but stayed her decision while the city considers an appeal.

Judge D.D. Mallard ruled Thursday that the ban conflicted with state regulations and Colorado's interest in efficiently developing oil and gas deposits.

Longmont voters passed an amendment to the city charter in November 2012 that banned the practice. Hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, involves blasting underground rock formations with water, sand and chemicals so oil and natural gas can escape.

The Colorado Supreme Court ruled in 1992 that cities can't entirely ban drilling, although the court said they weren't completely forbidden from regulating oil and gas development.

Supporters of the ban say fracking is environmentally risky.


Judge could approve $3.3M Denver jail-abuse payout

DENVER (AP) — A federal judge says he will likely accept a proposed $3.3 million settlement offer from the city of Denver to a former inmate who said a sheriff's deputy encouraged other inmates to beat him.

But U.S. District Judge John Kane said after a closed hearing Thursday unresolved issues remain in the case involving Jamal Hunter.

Hunter's allegations were so serious Kane requested the Department of Justice to investigate the Denver police and sheriff's departments.

Hunter says a deputy ignored his screams while inmates attacked him and scalded his genitals with hot water. Cameras captured another deputy choking Hunter 12 days later.

The proposed payout is the largest in Denver's history in a civil rights case. It came a day after Sheriff Gary Wilson resigned amid mounting misconduct claims against deputies.


Cortez officer charged with child sexual assault

(Information in the following story is from: Cortez Journal,

CORTEZ, Colo. (AP) — A police officer in the southwestern Colorado town of Cortez has been charged with eight counts of sexual assault on a teenage girl.

The Cortez Journal reported Wednesday 29-year-old Ryan Carter was being held in lieu of $100,000 bond.

Defense attorney Katie Whitney declined to comment when contacted by The Associated Press Thursday.

The charges say the alleged assaults occurred between June 19 and July 11 when the girl was under 15.

An arrest warrant affidavit says the girl told investigators that Carter warned her not to tell anyone about their alleged relationship or he could lose his job and would not be able to see his children.

The Police Department has placed Carter on administrative leave.

A bond hearing is scheduled for Aug. 6 and a preliminary hearing for Aug. 20.


2 arrested in fatal stabbing in Colorado Springs

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Police have arrested two people in connection with a fatal stabbing at a townhome in southeastern Colorado Springs.

Lt. Catherine Buckley says 30-year-old David Stewart Harris and 20-year-old Devin William Durham, both of Colorado Springs, have been arrested for first-degree murder in the death of Edward Daniel Futch.

The 39-year-old was found stabbed in the Legacy Ridge Townhomes at about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, but investigators have not said what led to the attack.


Woman killed in rafting accident on Arkansas River

SALIDA, Colo. (AP) — Authorities say a Texas woman was killed in a rafting accident on the Arkansas River north of Buena Vista.

The Chaffee County Sheriff's Office says 57-year-old Mary Johnson, of Dallas, was rafting with several other people when their commercial guide fell into the river at about noon Thursday. The raft continued downstream and got stuck in a large suck hole, tossing several people overboard.

Undersheriff John Spezze says all of them were able to swim back to shore except Johnson, who was pulled from the water a short time later by a kayaker. Johnson was pronounced dead at the scene.


Police investigate apparent murder-suicide

(Information in the following story is from: Fort Collins Coloradoan,

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) — Authorities are investigating an apparent murder-suicide in Fort Collins.

The Coloradoan reports police went to a home in the southwestern part of the city just before 1 p.m. Thursday after a woman said her husband shot a family member before turning the gun on himself. The Larimer County coroner's office identified the victims as 73-year-old Gene Kapperman and 26-year-old Brandon Kapperman, both of Fort Collins.

Investigators have not said how the two were related or what led to the shooting. Autopsies are planned Friday.


Republicans jump to Astorino's defense

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Several Republican governors eyeing runs for the White House in 2016 are rallying behind the New York gubernatorial candidate spurned by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Christie, who chairs the Republican Governors Association, said this week he has no plans to campaign for GOP candidate Rob Astorino because he doesn't "invest in lost causes." Astorino is running an uphill battle against New York's Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

But Astorino announced Thursday that Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal from Louisiana, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and South Carolina's Nikki Haley have pledged to help him, even if the RGA won't.

Perry, Jindal and Perry are all mulling runs for the Republican presidential nomination.

Christie will join Haley and other governors at an Aspen Institute conversation in Colorado Thursday night.

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