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Skyline Park ice rink opens to warm weather and sunny skies

Fri, 12/03/2021 - 17:00

DENVER (KDVR) - Opening day at Skyline Park ice rink is the unofficial, official beginning of the winter season in downtown Denver.

2021 Colorado holiday guide: Christmas lights, trees and events

The ice rink is a time-honored tradition to kick off the Christmas season in the Mile High City.

65 degrees Fahrenheit. and sunny skies, a perfect day for ice-skating? It was a perfect day, especially now, to get outside, to breathe a little fresh air and skate.

"It really kicks off not only the holiday and Christmas season but it just brings festivities and everything,' Senior Vice President of the Downtown Denver Partnership Sharon Alton said.

It is not just ice skating to be had in the Mile High City.

"All the buildings are lighted up now, so the D&F Tower has light shows, Union Station has light shows, the Carousel is coming to the Denver Pavilions," Alton said.

Concerns still remain in light of the recent and new mask mandate by the city and County of Denver.

Denver's latest mask mandate is not as strict if you are outdoors.

"The city's restrictions are for indoor spaces, so if you come to the ice-skating rink you can wear a mask if you want to but you don't have to wear a mask because we are outside," Alton said.

But what about that warmer than usual weather?

"With the warm weather does is make people stay, which is great, which is great for downtown, our restaurants love it," Alton said.

It may look like an ordinary ice rink, but if you stop, look and listen, you will see it is a lot more than that.

Omicron variant case confirmed in Boulder County

Fri, 12/03/2021 - 16:35

BOULDER, Colo. (KDVR) – A COVID-19 omicron variant case has been confirmed in Boulder County, according to Boulder County Public Health.

BCPH learned of the omicron case after a local health care provider notified the organization that a patient recently tested positive for COVID-19 and had recently traveled to South Africa.

BCPH contacted the Colorado Department of Health and Environment, which was able to track the positive result for this person and confirm sequencing results on Dec. 3 for the omicron variant.

COVID-19 omicron variant found in Colorado

The infected person is currently isolating, and BCPH is working with CDPHE to notify close contacts.

“It’s not unexpected that we would eventually identify another variant of SARS-CoV2. All viruses generate random changes as they replicate. Some changes cause the virus to adapt and become more efficient in passing from person to person,” Michelle Haas, BCPH chief medical officer, said in a press release. “When we have such high rates of COVID-19 in our community, vaccination is critically important, as well as other measures to limit transmission such as wearing a mask inside.”

“Vaccination greatly reduces the chances of infection, which limits transmission and reduces the chances of being hospitalized and dying from COVID-19,” Haas continued. “Because the omicron variant is new, we are still gathering information about whether it is more contagious and whether it will cause people to have more severe disease. However, what little we do know would indicate there is still some protection from vaccines, and that masking and other mitigation strategies are still highly effective.”

The first positive case of someone being infected with the omicron variant was confirmed on Thursday.

Omicron was detected in the United States on Dec. 1, and on Dec. 2, the first case was confirmed in Colorado. During a news conference on Tuesday, CDPHE said it was a matter of when, not if, the variant would be discovered in Colorado.

What Coloradans need to know about omicron: ‘no reason to panic’

Colorado is the third state in the U.S. to have a confirmed omicron variant.

The variant was discovered in a woman from Arapahoe County who had recently traveled to multiple countries in southern Africa for tourism. CDPHE says the woman was fully vaccinated but had not yet received her booster.

The woman was not symptomatic when she returned home to Colorado and arrived at Denver International Airport. She developed symptoms about a day later and tested positive that day.

Accused King Soopers shooter ruled incompetent to stand trial

Fri, 12/03/2021 - 16:26

BOULDER, Colo. (KDVR) — A judge has ruled the gunman accused of shooting and killing 10 people at a Boulder King Soopers in March is incompetent to stand trial.

Ahmad Alissa is facing a total of 10 first-degree murder charges, 15 first-degree attempted murder charges, and 11 first-degree attempted murder charges of persons who are law enforcement.

On Friday, 20th Judicial District Attorney Michael Dougherty said the suspect in this case will be treated at a state hospital and re-evaluated.

"I'm confident that he'll be restored to competency" through treatment and medication, Dougherty said, "to face responsibility for the crimes he committed."

Watch the full press conference with the DA on the incompetency ruling

The suspect's attorney raised the question about his competency on Sept. 1. Since then, the suspect has been evaluated by four doctors, all of whom found him incompetent to stand trial at this time, Dougherty said.

"So we have determined the best course of action is to have him sent to the state hospital in Pueblo, where he can be medicated and treated and brought back to restoration so that he can stand trial," Dougherty added.

His progress will be checked every 30 days.

The suspect could potentially face trial at a future date if it is determined he is mentally competent. The next hearing for the case is set to take place on March 15.

What does incompetency mean?

In October, doctors said the suspect was not competent to stand trial because of limits to his "ability to meaningfully converse with others."

Additionally, doctors cited “superficial responses” to hypothetical legal situations indicate a "passive approach to his defense" and "potential overreliance on his attorneys."

