Colorado News Roundup: GOP says hacker posted racist meme on an official’s webpage (05.31.16)
May 31, 2016
Here's what's going on around Colorado today:
REPUBLICANS SAY HACKER POSTED RACIST MEME ON OFFICIAL'S PAGE
DELTA, Colorado — A racist internet meme shared on an official's personal Facebook page was the result of hacking, Members of the Delta County Republican Central Committee say.
Last week, a photo that compared President Barack Obama to the 1950s movie chimpanzee Bonzo appeared on Delta County Committee Chairwoman Linda Sorenson's Facebook page. Committee Vice Chairman Vic Ullrey told The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel that Sorenson did not post the image and that her account was accessed by someone else.
"This whole thing is a hoax. Someone got into the Facebook somehow," Ullrey said. "It was hacked, and somebody got into it, definitely."
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Ullrey said she is not racist and it is unclear why she was targeted. But he thinks it politically motivated.
"(Hackers posted the image) just to damage the Republican Party, no doubt. Just to make us look bad," he said.
Sorenson in an interview last week after the image was posted said she didn't care if people were offended by it. She has not commented on the issue since.
She has been chairwoman of the central committee for about four years. The organization is a collection of two members from each county precinct, and it works to coordinate the Delta County Republican Party before general elections.
76-YEAR-OLD WOMAN DIES IN FLORENCE APARTMENT FIRE
FLORENCE, Colo. — Fremont County authorities say a woman has died in a fire at a Florence apartment complex.
The Canon City Daily Record reports that 76-year-old Wanda Blackburn died in the early Saturday blaze. The results of an autopsy are pending.
Authorities and fire crews had responded to the scene to find heavy smoke and flames coming from the building. Florence police say in a news release that officers escorted people from the building and had to get one man out through a window.
Once fire crews were able to get the fire under control, they found Blackburn inside.
Two other residents were hospitalized for smoke inhalation and one suffered minor burns. One officer and one sheriff's deputy were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation.
The fire remains under investigation.
COLORADO MAN KILLED WHEN UTV HITS DEER IN SOUTHEAST KANSAS
HOWARD, Kan. — The Kansas Highway Patrol says a Colorado man was killed when the four-wheeler he was driving hit a deer in southeastern Kansas' Elk County.
KAKE-TV says 29-year-old Trevor McCoy of Meeker, Colorado died during the accident about 1:40 a.m. Monday.
The patrol says the utility task vehicle hit the deer on the road and then overturned.
LA PLATA COUNTY ELK RESEARCH OPERATION TO SHUT DOWN
HESPERUS, Colo. — As Fort Lewis College prepares to take over 6,300 acres of state land in La Plata County, a controversial elk research operation is moving out.
The Durango Herald reports that Fort Lewis College is expected to take over the state land at Old Fort, south of Hesperus, starting July 1 and has said it will not extend the lease for ElkQuest, an elk hunting and chronic wasting disease research operation.
Owner Barry Dyar established the Elk Research Institute in 2003 with the goal of breeding an animal resistant to chronic wasting disease, an illness that causes slow starvation in elk, deer and moose. Over the years, he has been accused of using the research as a front for an expensive private hunting ground.
— The Associated Press