Updated: August 14, 2013 at 7:51 am
DENVER — The governor's race has officially begun and Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper is touring southern Colorado as potential Republican opponents increase attacks on his record.
Hickenlooper is stopping in a handful of rural southern Colorado towns on Wednesday, a day after several visits to parts of the Eastern Plains. His office says the tour is not related to his re-election campaign. but the stops offer the governor valuable face time with voters in rural communities several hours from Denver.
Hickenlooper was expected to run for re-election, but he made it official with paperwork filed Tuesday.
In Pueblo on Tuesday, former U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo and Secretary of State Scott Gessler criticized Hickenlooper for signing new gun restrictions and supporting a tax increase for school funding that voters will consider in November.
The National Weather Service forecasts a high of 80 with a 30 percent chance of rain Wednesday in Colorado Springs. Expect an overnight low of 54.
Durango lawyer indicted in dispute over evidence
DURANGO (AP) — A defense attorney in Durango has been indicted by a grand jury on suspicion of tampering with evidence in a murder investigation.
Brian Schowalter appeared in court Tuesday to be formally advised of the felony charge.
The Durango Herald reports (http://tinyurl.com/nl23r4o ) Schowalter is accused of withholding a letter that was considered to be evidence in a homicide investigation involving a client who pleaded guilty to robbery and accessory to murder.
St. Malo Retreat Center's fate uncertain
ALLENSPARK (AP) — The fate of the St. Malo Retreat Center used by Pope John Paul II in 1993 is up in the air.
The Chapel on the Rock in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains that was blessed by the pope still gets a steady stream of visitors, but the retreat center living quarters behind the church that was heavily damaged by a fire 21 months ago has not been restored.
The fire left behind only the living quarters and a solitary stone chimney from the former St. John's Lodge.
According to the Boulder Daily Camera (http://tinyurl.com/phnlwms), the Archdiocese of Denver that owns St. Malo has not decided what to do about its Catholic spiritual center.
Arapahoe County approves natural gas pipeline
LITTLETON (AP) — Arapahoe County commissioners have approved construction of a segment of a cross-country natural gas pipeline to Texas.
The 435-mile Front Range Pipeline is expected to stretch from Weld County in northern Colorado to Skellytown, Texas.
According to the Denver Post (http://tinyurl.com/k79l9eo ), commissioners approved the construction plans on Monday with 19 conditions, including hours of operation and maintenance agreements for private roads.
Vail adds electric vehicle to town's fleet
VAIL (AP) — The town of Vail has added an all-electric Nissan Leaf to its fleet, replacing a 2003 Toyota Prius.
The Vail Daily reports (http://bit.ly/169rVjO ) parking supervisors will use the electric vehicle to patrol parking garages and town-owned lots.
The Leaf and 15 other town vehicles, including diesel-electric hybrid buses, are aimed at making the town's fleet more energy efficient.
The town's fleet manager, Todd Shroll, says the Leaf can go about 80 miles before it needs to recharge.
The Nissan Leaf cost $22,196.
Vail adopted a goal in 2009 of cutting 20 percent of its carbon emissions by the year 2020. So far emissions are down 12 percent.
Man dies after being shot by Denver police officer
DENVER (AP) — Denver police say a man accused of using a knife to threaten people in passing cars has died after being shot by an officer.
Police Chief Robert White said the man had been reported to be threatening passing vehicles Tuesday morning. He says officers tried using nonlethal weapons, including a stun gun, to subdue the man but weren't successful. White says the man had refused orders to drop his knife and moved toward the officers aggressively when he was shot.
No officers were hurt.
Garfield County wildfire prompts evacuations
GLENWOOD SPRINGS (AP) — Sheriff's officials say a wildfire burning near Glenwood Springs has prompted evacuations.
Garfield County Sheriff's Office spokesman Walter Stowe says the fire made a run to the north and east Tuesday. That prompted evacuations east of the fire and north to Interstate 70.
The Carbondale and Rural Fire Protection District says about 20 structures are threatened by the fire burning on an estimated 350 acres. The fire district says the blaze is 10 percent contained.
Stowe says about 60 firefighters are battling the Red Canyon Fire with three single-engine air tankers and a heavy air tanker. Six smokejumpers are on the scene.
The fire was reported Monday and sent thick smoke into the Glenwood Springs area. It's burning in steep terrain in an area full of juniper and pinyon pine.