Attorney for alleged Boulder King Soopers shooter raises question of competency

Dougherty did not disclose why the experts determined that the suspect is not competent. Defense attorney Kathryn Herold said Friday her client has a "serious" mental illness but did not provide more details.

Dougherty said the suspect was evaluated by a defense expert, two doctors from the state hospital and, most recently, a doctor whom prosecutors helped select. He said the doctors are trained to recognize when someone is feigning symptoms of mental illness.

Dougherty also explained that competency is different from when a suspect pleads insanity or a mental health defect. He described competency as whether the suspect "has a rational understanding of the proceedings so he can communicate with his attorneys."

The suspect's condition deteriorated during the time he's been held in jail, and he needs treatment to restore competency to face trial, Dougherty said.

Full Boulder King Soopers coverage

The district attorney said he emphasized that this latest update in the case is a delay, "but this case is not over."

Reaction from King Soopers employee

Logan Smith was a Starbucks employee inside the Boulder King Soopers. He doesn't believe the incompetency argument is accurate.

“My ultimate reaction is: I 100% believe that he was competent. He has the knowledge, he knew what he was doing,” Smith said. “The gunman had visited the store about 1 to 2 times a week, for weeks before the shooting. He was getting a view on the store. He was planning it out, I feel like.”

Smith continued, “I won’t wake up one day and realize this was just a dream. It was a reality that happened.”

Competency issue delays another shooting trial

Competency issues have also delayed the prosecution of a man accused of killing three people in a 2015 attack on a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs.

Robert Dear found incompetent to stand trial, again

Robert Dear was repeatedly found incompetent to proceed in his state case. Federal prosecutors then charged him in 2019, but the competency issue has continued to delay the case in federal court.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

The South Platte River project moves forward with plans for flood mitigation and new green spaces

Fri, 12/03/2021 - 14:50

DENVER (KDVR) — Stakeholders for the South Platte River infrastructure improvement project met on Thursday, taking the next step in determining the future of a 6.5 mile stretch of the river.

Colorado finally has chance for snow next week: Here’s what we know so far

More than $550 million in infrastructure investments will tackle flood risk management, river recreation and habitat restoration.

“With the South Platte River Project, we intend to make the largest ever investment – over $550 million – in the restoration and conservation of the South Platte River ecosystem,” Mayor Hancock said. “This is an infrastructure investment that will drive economic opportunity through equity and the creation of 7300 good-paying local jobs, support our neighborhoods through flood mitigation and creating new green space, and take climate action and repair environmental justice.”

A collaborative of nearly two dozen stakeholders from private, public, philanthropic and political organizations are involved in the project. The Greenway Foundation, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the City and County of Denver are some of the stakeholders involved.

Red Rocks makes No. 1 on Billboard world’s most attended venue list

Flood risk management for the 450 acres project will reduce flood risk in vulnerable communities. Protected areas include a 3.5-mile section of Weir Gulch and Harvard Gulch. The improvements will reduce or eliminate flood insurance requirements for 360 properties, according to city officials. 

Improved habitat for birds along the South Platte River will improve the Central Flyway, an international flyway for migratory birds.

“The South Platte River is a critical watershed at the heart of the Denver metropolitan area. This historic investment will restore and protect the South Platte while also creating good-paying jobs and promoting environmental equity across communities bordering this vital waterway,” said Governor Jared Polis.

'Nate the Great' leaves the hospital after battling COVID-19 for 158 days

Fri, 12/03/2021 - 13:20

ENGLEWOOD – It was an emotional day at Swedish Medical Center, as a patient who has been battling COVID-19 for the past five months was released. He has an important message for everyone.

Like a majority of ICU patients who are fighting COVID-19, Nathaniel McWilliams was not vaccinated when he got sick. He nearly died. He says had he been vaccinated, he probably would not have spent the past 158 days in the hospital.

“It’s bad cause it ate me up,” McWilliams said.

There were plenty of cheers and hugs as he left the hospital. There were days along the way that no one thought this would be possible.

What Coloradans need to know about omicron: ‘no reason to panic’

“There was plenty of times i didn’t think he was going to make it,” his wife, Brenda Bailey said.

McWilliams was admitted to Swedish Medical Center on June 26 when he was having trouble breathing.

“Taking your lungs away, it’s very hard, and you have to fight. If you get sick, don’t doubt yourself, stay positive,” McWilliams said.

He tested positive for COVID-19 and was not vaccinated.

“I didn’t decide not to get it, but I took my time to go stand in line to get it,” McWilliams said.

Doctors placed him on an ECMO machine to help get oxygen into his blood. He stayed on that for 91 days.

“ECMO is an incredibly resource intensive support. Not available at other hospitals, it is a last-ditch effort for someone in respiratory failure. And this entire experience could’ve been avoided with one vaccine that is free and widely available,” Dr. Mary Laird Warner said.

News conference: Gov. Polis announces omicron variant discovered in Colorado

McWilliams shared his story to encourage others to get vaccinated.

“It’s very important to get that shot, the booster, whatever,” McWilliams said. “I don’t think we would’ve spent the past five and a half months in the hospital if he would’ve had the shot. Even one dose of the vaccine,” added Bailey.

