Colorado News Roundup: Missing Utah woman found dead in western Colorado (05.13.16)
Here’s what’s happening across Colorado today:
Missing Utah woman found dead in western Colorado
MONTROSE, Colo. — Authorities say a body that was found in western Colorado is that of a Utah woman who was reported missing at the beginning of May.
The Montrose County coroner’s office identified the woman Thursday as 54-year-old Kimberly Burchell, of Moab. Investigators have not said how she died, but they do not suspect foul play.
The Montrose Daily Press reports Burchell, whose body was found Tuesday, was last seen alive May 4 as she walked away from friends while antler shed hunting. She was found dead in Lion Canyon near Paradox.
Results of a toxicology test are pending.
Man killed by Aurora police pointed gun at officers
AURORA, Colo. — Investigators say a carjacking suspect who was shot to death by Aurora police following a high-speed chase pointed a loaded handgun at officers.
The Aurora Sentinel reports 35-year-old Stephen Schuster carjacked an SUV late Tuesday night and rammed a police cruiser during the chase that followed. Police pinned the vehicle with their cruisers and fired multiple rounds at the man after officers say he pointed a gun at them.
Sgt. Matthew Fyles said Thursday a woman who was in the stolen SUV told investigators that Schuster vowed to “shoot it out with the police and kill them all” if he had to.
The woman, whose name hasn’t been released, was arrested on an active warrant and additional charges.
Police say Schuster had an extensive criminal record, including assault on a police officer.
Shooting sparked by squirrel feeding dispute
BOULDER, Colo. — Investigators say a dispute about feeding squirrels led a Boulder man to shoot his neighbor.
Fifty-nine-year-old Jon Marc Barbour was arrested Thursday after calling 911 to report shooting his 46-year-old neighbor, Jeffrey Browning, in the rear. He’s expected to recover.
The Daily Camera reports neighbors have objected to Barbour and his wife feeding squirrels peanuts because they were worried about children with nut allergies and diseases. Investigators say they left fliers on mailboxes explaining their view but that Browning allegedly took them down.
The two men got into an argument while Browning was walking his dog. Barbour told deputies that Browning hit him in the head and that he shot him as they were on the ground struggling. But Browning says he was shot as he was walking away.
Spilled beer mash causes crash in southwest Colorado
DURANGO, Colo. — Investigators say beer was a factor in a rollover crash in southwest Colorado, but drunken-driving was not to blame.
Capt. Adrian Driscoll with the Colorado State Patrol says a pickup crashed after sliding on a pile of beer mash that had spilled on state Highway 172 near the Durango-La Plata County Airport on Thursday morning. Mash is a byproduct of beer brewing, and local breweries often give it to ranchers to feed their livestock.
The pickup driver suffered minor injuries, and a passenger was taken to a hospital with moderate injuries.
Lisa Schwantes, a spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Transportation, tells The Durango Herald that a snow plow had been sent to clean up the slippery mess but did not get there in time.
Colorado police ask for two-year hold on new pot laws
DENVER — Colorado’s top prosecutors and police officials say the state’s regulation of marijuana seems “to change on a daily basis” and are calling for a two-year moratorium on new pot laws to give officers time to catch up.
The Denver Post reports that the law enforcement officials sent a letter to lawmakers last week, saying local police can’t keep up with the high volume of constantly changing marijuana laws. They say the moratorium on changes to laws regarding pot legalization would help slow the process down.
The law enforcement officials have also asked legislators to fund two work groups to monitor the impacts of legalization and to train officers. They also requested a state marijuana liaison to law enforcement.
Falcon school district OKs medical marijuana for students
FALCON, Colo. — A Colorado Springs-area school district will now allow students who rely on medical marijuana to take doses at school.
The Falcon District 49 school board unanimously approved the policy Thursday.
Parents or state-licensed caregivers, but not school staffers, would be allowed to give students non-inhalable forms of marijuana, such as edibles and oils.
All Colorado schools would be required to allow such medical marijuana use under a bill passed by state lawmakers and awaiting the governor’s signature. Gov. John Hickenlooper has said he supports it.
Falcon’s policy was inspired by the suspension of a disabled student who accidentally brought cannabis pills to school in his lunch. He uses medical marijuana to treat his seizures.
Steamboat Springs looks to stop slow landslide at ski hill
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. — Officials in Steamboat Springs are watching the historic Howelsen Hill ski area that has been moving due to small landslides all spring.
The Steamboat Pilot & Today reports that officials say it is still too early to tell if the most recent slides will impact summer operations at The Howler Steamboat Springs Alpine Slide but that they are monitoring its progress.
A large crack appeared on the ski jump hill this year and officials say it appears to have grown longer and larger in recent days. Brian Len, of Northwest Colorado Consultants, says the opening is in the same general area as a previous landslide that moved a lift tower and damaged the Alpine last year.
Len says the crack is actually a head carp from a shallow landslide or slump.
Colorado rafter spending at record levels in 2015
DENVER — A new report shows that commercial rafting remained a strong economic driver in Colorado last year, generating a new record of $162.6 million for the state.
The Denver Post reports the Colorado River Outfitters Association says there were nearly 509,000 commercial raft trips on 29 stretches of Colorado rivers in 2015. The economic impact of those trips beat the state’s previous record from 2014.
According to the report, the Arkansas River from above Buena Vista through Salida to Cañon City remained the state’s top rafting spot. The Animas River saw a drop in rafters largely due to the Gold King mine spill in August.
Outfitters are preparing for another successful season this year, with help from a snowy April and cool weather that’s keeping the snow from melting too early.
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