Colorado News Roundup: Teen hitchhiker faces charges in elderly woman’s assault (09.21.16) | SummitDaily.com

Colorado News Roundup: Teen hitchhiker faces charges in elderly woman’s assault (09.21.16)

CRIME

BOULDER, Colo. — Boulder County authorities are looking for a teenage boy accused of assaulting and seriously injuring a 71-year-old woman who picked him up while he was hitchhiking and allowed him to stay at her home.

The Daily Camera reports that deputies responded to the residence Monday to find the woman suffering from a head injury, bone fractures and lacerations. She was taken to a hospital and remained in the intensive care unit Tuesday.

The sheriff's office says an arrest warrant has been issued for the 16-year-old for attempted murder and assault on an at-risk adult.

Investigators say the woman picked up the boy and his two companions, a 19-year-old man and a 17-year-old girl, while they were hitchhiking near Ward and offered to let them stay with her for the night.

The other two teens reported the assault to a neighbor.

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Kansas man sentenced in crash that kills 6-year-old

MANHATTAN, Kan. — A Kansas man has been sentenced to more than 17 years in prison for a drunken driving crash that killed his 6-year-old daughter.

The Manhattan Mercury reports that 39-year-old Joshua Mall, of Riley, was sentenced Monday for second-degree murder in the October death of Madilyn Mall. His criminal history includes a guilty plea in a 2001 vehicular homicide in Colorado in which prosecutors dropped two driving under the influence counts.

Authorities say that before Madilyn's death, he consumed more than a half-liter of whiskey, lost control of his speeding pickup truck and crashed into a tree. His blood alcohol level measured .13; the legal limit in Kansas is .08.

Mall said he felt he let Madilyn down and that keeping her safe was his "one job as a father."

POLICE

Colorado Springs police change responses amid staff shortage

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The Colorado Springs Police Department is changing the way it responds to crime amid an ongoing staffing shortage.

The Gazette reports that effective Sunday, the department is asking citizens to call in or report online crimes where there is no immediate danger and where suspect information is sparse. Officers will no longer go to homes to take those reports.

Police Chief Peter Carey says he knows the change won't be popular with the community, but he hopes the change will allow more officers to respond to emergency calls, improving response times and officer safety.

Police response times have been climbing as staffing decreased, particularly in the patrol unit.

Carey says in order to improve times he needs to add more officers and manage call volume.

ENVIRONMENT

Interior Department touts efforts to protect sage grouse

DENVER — Interior Secretary Sally Jewell is in Colorado to tout efforts to save the greater sage grouse across the West one year after the federal government decided not to invoke the Endangered Species Act to protect the rare bird.

Jewell traveled to a wildlife refuge outside Denver Wednesday as the Interior Department released a report listing steps taken so far to save the birds.

They include studies on the effects of energy development, new satellite-based maps to locate key habitat and efforts to protect those areas from fire and unwanted plants.

The report had few details about restrictions on energy development and ranching.

Jewell announced last year that conservation agencies would rely on local, state and federal cooperation and other measures instead of imposing potentially stricter rules under the Endangered Species Act.

MARIJUANA

Colorado medical pot law poised to add PTSD as qualifier

DENVER — Post-traumatic stress disorder may be added to Colorado's medical marijuana program — over the Health Department's objections.

A panel of state lawmakers has scheduled a vote Wednesday to give PTSD patients the ability to get a doctor's recommendation for pot, something many patient advocates have been seeking for more than a decade.

Colorado's 2000 medical pot law does not name PTSD but says that medical conditions could be added later. However, the state Board of Health has rejected multiple petitions to consider PTSD a condition for which doctors can recommend pot.

The vote Wednesday won't have any legal effect. But policy decisions by the interim legislative panels usually carry significant weight when the full Legislature meets in January.

Colorado has about 100,000 medical marijuana patients.

MILITARY

Fort Carson ceremony marks return of hospital unit

FORT CARSON, Colo. — Fort Carson is formally recognizing the return of a hospital unit after an overseas deployment.

The 10th Combat Support Hospital will hold a ceremony Wednesday marking the end of a nine-month deployment to Kuwait.

About 115 soldiers deployed in December 2015. They provided health care for personnel from the United States and its coalition partners.

Fort Carson says the unit had a hand in more than 60 air evacuations and that its emergency medical team treated more than 2,000 patients.

REGIONAL

Dog found 800 miles from home to be reunited with family

HILLSBORO, Mo. — A Colorado girl with special needs will soon be reunited with her companion dog after the animal was found in eastern Missouri, more than 800 miles from the girl's home and five years after the dog was stolen.

KSDK-TV reports that Missy the St. Bernard was picked up as a stray Monday near Hillsboro in Jefferson County. Animal control workers found an identification chip with outdated information but a resident, Brandi Cross, tracked down the family in Colorado. Another stranger, Melissa Morton, plans to drive the dog back home on Friday.

The dog went missing five years ago when she was stolen from the Colorado family's yard. It isn't clear how the dog ended up in Missouri.