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Suspect injured in Arapahoe County officer-involved shooting

1 hour 33 min ago

ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. — An officer-involved shooting injured a suspect in the area of South Quebec Street and East Caley Avenue in Greenwood Village Saturday morning.

A spokeswoman for the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office said all deputies were OK and a suspect was transported to a hospital. The suspect’s condition was not released.

This happened just west of I-25 between Orchard and Arapahoe roads.

Incident in the area of Quebec and Caley. Please avoid the area pic.twitter.com/IJUKAIBOUy

— Greenwood Village (@greenwoodgov) June 23, 2018

This story is developing, and we are working to find out more information.


Administration seeks to expand immigrant family detention

3 hours 10 min ago

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is calling for the expanded use of family detention for immigrant parents and children who are stopped along the U.S.-Mexico border, a move decried by advocates as a cruel and ineffective attempt to deter families from coming to the United States.

Immigration authorities on Friday issued a notice that they may seek up to 15,000 beds to detain families. The Justice Department has also asked a federal court in California to allow children to be detained longer and in facilities that don’t require state licensing while they await immigration court proceedings.

“The current situation is untenable,” August Flentje, special counsel to the assistant attorney general, wrote in court filings seeking to change a longstanding court settlement that governs the detention of immigrant children. The more constrained the Homeland Security Department is in detaining families together during immigration proceedings, “the more likely it is that families will attempt illegal border crossing.”

The proposed expansion comes days after a public outcry moved the administration to cease the practice of separating children from their migrant parents on the border. More than 2,300 children have been taken from their parents since Homeland Security announced a plan in April to prosecute all immigrants caught on the border.

It also comes as the Pentagon is drawing up plans to house as many as 20,000 unaccompanied immigrant children on military bases.

Tens of thousands of immigrants traveling as families have been caught along the southwest border in recent years, many of them fleeing gang violence in Central America.

About 9,000 immigrants traveling in family groups have been caught on the border in each of the last three months, according to federal authorities. Many immigrant children traveling alone have also been stopped — about 15,000 during the same period.

Immigrant advocates contend detention is no place for children and insist there are other alternatives to ensure they and their parents attend immigration court hearings, such as ankle bracelets or community-based programs. The federal court ruled several years ago that children must be released as quickly as possible from family detention.

“It is definitely not a solution under any circumstances,” said Manoj Govindaiah, director of family detention services at the RAICES advocacy group in Texas. “At no point should a child be incarcerated, and children need to be with their parents.”

Immigration and Customs Enforcement has three family detention facilities that can house up to 3,300 people— a 100-bed center opened in Pennsylvania in 2001 and two much larger facilities opened in Texas in 2014. Only the Pennsylvania facility can house men, and all of the detainees at the Texas centers are women with children.

In Dilley, Texas, a facility was built on a remote site that was once an oil workers’ encampment. It includes collections of cottages built around playgrounds. The other Texas center, in Karnes City, is ringed by 15-foot (4.5-meter) fences and has security cameras monitoring movements. It also offers bilingual children’s books in the library, classes, TVs and an artificial turf soccer field.

Inside the Karnes City center, there are five or six beds to a room typically shared by a couple of families. Cinderblock walls are painted pastel colors, said Govindaiah, who added that the facilities are run by private prison operators, not humanitarian organizations, as is the case with shelters for unaccompanied immigrant children.

Currently, most families spend up to a few weeks in the facilities and are released once they pass an initial asylum screening. They are then given a date to appear before an immigration judge in the cities where they are headed to see if they qualify to stay in the country legally or will face deportation.

Those who do not pass initial screenings can seek additional review in a video conference with a judge, a process that lasts about six weeks.

But that’s much shorter than the six months or a year many families were being held several years ago when the Obama administration began detaining mothers and children in a bid to stem a surge in arrivals on the border, Govindaiah said.

At the time, many were being held until their immigration cases — not just the initial screenings — were resolved.

Advocates then asked the federal court to enforce a decades-old settlement over the detention of immigrant children, and a judge ruled the children should be released as quickly as possible.

