Latest Colorado news, sports, business and entertainment at 5:20 p.m. MDT


Aurora officers fired for reenacting chokehold file appeals

DENVER (AP) — Two Colorado police officers fired for a photo reenacting a chokehold used on a Black man arrested last year are appealing their terminations. Aurora police officers Kyle Dittrich and Erica Marrero were fired last week after Aurora police released a photo showing them and another officer smiling as they reenacted the chokehold their colleagues used on Elijah McClain. The other officer resigned. The city says the appeals were filed Wednesday. A city spokesperson says the Aurora Civil Service Commission will hold hearings and decide whether to uphold the interim police chief’s disciplinary action or reduce it.


Colorado unveils coronavirus modeling tool for public

DENVER (AP) — Colorado’s Gov. Jared Polis unveiled a publicly available coronavirus modeling tool at a press conference Thursday. The website allows users to input their own parameters such as percentage of people wearing masks or social distancing to predict the COVID-19 infection rate. It’s available at Polis said people can create scenarios like what happens if the 20-somethings still party but the 68-year-olds all stay at home. Colorado has seen an increase in the rate of new coronavirus infections for the first time since April. Tthe department reported 1,484 additional cases the week ending June 21.


Denver suburb vows to protect police from lawsuit costs

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. (AP) — A Denver suburb is promising to pay all legal costs for police officers accused of misconduct in reaction to Colorado’s new police accountability law. Greenwood Village passed a resolution Monday that says it will never find that a police officer acted in bad faith. That protects officers from a provision of the law which requires officers to pay up to 5% or $25,000 of any judgement in a lawsuit if they were believed to have knowingly violated the law. One bill supporter, Republican Sen. Bob Gardner, said he thought the resolution was an “attempted end run” around an important part of the law.


Colorado police investigate comments on demonstration video

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Police in Colorado are conducting an internal investigation of an officer accused of calling for protesters to be killed in comments during a live social media broadcast. The Gazette reports news channel KRDO-TV notified the Colorado Springs Police Department last week it received a tip about commentary posted during a video stream of a Black Lives Matter demonstration in the city. Demonstrators blocked Interstate Highway 25 for about 30 minutes while calling for an end to racial injustice and police brutality. The Facebook account has since been deleted. Department spokesman Lt. Jim Sokolik would not confirm the accused officer’s name.


Authorities: 1 dead after tornadoes hit western Minnesota

DALTON, Minn. (AP) — Authorities say severe storms that swept through parts of the Midwest produced at least two powerful tornadoes that damaged farms and killed one person and injured two others in Minnesota. The Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office says a 30-year-old man was killed near Dalton when a twister destroyed a large garage in which he was working Wednesday evening. Two others who lived in the path of one of the tornadoes were treated at a hospital for minor injuries and released. The sheriff says the tornadoes could have resulted in a higher death toll if they had struck a more populous area. Other possible tornado activity was reported Wednesday in Colorado as well as parts of Nebraska and Illinois.


Coroner says boy found in Eagle River accidentally drowned

EAGLE, Colo. (AP) — Authorities have confirmed that a body pulled from the Eagle River in western Colorado is that of a 3-year-old boy who had been missing for nearly a month. Sebastian Rodriguez Castro went missing June 5 near an apartment complex in Eagle where he lived. Hundreds of volunteers and first responders looked for the boy with help from drones, rescue dogs and helicopters. His body was found just east of Dotsero on Friday. The Eagle County coroner’s office said Wednesday that Sebastian accidentally drowned. No other information was released.


Trump signs executive order as he courts Hispanic voters

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has signed an executive order that creates a new advisory commission tasked with improving Hispanic Americans’ access to economic and educational opportunities. The effort comes as the president hopes to win a bigger share of the Latino vote than he did four years ago. Trump used the event to highlight how his administration had boosted employment among Hispanics prior to the coronavirus pandemic. But his attempt to court Latino voters ahead of the November election is complicated by his efforts to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and his work to end legal protections for hundreds of thousands of immigrants brought to the United States as children.


Colorado power plant owners announce generating unit closure

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) — Owners of a coal-fired power plant in Colorado have announced one of three generating units scheduled to close will stop operations in September 2028. The Daily Sentinel reported that the announcement also means the nearby Trapper Mine will close, since it’s the plant’s sole customer. PacifiCorp, Platte River Power Authority, Salt River Project, Tri-State and Xcel Energy-Colorado own two of the three generating units at the Craig Station plant. A generating unit owned solely by Tri-State is set to close by 2030. The Colowyo Mine, which employees 183 miners, will also close by the same deadline.

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