It was emotional, not just for McWilliams and his wife, but for the entire care team at Swedish Medical Center.

“To see him walking and able to go home is very emotional because we fought so hard to get him to that point. We are really happy,” said nurse Madison Babb. “We fought for months and months in order for him to get to this point. Every single day was grueling. He had so many bumps in the road. There were times we just had to maintain hope and fight. To see him stand was really incredible,” she added.

McWilliam is now vaccinated, as is his wife and several friends and family members.

“We know that experiencing COVID and developing natural antibodies is very powerful, but there are good studies that show providing vaccination after recovery is very important and can reduce risk of reinfection,” said Dr. Laird Warner.

A week after Thanksgiving and COVID-19 rates are still dropping in Colorado

Fri, 12/03/2021 - 13:19

DENVER (KDVR) -- As concern grows following the announcement of the first case of the omicron COVID-19 variant in Colorado, there are signs COVID-19 rates are dropping in our state.

As of Thursday, which is one week post-Thanksgiving, the state's positivity rate was 9.29%. Positivity rate measures the amount of COVID positive tests to the total amount of tests taken.

Colorado confirmed omicron variant: A local doctor weighs in

It might still be a little early to determine if there will be a spike in the numbers following the Thanksgiving holiday.

According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, incidence rates are dropping.

CDPHE 12/2/2021

Here’s a look at positivity rates for every county over the last seven days:

1-week positivity rate:
  • Adams: 11.5%
  • Alamosa: 12.7%
  • Arapahoe: 9.8%
  • Archuleta: 22.7%
  • Baca: 1.1%
  • Bent: 1.6
  • Boulder: 7.1%
  • Broomfield: 9.5%
  • Chaffee: 6.1%
  • Cheyenne: .7%
  • Clear Creek: 8%
  • Conejos: 5.3%
  • Costilla: 9.6%
  • Crowley: 6.3%
  • Custer: 13.6%
  • Delta: 7.2%
  • Denver: 7.8%
  • Dolores: 6.9%
  • Douglas: 10.7%
  • Eagle: 8.7%
  • Elbert: 13.6%
  • El Paso: 12.5%
  • Fremont: 7.2%
  • Garfield: 11.6%
  • Gilpin: 10.7%
  • Grand: 10.7%
  • Gunnison: 10.2%
  • Hinsdale: Fewer than 10 tests in the past week
  • Huerfano: 4.5%
  • Jackson: 5.9%
  • Jefferson: 9.3%
  • Kiowa: 1.3%
  • Kit Carson: 6.9%
  • Lake: 16.1%
  • La Plata: 7.6%
  • Larimer: 8.1%
  • Las Animas: 6%
  • Lincoln: 7.9%
  • Logan: 5%
  • Mesa: 8.7%
  • Mineral: Fewer than 10 tests in the past week
  • Moffat: 9.2%
  • Montezuma: 11.2%
  • Montrose: 8.5%
  • Morgan: 12%
  • Otero: 4.5%
  • Ouray: 2.4%
  • Park: 17.1%
  • Phillips: 5.9%
  • Pitkin: 7.9%
  • Prowers: 9.8%
  • Pueblo: 6.3%
  • Rio Blanco: 6.6%
  • Rio Grande: 6.2%
  • Routt: 6.2%
  • Saguache: 10.8%
  • San Juan: 2.6%
  • San Miguel: 4.9%
  • Sedgwick: 3.0%
  • Summit: 10.1%
  • Teller: 8.8%
  • Washington: 7.6%
  • Weld: 11.3%
  • Yuma: 4.7%
What is the positivity percent?

According to Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the percent positive is exactly what it sounds like: the percentage of all coronavirus tests performed that are actually positive, or: (positive tests)/(total tests) x 100%. The percent positive (sometimes called the “percent positive rate” or “positivity rate”) helps public health officials answer questions such as:

  • What is the current level of SARS-CoV-2 (coronavirus) transmission in the community?
  • Are we doing enough testing for the amount of people who are getting infected?

The percent positive will be high if the number of positive tests is too high, or if the number of total tests is too low. A higher percent positive suggests higher transmission and that there are likely more people with coronavirus in the community who haven’t been tested yet, Johns Hopkins shared.

Red Rocks makes No. 1 on Billboard world's most attended venue list

Fri, 12/03/2021 - 13:10

MORRISON, Colo. (KDVR) — It's official. Red Rocks Amphitheatre is getting the attention it deserves at the top of Billboard Magazine's most attended concert venue in the world, just in time for its 80th anniversary.

Brighton councilor resigns after being accused of driving drunk to council meeting

The famous Colorado venue had a busy 2021 season, hosting 177 concerts, 20 yoga and fitness programs and 36 movies. Red Rocks broke its own 168 concert record from 2019, making the 2021 season a success amid the economic hardships of the pandemic.

"A Red Rocks season like this is a tribute to dedicated artists, promoters, staff and fans,” said Venue Director Tad Bowman. “Red Rocks is a special place, and every person who steps on stage, serves a drink, greets a customer, or buys a ticket owns a piece of this success.”

