<![CDATA[Colorado Springs Gazette RSS - local]]> http://gazette.com/rss/local Sun, 04 Dec 2016 01:25:51 -0700 Zend_Feed http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss <![CDATA[Colorado electors plan to challenge state law in bid to derail Donald Trump's victory]]> http://gazette.com/colorado-electors-plan-to-challenge-state-law-in-bid-to-derail-donald-trumps-victory/article/1591550?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-electors-plan-to-challenge-state-law-in-bid-to-derail-donald-trumps-victory/article/1591550?custom_click=rss

Four of Colorado's nine Electoral College electors plan to challenge a state law that would prevent a long-shot bid to keep President-elect Donald Trump out of the White House.

Robert Nemanich, of Colorado Springs, said Saturday he and three other electors intend to sue Colorado's governor, attorney general, secretary of state and state Democratic Party chairman claiming state law requiring electors to vote for the presidential and vice presidential candidates "who received the highest number of votes at the preceding general election in this state," is unconstitutional.

Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton won Colorado - and the popular vote nationwide - but lost the election to Trump, who captured the needed Electoral



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Sat, 03 Dec 2016 23:22:07 -0700
<![CDATA[Colorado Gators a haven for the wild]]> http://gazette.com/colorado-gators-a-haven-for-the-wild/article/1591544?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-gators-a-haven-for-the-wild/article/1591544?custom_click=rss

MOSCA - Something is hissing in the tub as Jay Young approaches.

Inside is Katelyn, the 6-foot alligator with a bloody gash on her right arm - the result of a fight with another gator.

"People ask me if I'm afraid," the pony-tailed manager of Colorado Gators Reptile Park says as he hops in, a tube of medical ointment in hand. Young, 42, grabs Katelyn's tail and tugs, pulling her to him as he hops on her back and grips the sides of her jaw so that all she can snap at is air.

"You can't be afraid," he goes on. "If you're gonna work with dangerous animals, fear causes hesitation and hesitation causes your worst fears to come true. You can't be afraid.



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Sat, 03 Dec 2016 23:22:02 -0700
<![CDATA[Food riot lands nine El Paso County jail inmates in the soup]]> http://gazette.com/food-riot-lands-nine-el-paso-county-jail-inmates-in-the-soup/article/1591542?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/food-riot-lands-nine-el-paso-county-jail-inmates-in-the-soup/article/1591542?custom_click=rss

Upset over meal portions at the El Paso County jail, nine inmates stood off deputies for five hours last month, refusing to leave their cells and daring guards to try to make them.

One poured soap and water on the floor in a bid to trip up jailers. Others egged on fellow inmates to join in the mayhem and assaulted or tried to assault riot-gear clad deputies sent in to remove them by force.

All nine face felony charges of trying to incite a riot, participating in behavior that put staff in "grave danger," authorities say.

The previously unannounced Nov. 21 disturbance - described by sheriff's officials as an attempted riot - came five months after El Paso County switched vendors it uses to prepare food for an average



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Sat, 03 Dec 2016 23:21:57 -0700
<![CDATA[Colorado man sues jail after gouging out his own eye]]> http://gazette.com/colorado-man-sues-jail-after-gouging-out-his-own-eye/article/1591551?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-man-sues-jail-after-gouging-out-his-own-eye/article/1591551?custom_click=rss

DENVER (AP) — A man who gouged out his own eye while in jail is suing Rio Grande County saying jailers failed to adequately protect him from himself.

The Denver Post reports (dpo.st/2gSxfFU) Gordon Sawyers' lawsuit alleges that while he was under suicide watch — which calls for cell checks every 15 minutes — no one checked on him for three hours one night in early December, during which he gouged out his right eye.

Sawyers had been arrested on Nov. 18, 2015 for allegedly burning down an art gallery to cleanse it of witches.

The lawsuit says Sawyers' psychiatrist told jailers that Sawyers was suffering from severe mental illness and should be watched carefully because his delusions were likely to



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Sat, 03 Dec 2016 23:05:36 -0700
<![CDATA[Thousands enjoy 32nd annual Festival of Lights Parade]]> http://gazette.com/thousands-enjoy-32nd-annual-festival-of-lights-parade/article/1591555?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/thousands-enjoy-32nd-annual-festival-of-lights-parade/article/1591555?custom_click=rss

All day Saturday, Terry Collinson found himself checking the Colorado Springs weather forecast.

