Marijuana: Welfare cards being used at pot shop ATMs?

Categories: Marijuana, News
According to data compiled by the National Review, welfare recipients have used electronic benefit (EBT) cards to withdraw cash at dispensaries at least 259 times since the sale of limited amounts of cannabis to adults 21 and up began in Colorado on January 1.

In total, more than $23,600 of money meant to go toward food and housing from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program was withdrawn, according to the conservative publication. And while there's no way to prove the money was spent in dispensaries, that doesn't matter to the lawmakers who immediately demanded something be done.

See also: "Ask a Stoner: How much THC equals a lethal dose?"

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Denver Water pulls Putin-like image from new campaign after Ukrainian plane-crash tragedy

Categories: News

More photos below.
Denver Water is known for its wacky conservation campaigns -- and its latest, dubbed "Don't Be That Guy," is definitely an attention-getter thanks to its portrayal of assorted comic archetypes as water-wasting doofuses.

Problem is, one of the images was inspired by photos of Russian leader Vladimir Putin riding a horse shirtless. Given Putin's alleged connection to the downing of a Malaysian aircraft over the Ukraine in which 298 people were killed, however, the pic no longer seems particularly hilarious -- so Denver Water has now pulled it. See that photo and more below.

See also: Running toilet terrorizes children; no one flushes

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Interim sheriff Elias Diggins's criminal record adds to 5 incidents spelling Gary Wilson's doom

Interim Denver sheriff Elias Diggins. More photos plus videos and a document below.
As we've documented in a series of blog posts over the past year or so, the Denver Sheriff's Department has been beset by scandals -- so many that yesterday, Mayor Michael Hancock accepted Sheriff Gary Wilson's resignation and appointed Division Chief Elias Diggins to fill the job on an interim basis.

But this attempt to smooth the waters wasn't wholly successful: Last night, news broke that Diggins has a criminal record. Continue for details about that revelation, following a recap of five incidents that helped seal Wilson's fate.

See also: Video: See Thomas Ford, suspended deputy, knock out non-violent inmate

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Photos: Gruesome Colfax-Speer crash injures seven

Categories: News

A cropped version of a photo tweeted from the scene by 9News. Images and more below.
Update below: A short time ago, a half-dozen Denver police cruisers were crowded into the emergency-center parking lot of Denver Health -- a sure sign that something very bad had just happened. And sure enough, a gruesome crash had taken place near the intersection of Colfax and Speer just prior to 3 a.m., seriously injuring four to five people and closing a major intersection during the lead-up to the week's first rush hour -- although (update at 6:24 a.m.) it's just been reopened. Here's what we know thus far.

See also: Photos of shocking 104-vehicle crash on I-25 that killed one, injured thirty

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Sterling prison murders blamed on staff indifference, misconduct

James Bergman beat a child killer to death the first day they were put in a cell together. Additional photos below.
Court records and testimony prompted by a wave of inmate homicides at the Sterling Correctional Facility claim that SCF officers have repeatedly placed at-risk prisoners, particularly sex offenders, in life-threatening situations -- and that some staff have even celled deadly enemies together to "teach a lesson," fully expecting one inmate to attack another.

The result has been mayhem on a grand scale: Five inmate murders at Sterling in a two-
year period that ended in 2012. An internal investigation, with findings never made public, was ordered by prison chief Tom Clements before his own murder last year. A lawsuit was recently filed by one victim's family, with possibly more to come.

See also: Gabrial Adams, serving life, found dead in prison for mentally ill

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Video: See Thomas Ford, suspended deputy, knock out non-violent inmate
A screen capture of Deputy Thomas Ford seconds before laying out an inmate; he's seen at the upper right. The video and more below.
Amid numerous recent claims of inappropriate actions by Colorado law enforcers, several of which were brought to the public's attention via lawsuit, the Denver Manager of Safety's Office issued an unusual announcement: Denver Sheriff Gary Wilson had asked the Denver District Attorney's Office to launch a criminal investigation into the conduct of a deputy under his command, Thomas Ford.

The release didn't say precisely what Ford was accused of having done. But a video originally shared by the Colorado Independent and on view below shows Ford brutally punching out an apparently non-violent inmate. And Ford was reportedly involved in another high-profile case of alleged inmate abuse.

See also: Porn, pot, drunkenness and brutality allegedly routine in Denver jail, new docs claim

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Child Protection Ombudsman office criticized in state audit

Categories: News
An image from the state Office of the Child Protection Ombudsman's website.
Lack of documentation, untimely reviews and an organizational structure that sometimes results in the watchdog office investigating the very department that oversees its contract were some of the issues identified in the first-ever audit of the three-year-old Office of Colorado's Child Protection Ombudsman. The office began operating in 2011 with the purpose of serving as a neutral organization to hear grievances about Colorado's child welfare system -- and ultimately, to help better protect children.

See also: Child welfare: Hickenlooper's new plan calls for "common practice approach" in all 64 counties

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Inside Initiative 121, an industry-friendly measure to punish fracking-free zones

A screen capture from the anti-fracking documentary "Dear Governor Hickenlooper."
If a Colorado county or district does not allow gas or oil production within its jurisdiction, should it be given tax revenue produced in other areas of the state that allow these companies? No, says initiative 121, an industry-driven proposal that's one of several measures focusing on fracking that could wind up on the November 4 ballot, as outlined in our current cover story, "Frack Attack."

See also: Frackers and their critics argue over proposed study of industry's health risks

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Rocky Mountain National Park lightning kills Gregory Cardwell, Becky Telheit in two days

Gregory Cardwell, second from right, in a Facebook photo. More images below.
In recent days, we've posted about the series of lightning storms that have hit the Colorado, with one strike hitting so close to Arvada's Chad Greenlees that he was briefly knocked out while recording a video of the light show.

This incident pales in comparison with a pair of tragedies at Rocky Mountain National Park: Out-of-state visitors Becky Teilhet and Gregory Cardwell were killed by lightning strikes on consecutive days in spots located close to each other.

See also: Video: Chad Greenlees knocked out by lightning while recording lightning

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JonBenet case: Fleet White sues for release of grand jury documents accusing girl's parents
JonBenet Ramsey. Additional photos below.
A prominent Boulder couple, former close friends of John and Patsy Ramsey, have filed a lawsuit seeking the full release of long-suppressed documents drafted by a grand jury investigating the 1996 murder of the Ramseys' six-year-old daughter, JonBenet. Last fall a judge released four redacted pages from eighteen pages of "official action" documents prepared by the grand jury, indicating that the panel had sought to indict JonBenet's parents for felony child abuse resulting in death and on an accessory charge -- but Fleet and Priscilla White contend that the remaining documents may also contain information the public is entitled to know.

See also: JonBenet's parents: How an indictment became an "exoneration"

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