The settlement is seen by advocates as a way to ensure children are placed in age-appropriate facilities and for no longer than necessary. State licensing adds another layer of oversight.

“You will have children in facilities that are entirely inappropriate for children and are not meeting child welfare standards,” said Michelle Brane, director of the migrant rights and justice program at the Women’s Refugee Commission. “They are trying to circumvent child welfare standards.”

Brane said there is a viable alternative: supervised release to communities around the country. The federal Family Case Management Program — terminated under the Trump administration — compiled a perfect record of attendance by migrants at court hearings, and a 99 percent appearance record at immigration check-ins, according to a 2017 report by the Homeland Security inspector general.

Just 2 percent of participants — 23 out of 954 — were reported as absconders.

In Friday’s notice, ICE said the family detention beds should be in state-licensed facilities and allow freedom of movement for detainees, and should preferably be located in states along the southwest border.

In addition to providing private showers and educational field trips for children, the centers should appear “child-friendly rather than penal in nature,” the agency said.

Sarah Sanders says she was kicked out of restaurant because she works for Trump

3 hours 30 min ago

WASHINGTON — White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said she was kicked out of a Virginia restaurant by its owner because she works for President Donald Trump.

Last night I was told by the owner of Red Hen in Lexington, VA to leave because I work for @POTUS and I politely left. Her actions say far more about her than about me. I always do my best to treat people, including those I disagree with, respectfully and will continue to do so

— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) June 23, 2018

“Last night I was told by the owner of Red Hen in Lexington, VA to leave because I work for @POTUS and I politely left,” Sanders posted on Twitter Saturday.

“Her actions say far more about her than about me,” Sanders said. “I always do my best to treat people, including those I disagree with, respectfully and will continue to do so.”

When reached for comment by CNN, Sanders referred to the tweet she posted. CNN has reached out to the owners of the restaurant for comment.

Man impersonating ICE agent forced 15-year-old out of car, seized boy’s cellphone

3 hours 59 min ago

VENTURA, Calif. – A man on Friday pleaded guilty to impersonating a federal officer during an encounter with a teenager and police outside a Southern California mall, officials announced.

Farad Gharagozlou Bell, a 63-year-old Simi Valley man, confronted a 15-year-old boy in the parking lot of the Pacific View Mall on Dec. 2, 2017, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Bell was angry that the teen had already sold a guitar he wanted to buy, prosecutors said. The man saw an ad for the guitar online, the U.S. Attorney’s Office added.

The man wore a badge around his neck that apparently had the seal of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, identifying him as a special agent with ICE, according to court documents.

Bell then demanded the boy to get out of a car, where he was sitting with his family, prosecutors said. The man then pushed the teen against the vehicle and patted him down before seizing and looking through the boy’s cellphones without permission, officials added.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office provided this image of a badge and identification card used by Farad Bell during an encounter with police and a teenager in Ventura on Dec. 2, 2017.

A bystander called Ventura police. When they arrived, Bell told the officers he was with ICE and had previously worked for the Drug Enforcement Agency, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Police asked him for identification and he produced a card with three purported seals of the DHS and read “UNITED STATES IDENTIFICATION,” court documents showed.

Bell later admitted that he never worked for the DEA and that the badge and ID he showed the boy and Ventura police were fake, according to prosecutors. As part of a plea agreement, the U.S. Attorney’s Office agreed to recommend a sentence of six months of home detention and 200 hours of community service.

The man faced a maximum sentence of three years in federal prison. He was scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 1.

Goats working to help reduce risk from wildfires south of Denver

4 hours 26 min ago

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. -- Goats were put to work Saturday south of metro Denver.

They do a great job of helping reduce the risk of damage from wildfires ... by eating potential wildfire fuel in places that are near neighborhoods.

It's an important fire mitigation job and it was happening in the Castle Pines area south of Denver Saturday.

You're invited to see them to their job at the "Ready, Set, Goat" event in the Pine Ridge subdivision from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, June 23.

Watch Evan Kruegel's video for more information.

Aurora police issue alert for missing teenage girl

5 hours 10 min ago

AURORA, Colo. — Police in Aurora issued an alert for a missing teenage girl.

