Headlines – April 24, 2023


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    Headlines – April 24, 2023 benita

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Winter’s Last Hurrah?

Another spring storm might hit the Front Range Tuesday and Wednesday. Blasting in from the Pacific, the system is expected to bring both heavy rain and wet, heavy snow throughout the region.

Up to two inches of rain might arrive in the Denver metro area. In the mountains and foothills there is the potential for up to two feet of snow.

Aurora Officer Convicted Of Failure To Intervene When Partner Beat Suspect

A six-person jury found former Aurora police officer Francine Martinez guilty of failing to intervene when her partner severely beat a suspect he was trying to handcuff.

Martinez was the first person to go to trial under Colorado’s 2020 police reform bill, which makes it a misdemeanor for officers to not intervene when their colleagues use excessive force.

On July 23, 2021, Martinez and then-partner John Haubert were trying to take 29-year-old Kyle Vinson into custody for trespassing. Body camera footage shows Haubert pistol-whipping Vinson multiple times and choking him.

Prosecutors noted inconsistencies in Martinez’s statements. She said it felt like a deadly situation but did not state this in her police report. 

Martinez is scheduled to be sentenced June 2nd.

Weiser, Other AGs Request Hyundai and Kia Recall

Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser joined colleagues from other states to request a recall of Hyundai and Kia vehicles that don’t have anti-theft devices.

The coalition of attorneys general sent a letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration saying Hyundai and Kia vehicles made between 2011 and 2022 were unsafe because of how easy it is for thieves to hotwire them. 

In 2022, thieves stole over 10,000 Kias and Hyundais in Colorado alone. Social media posts and challenges showing how simple it is to bypass the cars’ ignition switches have gone viral.  Weiser’s office says the problem is a threat to public safety and makes it difficult for the vehicles’ owners to obtain insurance.

Psychologist Says Accused In Road Rage Killing Case Was Sane

A court-appointed psychologist told prosecutors last week that a man charged with shooting several people in 2018 because of road rage, was sane at the time of the incident.

Jeremy Webster has pleaded insanity in the case, saying that when he followed a woman’s car to a Westminster dental office parking lot then shot her and two of her sons, he felt disconnected from his body.

The psychologist testified that Webster felt angry when victim Meghan Bigelow almost hit his car as she moved out of the way of an emergency vehicle. Webster was reportedly concerned about getting into an accident because he had not paid his car insurance bill.

Bigelow testified earlier that she had tried to reason with Webster in the parking lot. He got back into his car and was about to leave when she used her phone to take a video of his vehicle. Webster then exited the car with a gun and shot Meghan Bigelow and her two children. Thirteen year-old Vaughn Bigelow, Jr., did not survive.

Webster is also accused of wounding witness John Gale, who was sitting in his truck with his 9-year-old daughter at the time of the shooting.

After the shootings, Webster completed his errand at Home Depot, and then returned to work on a construction project for his cousin’s company. He was arrested by police, after they identified his car later that day, using Bigelow’s video.  

Officials Shut Down Ft. Collins Marijuana Trafficking Operation

The Northern Colorado Drug Task Force shut down an unlicensed marijuana operation suspected of distributing cannabis products nationwide. 

The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office announced Wednesday that search warrants served to five trafficking operation sites in April led to the discovery of 1,000 marijuana plants, 200 pounds of cannabis-related products, tens of thousands of dollars in cash and precious metals, and firearms.

Only licensed businesses can sell cannabis in Colorado. The state limits personal, recreational marijuana cultivation to six plants per resident over age 21.

Multiple agencies, including the Fort Collins Police, the United States Postal Service, and the Colorado Department of Revenue were involved in the year-long investigation, which also discovered evidence of tax evasion. 

Historic Bandimere Speedway Set To Close

Bandimere Speedway owner John Bandimere, Jr., announced Friday that the historic drag racing track in Morrison will close after nearly 65 years. 

Bandimere’s parents opened the track in 1958. Bandimere told The Associated Press that he will close the property after the 2023 National Hot Rod Association racing season.

New Owners Plan To Reopen Boulder Velodrome

As one raceway closes, another one opens.

For over three years, the Boulder Valley Velodrome in Erie has sat empty. Last week, new velodrome investors BVV Holdings LLC announced that nonprofit Team Colorado Cycling will run the 250-meter track as a space for competitive cyclists to train and for hosting family-friendly events. Team Colorado Cycling launched a gofundme campaign to raise funds for major repairs and is seeking volunteers to help with renovation projects.

 KGNU News Department Wins CBA and Top of the Rockies Awards

The KGNU News and Public Affairs Department received multiple awards this weekend. 

How On Earth won a Colorado Broadcasters Association Certificate of Merit in the Best Public Affairs category while a Morning Magazine special on the one-year anniversary of the Marshall Fire won second place in the Best News Special category.

That same Morning Magazine special also won an award in the Society of Professional Journalists regional “Top of the Rockies” competition. The KGNU News Department also picked up a second place award in the Public Service category for its “Follow The Waste” series.

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    Headlines – April 24, 2023 benita

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