Archive for the ‘local news’ Category

Misty Montano, KUSA4:58 p.m. MDT April 10, 2014



KUSA – To some, including morning radio talk show host Willie B, it looks like a tank. The truth is, it’s an armored personnel carrier.

Willie B posted a photo of the vehicle on his Facebook page on Wednesday afternoon saying, “Uhhhhhh Damn.. they gotta Tank!! I’m absolutely sure this is to protect us and serve us…. right?”

The photo quickly went viral on Facebook and Reddit. The original post has received more than 1,800 shares and over 1,000 comments. Many in the comments explained that it’s not a tank, but that didn’t stop the questions about what it is and why does a local sheriff’s department have it.

Thursday morning, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department left a reply on Willie B’s post to address some of the questions.

“The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office has been in possession of the 1976 M113A1 armored personnel carrier (APC) since 2005, when it was provided by the Department of Defense. The Sheriff’s Office does not own the APC, it still belongs to the Department of Defense. The APC is assigned to the Bomb Squad, and can be used to retrieve explosive devices.

The APC is also used for active shooter situations. The APC does not have offensive capabilities; it is strictly a defensive piece of equipment to transport and protect deputies from active shooter incidents. The last time the APC was deployed was in 2009, for just such an incident.

The Sheriff’s Office often brings it out for public events such as the Jefferson County Fair and the Summerset Festival in south Jeffco.”


By Kurtis Lee
The Denver Post

POSTED:   04/09/2014 05:52:05 PM MDT



A proposal to require parents to take an online course that showcases the benefits and risks of vaccinating their children received several hours of testimony in a Senate committee Wednesday evening from those on both sides of the issue.


The day ended without a vote, which will come next week.


Current Colorado law requires only a parent’s signature to claim a personal, medical or religious exemption from vaccination, with the majority of exemptions for personal reasons.


House Bill 1288 focuses on the personal-belief portion of the law. It would require parents to complete an online-education course that discloses the benefits and risks of immunization if they choose to opt out for personal reasons.



The measure passed through the House last month on a bipartisan 42-19 vote.


Parents who believe more children need to be vaccinated and others who believe this will lead to mandatory vaccination requirements packed into the Capitol’s Old Supreme Court Chambers ahead of Wednesday’s hearing.


“This moves us toward vaccinations for everyone and eliminating exemptions altogether,” said Robyn Charron, a Denver resident with two young children. Charron said her 4-year-old son received a vaccine injury that affected his brain. As a result, her 2-year-old daughter is not vaccinated.


Sen. Irene Aguilar, D-Denver, the bill’s Senate sponsor, said the measure “balances rights by simply adopting a requirement that parents receive credible information before exempting their children from immunization requirements.”


“We are seeing Colorado children diagnosed and hospitalized with vaccine-preventable diseases,” Aguilar said.


In Colorado, a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 85 percent of kindergartners entering elementary school in the fall of 2012 were vaccinated for measles, mumps and rubella, or MMR. That was among the lowest percentages. Mississippi and Maryland had rates near 100 percent.


Kurtis Lee: 303-954-1655, or


Read more: Colorado Senate hears testimony on bill to educate parents on vaccines – The Denver Post
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April, 9, 2014

By Michael Sandoval 

The second in a multi-part series.

Top administration officials for Gov. John Hickenlooper asked the Environmental Protection Agency for help killing a 2012 Republican-sponsored water bill that would have saved rural Colorado water districts and their customers millions of dollars, according to recently obtained emails.

Those emails, uncovered by The Competitive Enterprise Institute and CEI senior fellow Chris Horner in October 2013 as part of a Freedom of Information Act request, demonstrate ongoing conversations over several months between officials in the Governor’s Office and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and Region 8 EPA Director Jim Martin, all of whom sometimes used private, unofficial emails for official government business.

The emails show that administration officials asked Martin for EPA help defeating the bill in the Democratic-controlled State Senate because Hickenlooper feared political fallout and would not veto the bill if it made it to his desk.