17-year-old Fenix Stanford was last seen June 15 in the area of East Mississippi Avenue and South Potomac Street.

Investigators call her a runaway, but they also say they’ve received information that indicates she may be in danger. Police say they can’t go into details about that information because she is a juvenile.

Here is her description:

  • Black female
  • 5’6″
  • 150 lbs
  • Black hair
  • Black eyes
  • Braces on her teeth

Police ask anyone who sees Fenix to call 911.

Bicyclist killed in hit-and-run crash in Denver

6 hours 4 min ago

DENVER — A bicyclist was killed in a hit-and-run crash early Saturday in Denver.

It happened on eastbound Speer Boulevard and Logan Street.

Police said the bicyclist died at the scene.

The driver of the run vehicle was located and taken into custody a few blocks away from where the collision occurred.

Both the victim and the suspect are men. Investigators said they’re investigating if alcohol was involved.

A hot Saturday ahead with mainly dry conditions

6 hours 21 min ago

DENVER -- Saturday will be the pick day of the weekend to be outdoors, as conditions will stay mainly dry with seasonal temperatures. Highs to start our weekend will max out in the middle 80s with gradually increasing clouds.

A few isolated showers can't be ruled out later Saturday, mainly along the northern state line, eastern plains and Palmer Divide. Where these showers form, strong wind will be the main concern. Conditions will stay mostly cloudy through the evening and overnight hours with an isolated shower or two possible.

Conditions change Sunday

Scattered showers will start to develop during the midday hours on Sunday across the foothills and I-25 corridor. Thanks to the extra cloud cover and showers, temperatures will only make it into the middle 70s by the afternoon. Expect on-and-off again showers throughout the day, with the highest risk for severe weather staying on the eastern plains. Damaging wind and large hail will be the main concern.

As we head back to work on Monday, expect mainly dry conditions and seasonal temperatures. Highs in the Denver area will top off in the low 80s on Monday with a mix of sun and clouds .

By the middle of the week, a major shift in our weather pattern will bring dry and warm air back into the region. Expect highs to top off in the mid-90s on Tuesday through Friday with plenty of sunshine.

Check interactive radar and zoom in to where you are. Plus, check the radar anytime with the Pinpoint Weather App for iPhone and Android.

Pinpoint Weather Meteorologists Dave Fraser, Greg Dutra, Jessica Lebel, Matt Makens, and Chris Tomer.

Pinpoint Weather has been independently certified as Colorado's Most Accurate Forecast by WeatheRate.

We're tracking weather today on FOX31 Denver and Channel 2 News - and when conditions are bad we send out the Weather Beast.

Boulder police will no longer cite people for charging cell phones on city electricity

15 hours 5 min ago

BOULDER, Colo. — Police in Boulder are changing course after facing public pressure for enforcing an obscure law that most everyone is guilty of breaking.

An ordinance, outlawing the unapproved use of city electricity, has landed some people in legal trouble for charging their cell phones. One woman even ended up in jail over the issue.

“We’re juice hungry ... we’ve got to have it,” a visitor to the Pearl Street Mall said on Friday.

Those in Boulder were surprised to learn it’s illegal to plug into outlets at most city-owned facilities or public areas— electricity paid for by Boulder taxpayers.

“[Police] use [the ordinance] to move people on,” said Darren O’Connor with Boulder Rights Watch.

Police write citations for “theft of a city utility” to primarily move homeless people out of certain areas, according to O’Connor.

“I avoid charging my stuff in public, and I just use the library,” a Boulder homeless woman told FOX31.

Nine people were cited over the past two years, according to Boulder police records. Gaya Jenkins was cited for theft while charging her phone. She said she didn’t show up to court and was eventually jailed.

“I was given the ticket because they didn’t like my attitude,” Jenkins said.

But attitude aside, people in Boulder don’t need to be too concerned. Boulder County District Attorney Michael Dougherty said violators of the ordinance will not be prosecuted.

“The amount of electricity actually stolen is extremely minimal here,” Dougherty explained.

