ballot vote voting election

A roundup of local news from across Colorado.


Frustrated mom casts mail-in ballot for adult son

Officials say a Grand Junction woman was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor voter fraud after she allegedly cast a mail-in ballot for her adult son.

The Mesa County district attorney's office says 66-year-old Gail Arlene Gray allegedly cast the vote last fall after becoming frustrated that her adult children didn't seem to be voting.

Gray was booked on a "quick  book and release" at the Mesa County Jail and handed a $2,500 personal recognizance bond, meaning she could sign herself out of the jail.

Authorities learned of the situation after Gray's 25-year-old son, who attends college locally and does not live at his mother's address, voted in person Nov. 6 at Colorado Mesa University.



BLM wants comment on proposed mine expansion

The public now can comment on an environmental analysis that looks to evaluate the potential impacts of expanding operations of a Colorado coal mine.

GCC Energy, which has operated the King II coal mine near Hesperus since 2007, asked the Bureau of Land Management in 2018 for a lease to expand the mine by 3.85 square miles.

The company has said if expansions were not approved, the mine would run out of coal and be forced to shut down, laying off 100 employees and cutting local tax revenue.

Before approving the proposed expansion for at least another 20 years, the BLM must first conduct an analysis to look at the potential impacts it would have on the environment.

Comments regarding the expansion will be accepted until March 11.



Police officer suspended for accidentally firing gun

A Denver police officer will be suspended for 10 days without pay for almost shooting a man in the head by accident.

Asher Rose was to begin his suspension in late February for the Dec. 15, 2017 incident. The officer joined the department in January 2017 and did not have any previous disciplinary issues.

Investigators say Rose and another officer were responding to a report of a drunken man trying to stop traffic in south Denver. The man ran away and hid under a truck.

According to Rose's disciplinary letter, the officer accidentally fired his gun as he was turning on his weapon-mounted light. An internal review determined that Rose handled the gun carelessly and had his finger on the trigger even though he didn't intend to shoot.



Electricity blackouts hit some Colorado schools, ski areas

Problems in Summit County's natural gas system prompted rolling electric blackouts that affected some 17,600 Xcel Energy customers on Feb. 8.

Xcel cut electrical power to different parts of the county for 30 minutes at a time to keep furnaces from operating and conserve natural gas.

The Summit School District closed elementary schools because of the blackouts. Arapahoe Basin, Breckenridge, Copper Mountain and Keystone ski resorts said some of their lifts were affected.

Power was restored later in the day.



Woman arrested after hitching ride on Colorado school bus

Authorities say a woman in Colorado crashed her SUV and then lied to hitch a ride on a school bus carrying students.

The woman was arrested when the bus arrived at Fruita Monument High School.

No incidents were reported aboard the bus.

The Colorado State Patrol says the woman flagged down the bus and talked the driver into allowing her aboard by falsely claiming to be a bus company trainee.

Mesa County School District says only authorized adults are permitted on buses, such as drivers, school staff and registered volunteers. The bus company, Student Transportation of America, says it suspended the driver.

The woman's name wasn't immediately available and it was unclear what charges she might face. It wasn't known whether any other vehicles were involved in her crash.



Attempt to launch largest firework fails

A Colorado man's attempt to launch a world record aerial fireworks shell has failed.

Tim Borden, a pyrotechnics expert, tried to launch the 62-inch diameter shell from the top of Howelsen Hill Ski Area on the night of Feb. 9, but it exploded too early. The firework was supposed to shoot about a mile into the sky before combusting.

Borden has said it was difficult to calculate how much explosives are needed to successfully launch the 2,500-pound shell. He and his team spent years testing progressively larger fireworks, including a 48-inch shell that was the largest ever launched in North America.

Borden vowed not to give up after the failed attempt, saying, "We'll be back here again next winter."


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