Senate Democrats on the Senate Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Energy Committee voted to postpone indefinitely the water bill in a party-line vote on May 3, 2012. The vote killed the bill before it reached Hickenlooper.

icon_exclusiveAlan Salazar, Chief Strategy Officer to the Governor of the state of Colorado, and Martha Rudolph, director of Environmental Programs for CDPHE, used a combination of unofficial and official email addresses in their communications with Martin, who was also using an unauthorized, private email account to both receive and send emails pertaining to the Colorado regulation and legislation.

Martin resigned from the EPA on February 15, 2012. In response to a separate FOIA seeking Martin’s private emails to environmental activists, the EPA administrator had denied using “his personal account to conduct official business,” according to The Daily Caller.

While Martin offered in his supplemental declaration at the time that he “did not take any action on these emails sent to my personal email account or otherwise rely on these emails in furtherance of EPA business” with regard to the separate emails discovered by CEI’s other FOIA request, Martin repeatedly received, and sometimes responded to, emails from Rudolph and Salazar from 2011 to 2012 obtained by CEI and the Independence Institute.

‘I would like to strategize on this’

Beginning in December 2011 Rudolph, using her official CDPHE email address, contacted Martin’s private account about proposed regulations targeting “nitrogen and phosphorus discharged from wastewater treatment plants into rivers, streams, lakes and reservoirs” across the state.

On December 14, 2011, Rudolph forwarded an email to Martin that contained a letter written by regional wastewater managers concerned about the fiscal impact the CDPHE Water Quality Control Division’s proposed 85 and 31 regulations would have on small, rural communities.

Rudolph noted the perceived strength of the arguments laid out in the attached letter (see below)—specifically the lack of a mandate for the new regulations, and the need for the EPA to weigh in on behalf of the regulatory proposal.

“We are likely fighting a losing battle on nutrients, see attached letter. We have met with the Governor’s office, and with the Governor, but I fear the comments in the attached letter will outweigh our arguments in support of the regulation. I believe the assertions that this is not federally required and that there is no required timeframe will be too compelling,” Rudolph wrote in the email.

“So we have been talking over here about the possibility of EPA, at the highest level, having a conversation with the Governor – about the need for the regulation, and specifically what EPA would do if Colorado does not act. I would like to strategize on this, if you think it may be doable. There will also be legislation introduced that would prohibit us from adopting a nutrients regulation. When you have a moment perhaps you could call or we could meet,” Rudolph concluded.

The FOIA does not reveal Martin responding to Rudolph’s pleas for EPA assistance.

‘We don’t want to expose the administration to political fire’

The legislation introduced during the 2012 legislative session that Rudolph mentioned—HB 1161, sponsored by then-Rep. Marsha Looper (R-El Paso)—called for a one-year postponement of the proposed water regulations. The bill ordered a report from a “nutrients scientific advisory board” that would consider cost-benefit analysis and compliance with a previous Hickenlooper executive order against regulations not mandated specifically by law, and unfunded mandates.

The wastewater managers in their December letter to the Governor shared both of those concerns—exceeding federal mandates and imposing onerous costs of compliance.

Salazar, using his AOL account, emailed Martin’s private account about the then-pending legislation and his “Thoughts on Nutrients Response” following the bill’s 8-5 approval from the House Agriculture, Livestock, and Natural Resources committee to the House Committee on Appropriations on March 12, 2012.

At 2:54 p.m. on March 17 Salazar wrote, “1. My sense is that it’s fine to take some time with the response. Doesn’t have to be soon – maybe better if it’s not too quick. 2. Specificity and direction with regard to the questions posed would also be helpful. 3. We don’t want to expose the administration to political fire, but also need to see language that articulates the hard legal consequences for the state. 4. Deeply sorry (me to you) but you don’t need to put that in the letter.”

Martin responded to Salazar at 5:32 p.m.

“Thanks, Alan. In a session and missed your call. Amazingly easier to do work when you are sitting in a hotel room far away. Hearing rumors of more changes [to the bill] so unsure of how best to proceed. But speed is not our forte, that’s for sure.

Salazar had written to Martin at 4:52 p.m. as well, with a suggested line.

“How about: Dear Governor: It’s a friggin unfunded mandate, so sit and spin… Sincerely.”

“I could try that. But not sure LPJ (Lisa P. Jackson) would let me keep my corner office. Let me tone it down just a tad,” Martin wrote back at 6:17 p.m.