Boulder police say officers will no longer be issuing citations for theft of city electricity.

“After consulting with the DA’s office and learning they were dismissing tickets we stopped issuing them as it would be a waste of everyone’s time,” Boulder police spokesperson Shannon Aulabaugh said in a written statement provided to FOX31.

Car show Saturday benefits Lakeside Police Department

15 hours 7 min ago

LAKESIDE, Colo. -- There is a fun opportunity to Support the Shield Saturday. A car show is happening at the Colorado Professional Firefighter Center in Lakeside.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Lakeside Police Department.

The show is free to spectators. It starts at 9 a.m.

Show car check in starts at 7 a.m. and it has a $20 entry fee.

There will be raffles, food, drinks and fun.


Denver woman claims RTD contractors poisoned her garden

15 hours 21 min ago

DENVER -- Rosie Tozer has been living in the same home since 1953. She's had many fond memories with her family growing up near Durham Park on 42th Avenue. Now 92 years old, Tozer enjoys working in her garden more than anything.

That is, until more than a week ago when things took a turn.

You can't miss the contrast beyond her back yard garden. Less than a yard beyond her fence is a bigger one, and RTD's A Line runs behind that. Every 20 minutes or less, the sound of a horn blares in the distance, growing louder and louder as the commuter train comes rushing through.

But what bothers Ms. Tozer more than what she hears in her back yard, is what she sees.

"I don’t even like to come out and look at it," Tozer said. "It makes me sick! I’ve been sick ever since they started this!"

What used to bring her so much joy is withering away despite her efforts. What use to be a lush grape vine that weaved it's way around the back of her fence, has shriveled to a brittle brown. On top of that, the tomatoes she grows every year for her family-favorite green chili, won't grow.

Tozer claims more than a week ago, a couple workers came along the tracks, spraying chemicals.

The Problem Solvers reached out to the Regional Transportation District. A spokesperson says RTD contracts with Denver Transit Operators for the A Line, and DTO is in charge of maintenance, upkeep and operations.

RTD says DTO is a private entity and admits to spraying chemicals in the area, but claims the chemicals are safe and approved.

The Problem Solvers have yet to hear back as to what kind of chemicals were used. The spokesperson says DTO is willing to take full responsibility in this case, and is reviewing it's operations policy.

Tozer wants the party responsible to test her soil for this chemical, because she can't afford to do so herself. The Problems Solvers helped her file a claim with RTD, so her concern can be handled through a formal method.

Local immigrants disagree with president’s statements about crime

Fri, 06/22/2018 - 22:57

DENVER -- In the Denver metro area we have seen some high profile crimes involving undocumented immigrants.

Two include a fiery crash that left a driver dead on I-70 in Denver and the murder of a man at the Sheridan light rail station. Investigators say both involved undocumented immigrants.

A news conference called by President Trump  focused on lives lost in crimes perpetrated by undocumented immigrants.

The president's message: It is undocumented immigrants who are causing families to be permanently separated. But not everybody agrees.

During the president’s news conference one man said, “Unfortunately, we are members of a club of our children, our loved ones who've killed by illegal immigrants but there are hundreds of thousands of victims every year who are affected by illegal alien crime.”

But Julio Paz of Aurora and a permanent resident said, “You see immigrants in restaurants, in construction, housekeeping everywhere … and I know all the people they are not a criminal. The only thing they are trying to do is make America great.”

The president's news conference came a day after he ordered families of undocumented immigrants stop being separated at the border.

Despite statistics showing that Illegal immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than US citizens the president blamed them for high crime rates.

The two undocumented immigrants allegedly involved in the crimes we mentioned remain behind bars.


Toddler dies after being left in car for 10 hours while mom socialized, officials say

Fri, 06/22/2018 - 21:33

Alexandrea Raven Mays, 23, is seen in a booking photo from 2017 released June 22, 2018, by the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office.

WILLITS, Calif. – A Northern California mother was arrested after allegedly leaving her young child in a car parked outside a friend’s house while she went inside to hang out, officials said Friday.

