Major Republican funding group cuts off support for Mike Coffman

Former U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, a candidate for Aurora mayor.


Coffman sets fundraising record in mayor's race

Former U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman apparently has set a fundraising record in his campaign for Aurora mayor.

Coffman had raised nearly $440,000, according to campaign finance reports.

Coffman entered the Aurora race after losing to Democrat Jason Crow last year in his bid to represent Colorado's 6th Congressional District for a sixth term.

Among other candidates, Ryan Frazier, a former city councilmember, raised more than $199,000.

Also running are councilmember Marsha Berzins, ex-councilmember Renie Peterson and local NAACP president Omar Montgomery.

Aurora's election is Nov. 5.




Sheriff plans to fight misconduct charge over fund

Eagle County's sheriff says he will fight a charge of misconduct related to the use of funds.

Sheriff James van Beek was indicted for second-degree official misconduct for expenditures from a reserve fund.

Van Beek says in a statement that the allegation is a "misinterpretation" by Fifth Judicial District Attorney Bruce Brown about whether a committee needs to approve expenditures.

The charge involves 14 previously approved expenditures from the fund this year.

Van Beek and Brown are two of the three committee members who oversee the fund.

Van Beek says no state-confiscated money was involved and committee approval was not needed.

The expenditures include paying a writer and crisis management specialist for columns written for the Vail Daily under van Beek's name.




Plans for unfinished airport building paused

Officials have paused deciding what to do with an unfinished administration building at Grand Junction Regional Airport on the possibility that it could be used by the Bureau of Land Management.

The airport staff had planned to recommend demolishing the building adjacent to the main terminal.

The recommendation was halted after the bureau announced last month that it would move its headquarters to the city.

Construction on the building began in 2013. Work stopped after the project lost its federal funding, leaving just a shell.

Airport Executive Director Angela Padalecki says the building could be an ideal home for the BLM

She says if the bureau isn't interested, the airport has no immediate need for the building.




Family wants independent review of police shooting

Attorneys for the family of a young black man who was fatally shot by Colorado Springs police have called for an independent special prosecutor to investigate his death.

Surveillance video obtained last week by The Gazette showed 19-year-old De'Von Bailey running from two officers before falling to the ground.

Police have said an officer shot Bailey on Aug. 3 after he reached for a gun but they have not elaborated, citing a pending sheriff's office investigation and subsequent review by the district attorney.

Attorneys for Bailey's family said Aug. 12 that the system has too many conflicts, as the police department, sheriff's office and district attorney work together. City officials should appoint a special prosecutor to refer the case to a grand jury, they said.

"An independent and impartial special prosecutor should be given the important responsibility of bringing charges against the officers involved in this tragedy," attorneys Darold Killmer and Mari Newman said in a statement.

The shooting comes at a time when law enforcement agencies across the country are under scrutiny in the killing of black men. Bailey's death has prompted several protests in Colorado Springs, including one heated rally that ended when police arrested two bail bondsmen who arrived on motorcycles and drew guns after a scuffle with some of the protesters.

Attorneys said Bailey's relatives also want all footage from officers' body-worn cameras and patrol dash cameras to be released.

"We want to make sure that it's all the information, not just what the police think supports their side of things," Killmer said.




Lawsuit pauses Forest Service's logging project

The U.S. Forest Service has put a logging project in Colorado on hold as it deals with a lawsuit.

The agency had authorized the plan to clear-cut about 2.5 square miles in the Upper Fryingpan Valley, saying it would improve forest resiliency and increase the amount of young forest.

The logging near Basalt was planned to begin this summer.

A group of residents near the project area filed a lawsuit earlier this year, claiming logging would increase carbon emissions and harm tourism and recreation.

District ranger Curtis Keetch says the project will proceed after the litigation is resolved.




Hate crimes nearly doubled in 2018

Hate crimes in Colorado nearly doubled in 2018 compared to the number of cases the previous year.

The Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management recorded 185 hate crime cases in 2018 compared to 96 in 2017.

The agency's new report says hate crimes are on the rise after declining from 2016 to 2017.

The most common offense was intimidation, followed by assault and vandalism.

There were 112 victims of racial bias crime and 32 victims of sexual orientation and gender identity bias.

The agency says there were 26 victims of religious bias as anti-Semitic crimes continue to rise.

An official says increased collaboration between state and local law enforcement may have contributed to an increase in hate crime reports.




Town officials deny large-scale water proposal

Town officials have voted to deny a water deal with developers that they say could have contributed to increased development.

The Minturn Town Council voted 7-0 to deny a large-scale proposal to increase supplied water, provide infrastructure improvements and build a multi-million-dollar reservoir.

Town officials say the deal between Minturn, Eagle River Water and Sanitation District and developers was denied because residents wanted to remain in control of their own water supply from Cross Creek.

Officials say developers would only be able to proceed with building 712 homes near the town if the deal was approved.

Officials say Minturn's water supply will not be enough to support its residents if the town keeps growing.




Colorado Marine dies in Iraq

U.S. military officials have identified a Marine who died Aug. 10 in Iraq as 35-year-old Gunnery Sgt. Scott A. Koppenhafer of Mancos.

The Pentagon says Koppenhafer died after being engaged by enemy small-arms fire while conducting combat operations. In an earlier statement, the U.S. military said a service member had died during an Iraqi Security Force mission in Ninewah province, Iraq, while advising and accompanying the ISF during a planned operation.

Koppenhafer was assigned to the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion, Marine Forces Special Operations Command, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.




Hikers approve of shuttle system at Hanging Lake

Thousands of people have hiked up to a popular scenic lake using a new reservation system.

White River National Forest officials received five out of five stars on a shuttle service implemented in May from more than 95% of survey respondents visiting Glenwood Canyon's Hanging Lake.

Park officials say the system replaces a visitor parking lot with $12 shuttle rides from Glenwood Springs to the lake.

Officials say the goal was to improve the health of the trail and lake by moderating human impact while also improving the visitor experience.

Officials say Hanging Lake has a daily limit of 615 visitors and has reached more than 40,000 hikers since the program began earlier this year.







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