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Red Rocks will end its 2021 season with two weekends of holiday drive-in movies. For a list of movies, click here.

Brighton councilor resigns after being accused of driving drunk to council meeting

Fri, 12/03/2021 - 12:50

BRIGHTON, Colo. (KDVR) -- A Brighton city councilor accused of driving drunk to a council meeting then shutting his front door on an investigating officer has submitted his resignation.

The City of Brighton said Kris Jordinelli submitted his resignation for Ward 3 on Friday, effective immediately.

‘You don’t want to mess with me’: Brighton councilor charged with DUI

Jordinelli, 64, faces a count of misdemeanor driving under the influence in the Aug. 17 incident, when multiple people reported that the councilor showed up to city hall intoxicated.

Jordinelli's resignation letter

It is with a heavy heart that I tender my resignation from the City Council, effective today,
Friday, December 3, 2021.
I had high hopes for what we could accomplish together for Brighton. I am disappointed that
false allegations about me have distracted us from that purpose. Now the council threatens to
waste City resources and revenue in continued pursuit of that unfortunate end. While I am most
certainly innocent, the last thing I want is to have the citizens of Brighton suffer as I seek to
prove it. If my resignation can save us from such a wasteful spectacle, then I have no hesitation
in tendering it immediately.
It has been an honor to work for my community; although, clearly, nothing could have
prepared me for how toxic the political components would be. Live and learn. Thank you for the
experience.

Sincerely, Kristopher Jordinelli

On Tuesday, Brighton City Council unanimously voted to appoint a special counsel to investigate Jordinelli’s behavior as a potential abuse of power. The vote was 8-0, with Jordinelli being absent from the vote.

What the police report says

According to a police report obtained by FOX31, multiple people took notice of Jordinelli’s condition that day at city hall.

In a statement to police, Mayor Pro Tem Matt Johnston said Jordinelli looked “disoriented” and appeared “inebriated,” although he said he did not smell alcohol on him.

An officer noticed Jordinelli walk into city hall “disheveled” and with “an unsteady gait.” The officer smelled alcohol on the councilor’s breath and noticed his speech was slurred and his eyes were “bloodshot and watery,” and he appeared “confused.”

The officer told two assistant city managers, who walked Jordinelli out of the building. They then walked him to his nearby home after he tried to get in a car that was not his own.

An officer responded to the incident at city hall and noticed Jordinelli’s white 2007 Buick LaCrosse was parked at an angle and taking up two parking spaces. City hall surveillance video captured the councilor driving into the lot and parking.

The officer went to Jordinelli’s nearby home and found him with “slurred speech,” and he had “red watery eyes and was unsteady on his feet while standing at the door,” according to the report. He was shifting in the doorway and told the officer, “You have no right to be here.”

The officer asked him how much he had to drink, “and Kris did not reply.”

According to the report, Jordinelli said, “Do you know who I am?” The officer said he did. Jordinelli then identified himself as a council member, said, “You don’t want to mess with me” and shut the door and locked it.

Jordinelli was booked and released on misdemeanor DUI on Oct. 14, according to the report.

Jordinelli claimed in a statement to FOX31 that the incident was medical in nature:

This case arises out of my suffering a serious medical event prior to a meeting and one of my political opponents trying to use that event now, several months after it occurred, to try and oust me from office. I am sad to see how low others have gone to try and get rid of me just because we may not agree on political issues. That is all I can say about the case at this time. I look forward to being vindicated of this baseless charge in court.

Warning: 3 teen girls grabbed by stranger in Fort Collins over multiple months

The City of Brighton said it will determine the next steps for filling the vacant Ward 3 council seat during a future city council meeting.

Oxford shooting suspect's parents missing, police say

Fri, 12/03/2021 - 12:16

PONTIAC, Mich. (NewsNation Now) — Michigan police issued an alert asking for help locating the parents of the suspected Oxford High School shooter. It comes on the same day Jennifer and James Crumbley were charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the attack.

Their son, Ethan Crumbley, 15, is accused of killing four classmates and injuring seven other people during a shooting Tuesday.

The parents' attorney promised Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard they would surrender to authorities if they were charged, according to a news release. But Bouchard said the lawyer told him Friday she was not able to reach them.

The parents' attorneys, Shannon Smith and Mariell Lehman, contend that the Crumbleys intend to turn themselves in and released the following statement on Friday.

"On Thursday night we contacted the Oakland County prosecutor to discuss this matter and to adviser her that James and Jennifer Crumbley would be turning themselves in to be arraigned. Instead of communication with us, the prosecutor held a press conference to announce charges.

"The Crumbleys left town on the night of the tragic shooting for their own safety. They are returning to the area to be arraigned. They are not fleeing from law enforcement despite recent comments in media reports."

DeSantis to reestablish WWII-era Florida State Guard

Bouchard, however, holds that the parents are missing. He also said he believed Michigan prosecutor Karen McDonald made a mistake when she told reporters earlier this week she was considering charging the parents.

"I've been sheriff for 21 years, and I've never had anyone have a press conference announcing charges before we had the opportunity to have somebody in custody," Bouchard said on "NewsNation Prime" on Friday.