Alexandrea Raven Scott, 23, is accused of causing her 18-month-old son’s death by leaving him in the back seat with the windows rolled up for about 10 hours, the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.

She allegedly deserted the boy around 3 a.m. Wednesday after arriving to visit with friends in Willits, along the 101 Freeway about halfway between Eureka and Santa Rosa.

Scott and the boy, identified as Chergery Teywoh Lew Mays, lived in Trinidad, a coastal town about 150 miles north of Willits near Redwood National Park, authorities said.

A San Jose State professor and former National Weather Service meteorologist told the Mercury News that Mays’ is the first vehicular heatstroke death in California this year. The temperature in Willits was about 80 degrees when the boy was found at 1 p.m., meaning it was about 130 degrees in the car, Jan Null said.

“It doesn’t have to be a blazing hot day for these to happen,” he told the newspaper. “They can happen anywhere, and happen to anyone.”

Sheriff’s officials became aware of the fatality around 1:30 p.m. after Scott took her son to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Investigators then went to the home where she had allegedly been socializing, where the vehicle Mays died in was still located, to collect evidence and speak with witnesses.

Scott was subsequently arrested on suspicion of willfully causing or permitting a child to suffer death and was being held without bail, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Detectives are now looking to speak with anyone who may have information on Scott’s whereabouts between Tuesday, June 19, and Wednesday, June 20. Anyone with information can contact the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office tip line at 707-234-2100.

Capitals trade Orpik, Grubauer to Avalanche

Fri, 06/22/2018 - 20:54

DALLAS — The Washington Capitals traded veteran defenseman Brooks Orpik and backup goaltender Philipp Grubauer to the Colorado Avalanche for the 47th pick in the NHL draft Friday, a move that clears salary-cap space for the Stanley Cup champions to re-sign key pending free agents.

Shedding Orpik’s $5.5 million salary in the final year of his contract and dealing Grubauer before he earned more as a restricted free agent gives them more than $20 million in cap space. It’s needed because defensemen John Carlson and Michal Kempny can become unrestricted free agents July 1 and playoff hero Devante Smith-Pelly and top-line winger Tom Wilson will get raises as RFAs.

Carlson, who led all defenseman in scoring in the regular season and playoffs, is expected to cost $8 million-plus a season on a long-term deal. The Capitals would have struggled to fit that under the $79.5 million ceiling without a move like this.

“This was a difficult move, but the one we felt we needed to make in order to give some flexibility moving forward,” general manager Brian MacLellan said. “Philipp has been a consummate professional and a great teammate and we wish him all the best. Brooks was a great leader and a tremendous role model for our young players in his four years with our organization.”

The 37-year-old Orpik was a respected alternate captain who got the Cup third after Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom when Washington won its first title in franchise history. The rugged defenseman played almost 20 minutes a game in four seasons with the Capitals and scored the winning goal in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final against Vegas.

MacLellan said Grubauer had earned the opportunity to be a starting goaltender somewhere. The 26-year-old joins fellow Capitals draft pick Semyon Varlamov with the Avalanche where he’ll get the chance to start more games than he did behind Braden Holtby in Washington.

Grubauer started a career-high 35 games with the Capitals this past season, going 28-15-10 with a 2.35 goals-against average and .923 save percentage. He played well enough to be the Capitals’ starter at the beginning of the playoffs but was replaced by Holtby during Game 2 of the first round after allowing eight goals on 49 shots.

The German goaltender’s play down the stretch increased his trade value to the point MacLellan was hoping he could get a late first- or second-round pick for him.

Evacuations lifted at wildfire south of Glenwood Springs

Fri, 06/22/2018 - 20:26

GARFIELD COUNTY, Colo, — A wildfire has forced the evacuations of several homes in a subdivision near Glenwood Springs Friday night. Those people were allowed to return to their homes late Friday.

The Aspen Way Fire is burning at the southern end of the Oak Meadows subdivision. This is south of Glenwood Springs along Four Mile Creek.

The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office said the fire was about 40 acres in size.

Five fire crews have been ordered. That’s 100 firefighters.