‘We do know that he will not veto Looper’s bill if it passes’

Two days before the House Appropriations committee would send the bill to the Committee of the Whole, Martin reached out to Rudolph’s Gmail account, seeking an update on “Water quality” on March 21, 2012 at 4:06 p.m.

“Any more insights into what is happening? And how was ECOS? I think I owe you a drink, by the way,” Martin wrote.

Rudolph responded to Martin a few hours later, at 8:55 p.m.

“Don’t know what is happening – I believe the Gov is waiting to see what EPA does. I will try to find out (although I was told by several in the Gov’s office that the Gov was going to Ok the rule two days before he/she sent the letter so even those in the inner sanctum don’t really know what is happening) We do know that he will not veto Looper’s bill if it passes. What do you think EPA’s response will be? ECOS was good – nice to get away,” Rudolph emailed.

She added, “Drinks would be great. Any free time in the next couple of weeks?”

The next morning, at 9:01 a.m., Martin responded.

“Thanks. Have not seen Looper’s bill, but will go looking for it. Could do drinks Mon, Tues, Thurs, Friday of next week. But not before noon. Cheers,” Martin wrote.

‘Bottom line – are comments from EPA helpful or hurtful?’

In the final set of emails from April 2012, Martin asks Rudolph what effect is perceived when the EPA weighs on state-level issues, this time on “Water and arsenic.”

“Martha – your vm stopped before you did, I think. Bottom line – are comments from EPA helpful or hurtful?” Martin queried.

“They have been helpful. Bob Benson knows the difficulties associated with selecting a standard that is below detect [sic] but more significantly below treatable levels. He recommended a level that is protective yet I understand is relatively easy to treat to,” Rudolph responded. Benson is a senior EPA employee with water-related expertise.

“Thanks,” Martin wrote back.

Click here to read Part I of the series.



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Faith Mangan & Alicia Acuna
Fox News
April 8, 2014

“They’re spending us to death,” said landowner Andy Barrie.

He is not talking about property taxes, inflation or even the cost of skiing in glitzy ski country. Rather, he’s talking about the legal fight he and his wife have been waging to save their pristine piece of mountain property — with breathtaking views of Colorado’s high country — from being taken over by the county through eminent domain.

Their battle is a unique test of private property rights. Unlike in countless other cases, where local governments have used those powers to seize land to make way for a road or some economic development project, Colorado’s Summit County is using eminent domain to go after the Barries’ land simply because officials want the open space.

Read more

This article was posted: Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at 4:35 pm

By Kurtis Lee
The Denver Post

04/07/2014 02:59:41 PM MDT

Cameras that bust drivers for speeding or running red lights could be banished in Colorado after a bipartisan group in the state legislature reached consensus on the controversial devices.

proposal introduced in the Senate late last week would bar cities and counties from using automated vehicle-identification systems that pinpoint drivers committing traffic infractions.

Sen. Scott Renfroe, R-Greeley, has introduced similar legislation the past two years, though unlike in previous sessions, he has strong support this go-round from House and Senate Democratic leadership.

“These cameras just create revenue for cities and don’t actually increase public safety at our intersections,” said Speaker Mark Ferrandino, D-Denver, the bill’s prime House sponsor. “I think we should be focused on making people safe, not raising money.”

Ferrandino said he’s long supported the legislation, though it’s never made it out of the Senate. Earlier this year, he approached Renfroe about being the House sponsor and helping to back the measure.

Each year, hundreds of thousands of tickets are doled out across the state as cities rake in millions of dollars in revenue.

Last year, Denver handed out about 35,000 red-light photo tickets and nearly 195,000 speeding photo tickets, according to officials. Combined, the city made about $7.8 million on the infractions.

The city and county of Denver is opposed to the proposed legislation.

The Colorado Municipal League, a nonpartisan group that helps assist local jurisdictions, is also a staunch opponent of the proposed measure. “It’s a real concern that after lawmakers have passed bills to improve catching hit-and-run drivers, now they’re trying to relax photo enforcement laws,” said Mark Radtke, a legislative and policy advocate for the Muncipal League.

He noted the recent passage of the Medina Alert bill, which allows authorities to better broadcast hit-and-run information quickly on electronic highway signs and via the media.