He added if he'd known the charges were coming today his office would have been "more proactive" to apprehend the parents. In a news release Friday, Bouchard said federal and local agents were looking for the Crumbleys.

“The action of fleeing and ignoring their attorney certainly adds weight to the charges," Bouchard said in the release. "They cannot run from their part in this tragedy.”

The parents' role in the shooting became a focal point in the investigation. On Wednesday, Bouchard told reporters he learned the parents were in meetings with school administrators about their son's behavior the day before and the day of the shooting.

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On Friday, McDonald said the parents were summoned a few hours before the shooting after a teacher found a drawing of a gun, a person bleeding and the words "help me." Ethan Crumbley was returned to his classroom and later emerged from a bathroom, firing a gun at students in the hallway.

McDonald said the semi-automatic gun used in the shootings was purchased by James Crumbley last week and given to the teen.

McDonald said Jennifer Crumbley sent her son a text, saying “Ethan, don't do it.”

Jennifer and James Crumbley were charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter. Under Michigan law, an involuntary manslaughter charge can be pursued if prosecutors believe someone contributed to a situation where harm or death was high. If convicted, they could face up to 15 years in prison.

Ethan Crumbley was charged as an adult with two dozen crimes, including murder, attempted murder and terrorism, for the shooting Tuesday at Oxford High School in Oakland County, roughly 30 miles north of Detroit.

Tate Myre, 16; Hana St. Juliana, 14; Madisyn Baldwin, 17; and Justin Shilling, 17 died during the rampage.

The superintendent for the district late Thursday posted a YouTube video where he said the teenager was called to the office before the shooting but, “No discipline was warranted.”

Tim Throne, leader of Oxford Community Schools, said the high school looks like a “war zone” and won’t be ready for weeks. But he repeatedly credited students and staff for how they responded to the violence.

Who are the victims of Oxford High School shooting?

“To say that I am still in shock and numb is probably an understatement. These events that have occurred will not define us,” Throne, grim-faced and speaking slowly, said in the 12-minute video.

“I want you to know that there’s been a lot of talk about the student who was apprehended, that he was called up to the office and all that kind of stuff. No discipline was warranted,” Throne said. “There are no discipline records at the high school. Yes, this student did have contact with our front office, and, yes, his parents were on campus Nov. 30.”

Throne said he couldn’t immediately release additional details.

Bouchard said the community is still "absolutely numb" after the shooting, and said a call for medical help at a Friday vigil sparked a brief panic as some in the crowd believe further violence erupted.

"It breaks my heart because that's just an example of how still terrified the community is of this incredible tragedy," Bouchard said.

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This is a developing story; check back for updates.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Blizzard Warning issued for parts of Hawaii as Denver hits 225 days without snow

Fri, 12/03/2021 - 11:59

DENVER (KDVR) -- It has been 225 days since Denver received measurable snowfall. This is the third longest snowless streak in history.

Meanwhile, in Hawaii, a Blizzard Warning was issued Friday that will start in the evening and last until Sunday morning, according to the National Weather Service.

The National Weather Service said up to 12 inches of snow or more is possible with winds gusting over 100 miles per hour on the Big Island Summits.

Is it normal to see snow in Hawaii?

"Yes, although only on top of the highest peaks on Maui and the Big Island. Every winter, storm systems bring frequent snow storms to elevations generally above 11,000 feet. This means that only Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa are impacted. Many times these snowstorms are accompanied by strong winds, resulting in significant drifting of snow and blizzard conditions," the National Weather Service said.

November finished as Denver's third warmest on record.

Extreme drought covers Denver for first time in 9 months

For the first time in nine months, extreme drought covers Denver and parts of the Front Range and eastern plains.

Denver Coliseum closing its emergency homeless shelter

Fri, 12/03/2021 - 11:58

DENVER — The Denver Coliseum is closing its homeless shelter after over 19 months of service.

The Denver Coliseum was was established as an emergency homeless shelter by the City and County of Denver sue to the pandemic. The shelter provided for over 3,000 people and served 492,199 meals.

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“We are forever grateful to our many partners, and to the community, for stepping up without hesitation when the pandemic hit,” said HOST Executive Director Britta Fisher. “Lifesaving work and services were quickly deployed at the Coliseum, and these measures now continue across our shelter network.”

The shelter offered individuals access to food, rest, medical care, internet, laundry and more.

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Although this location is closing, there are other options for those seeking emergency shelter. Visit denvergov.org/emergencyshelter for more information.

Denver police looking for a person suspected of assaulting an at-risk adult

Fri, 12/03/2021 - 10:33

DENVER (KDVR) — The Denver Police Department is asking for help locating a suspect in an assault of an at-risk adult.

Reward up to $10,000 for information in Denver homicide of Jacob Brady

The assault occurred on Tuesday at 1:20 p.m. in a business near West Florida Avenue and South Tennyson Street.

Those with information are asked to contact Metro Denver Crime Stoppers: 720-913-7867. Tipsters can remain anonymous and are eligible for a reward of up to $2,000.

