Update: Clarkson Street group home to appeal permit revocation

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The Bennet-Field mansion at 740 Clarkson, bought in 2011 for $700,000.
Update below: The Colorado Court of Appeals has overruled a Denver judge's decision to allow Open Door Ministries to operate a treatment program for recovering addicts in an historic mansion on Clarkson Street -- the latest twist in a long-running zoning battle in the neighborhood that was the subject of my 2011 feature "Meet the Neighbors." ODM now has only a few weeks to either appeal the decision to the Colorado Supreme Court or make drastic changes to its Lighthouse boarding home, which neighbors contend was started with an improperly issued permit, one that the appeals court now says must be revoked.

See also: "Judge's ruling further muddles group home flap"

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Videos: Inmate slammed into wall by deputy sues Denver for $5 million

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A screen capture of Anthony Waller being slammed into a courtroom wall. Videos and more below.
Last week, we told you about a $3.25 million settlement agreement in the case of Jamal Hunter, who maintained that the City of Denver failed to properly protect him after he says inmates scalded his genitals with boiling water and two deputies attacked him in an incident caught on video.

Now, Anthony Waller, an inmate whose face-smashing encounter with a Denver deputy was also captured on video, has filed his own lawsuit against Denver. His demand: $5 million. Details, videos and original documents below.

See also: $3.25 million settlement in Jamal Hunter suit latest blemish on Denver Sheriff's Department

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Protesters ready to line up against Ted Nugent

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Ted Nugent's remarks about the president and gun control have some calling him a patriot and others calling him a bigot.
Ted Nugent used to be known for iconic guitar riffs and songs about getting laid, but now he makes headlines with his extreme political views -- often peppered with vulgarity. Nugent's remarks about certain Democrats and hot topics like immigration have made him a divisive figure (to say the least) and you can expect some heated dissent at his concert tonight at the Gothic Theater.

See also: "Ted Nugent called Hillary Clinton a "toxic c*nt"...eighteen years ago"

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Single fracking waste well blamed for hundreds of low-level quakes

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A single injection well in Weld County, used to dispose of millions of gallons of produced water from fracking operations, has been linked to 500 minor earthquakes in the area over a seven-week period since early June, according to University of Colorado researchers who've been monitoring seismic activity around the site. But whether that figure is something to get shook up about is, like many other issues surrounding Colorado's booming oil and gas industry, a matter of some debate.

See also: "How Colorado became ground zero in America's energy wars"


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Initiative #124 would give school boards and unions a lesson in transparency

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By next Monday, all signatures for potential ballot initiatives are due at the Colorado Secretary of State's office. At least 86,105 legitimate signatures are needed to put a citizens initative before the voters on November 4, and several efforts are still collecting signatures. One of those is Initiative 124, which would open school-board meetings to a wider audience.

See also: Henry World Middle School staffers ask Denver Public Schools to oust their vice principal

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Davirak Ky gets three years' probation for feeding children pot cookies

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According to the victims' mother, Ky's homemade cookies made her sons "giggly and agitated."
Since recreational marijuana was legalized in Colorado, much has been made of children accidentally ingesting edible marijuana -- but what about when people intentionally feed it to kids? Last week Davirak Ky pleaded guilty to distributing a controlled substance and child abuse for feeding two minors cannabis-infused cookies. In exchange, Ky received three years of probation, must undergo drug and alcohol treatment, and has to take a class on the effects of drugs on children -- but he will avoid prison time if he stays out of trouble.

See also: "Thomas Cunningham hit with 18 felony counts, possible years in jail, over 'pot brownie assault'"

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Syringe exchange: New law allowing participants to carry needles doesn't always work

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Trained volunteers conduct a needle exchange in 2012.
In February 2012, the Harm Reduction Action Center, Denver's biggest needle exchange program, began distributing clean syringes under a 2010 state law that made such transactions legal. In November 2012, the program discovered that an old city ordinance allowed needle-exchange participants to legally carry syringes, exempting them from the laws that prohibit drug paraphernalia possession. And in May 2013, a new state law extended those protections statewide.

But the staff at the center say the laws aren't working as well as they could.

See also: Syringe exchange: Denver City Council lifts 1,000-foot school buffer

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Contact isn't allowed in girls' high-school lacrosse -- but concussions are still a concern

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Football isn't the only sport worried about head trauma, according to a recent study published by the The American Journal of Sports Medicine and co-authored by Dawn Comstock, an associate professor of epidemiology for the Pediatric Injury Prevention, Education, and Research program at the Colorado School of Public Health. Lacrosse is one of the fastest-growing youth sports in America, with over 170,000 active participants. And concerns about lacrosse-related concussion are also growing.

See also: Sex trafficking and sporting events linked? Arrest reports raise doubts


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Cat declawing: Vets agree to call the surgery an "amputation" -- but not to ban it

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Vet Aubrey Lavizzo is leading the fight in Colorado to ban cat declawing.
At its national convention in Denver this week, officials of the American Veterinary Medical Association have taken the unusual step of "clarifying" the organization's policy on cat declawing to stress that it's a major surgery -- making prominent use of the word "amputation" in describing the procedure for the first time. It's a step toward candor concerning the operation, but one that probably won't placate the AVMA's critics on the issue, including many vets who consider declawing to be cruel and unnecessary.

See also: The debate over cat declawing sharpens

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Initiative #135 would legalize casinos at racetracks: Yea or neigh?

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Coady Photgraphy
Arapahoe Park could open a casino if 135 passes.
Initiative 135, which would expand gambling in Colorado to racetracks, is heading into the homestretch, with a campaign chest that could make this one of the most expensive issues on the November 4 ballot. Earlier this month, the 135 campaign and Coloradans for Better Schools announced that they had gathered 136,342 signatures in support of putting the measure on the ballot, and were turning them into the Colorado Secretary of State's office. But hold your horses: It hasn't made the ballot yet.

See also: Personhood USA pushes Amendment 67, redefinition of
"person" and "child"


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