Guilty plea for Greeley man in baby handoff case
GREELEY (AP) — A Greeley man accused of taking his infant son from the baby's mother and leaving him with a stranger has pleaded guilty to various charges.
Forty-year-old Alvin Padilla was arrested July 30 after police say he took the baby and left him with a Greeley woman as he ran through city streets. Police arrested Padilla when he returned for the child.
The Greeley Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/14IQ3dk ) Padilla pleaded guilty to violating a protection order as an act of domestic violence and is scheduled to be sentenced next week.
He also pleaded guilty to third-degree assault on allegations that he slapped the baby's mother in March.
In separate cases, Padilla has been sentenced to 30 months in prison for check forgery and attempted introduction of contraband.
Part of vandalized Longmont cemetery statue found
LONGMONT (AP) — Longmont police have recovered the head of a granite Civil War memorial statue that vandals toppled in Mountain View cemetery over the weekend.
Cemetery officials say vandals tipped over 106 headstones early Saturday and broke the statue into pieces. It was the fourth time since July 6 that vandals have hit the cemetery.
Police Cmdr. Jeff Satur tells the Longmont Times-Call (http://bit.ly/16NOonw ) a firefighter found the head of the vandalized statue outside a fire station across the street from the cemetery. A police officer retrieved it Tuesday to be swabbed for evidence.
The memorial statue was donated to cemetery in 1907.
The private not-for-profit board that runs the cemetery is considering additional security measures.
Insanity plea for man accused in prison slaying
DENVER (AP) — A man who withdrew his guilty plea in the 2002 killing of a corrections officer has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity in Douglas County District Court.
Edward Montour is accused of killing Eric Autobee by striking him in the head with a kitchen ladle at Limon Correctional Facility.
According to the Denver Post (http://tinyurl.com/kpwvwaz ), Montour entered his new plea on Tuesday.
The case has lingered in court for more than 10 years following a judge's imposition of the death penalty, which was later thrown out by the Colorado Supreme Court. The court ruled in 2007 that only a jury can hand down death sentences.
TODAY IN HISTORY
In 1848, the Oregon Territory was created.
In 1908, a race riot erupted in Springfield, Ill., as a white mob began setting black-owned homes and businesses on fire; at least two blacks and five whites were killed in the violence.
In 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law.
In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill issued the Atlantic Charter, a statement of principles that renounced aggression.
In 1945, President Harry S. Truman announced that Japan had surrendered unconditionally, ending World War II.
In 1947, Pakistan became independent of British rule.
In 1951, newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst, 88, died in Beverly Hills, Calif.
In 1962, robbers held up a U.S. mail truck in Plymouth, Mass., making off with more than $1.5 million.
In 1963, playwright Clifford Odets, 57, died in Los Angeles.
In 1969, British troops went to Northern Ireland to intervene in sectarian violence between Protestants and Roman Catholics.
In 1973, U.S. bombing of Cambodia came to a halt.
In 1993, Pope John Paul II denounced abortion and euthanasia as well as sexual abuse by American priests in a speech at McNichols Sports Arena in Denver.
In 1997, Timothy McVeigh was formally sentenced to death for the Oklahoma City bombing.
Ten years ago: A huge blackout hit the northeastern United States and part of Canada; 50 million people lost power. The chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, Roy Moore, said he would not remove a Ten Commandments monument from the state judicial building, defying a federal court order to remove the granite monument.
Five years ago: President George W. Bush signed consumer-safety legislation that banned lead from children’s toys.
One year ago: Vice President Joe Biden sparked a campaign commotion, telling an audience in southern Virginia that included hundreds of black voters that Republican Mitt Romney wanted to put them “back in chains” by deregulating Wall Street. (Biden mocked Republican criticism over the remark while conceding he’d meant to use different words.) Ron Palillo, the actor best known as the nerdy high school student Arnold Horshack on the 1970s sitcom “Welcome Back, Kotter,” died at age 63 in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
-- 2013 Wolf Ranch Summer concert Series with Narrow Gauge, 6-8 p.m., Gateway Park, Wolf Ranch, North Powers Boulevard and Research Parkway, free.
-- Carrie Nation and the Speakeasy, 7:30 p.m., Front Range Barbecue, 2330 W. Colorado Ave.