It'd take something like a blizzard to cancel the 32nd annual Festival of Lights, but Collinson, who is the executive director of the beloved event, was a little concerned about disappointing thousands of people. That includes the many children who wanted to catch a glimpse of Santa and the bright lights coming from dozens of floats that signify the beginning of the December holiday season.

"I really like it when it's a nice night like this," Collinson said, "where a lot of people can get out and come downtown and not worry about slippery streets and freezing cold weather."

In its 32nd year, the Festival of Lights went



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Sat, 03 Dec 2016 22:40:22 -0700
<![CDATA[Silver Key a family tradition for retired transplanted Texan]]> http://gazette.com/silver-key-a-family-tradition-for-retired-transplanted-texan/article/1591541?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/silver-key-a-family-tradition-for-retired-transplanted-texan/article/1591541?custom_click=rss

This is one of a series of stories about the nonprofit agencies that receive money from The Gazette/El Pomar Foundation Empty Stocking Fund campaign that runs through the holidays.

On the eighth day of every month 65-year-old Gilbert Jessie Junior visits Silver Key Senior Services for support with food.

"They help me with emergency services," Jessie said.

Silver Key Senior Services serves and empowers thousands of seniors in Colorado Springs. It is dedicated to respecting the lives, safety and dignity of the elderly. They are committed to helping seniors with medical, housing and personal care through assistance and transportation.



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Sat, 03 Dec 2016 22:24:59 -0700
<![CDATA[Two injured in head-on crash in northeast Colorado Springs]]> http://gazette.com/two-injured-in-head-on-crash-in-northeast-colorado-springs/article/1591540?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/two-injured-in-head-on-crash-in-northeast-colorado-springs/article/1591540?custom_click=rss

Two people were injured and taken to the hospital after a head-on crash Saturday afternoon in northeastern Colorado Springs, authorities said.

One driver was ejected from a truck and another vehicle caught on fire after the wreck on the 2300 block of Austin Bluffs Parkway, Colorado Springs police said. The truck was going at a "high rate of speed" on eastbound Austin Bluffs when it went over a median and struck a sedan on the other side of the road, police said.

In a tweet, the Colorado Springs Fire Department said bystanders attempted to extinguish the fire and pulled out "parties out of harms way."

Both drivers were taken to the hospital.



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Sat, 03 Dec 2016 21:30:08 -0700
<![CDATA[Pikes Peak region's smallest school district, Edison, tops statewide ratings]]> http://gazette.com/pikes-peak-regions-smallest-school-district-edison-tops-statewide-ratings/article/1591546?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/pikes-peak-regions-smallest-school-district-edison-tops-statewide-ratings/article/1591546?custom_click=rss

As a statewide grading system that holds public schools accountable for improving student performance inches toward finalization, here's one of the headlines: The Pikes Peak region's smallest district, Edison School District 54-JT, in Yoder, tops the state's accreditation rankings.

The rural district with 230 students this year earned 92.5 percent of accreditation points based on students' academic achievement, academic growth over previous years and readiness for college or career after high school.

That's the No. 1 spot in the state.

The superintendent of Edison 54-JT, Pat Bershinsky - who as in the case of many outlying districts also wears the hat of teacher, janitor and school bus driver - takes the news in



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Sat, 03 Dec 2016 21:29:55 -0700
<![CDATA[Trooper nearly hit investigating crash on Highway 115]]> http://gazette.com/trooper-nearly-hit-investigating-crash-on-highway-115/article/1591547?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/trooper-nearly-hit-investigating-crash-on-highway-115/article/1591547?custom_click=rss

A Colorado State Patrol trooper was nearly hit by a vehicle while investigating a crash on Highway 115 in Fremont County Friday.

Authorities from State Patrol and the Fremont County Sheriff's Office were responding to a crash reported at mile marker 26 after 6 p.m. Friday when a car collided with a Colorado Department of Transportation truck, the Sheriff's Office said in a post on its Facebook page.

The driver of a passing vehicle was cited after narrowly missing the trooper, who was investigating one of the crashes.