Firefighters from several agencies responded Friday evening and a large air attack took place that included a type 1 helicopter, four single engine air tankers and one large air tanker.

The fire was first reported at about 5:00 p.m. Friday.

This story is developing, and it will be updated.


Female crew members make Navy history on flight deck of USS Theodore Roosevelt

Fri, 06/22/2018 - 20:15

Right now, a group of female sailors is making history onboard a United States Navy aircraft carrier.

Two of the women are from Thornton ... they're part of this game-changing crew that's working on the flight deck of the USS Theodore Roosevelt.

We spoke to them while their ship was docked in San Diego following a long deployment.

Jeremy Hubbard has their story in the video above.

RELATED: FOX31 Problem Solvers Serving Those Who Serve

Half-naked man violently attacks woman inside Mississippi Target, police say

Fri, 06/22/2018 - 19:28

HORN LAKE, Miss. — A woman was left bloodied after witnesses say a man entered a Mississippi Target and beat her with a piece of metal before taking off his pants and underwear in what appears to be a random attack.

Michael Jerome German of Memphis is charged with aggravated assault and is being held in the DeSoto County Jail without bond. Police found him walking in the Horn Lake Target parking lot partially nude and took him into custody without incident.

Multiple witnesses told WREG they saw German enter the store through a side door and then began beating the woman in the store’s outdoor furniture area.

Wendy Mullins said she heard a loud pop in the back of the store and heard a woman screaming.

“She was yelling, ‘Help! No! Stop! Could somebody help me, please?’” Mullins said.

Mullins said she saw a man dressed in only a T-shirt, socks and tennis shoes running out of the store.

Another witness said the man said he was sorry after the attack and said he didn’t mean it, then asked for his mother.

Rhea Abbott witnessed part of the attack and said she managed to separate the man from his victim.

“Jumped on top of him and just pulled him off. I don’t know if it was God or whatever, he didn’t fight me,” Abbott said.

Abbott said the woman had several deep gashes on the back of her head, a mangled ear and said it looked like one of her teeth had been knocked out.

Abbott said the woman told her she didn’t know the man, but that “he was mumbling, ‘She’s got to bleed all she can bleed for the sacrifice.’”

The victim, who suffered wounds all over her body and was stabbed in the head at least once, was taken to a hospital with non-critical injuries.

The store, at Interstate 55 and Goodman Road, was closed briefly around 12:45 p.m. as police investigated.


Terror at Target this pm. Witnesses say naked man walked into Horn Lake location and began beating a woman with a piece of metal. @3onyourside pic.twitter.com/IuGy396wrr

— Luke Jones (@LukeJonesTV) June 22, 2018

Train-caused traffic delays creating frustration

Fri, 06/22/2018 - 18:53

DENVER -- Brighton Boulevard construction has been a constant mess for several years now, with more detours and closures to come. That’s created a secondary traffic nightmare at a train crossing for folks living and working in North Denver and Commerce City.

The street-level rail crossing, which slants across York Street, connects a series of neighborhoods and light industrial businesses to a major I-70 on-ramp and access to downtown Denver.

FOX31 Problem Solvers discovered a rail switching yard near this intersection, at times, creates a lot of back and forth train movements which don’t clear the street during the chaining and unchaining process.

Standing traffic from train at York Street

Residents like Junior Campas told us, “It will stay here, sit here, anytime between fifteen minutes to an hour, hour and a half.”

Campas, who has lived along York for a decade, said he’s about had enough of the standing traffic, resulting smelly emissions, and personal delays caused by trains blocking the street multiple times a day.

“What can I do? he asked FOX31. “I was getting mad. My blood pressure was going up. I needed to get to the doctor to find out what had happened to my sister. I couldn’t get across because that train held me here about at least an hour. I was timing it, man!”

York Street Train Crossing

Area business owners tell FOX31, because the City of Denver has been detouring extra traffic down York while closing part of Brighton Boulevard for bridge and street repair, that's added to the train-caused traffic jams.

“It’s impacted us because we make money by the hour not by sitting parked somewhere,” said Brad Gasser of Valley Equipment Leasing, a trucking company in Commerce City.

