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CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) - The teen gunman who fatally shot a fellow student at his suburban Denver high school earlier this month entered through a door that was propped open.
 
Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson said Monday that the Arapahoe High School door is supposed to be locked but was frequently left open. If it had been locked, Robinson thinks 18-year-old Karl Pierson, armed with a shotgun, machete and over 100 rounds of ammunition would have just have found another way inside.
 
Pierson shot senior Claire Davis point-blank in the face soon after entering through the open door. Investigators believe his main target was a speech team coach who had disciplined him but also say he likely wanted to hurt many others. He killed himself as a deputy assigned to the school closed in.
Published in National News
CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) - Authorities say a suburban Denver student shot at least one other student at a high school Friday before he apparently turned the gun on himself.
 
   Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson said the student was wounded when he confronted the gunman at Arapahoe High School in Centennial.
 
   He said officers found another injured student while securing the school.
 
   Littleton Adventist Hospital spokesman Jason Dunkel said a student was taken to a hospital in critical condition.
 
   Students were seen walking toward the school's running track with their hands in the air. Television footage showed students being patted down.
 
   The school is about 8 miles east of Columbine High School in Littleton, where two teenage shooters killed 12 classmates and a teacher before killing themselves in 1999.
Published in National News

   Two Missouri residents are among five people killed in a rock slide on a Colorado hiking trail.  Chaffee County Sheriff Pete Palmer says all five were members of an extended family.  

   The sheriff's department reports that 10 year old Baigen  Walker and 22 year old Paris Walkup, both of Birch Tree, Missouri, were among the dead.  

   Their aunt and uncle, 45 year old Dawna Johnson, 46 year old Dwayne Johnson, and the couple's 18 year old daughter, Kiowa-Rain Johnson were also killed.  

   All of the victim's bodies have now been recovered.  

   The Johnson's 13 year old daughter, Gracie survived the slide with a broken leg.

Published in National News

   LYONS, Colo. (AP) — As water recedes and flows east onto the Colorado plains — revealing toppled homes, buckled highways and fields of tangled debris — rescuers are shifting their focus from emergency airlifts to trying to find the hundreds of people still unaccounted for after last week's devastating flooding.

   Federal and state emergency officials, taking advantage of sunny skies, said more than 3,000 people have been evacuated by air and ground, but calls for those emergency rescues have decreased.

   "They've kind of transitioned from that initial response to going into more of a grid search," Colorado National Guard Lt. Skye Robinson said.

   In one of those searches Tuesday, Sgt. 1st Class Keith Bart and Staff Sgt. Jose Pantoja leaned out the window of a Blackhawk helicopter, giving the thumbs-up sign to people on the ground while flying outside of hard-hit Jamestown.

   Most waved back and continued shoveling debris. But then Bart spotted two women waving red scarves, and the helicopter descended.

   Pantoja attached his harness to the helicopter's winch and was lowered to the ground. He clipped the women in, and they laughed as they were hoisted into the Blackhawk.

   After dropping off the women at the Boulder airport, the Blackhawk was back in the air less than a minute later to resume the search.

   The state's latest count has dropped to about 580 people missing, and the number continues to decrease as the stranded get in touch with families.

   One of the missing is Gerald Boland, a retired math teacher and basketball coach who lives in the damaged town of Lyons. Boland's neighbors, all of whom defied a mandatory evacuation order, said Boland took his wife to safety Thursday then tried to return home.

   Two search teams went looking for him Monday.

   "He was very sensible. I find it amazing that he would do something that would put himself in harm's way," said neighbor Mike Lennard. "But you just never know under these circumstances."

   State officials reported six flood-related deaths, plus two women missing and presumed dead. The number was expected to increase. It could take weeks or even months to search through flooded areas looking for bodies.

   With the airlifts tapering, state and local transportation officials are tallying the washed-out roads, collapsed bridges and twisted railroad lines. The rebuilding effort will cost hundreds of millions of dollars and take months, if not years.

   Initial assessments have begun trickling in, but many areas remain inaccessible and the continuing emergency prevents a thorough understanding of the devastation's scope.

   Northern Colorado's broad agricultural expanses are especially affected, with more than 400 lane-miles of state highway and more than 30 bridges destroyed or impassable.

   A Colorado Department of Transportation helicopter crew has been surveying damage, said department spokesman Ashley Mohr.

   County officials have started their own damage tallies: 654 miles of roads in Weld County bordering Wyoming, 150 miles of roads in the Boulder County roads foothills, along with hundreds of bridges, culverts and canals.

   Dale Miller, road and bridge director for Larimer County, said it could compare to the damage wrought by a 1976 flood that killed 144 people. It took two years to rebuild after that disaster.

   State officials have put initial estimates at more than 19,000 homes damaged or destroyed throughout the flooded areas.