The incident comes a little more than a week after Trooper Cody Donahue was struck and killed by a commercial box truck while investigating a crash on Interstate 25 near Castle Rock.



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Sat, 03 Dec 2016 19:09:29 -0700
<![CDATA[Police find vehicle connected to three recent Colorado Springs homicides]]> http://gazette.com/police-find-vehicle-connected-to-three-recent-colorado-springs-homicides/article/1591536?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/police-find-vehicle-connected-to-three-recent-colorado-springs-homicides/article/1591536?custom_click=rss

Police have recovered the vehicle of one of two men still wanted in three recent homicides in Colorado Springs.

Richard Allon Spanks, who remained on the run early Saturday morning, is wanted in connection with a Nov. 26 deadly shooting of 21-year-old Marcus Williams and the double fatal shooting of 33-year-old Jacqueline Cline and 23-year-old Victoria Loftis on Tuesday, Colorado Springs police said in a news release.

Haywood Eugene Miller Jr., 24, was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of first-degree murder for the deaths, according to police. He is being held at El Paso County jail without bond.

The vehicle registered in Spanks' name, a 2010 Kia Forte EX, was found Friday.



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Sat, 03 Dec 2016 19:08:55 -0700
<![CDATA[Judge rules that criminal case against former sheriff Maketa will continue]]> http://gazette.com/judge-rules-that-criminal-case-against-former-sheriff-maketa-will-continue/article/1591475?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/judge-rules-that-criminal-case-against-former-sheriff-maketa-will-continue/article/1591475?custom_click=rss

Attorneys for disgraced ex-sheriff Terry Maketa have lost their bid to get charges against him thrown out.

Fourth Judicial District Judge Larry E. Schwartz on Nov. 25th denied a claim that Maketa's May indictment was "fatally flawed" by lack of evidence and should be voided. The judge also rejected similar requests by attorneys for Maketa's co-defendants, former undersheriff Paula Presley and former sheriff's commander Juan "John" San Agustin.

The rulings clear the way for their prosecutions to continue - potentially setting up what promise to be closely watched trials.

In a five-page order that addressed all three defendants, Schwartz said he reviewed 750 pages of testimony recorded over five separate days of



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Sat, 03 Dec 2016 19:08:15 -0700
<![CDATA[Two dogs rescued from Prospect Lake after falling through ice]]> http://gazette.com/two-dogs-rescued-from-prospect-lake-after-falling-through-ice/article/1591532?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/two-dogs-rescued-from-prospect-lake-after-falling-through-ice/article/1591532?custom_click=rss

Firefighters rescued two dogs that fell through the ice into Prospect Lake at Memorial Park on Saturday afternoon, the Colorado Springs Fire Department reported.

Two firefighters - dressed in "ice rescue suits" - saved the dogs, which were unable to get out of the water, Fire Department spokesman Capt. Steve Wilch said. One firefighter went into the water and got the dogs out, while another firefighter assisted on the ice.

Footage of the rescue shows a firefighter tied to a line and slowly crawling toward a dog walking on the ice. Wilch said the firefighter was attempting to get a hold of the dog after it was rescued from the water.

A passerby reported the dogs had fallen through the ice around 12:30 p.m. The owner of



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Sat, 03 Dec 2016 18:44:53 -0700
<![CDATA[WATCH LIVE: Festival of Lights Parade illuminates downtown Colorado Springs]]> http://gazette.com/watch-live-festival-of-lights-parade-illuminates-downtown-colorado-springs/article/1591516?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/watch-live-festival-of-lights-parade-illuminates-downtown-colorado-springs/article/1591516?custom_click=rss

Tejon Street downtown will sparkle and twinkle and delight the crowd as the Festival of Lights Parade kicks off at 5:50 p.m. with a "Home for the Holidays" theme. 

All the parade units for this 32nd annual holiday kickoff will be lighted: bands, floats, motorcycles, dancing groups, everything.

Info at coloradospringsfestivaloflights.com.

Before the parade, there are Family Fun Day activities, music and performances at the Pioneers Museum, 215 S. Tejon St., from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., cspm.org.

Metered parking is available and will be free after 6 p.m. Parking at city garages will be $3 per hour.

Road closures for the parade:

2 p.m.