Gasser is frustrated his contract truckers are stuck waiting for up to an hour trying to get  on to I-70. He said he's seen the backup go a mile long.

“The problem is, they get pinned in with cars behind them," said Gasser. "They can’t revert and go around. Once they are there, they are committed and that’s on either side of the tracks.”

Brad Gasser / Valley Equipment Leasing

Even if they could turn around, numerous signs in the area warn truckers to avoid side-streets or face fines.

“There’s never a set time, said Gasser. “If we knew a set time, we could tell the drivers: don’t go this way at 4 o’clock, but you never know!”

FOX31 Problem Solvers checked and trains can block streets as long as they need to. In some states, like Minnesota and Washington, laws force trains to move out of the way within ten minutes. Not in Colorado.

The Department of Transportation reports trains have the legal right of way. At this time, there are no plans to make a law to limit the amount of time they can block traffic.

Friday, the FOX31 Problem Solvers contacted Denver Public Works to determine if that agency has received complaints about trains blocking traffic in that area, and others – and if the City could do anything to curtail the reported excessive delays to traffic. We will update this article if and when we hear back.


For immigrants, still no word on when they will be reunited

Fri, 06/22/2018 - 18:45

McALLEN, Texas — Two days after President Donald Trump ordered an end to the separation of families at the border, federal authorities Friday cast about for jail space to detain them together, leaving hundreds of parents in the dark on when they would be reunited with their children.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement posted a notice saying it is looking into creating 15,000 beds for use in detaining immigrant families. A day earlier, the Pentagon agreed to provide space for as many as 20,000 migrants on U.S. military bases.

Beyond that, however, there was nothing but frustration and worry for many of the parents separated from their children and placed in detention centers for illegally entering the country over the past several weeks.

Some parents struggled to get in touch with youngsters being held in many cases hundreds of miles away, in places like New York and the Chicago area. Some said they didn't even know where their children were.

Trump himself took a hard line on the crisis, accusing the Democrats of telling "phony stories of sadness and grief." He met with parents who had children killed by immigrants in the country illegally to make the point that they are the real victims of weak borders.

"We cannot allow our country to be overrun by illegal immigrants," the president tweeted.

More than 2,300 children were taken from their families at the border in recent weeks. A senior Trump administration official said that about 500 of them have been reunited since May.

Trump's decision to stop separating families, announced Wednesday after a fierce international outcry, has led to confusion and uncertainty along the border.

Federal agencies are working to set up a centralized reunification process for all remaining children at a detention center in Texas, said the senior administration official, who was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

An ICE official said it is unclear how families will be reunified.

"It's a big question. There have not been a lot of answers," Henry Lucero, a director of field operations, confessed at a forum in Weslaco, Texas.

In the meantime, federal authorities appear to be easing up on the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy of prosecuting all adults caught illegally entering the U.S. — though the Justice Department flatly denied there has been any change.

The federal public defender's office for the region that covers El Paso to San Antonio said in an email that prosecutors will no longer charge parents with illegally entering the U.S. if they have children with them.

Outside the federal courthouse in McAllen, immigration attorney Efren Olivares said 67 people were charged Friday morning with illegal entry, but none were parents with children. He said it was the first time since May 24 that that happened in McAllen.

"It appears that this is a consequence of a change in policy by the government," he said.

In Arizona, the federal public defender's office in Tucson quickly put together a legal education class for attorneys and advocates on how to handle cases of separated families. The course was put together quickly to help attorneys understand what they can do to help.

Amid the chaos over the zero-tolerance policy, many immigrants continue to seek asylum at the border, and they are typically allowed to stay with their children.

Maria Del Carmen Barrios, 33, said she, her 15-year-old sister and her 6-month old baby boy fled violence in their native San Marcos in Guatemala. After a 13-day journey, she said the trio presented themselves for asylum this week with Border Patrol. Barrios was never separated from her son, but that her sister was taken to another part of the facility and hadn't been heard from since.

Barrios and her son were released to the McAllen bus station Friday with an ankle monitor and an order to appear in court.