Reward up to $15K for information in Denver homicide of Jacob Brady

Fri, 12/03/2021 - 09:25

DENVER (KDVR) -- The reward for information in the homicide of Jacob Brady has been raised up to $15,000.

Brady was found dead in the 4500 block of W. 2nd Ave. on Nov. 26 at 1:06 p.m.

The Denver Police Department is investigating Brady's death as a homicide.

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The original reward was for up to $2,000. A gofundme organized by Brady's family and friends has raised over $10,000 to increase the reward for information in his homicide.

If you have any information, please contact Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867.

Warning: 3 teen girls grabbed by stranger in Fort Collins over multiple months

To be eligible for the reward and to remain anonymous, tipsters must call the tip line or submit a tip online.

Warning: 3 teen girls grabbed by stranger in Fort Collins over multiple months

Fri, 12/03/2021 - 08:30

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (KDVR) -- The Fort Collins Police Department is issuing a warning, as well as asking for information after three different teenage girls were grabbed by a stranger in separate incidents over the last few months.

FCPD said there is currently no evidence that directly connects the three incidents at this time.

Location of incidents First incident

The first incident happened on Aug. 21 around 9:30 p.m. in the 2900 block of Virginia Dale Dr. Police said a teenage girl was walking by herself in the area when a man approached from behind and tried to engage in conversation with her.

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Police said the girl rejected the man's attempts and continued walking, at which time he grabbed her wrist. She sprayed him with pepper spray and ran home, according to police. The victim was not injured.

The suspect in this incident was described as a man who was 20-30 years-old, around 6-feet tall, with brown hair, little to no facial hair, and an average build.

Second incident

FCPD said the second incident happened on Oct. 13 in the 1600 block of W. Drake Rd. between 7:45 and 8:15 p.m.

A teenage girl was at a youth group event when she went out to her vehicle in the parking lot. Police said that's when an unknown man grabbed her from behind. She pulled away, started running, and tripped. The man grabbed her again, but she fought him off and returned to the building. The victim had minor scrapes and bruising from the incident but was otherwise uninjured.

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Police said the victim identified the suspect as approximately 5 feet 10 inches tall and wearing a mask that covered his face, a dark hoodie, and gloves.

Third incident

Police said the third incident happened on Nov. 23 at the Edora Pool Ice Center at 1801 Riverside Ave. at around 6:50 p.m. The victim was jogging around the outside of the building when an unknown man came out from behind a bush and grabbed her wrist. She kicked him and ran back into the building. Police said the victim was not injured during this incident.

She described the suspect as possibly in his 20s, around 6 feet tall, with an athletic build, short brown hair, and stubble facial hair.

Investigation

FCPD said responding officers canvassed the area but did not locate any possible suspects in each of the incidents. Detectives have continued investigating but haven’t identified any verified connections between the incidents or victims, nor were they able to obtain any video footage from these areas, FCPD said.

“These incidents happened weeks apart, took place in different locations, and may not be related at all,” said Crimes Against Persons Sgt. Heather Moore. “However, we can’t ignore the fact that they do share some similarities, which is why we’re asking our community to remain aware and let us know if they have tips about these or other similar incidents.”

Anyone with information, who has not already spoken to police, is encouraged to contact the Crimes Against Persons Unit at 970-416-2825 or email tipsline@fcgov.com.

Low 60s on Friday with sunshine; Mountain snow Monday-Tuesday

Fri, 12/03/2021 - 07:23

DENVER (KDVR) -- We are forecasting a 10-degree temperature drop on Friday in Denver and across the Front Range. Even though it will be cooler, it will still be 15-20 degrees above normal temperatures for this time of year.

Expect sunny skies and dry conditions.

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The mountain will also stay dry and sunny on Friday with abnormally warm highs in the 50s.

A cold front blows through on Sunday with wave cloudiness, gusty wind at 15-35 mph, and a slight chance for a snow shower in the Northern Mountains. Front Range highs will be in the upper-50s.

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Our first storm system in two weeks arrives Monday-Tuesday. Mountain snow and wind appear likely with the storm system. You can expect 3-6 inches of snow at the ski areas. In Denver, we are forecasting a 20% chance for rain-snow. This storm system will mainly be a mountain storm system.

2-3 storm systems possible next week. 500mb pressure pattern.

A second storm system races through Wednesday-Thursday, and potentially a third storm system on Friday-Saturday. Each storm system will deliver 3-6 inches of snow to the ski areas. The storm systems will only bring small snow chances in Denver.

Aurora mother begs scrooges to bring back stolen Christmas ornaments

Fri, 12/03/2021 - 00:52

AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — Two Christmas scrooges broke into storage units in Aurora, taking away the heart of one family’s holiday with their thefts.

Lisa Davis got a call notifying her that her storage unit was one of 10 ransacked early Wednesday morning at Self-Storage in Aurora. 

"I got really anxious because I know inside that storage unit are some of my best memories, my kids' memories, because it’s our Christmas decorations,” Davis said.

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Out of everything to take, the thieves took off with a 14-16-inch metal dark blue and red popcorn tin with Santa pictured on it. Inside are her family’s Christmas ornaments collected over decades.

