Colorado News Roundup: Northern Colorado wildfire doubles in size (06.24.16) | SummitDaily.com

Colorado News Roundup: Northern Colorado wildfire doubles in size (06.24.16)

Here's what's going on around Colorado today:

ENVIRONMENT

WILDFIRE RAGES IN NORTHERN COLORADO, DOUBLES IN SIZE

Walden — Across the Continental Divide, the Beaver Creek Fire in the Routt National Forest continued to rage Wednesday and grew to 7,000 acres.

On Tuesday afternoon, the wind picked up, and the fire blew up, spreading to 3,400 acres. The wind helped fuel the fire again Wednesday.

The fire is one of the biggest that has occurred in the Routt National Forest in recent years.

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"We've had a few smaller fires on the Routt, but nothing of this size in awhile," Voos said Wednesday afternoon at the Forest Service office in Walden.

On Wednesday, fire engines from departments throughout Colorado arrived to help. A management team trained to handle large fires was going to take over command this morning. There were 120 people working the fire.

A mixture of black and white smoke rose from the fire Wednesday. Voos said the white smoke was a good sign, because it meant the fire was not burning as much in the heavy timber.

The fire was ravaging through beetle-killed lodgepole pine trees left dead by the bark beetle epidemic.

SPORTS

11-YEAR-OLD BOY, 13-YEAR-OLD GIRL TAKE MARBLES CHAMPIONSHIP

WILDWOOD, N.J. — An 11-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl have taken the top spots in the 93rd National Marbles Championship, each earning a $2,000 scholarship and a place in the National Marbles Hall of Fame.

In the boys' competition, Louie Lee of Mesa, Colorado beat Zayd Hadjali, 14, of Lansdowne, Pennsylvania by a score of 8-2 during the best of 15 game series, held in Wildwood, New Jersey.

In the girls' group, Haley Grensko, 13, of Pittsburgh beat Lauren Shuty, of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania by a score of 8-5.

About fifty "mibsters" ages 8 to 14 played more than 1,200 games during the four-day tournament. Players qualified by winning regional matches.

Organizers promote marbles as a sport for all fitness levels. They say it teaches players perseverance and patience.

RELIGION

DALAI LAMA SAYS PEOPLE SHOULD NOT IMPOSE RELIGION ON OTHERS

BOULDER, Colo. — The Dalai Lama told a crowd in Boulder on Thursday that people should not try to impose their religious beliefs on other people.

He also says religion can offer forgiveness and ways to reduce afflictions.

According to the Denver Post, the spiritual leader from Tibet urged compassion for other people and a global awareness that could make the world more peaceful.

During his visit to teach lessons at the University of Colorado-Boulder, the Dalai Lama put on a bicycle helmet given to him as a gift from Boulder Mayor Suzanne Jones, saying the helmet is a symbol of protection people need as they struggle to make a better life.

PUBLIC SAFETY

SENIOR POLICE VOLUNTEERS TO PATROL DOWNTOWN LOVELAND

LOVELAND, Colo. — As part of an ongoing effort to increase the visible police presence in Loveland, senior police volunteers are patrolling downtown.

The Loveland Daily Reporter-Herald reports that the Police Department's 23 senior police volunteers dress in uniform and can radio police dispatch. Officials say the volunteers will help increase the visual police presence, report incidents to officers and help identify areas that may be problems.

Sworn officers will also be patrolling the area on foot as time permits. According to a news release, business owners downtown had asked the department for more officers downtown.

Officials say that despite the fact that senior volunteers do not enforce laws, they do help enforce a partnership of trust between the community and the department.

JURY CONVICTS FORMER COLORADO OFFICER WHO KILLED UNARMED MAN

DENVER — A jury in southeast Colorado has convicted a former Rocky Ford police officer of second-degree murder for shooting a man he followed into a home.

The Denver Post reports jurors found 33-year-old James Ashby guilty Thursday in the Oct. 12, 2014 death of 27-year-old Jack Jacquez. Ashby is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 23.

Prosecutors say he was on duty when he followed Jacquez into the home of Jacquez's mother and shot him in the back. Ashby told investigators he thought Jacquez was a burglar, but the Colorado Bureau of Investigation determined the officer had no reason to believe Jacquez was committing a crime before the shooting.

Ashby was arrested a month after the shooting and was fired from the Rocky Ford police department.

— The Associated Press, Steamboat Today