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Sat, 03 Dec 2016 18:08:58 -0700
<![CDATA[I-25 at Woodmen Road shuts down after crash]]> http://gazette.com/i-25-at-woodmen-road-shuts-down-after-crash/article/1591537?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/i-25-at-woodmen-road-shuts-down-after-crash/article/1591537?custom_click=rss

A wreck on southbound Interstate 25 at Woodmen Road forced road closure and slowed down traffic in the area Saturday afternoon, the Colorado Department of Transportation reported.

The crash was reported about 2:49 p.m.

It is unknown when southbound I-25 will reopen.

Check gazette.com for updates.



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Sat, 03 Dec 2016 15:54:58 -0700
<![CDATA[Expansion of Colorado's largest coal mine clears a hurdle]]> http://gazette.com/expansion-of-colorados-largest-coal-mine-clears-a-hurdle/article/1591511?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/expansion-of-colorados-largest-coal-mine-clears-a-hurdle/article/1591511?custom_click=rss

DENVER — Colorado's flagging coal industry got a glimmer of hope when the federal government removed one obstacle to expanding the state's largest mine, but it isn't a done deal, and further court challenges are likely.

Arch Coal Inc. wants to extend its underground West Elk Mine into untapped federal coal reserves in Gunnison County. On Nov. 17, the U.S. Forest Service proposed a ruling that would clear the way for the company to build temporary roads on more than 30 square miles of largely untouched national forest land to facilitate the expansion.

Arch still needs further approvals before it could build roads or expand. And at least one environmental group said it is willing to renew a three-year legal



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Sat, 03 Dec 2016 15:17:43 -0700
<![CDATA[Vail, Beaver Creek open for the season Friday]]> http://gazette.com/vail-beaver-creek-open-for-the-season-friday/article/feed/425350?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/vail-beaver-creek-open-for-the-season-friday/article/feed/425350?custom_click=rss

VAIL, Colo. (AP) — More Colorado ski resorts are open for the season.

Vail and Beaver Creek opened Friday, a day after Snowmass, Wolf Creek and Crested Butte started their lifts.

This fall's unseasonably warm weather has limited the terrain that's open and forced several ski resorts to postpone their opening day Some are still offering other activities for visitors over the Thanksgiving weekend, including sledding and sightseeing gondola rides.

Aspen Mountain may not open until at least Monday. The Aspen Daily News (http://bit.ly/2fMIyeY ) reports that would be the first time the mountain hasn't been open during the holiday weekend in decades.

Some more help is in store from Mother Nature.

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]]> Fri, 25 Nov 2016 22:18:20 -0700 <![CDATA[Re-trial begins in killing of Grand Junction woman]]> http://gazette.com/re-trial-begins-in-killing-of-grand-junction-woman/article/feed/425463?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/re-trial-begins-in-killing-of-grand-junction-woman/article/feed/425463?custom_click=rss GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) — A man accused of killing a Grand Junction woman nearly a decade ago is on trial for a second time.

Lawyers were presenting opening statements in Lester Jones' case on Friday.

He's charged with killing Paige Birgfeld, a single mother who led a double life as a paid escort.

Investigators say he was a client and one of the last people to call Birgfeld before she vanished in 2007. Her remains were not found until 2012.

Jones' lawyers say there is no physical evidence connecting their client to the killing and said one of the other men ruled out by investigators could have killed her.

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]]> Fri, 25 Nov 2016 16:04:19 -0700 <![CDATA[Opponents say barring pot use in Denver businesses unwise]]> http://gazette.com/opponents-say-barring-pot-use-in-denver-businesses-unwise/article/feed/423528?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/opponents-say-barring-pot-use-in-denver-businesses-unwise/article/feed/423528?custom_click=rss

DENVER (AP) — Opponents of a state ruling that would prevent bars and many restaurants in Denver from offering on-site marijuana consumption said the ruling would overturn a law approved by voters and force people to sneak around while they use pot and consume alcohol.

The new rule announced Friday bars liquor-license holders from apolplying for a permit to allow the consumption of pot. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said using alcohol and marijuana together increases impairment.

Mason Tvert, a spokesman for the national Marijuana Policy Project, said the measure approved by voters this month would allow servers to keep track of customers who drink and consume pot products instead of forcing them t

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