“Everything for the most part has been handmade, it cannot be replaced,” Davis said. “It’s irreplaceable and every year when we decorate, we talk about why that ornament is special to us and we don’t have that now.”

The family's cherished tradition was ripped away overnight along with mementos commemorating milestones.

“After we got married, our first ornament together and our first baby, and now we have three babies so three first-baby ornaments in there,” Davis said. “They mean nothing to them, they mean everything to us.”

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With so much sentimental value at stake, Davis just wishes these scrooges or anyone could help reinstate the magic in this holiday season by bringing their Christmas keepsakes back.

"That would be my Christmas miracle,” Davis said.

Davis tells the FOX31 Problem Solvers she’s willing to give a reward to get the ornaments back intact. She also has a report in with Aurora Police.

Anyone with information is urged to call APD or Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867 (STOP).

Denver officer fired for failing to render aid to gunshot victim

Thu, 12/02/2021 - 22:32

DENVER (KDVR) — A Denver police officer has been fired for failing to render aid to a gunshot victim who died in 2020.

"In the early stages of this homicide investigation, the Denver Police Department recognized and had concerns about Officer Dewayne Rodgers’ failure to render aid to the shooting victim," the Denver Police Department said in a statement to the Problem Solvers. "The Department opened an Internal Affairs investigation, thoroughly investigated the officer’s actions with oversight by the Office of the Independent Monitor, and the result of the disciplinary process was Officer Dewayne Rodger’s termination."

The Problem Solvers have left a message for Rodgers but have yet to hear back. A second officer who was also on the scene resigned during the course of the disciplinary investigation.

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"The callous lack of humanity that Officer (Dewayne Rodgers) displayed is best exemplified by his response to the victim saying, 'Oh my god. Help me,' when Officer Rodgers replied, 'Do you live in this complex?'" a Denver Police Department Departmental Order of Disciplinary Action, signed by Mary Dulacki, the chief deputy executive director of Denver’s Department of Public Safety, said.

What the records show happened

According to records obtained by the Problem Solvers, Rodgers arrived at a shooting scene at the 10000 block of East Harvard Avenue on Sept. 7, 2020, where he encountered shooting victim JaLonte Jones,18.

Although Rodgers immediately requested an ambulance for the victim, he did not apply a tourniquet to Jones' leg, where Jones had been wounded.

Rodgers reported that he normally carries a tourniquet but did not have one with him on the night of the incident. He also reported that he "did not have latex gloves and does not typically carry latex gloves but would have had no problem placing his hands on the victim without latex gloves," according to disciplinary records.

According to the records, Rodgers reported that he entered the parking lot and was "flagged down by an individual who guided him to the victim’s location. Rodgers said the victim was on the ground, laying on his stomach. He described that '[t]he victim’s pants were so saturated with blood that it couldn’t be determined which leg he was shot in…' Officer Rodgers wrote that after a few minutes, 'the victim began moving around and rolled over onto his back and then stopped moving as the firefighters arrive on scene."

The DPD investigation determined that Rodgers repeatedly asked Jones what his name was and whether Jones knew who had shot him. 

Jones responded, sporadically, by declaring, "I’m dying."

According to Denver Police disciplinary records, Rodgers said he couldn’t see exactly where Jones had been shot.

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"I make the decision at that time not to touch him, because I can’t figure where he’s shot at. I don’t know how many times he’s shot," the disciplinary records said Rodgers reported. "Nobody could give me the information that I can’t touch him. If I touch him, I might cause more harm than good to this guy, because I don’t know anything. Where he’s been shot or how many times he’s been shot. So, at that point I decided I'm not going to touch him. I'm going to keep him talking to me and keep him calm and try to keep him moving a lot," he said, according to disciplinary records.

Eventually, Rodgers said the victim rolled onto his back, and he realized a tourniquet needed to be applied. Another officer, who arrived more than nine minutes after Rodgers requested the ambulance, attempted to place the tourniquet on Jones, but by that point, the victim "wasn’t moving at all," Rodgers reported.

The disciplinary records indicate that Rodgers said he did not make a radio call to report Jones' worsening condition and he never "got on the air requesting or saying a tourniquet might be needed."

In a departmental order of disciplinary action, the police department found "Officer Rodgers made no attempt to render aid such as applying pressure to the area of the wound, which he expressed was a suitable alternative means of triaging a gunshot wound in the absence of a tourniquet. Officer Rodgers' claim that he was concerned about aggravating the injury cannot excuse the lack of care he demonstrated since the foreseeable outcome of failing to render aid was death, which significantly outweighs any concern of aggravating an injury."

'Did you just not care enough?'

Dedranette Jones, JaLonte's mother, said she listened to her son's last words when they were played on a recording during a recent court hearing. She said she has questions for the first responders who were on the scene.

"He's essentially bleeding out in this parking lot, and you seem to be more concerned with what happened and who shot him as opposed to finding the injury and trying to do whatever you can to help preserve his life," Jones said.

"I do feel like if more effort would have been put forth, then maybe they could have saved his life," she said. "Did you just not care enough? Did you look at it like this is just another gang member?"

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She said he had been working through some struggles, but she could not have asked for a better son.