“We need to do more to protect these hit-and-run victims by enforcing red-light and speed-limit compliance,” Radtke added.

The Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police is also against the measure.

Renfroe said he has the votes to get the bill through the legislature. His main concern is whether Gov. John Hickenlooper will try to spike the measure before it gets to his desk. A spokesman for Hickenlooper on Monday said the governor’s policy team is still reviewing the proposal.

In Arkansas, New Jersey and Wisconsin, laws are in place that prohibit photo radar enforcement, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

“Intersections should be about safety, not money,” Renfroe said. “The data is mixed. Does it increase safety? Does it not increase safety? One thing that is clear is that there’s other ways to increase safety at intersections.”

Kurtis Lee: 303-954-1655, or

Read more: Traffic-enforcement camera ban gains bipartisan support in Colorado – The Denver Post
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Today marks the beginning of what’s expected to be a two-week trial pertaining to a suit filed by Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith and more than fifty of his colleagues against gun-control laws passed last year. Included among them are a ban of all magazines that can hold more than fifteen rounds and a requirement for universal background checks on gun purchases. What are the sheriffs’ arguments? The Independence Institute’s Dave Kopel, who helped assemble the complaint (it’s on view below), spelled out his main concerns in a wide-ranging interview.As Kopel maintained in our original May 2013 post, the two laws, known as HB 1224 and HB 1229, “violate the Second Amendment and the Fourteenth Amendment” of the U.S. Constitution, as well as “the Americans with Disabilities Act” — hence, the decision to file in United States District Court, where the case is being heard under the auspices of Judge Marcia Krieger.


Judge Marcia Krieger.

The magazine restrictions are particularly onerous when applied to the disabled, Kopel believes. 

“The ADA requires state and local governments to make accommodations for disabled people, particularly in regard to major life activities,” he said. “And many disabled people have less ability when they’re attacked in their home to retreat to a point of safety or get behind cover from which they can change a magazine. They may have less mobility, or some might have only one arm, for example.

“So it’s more difficult for them to change magazines than do other people — and therefore, even if the magazine ban were constitutional in general, which we argue it is not, the people with relevant disabilities are entitled to reasonable accommodations to larger magazines.”

Of course, exceptions for the disabled wouldn’t be necessary if both laws are struck down.

What troubles Kopel about the magazine ban? First and foremost, he maintains that while the bill on the subject seems to only prohibit mags that support more than fifteen rounds, it actually “bans almost all magazines.”


A thirty-round magazine.

The reason? A line in the bill nixing magazines that can be readily converted to fit more rounds. Since such magazines are used for semi-automatic handguns and rifles — and because an estimated 82 percent of handguns and at least one-third of rifles manufactured in the U.S. fit in this category — he sees the result as “a de facto gun ban even broader than the one that was struck down in D.C. v. Heller,” a Supreme Court case that tackled prohibitions against handguns in the District of Columbia. 

We’ve included the D.C. v. Heller decision below, as well as a 9News report about the issue originally broadcast in March that Kopel recommends.

As Kopel pointed out, “The governor’s office and the sponsor of the bill both agree that the magazine ban outlaws all magazines that have removable base plates or floor plates” — e.g., the kind that can be adapted for more rounds. And while Governor John Hickenlooper is relying on guidance from the office of Colorado Attorney General John Suthers to apply the rule narrowly, such an approach doesn’t bring with it any guarantees that the interpretation will stand for all time.”

Why not?

Continue for more about the complaint against Colorado gun-control laws, including a video and complete documents.

The Gazette – • Updated: March 28, 2014 at 11:38 am • Published: March 28, 2014 | 11:30 am


Multiple agencies cooperated in undercover investigations March 20 of spas located along the southern Front Range.

A coordinated effort by the Colorado State Patrol, Homeland Security Investigations, the Colorado Springs Police Department’s Vice/Narcotics/intelligence Division, and the Pueblo Police Department resulted in the arrest of three women and charges of human trafficking and pimping for each, according to the state patrol.

Covie King and Myong Moon, both of Colorado Springs, and Myong Bogdany of Pueblo were arrested based on information obtained during the investigations and after search warrants were executed.

Bank accounts associated with the spas have been frozen.

Due to the ongoing nature of the investigation, no further information is available at this time.