Colorado News Roundup: Storms lay havok to Eastern Plains (05.25.16)
STORMS DAMAGE HOMES, KNOCK OUT POWER ON EASTERN PLAINS
DENVER — Storms that produced hail the size of ping pong and golf balls and tornadoes damaged homes and knocked down power lines on Colorado’s Eastern Plains.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office says two large out buildings were destroyed there and over 20 homes in the Platner and Otis area suffered severe hail damage Tuesday. It says local officials and the National Weather Service are assessing the damage there on Wednesday.
Up to two tornadoes were reported near Akron and another was seen in Adams County, where some power poles were knocked over. Another tornado was reported on the ground in Yuma County, where a number of roads remained closed because of storm damage.
POLICE SAY POT THEFT BEHIND SLAYING OF FORT LEWIS STUDENT
DURANGO, Colo. — Police say four Arizona men arrested in the fatal shooting of a college student in Durango planned to steal a large amount of marijuana from his house.
Three of the men allegedly entered the off-campus home of Samuel Gordon, a junior at Fort Lewis College, while the fourth waited outside early Tuesday morning. Gordon and four others were held at gunpoint but the men, who wore bandanas over their faces, fled after shooting Gordon. No one else was injured.
Suspects were being held in jail, and no lawyer is listed as representing him in court documents.
FIRE BURNS ASPEN’S FORT FROG TO THE GROUND
ASPEN, Colo. — Authorities say the fire that destroyed a cabin on a Colorado mountain was probably caused by a human.
The Aspen Times reports that Aspen Volunteer Fire Department Chief Rick Balentine says there is no evidence to suggest the blaze on Buttermilk Mountain on Sunday night was set intentionally.
He says it’s hard to say what did start the flames that burned the Fort Frog cabin to the ground.
Aspen Skiing Co. spokesman Jeff Hanle said in a statement Monday that the frontier-style fort entertained thousands of kids for many years.
U.S. Forest Service law enforcement officer Chris Mandrick says the investigation is ongoing and he can’t release any details.
PALISADE CONSIDERS ANOTHER POT BALLOT PROPOSAL
PALISADE, Colo. — Palisade town trustees are considering presenting residents with an initiative on recreational marijuana, two years after a ballot proposal on the question failed by four votes.
The Daily Sentinel reports that at a meeting Tuesday, all seven trustees said they wanted to see draft language for a November ballot measure. A public-led initiative is in the works, but trustees would rather have their own to ensure the question is worded in a way that will be easiest to handle for the western Colorado town of 2,600 people.
Trustee Susan L’Hommedieu noted that in 2014, a number of ballots were missing the retail marijuana question. Voters passed a companion question that set up a taxing structure for retail marijuana that year, even though the sales question failed.
RAILROAD LEADER TO VISIT COLORADO, DISCUSS TRAIN NOISE
FORT COLLINS, Colo. — The head of the Federal Railroad Administration will visit Northern Colorado to gain a better understanding of the train noise issues there.
The Coloradoan reports that Administrator Sarah E. Feinberg will visit Colorado on June 17. She is expected to meet with local officials, business representatives and residents about the impact of train noise.
According to the office of U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., meetings might be scheduled in Fort Collins and Loveland. He and fellow Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., invited Feinberg to visit the region after the FRA decided to get public comment on changing regulations on sounding train horns and establishing “quiet zones” for passing trains.
Bennet says community and business leaders in Colorado will have the opportunity to show Feinberg how train horns affect their quality of life.
DENVER AIRPORT TRAIN RUNNING AGAIN AFTER POWER OUTAGE
DENVER — The new train line between Denver and the city’s airport is running again after a power outage stranded about 80 passengers on an overpass.
The Regional Transportation District, which operates the line, says the power went out and stopped a train on a 50-foot overpass near the airport’s cellphone lot Tuesday afternoon. Passengers walked down the overpass to a nearby bus that took them to the airport.
The airport train has experienced a handful of outages as well as problems with crossing gates since the 23-mile, $1.2 billion line opened April 22.
— The Associated Press
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