Published in National News
Saturday, 14 September 2013 09:19

Colorado flooding update

DENVER (AP) — National Guard troops have resumed truck convoys to rescue people stranded by floodwaters in the cut-off Colorado community of Lyons.

An estimated 2,500 residents are being evacuated in an operation that began yesterday.

Helicopters are being used to airlift 295 residents of another isolated town, Jamestown.

The National Guard has also been airdropping food, water and other supplies to people stranded in narrow canyons in the Rocky Mountain foothills.

Evacuations are voluntary, but those who choose to stay with their homes could face weeks without power, water, sewer or cellphone service.

Days of heavy rain sent water rushing from the mountains into communities below, inundating farms and destroyed roads and bridges, turning neighborhoods and towns into islands.

The flooding affects parts of a 4,500-square-mile area, almost the size of Connecticut.

At least four deaths have been blamed on the flooding. Officials in hard-hit Boulder County say more than 170 people are unaccounted for. But they say that just means they haven't been heard from, not that they're actually missing.

Published in National News
Thursday, 12 September 2013 05:45

1 dead as flash flooding hits parts of Colorado

   BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — Authorities say heavy rains have caused flash flooding in Boulder County that has closed streets, prompted evacuations, and left one person dead.

   The National Weather Service issued a flash flood emergency for Boulder County and northwest Jefferson County, while a mandatory evacuation was in effect for the tiny community of Jamestown and the Fourmile area.

   The Denver Post reports that the National Weather Service said that county officials reported some homes had collapsed in the Jamestown area.

   Boulder Emergency Management spokeswoman Gabrielle Boerkircher says one person was killed when a structure collapsed in Jamestown.

   She says they don't yet have other details because rescuers haven't been able to reach the scene.

   Boekircher says about 400 students at the University of Colorado were evacuated and the campus was shutting down Thursday because of the flooding.

   The Weather Service posted flash flood warnings for Boulder County and for parts of Broomfield, Adams, Weld, Larimer, and El Paso counties.

   The Post says that mudslides and rockslides it several areas.

Published in National News

DENVER (AP) - Campaigns are working to get as many voters as possible to the polls in Colorado's first legislative recall elections.

Two Democratic lawmakers who voted for new firearm restrictions are being challenged Tuesday.

Unlike most recent elections, there are no automatic mail ballots, so voters need to cast their ballots in person.

The gap between Republican and Democratic turnout in Sen. John Morse's district in El Paso County narrowed after a GOP advantage in early voting. In Sen. Angela Giron's Pueblo County district, Democrats have outpaced Republicans. Both districts also have a significant number of unaffiliated voters.

Published in National News

   DENVER (AP) — The Colorado Civil Rights Division has ruled in favor of a transgender 6-year-old child who was barred from using the girls' bathroom at Eagleside Elementary School in Fountain.

   The Denver Post reports that the New York-based Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund said Sunday it would a hold a news conference Monday to explain the decision affecting Coy Mathis.

   The fund filed the complaint on behalf of Kathryn and Jeremy Mathis, claiming that Coy has been discriminated against.

   Kathryn Mathis said in a statement that the family is "thrilled that Coy can return to school and put this behind her."

   The Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8 told Coy's parents in December that the first-grader would not be able to continue to use the girls' restroom after the holiday break.

Published in National News

DEL NORTE, Colo. (AP) — A wildfire fueled by wind and dead trees has brought dread to the 400 evacuated residents of a popular mountain tourist enclave in Colorado.

Fire crews with tankers and hoses at the ready stood guard in hopes of saving South Fork. The unpredictable fire is making that an uncertain prospect.

Dozens of fire crews were positioned around neighborhoods in the town, working to remove propane tanks and wood piles that could help ignite homes.

Authorities said the 47-square-mile fire was a few miles southwest of town last night and had been advancing at a rate of about a mile an hour.

Meantime, a third fire sparked to the West, raising concerns it would move toward the town of Creede, which has about 300 residents.

And to the east, in south-central Colorado, nine structures and four outbuildings have been lost in a wildfire that forced the evacuation of about two dozen residents and more than 170 Boy Scouts since Wednesday.

Published in National News

 LOS ANGELES (AP) - Residents in Ventura County, Calif., who were forced to flee ahead of a wind-driven wildfire are being allowed to return home this morning.

 Residents in some 80 homes had to evacuate when a windy storm swept through the state and fanned flames. Two homes were destroyed.

The same storm system is threatening to leave up to 20 inches of snow in Colorado's mountains and up to 11 inches in the Denver area.

In Arizona, gusty winds created a dusty haze and closed 34 miles of Interstate 40 in the northern part of the state for several hours. And at least four people were injured in a pileup involving two semi-trucks.

Published in National News
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