Tornado spotted near Denver airport terminal
LA JUNTA, Colo. (AP) - Denver International Airport passengers are taking shelter after a tornado was spotted in the area.
The National Weather Service says a tornado was spotted in the area Tuesday afternoon.
People are taking shelter in the airport's bathrooms, which double as shelters, and in stairwells. Television coverage showed the airport's normally busy concourse was completely empty.
On Monday, a tornado touched down briefly in La Junta (lah-HUN'-tah) on Colorado's southeastern plains. No injuries were reported, but power poles were knocked down in an industrial park near town.
Heavy rain fell Monday in La Junta and Lamar, where some streets flooded.
More residents return near Black Forest Fire
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) - More residents near the Black Forest Fire near Colorado Springs are returning home, while investigators continue efforts to find out what started the most damaging wildfire in state history.
More evacuations were lifted Tuesday morning in El Paso County. Several hundred people were expected to be allowed home, while firefighters continued tackling hot spots in the blaze that started one week ago.
The number of homes lost is now 502, and that number is expected to increase. The wildfire has charred more than 22 square miles and is 85% contained.
Residents in the area where the fire started were to be briefly allowed in to survey damage Tuesday afternoon.
Authorities don't believe natural causes are to blame but haven't elaborated on a possible cause.
WILDFIRE MITIGATION GRANTS
Colo. groups eligible for fire mitigation grants
DENVER (AP) - Colorado local governments and community groups that want to undertake wildfire mitigation projects are eligible for grants established by state lawmakers this year.
The Department of Natural Resources is handling the $9.8 million grant program. Groups applying for the grants must show how they're going to reduce the risk to property and limit the spread of fires into residential areas.
DNR officials say some projects considered for funding can include building defensible space around properties or reducing fuels in areas where development overlaps with forest lands.
The program was set by a bill passed this legislative session. State agencies and non-profits can also apply for the grants.
Applicants have to contribute matching funds.
Recall effort against Morse deemed sufficient
DENVER (AP) - A recall petition against Colorado Senate President John Morse has been deemed sufficient, setting up the first potential recall of a state lawmaker in Colorado history.
The Democrat from Colorado Springs was targeted for his support of gun control measures signed into law this spring. The gun rights supporters were especially unhappy with a new law to expand required background checks for gun purchases and to limit the size of ammunition magazines.
Morse has said he will fight the recall. If he resigns, the seat remains in Democratic hands because the party would appoint a senator to the vacancy. Democrats hold a five-seat advantage in the state Senate.
Democratic Sen. Angela Giron of Pueblo is awaiting word from the Secretary of State about a similar petition filed.
FIREARMS COMPANY MOVE
Colo. gun accessories maker asking $2.5 million from Wyo.
(Information in the following story is from: Laramie (Wyo.) Daily Boomerang, http://www.laramieboomerang.com)
LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) - A Colorado company that makes gun sights and other firearms accessories is seeking a $2.5 million grant from Wyoming to help it move to Laramie.
The Laramie City Council is expected to vote Tuesday night on an agreement that would endorse HiViz Shooting System's grant application to the Wyoming Business Council. The Laramie Boomerang reports the deal would also back HiViz getting a loan of $600,000 or less.
HiViz is now based in Fort Collins, Colo. It announced that it would move to Wyoming in May after Colorado lawmakers passed new gun control laws.
The funding would pay for construction of a new plant on Laramie Economic Development Corp. property. The corporation is donating the land, worth about $760,000, to HiViz.
According to the documents, no other city money will be spent.
MISSING MONTANA TEACHER-TRIAL
Defense in Sherry Arnold case seeks to avoid death
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - Defense attorneys are seeking to avoid the death penalty for 1 of 2 men charged in the killing of a Montana high school teacher because they say the suspect is mentally disabled.
Twenty-4-year-old Michael Spell of Colorado faces charges including deliberate homicide for the alleged January 2012 kidnapping and murder of Sidney teacher Sherry Arnold.
Defense attorney Al Avignone said Tuesday he's asked the court to rule Spell ineligible for execution under a 2002 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that outlawed capital punishment for the mentally disabled.
Prosecutors have until Aug. 21 to respond to the motion.
Avignone also is seeking to have Spell's 2014 trial moved to Bozeman.
He says widespread news coverage of Arnold's killing in the booming Bakken oil patch of Montana and North Dakota has biased potential jurors.
FRONTIER FLIGHT ARREST
Man arrested on Denver flight feared he had bomb
DENVER (AP) - A Colorado man who acted nervously and told a flight attendant there was a bomb in his backpack on a flight from Knoxville, Tenn., to Denver has been charged in federal court.
Mark Michael Bote of Thornton was arrested Friday after the Frontier Airlines flight landed. Federal prosecutors announced Tuesday that the 23-year-old has been charged with giving a false report.
According to court documents, Bote was returning from a church mission trip. A woman with his group told investigators he has a mental disability and can become disorientated if he doesn't get enough sleep.
Bote allegedly told investigators that he thought someone was stalking him and feared that person had put a bomb in his bag because it felt heavier than normal.
It wasn't clear if he had a lawyer.
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