Colorado gun-control laws go on trial: Here's why more than fifty sheriffs say they're illegal

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Sheriff Justin Smith.
Today marks the beginning of what's expected to be a two-week trial pertaining to a suit filed by Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith and more than fifty of his colleagues against gun-control laws passed last year. Included among them are a ban of all magazines that can hold more than fifteen rounds and a requirement for universal background checks on gun purchases. What are the sheriffs' arguments? The Independence Institute's Dave Kopel, who helped assemble the complaint (it's on view below), spelled out his main concerns in a wide-ranging interview.

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More than 42,000 Denver kids signed up for MY Denver Card and free access to pools, libraries

Categories: News

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denvergov.org
Though Mayor Michael Hancock has come under fire for some of his Denver Department of Parks and Recreation initiatives, including the now-canceled City Loop project in City Park, the mayor's office is celebrating an important parks-and-rec-related victory this week: More than 42,000 school-age children have enrolled in the MY Denver Card program, which gives kids ages five to eighteen free access to all city recreation centers, outdoor pools and public libraries. The year-old program exceeded its goal of registering 25,000 children in its first twelve months, according to the mayor's office.

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Photos and video: Denver Zoo hand-raising twin clouded leopard cubs born this month

Categories: News

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Denver Zoo
This is why the Internet was invented: To post effing adorable photos of baby kitt-ehs or, in this case, two tiny clouded leopard cubs born at the Denver Zoo earlier this month. The unnamed cubs -- one male and one female -- were born to mom Lisu and dad Taji on March 14. But first-time mother Lisu, who was hand-raised as a cub, didn't quite possess the instincts to rear her young, so zookeepers stepped in to provide the babies with food and medicine every three hours. Continue reading to see more heart-melting photos and a video of the cubs napping in an incubator.

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Millions served: Pie chart gives fresh look at who's in U.S. jails and prisons

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Reporters generally do a lousy job of analyzing the incarceration rate in the United States -- which, despite recent sentencing reforms, remains the highest in the world, with more citizens per capita behind bars than in Cuba, Rwanda or Russia. That's why a recent report by the Prison Policy Initiative, featuring a nifty pie chart that parses out the distinct systems of confinement in the U.S., is such a welcome tool -- it locks down who's locked up in our jails, prisons, juvenile and immigration detention facilities and more, giving a startling snapshot of Fortress America.

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Colorado Children's Campaign releases 2014 Kids Count report

Categories: Education, News

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This morning the Colorado Children's Campaign released its annual report, "Kids Count," at the State Capitol. According to the report, more Colorado children were living in poverty in 2012 than during the worst of the Great Depression. And despite the economic recovery, "one in six Colorado children still lives in poverty, years after the recession officially ended," says Chris Watney, president and CEO of the Colorado Children's Campaign. According to Watney, this state has the second-fastest growing rate of child poverty in the nation.

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

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Gabrial Adams.
Gabrial Adams, a 38-year-old inmate serving life without parole for his role in a headline-grabbing double-murder committed when he was a teenager, was found dead in his cell on March 9. Although autopsy results have not yet been released and the Colorado Department of Corrections is offering little information about the death, Adams -- who had a history of suicide attempts -- reportedly hanged himself in the San Carlos Correctional Facility in Pueblo, which houses many of the prison system's most severely mentally ill inmates.

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

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Joann Ginal.
Not enough is known about the health impacts of oil and gas drilling in Colorado, or we already know more than enough. Surveying residents who live near wells about their "quality of life" is either a terrific idea or a lot of unscientific twaddle -- and a waste of money to boot. The sparring at Thursday's hearing over House Bill 14-1297, which would require a study on the effects of hydraulic fracturing in four Front Range counties, reflected the fractious divide among legislators, business interests, environmentalists and others over our booming natural gas industry.

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Dwayne Kelly ID'd as man killed in Yates Street incident -- but was it a Make My Day shooting?

Categories: News

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Big photos and more below.
Update: Yesterday, we told you about a shooting on the 1600 block of Yates in which a suspect was quizzed, then released; see our previous coverage below.

Since then, the Denver coroner's office has identified the man killed in the incident as Dwayne Kelly, 52. The cause of death: multiple gunshot wounds. However, no charges have been filed thus far in Kelly's death, which the man on the other side of the gun is apparently portraying as an act of self-defense. Here's the latest, from a Denver police spokesman.

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Photos: Joe Gorden ID'd as suicidal man CU-Denver cop shot on Anschutz Medical Campus

Categories: News

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Joe Gorden.
Update: The man killed last night at the Anschutz Medical Campus (see our previous coverage below) has not been officially ID'd yet. However, his brother tells us his name was Joe Gorden, and he worked at the University of Colorado Hospital.

Tom Gorden says he and his siblings believe reports that Joe, in the midst of a divorce and struggling with alcohol, was suicidal. As such, Tom says they wouldn't blame the officer for firing the fatal shot if Joe had a gun and brandished it threateningly -- something that hasn't been confirmed yet.

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Sebastian Littlejohn's mistaken jail release latest embarrassment for Denver Sheriff's Office

Categories: News

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Photos, videos below.
At a press conference yesterday, the Denver Sheriff's Office tried to explain how Sebastian Littlejohn, who was being held in Denver jail on charges related to violent felony beefs, was mistakenly set free, only to be recaptured a day later. This time, the sheriff's office may not be at fault. But the incident is only the latest embarrassment for the DSO, following the busts of two deputies -- one who allegedly helped an inmate escape, the other who allegedly hosted a pukey hot tub party with fourteen-year-old girls.

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