Westboro Baptist Church announces plan to picket CSU graduation

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More photos below.
Any hope that the Westboro Baptist Church would refrain from its vile activities following the death of founder Fred Phelps last month has now been officially squashed.

The WBC has announced plans to picket next month's graduation ceremonies at Colorado State University for the usual nonsensical, repulsively homophobic reasons.

Among the declarations in its latest twisted release: "GOD H8S RAM FAN BRATS!"

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Update: See all 73 recreational marijuana shops Denver has licensed so far

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Big photos below.
It's not easy to keep up with all the recreational marijuana shops licensed by the City of Denver.

Our most recent update, published on April 3, featured 65 stores that have won the blessing of officials. Now, during the lead-up to the annual 4/20 festivities, the total has reached 73.

All the licensed shops are included here, along with photos, videos, links and excerpts from reviews of the ones visited by Westword marijuana critic William Breathes. Count them down below.

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Eddie Simon faces possible life sentence for brutal cold-case sex assault

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We recently told you about the role DNA played in the arrest and subsequent guilty plea of Alfred Flores in a 2011 head-shot murder. Turns out DNA also proved key in an even older crime: a 2001 sex assault for which Eddie Simon was busted more than a dozen years later.

Now, a jury has found Simon guilty, and he could face a sentence up to life in prison. Continue for the details, including photos and his complete arrest report.

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Rebecca Maez pleads guilty in drunk-driving death of Jenny Kush

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Rebecca Maez.
Labor Day weekend is one of the biggest drunk-driving holidays on the calendar. According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, 1,342 people were arrested over a nineteen-day stretch between August 16 and September 3 of 2013 for suspected driving under the influence. One of them was Rebecca Maez. She was drunk and driving the wrong way in an I-25 HOV lane early on September 1 when she smashed into another vehicle. The driver of that car was seriously injured; passenger Jenny Kush was pronounced dead.

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Denver Public Schools: Read the story of another teacher who was facing unpaid leave

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For this week's cover story, "Wrong Answer," we spoke with five of the teachers behind a lawsuit against Denver Public Schools. Their complaint? That DPS is unfairly using a provision of the state's landmark 2010 teacher-effectiveness law to get rid of good teachers like themselves.

And those five teachers aren't the only ones who feel they've been mistreated. We spoke with several other teachers who say they experienced the same thing. Keep reading for one of their stories.

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Liquor sales okayed during 4/20 event at Civic Center Park but public pot smoking illegal

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As we've reported, city officials expect organizers of this weekend's 4/20 event at Denver's Civic Center Park to actively discourage public pot smoking -- an activity that's illegal under Colorado law. However, liquor will be sold and can be consumed at the McNichols Building on the Civic Center complex during the festival.

Among those who sees this situation as contradictory is Miguel Lopez, the 4/20 weekend's organizer who applied for the right to sell beer in the first place.

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Alfred Flores guilty in head-shot murder thanks in part to his chewing gum

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Big photos and more below.
The little things often prevent a murderer from getting away with his crime, as Alfred Flores understands all too well. As we noted in a November 2012 post, one of the key bits of evidence implicating him in the slaying of 27-year-old Manuel Martinez was a piece of chewing gum.

Now, Flores has pleaded guilty in the brutal crime. Continue to learn about his sentence and what he did to earn it below.

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Spirit Airlines sucks hardest in new complaints survey, but Frontier's gaining fast

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Photos and more below.
We recently told you about the annual Airline Quality Rating study, in which Frontier Airlines got hammered, particularly in the area of customer complaints.

Turns out, though, that another carrier -- Spirit Airlines, which wasn't included in the AQR report -- has generated more gripes than Frontier according to "The Unfriendly Skies," a new report from the U.S. PIRG Education Fund. But Frontier is gaining ground at an unflattering clip. See details, graphics and the complete report below.

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Washington Park alcohol ban meeting: Freedom and responsibility versus urine and vomit

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Over a hundred residents of Washington Park and beyond made their way to the Denver Baha'i Center last night to debate whether or not the park should put a temporary ban on alcoholic beverages -- specifically 3.2 beer, the only liquor allowed there.

The crowd seemed evenly divided, with half of those in attendance agreeing that a ban should be put in place to solve some of the problems in the park and surrounding areas, while the other half argued that the ban wasn't the right fix.

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Scott Gessler's emergency election rule shot down by Colorado Supreme Court

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Gessler on Westword's cover.
Secretary of State Scott Gessler overstepped his bounds when he issued an emergency rule on election night in November 2013 declaring that votes cast for ineligible candidates are invalid and shouldn't be counted, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled this week.

In a legal challenge brought by eight voters in the Adams 12 Five Star School District, the high court sided with the voters, finding that Gessler's rule conflicts with a state law that says such votes "are to be counted and recorded."

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