Colorado News Roundup: Red Cross pulls contentious poster (06.28.16)
Here’s what’s going on around Colorado today:
AMERICAN RED CROSS APOLOGIZES FOR POSTER SOME CALL RACIST
DENVER — The American Red Cross issued an apology Monday for a water safety poster that some suggested had a racist message.
The cartoon poster showed children playing in a swimming pool. Nearly all of the white children’s activities were labeled as “cool,” while the children of color were depicted acting in unsafe ways and were labeled “not cool.”
KUSA-TV talked to Margaret Sawyer, who first saw the poster in Salida, Colorado and then again in Fort Morgan, Colorado.
She said she first thought it was outdated — that it couldn’t be a recent poster.
A Red Cross spokesman says the posters have since been removed, and more appropriate material is being developed.
BOULDER COUNTY FIRE DAMAGES HOME, KILLS DOG
BOULDER, Colo. — Authorities are investigating a fire that damaged a Boulder County home and killed a dog that had been inside.
Emergency crews had responded to the blaze Sunday afternoon to find the house fully engulfed in homes. Rocky Mountain Fire Department spokeswoman Pam Kaan says no one had been home at the time, but firefighters found the family’s dog and were unable to resuscitate it.
A total of eight agencies had responded to the fire, including the Louisville and Lafayette fire departments and the Boulder Emergency Squad.
Kaan says it’s too early to estimate the cost of the damage to the home.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
WOMAN FOUND UNRESPONSIVE IN CHATFIELD RESERVOIR DIES
DENVER — A woman who was found unresponsive in Chatfield Reservoir southwest of Denver has died.
The Denver Post reports 45-year-old Hope Cassel, who died Sunday night, was paddle boarding with her three sons — ages 14, 13 and 11 — and an 11-year-old friend of the boys when a storm moved through Friday afternoon.
Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office investigators say heavy wind, rain, lightning, thunder and hail moved in quickly, causing large waves. The four boys, all wearing life vests, made it back to shore, but Cassel did not.
The Parker woman was wearing a life ring that could be activated by pulling a cord, but when she was found, it had not been inflated.
Cassel was certified in obstetrics and gynecology and had a practice in Parker.
GIRL, 4, IS SOLE SURVIVOR OF VAN-TRAIN CRASH IN COLORADO
TRINIDAD, Colo. — A 4-year-old girl was the only member of her family to survive after their minivan was hit by an Amtrak train at a crossing with a history of problems in southern Colorado.
The girl was hospitalized with serious injuries after the Southwest Chief train headed from Chicago to Los Angeles slammed into the van as it drove across the tracks Sunday morning near Trinidad, about 15 miles from the New Mexico border. Hospital officials would not release information on her condition on Monday.
Trooper Art Gumke of the Colorado State Patrol said the girl’s father, 32-year-old Stephen Miller, who was driving the 2005 Chrysler Town & Country, and his wife, Christine Miller, 33, of Trinidad were killed along with their three other daughters, aged 6, 2 and 8 months. He said the minivan was moving at the time of the crash and was not stuck.
The Millers were on their way to church at the time, a fundraising webpage said.
The crossing is only marked with signs, but a proposal to add flashing lights and gates has been in the works since late 2013, according to a plan first reported by The Denver Post.
Las Animas County commissioners approved a joint application for the work with the state just two weeks ago. But the proposal still has to be approved by the state Public Utilities Commission before work can start, county administrator Leeann Fabec said. The work is expected to cost about $230,000, Colorado Department of Transportation spokeswoman Amy Ford said.
The crossing was identified for improvements as part of ongoing work with counties and railroads to fix problem crossings, she said.
BODY OF RAFTER MISSING IN DINOSAUR NATIONAL MONUMENT FOUND
DINOSAUR, Colo. — Searchers have found the body of a rafter missing in the Green River near the Colorado-Utah border since Friday.
The body of 62-year-old Sandra Wolder of Aurora, Colorado was found Sunday trapped underwater in the roots of a large downed tree in the river in Dinosaur National Monument.
Authorities say Wolder fell in the water after a commercial raft she was riding on flipped after hitting a rock in a remote part of the Canyon of Lodore. She was the only rafter who didn’t make it to shore.
The raft flipped in a section of the river called rated between intermediate and advanced, depending on river levels. It was named Disaster Falls by Maj. John Wesley Powell after one of his wooden boats wrecked there in 1869.
COLORADO STUDENTS DELIVER DRONE TO RWANDAN NATIONAL PARK
DENVER — Two Denver teens have delivered a drone they built to a Rwandan game park.
Max Alger-Meyer and Nathan Lepore also got to show off their drone to the east African country’s president, who returned the favor with a tour of his cattle farm.
In an email Monday from the Rwandan capital, an official with the nonprofit that organized the teens’ trip says they visited Akagera park last week to hand over their drone and train rangers to use it to spot brushfires and survey hard-to-patrol areas.
Ryan Grundy, who is associate director of the Global Livingston Institute, adds Rwandan President Paul Kagame welcomed the two recent graduates of a Denver School of Science and Technology campus, the park’s manager and others to his home and farm on Sunday.
CHIPOTLE LOOKS TO RECOVER WITH TEMPORARY LOYALTY PROGRAM
NEW YORK — Chipotle is introducing a temporary loyalty program intended to get customers back into its stores following a series of food scares.
The Mexican food chain already has given away millions of burritos through coupons for entrees to try to fill up empty locations after an E. coli outbreak and norovirus cases last year sent sales plunging. In the first three months of this year, Chipotle’s sales at established locations were down about 30 percent.
On Monday, Chipotle said its “Chiptopia” loyalty program will reward people based on the number of times they visit each month, starting in July and running through September. The program has three reward levels, with more visits translating to more free entrees and other benefits.
Generally, people can earn a free entree after their fourth, eighth and 11th visit within a month.
The company, which has about 2,000 locations, said it will gauge feedback in its consideration of an ongoing rewards program.
The decision marks a reversal of sorts. Before the food scares last year, Chipotle Chief Financial Officer Jack Hartung had said that the company had been able to build loyalty “through more organic methods,” such as by educating people about how its food is raised. He said that since Chipotle already had such loyal customers, traditional loyalty programs did not make financial sense for the company.
Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. has said its most loyal customers visit 25 times or more a year, which would be about two times a month.
SOME VENDORS LEAVE PUEBLO FARMERS MARKET, START NEW MARKET
PUEBLO, Colo. — A splinter group of farmers market vendors is setting up a new marketplace in Pueblo this year.
The Pueblo Chieftain reports that some of the city’s longtime vendors are separating from the original Pueblo Farmers Market after it changed locations last year.
Vendor Greg Frankmore says the decision to separate was largely financial. He says his daily market income dropped by 80 percent following the move.
Frankmore says the new market’s hours will directly compete with the original market.
Ted Freeman, the vice president of the company that runs the runs the original market, acknowledged logistical problems during last year’s market but said they will be alleviated this year.
— The Associated Press
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