Asked if she was relieved to be free, Barrios broke down crying. "No because of my sister," she sobbed. "She was there with me but they separated us."

ICE has only three facilities nationwide — two in Texas, one in Pennsylvania — that can be used to detain immigrant families, and they have a combined 3,300 beds.

The one in Dilley, Texas, opened in 2015 on a remote site that was once an encampment for oil workers. It contains collections of cottages built around playgrounds and common areas, but also has high security.

Finding space is not the only hurdle: Under a 1997 court settlement that the Trump administration is trying to overturn, children can be held with their parents in detention centers for no more than 20 days.

Zenen Jaimes Perez of the Texas Civil Rights Project said immigrant families are still awaiting details from the administration on how parents and children are to be reunited.

"It could take a couple of months, a couple of days ... but we don't have timelines," Jaimes Perez said. "What we need to hear is what the administration says this process is going to look like, because we don't know."

The group has been interviewing migrants each morning at the McAllen courthouse and entering information into a database to help keep track of parents and children held in different facilities, sometimes scattered around the country.

Olivares said it is difficult for government agencies to reunite immigrant families once they are separated because the systems that process adults and those that handle youngsters often don't communicate with each other.

Adults accused of immigration offenses are under the authority of the Homeland Security Department, while children taken from their parents are overseen by Health and Human Services.

Meanwhile, a 7-year-old boy and his mother, separated a month ago, were reunited Friday after she sued in federal court and the Justice Department agreed to release the child.

They were brought back together around 2:30 a.m. at Baltimore-Washington International Airport in Maryland, hours after the government relented.

The mother, Beata Mariana de Jesus Mejia-Mejia, had filed for political asylum after crossing the border with her son, Darwin, following a trek from Guatemala. She said that she cried when the two were reunited and that she is never going to be away from him again.

But a 31-year-old Brazilian man held in Cibola County Correctional Center in Milan, New Mexico, said he didn't know when he would see his 9-year-old son again.

The father told the AP in a phone interview that he spoke to his son once by phone since they were separated 26 days earlier. The man, who is seeking asylum, spoke on condition of anonymity because, he said, a gang is looking for him in Brazil for failure to pay an $8,000 debt.

On Capitol Hill, in yet another abrupt reversal by the president, Trump on Friday told fellow Republicans in Congress to "stop wasting their time" on immigration legislation until after the November elections.

As Glenwood Springs bridge officially opens, Hubbard family reflects on city’s history

Fri, 06/22/2018 - 17:54

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. — A new bridge was officially dedicated in Glenwood Springs on Friday. The Grand Avenue Bridge was a massive project; it cost $126 million, making it the biggest infrastructure project on the Western Slope since the expansion of Interstate 70 through Glenwood Canyon in 1992, according to the city.

Governor John Hickenlooper was among the guests at Friday’s dedication ceremony, which marked the official completion of the two-and-a-half-year-long project, according to the Post Independent. 

Also at the event was one of the city’s oldest families: the Hubbards. The Post Independent said all three generations of Hubbards have witnessed the dedications of all three Grand Avenue Bridges.

While FOX31’s Jeremy Hubbard now lives in Denver, he was born in Glenwood Springs to the same family.

The Post Independent reports that Charles Hubbard saw the completion of the original Grand Avenue Bridge in April 1891, according to Carleton “Hub” Hubbard, Charles’ grandson.

Charles’ son and Hub’s father, Carleton Hubbard senior, also saw the original bridge and a second one built in 1953.

“He was brought here as a baby in 1887, so he lived with the old bridge its entire life also,” said Hub, who is also Jeremy’s cousin. “So he was very happy to have a new bridge in 1953.”

Hub also told the Post Independent a plane once flew under the bridge.

“This was after the Army, after World War II. He had been a pilot. He flew his plane under the Grand Avenue Bridge,” Hub explained to the Glenwood Springs newspaper, adding that the pilot may have had a few beers beforehand.

Hub attended Friday’s ceremony alongside many other Glenwood Springs residents. They had the opportunity to sign a scroll which will go into a time capsule scheduled to be opened in 2085 during the city’s bicentennial year.