Jones described her son as a great friend to many. She said he was intelligent, athletic and artistic. He was also an aspiring rapper who had made some rap videos that are posted on YouTube.

"The light that he possessed was too bright and too big for that little bitty body that he was in, and now you can let all that light into the universe and now he's just everywhere," she said.

How are officers trained to respond?

According to the department, "officers began receiving tourniquet training in 2014, and since 2015, Tactical Casualty Care for Law Enforcement training has been required by POST for all recruit officers at the Denver Police Training Academy."

According to the DPD Operations Manual, officers who come in contact with an injured person should "provide first aid (when appropriate) to their level of training without any unreasonable delay," while waiting for emergency medical services.

The officers should make sure scene safety is the top priority, according to the operations manual. The operations manual also addresses officer procedures when handling a person who has been wounded by gunfire.

"Once it is safe to approach the suspect, officers will handcuff, search the individual thoroughly and take control of any weapons(s) within their immediate vicinity. When the suspect poses no further risk to officers or bystanders, officers will remove the handcuffs and when appropriate, they should rend first aid to their level of training without any unreasonable delay."

Rodgers was also terminated last month for failing to provide proof that he had received the COVID-19 vaccine or had an approved exemption.

Denver hits 2 of top 5 hottest December days on record

Thu, 12/02/2021 - 21:04

DENVER (KDVR) — Following the third-warmest November on record in Denver, December started off with temperatures in the 70s.

Dec. 1 hit 73 degrees, which tied the record high temperature for the day. Dec. 2 hit 72 degrees and was only 2 degrees away from the record high temperature of 74.

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These high temperatures for the first two days of December were two of the top 5 hottest temperatures ever recorded in the month for Denver.

Here's a list of the top 5 hottest temperatures and what years they occurred:

  • 1. 79 degrees set in 1939
  • 2. 75 degrees set in 1980
  • 3. 74 degrees set in 1885 and 1939
  • 4. 73 degrees set in 1901, 1980, 1940, 1939, 1973, and 2021
  • 5. 72 degrees set in 1921, 2007, and 2021

TSA agents now patrolling Denver's Union Station amid rising crime

Thu, 12/02/2021 - 20:44

DENVER (KDVR) — TSA agents have begun patrolling Denver's Union Station as part of heightened security at the transportation depot, where concerned transit employees have reported "lawless" behavior.

RTD said the agents are part of the administration's Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response teams and started patrols this week.

After our story aired, A TSA spokesperson told FOX31:

TSA VIPR teams wear official uniforms, clearly marked and overt. This is in congruence with the mission to provide a visible deterrent in transportation systems nationwide.”

The new measures are coming after demands were made by bus train employees, saying drug use and violence are out of control. On Wednesday, the union representing RTD workers and contractors described the tourist hotspot as a "lawless hellhole."

Union Station grew to a high-concentration drug crime zone in just a year

Soon, the Colorado Guardian angels will also be patrolling Union Station.

The Colorado Guardian Angels describe themselves as "an all-volunteer organization that works with neighborhoods and individuals to make their community and themselves safe." They will be wearing their traditional red berets as they patrol.

"We are more concerned about violent crime, serious things," Guardian Angels Commander Robi Salo said. "We are not as concerned as somebody jaywalking or minor offenses. We are about public safety and making people feel safe."

RTD said Thursday there have been major concerns at Union Station for some time now, and there is an active effort to improve safety there.

On Thursday, FOX31 cameras captured law enforcement officers chasing a man walking on the tracks. They were also removing people sleeping on sidewalks.

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Tourist Jennae Sims said she became concerned when she saw people acting strangely.  

"I had my son with me. He’s 4. And you want to be very mindful of their exposure and their interactions," Sims said.

It is believed the uptick in problems started after many drug offenses became misdemeanors. Police can only issue citations in some cases. According to the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1001, which represents 2,000 RTD employees and contractors, employees say drug use impacts their daily safety on the job.

"I had another operator tell me that she considers it a great day when nobody is seen smoking methamphetamine or using heroin on her bus," President Lance Logenbohn said.

The other problem is that RTD, like many other agencies, have a police shortage.

All eyes are now on whether these latest security efforts will make a difference.

Temperatures cool to the 60s Friday, mountain snow moves in next week

Thu, 12/02/2021 - 18:16

DENVER (KDVR) — Temperatures hit the low 70s again on Thursday and were close to the record high of 74 degrees.

Denver will cool slightly on Friday with afternoon high temperatures in the low 60s. Temperatures will stay in the 60s on Saturday with more sunshine and dry weather.

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Starting Sunday, temperatures will begin to cool down as Colorado's next storm system approaches. Denver is expected to stay dry on Sunday, but some parts of northern Colorado do have a chance for isolated showers Sunday evening.

Monday's temperatures will cool to the 40s with breezy wind and mostly cloudy skies. Snow showers will start in the mountains Monday afternoon and evening and will reach the Front Range by Tuesday.

Denver and the Front Range only have a 20% chance for a few isolated showers on Tuesday. Better chances for snow will stay in the mountains.

Dry weather returns on Wednesday as temperatures stay cool.