Headlines – October 9, 2023

Daily local and regional headlines from across Colorado’s Front Range

King Soopers Shooter Ruled Competent To Stand Trial

The man charged with killing ten people at a Boulder King Soopers in 2021 was ruled competent to stand trial on Friday.

 Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa was diagnosed with schizophrenia after entering the South Boulder grocery store midday and opening fire with a Ruger AR-566 pistol.  

Alissa’s mental health status has stalled the trial for two years. 

Judge Ingrid Bakke ruled on Friday that Alissa could process and understand his decision making, meaning he is competent enough to stand trial. 

Alissa was admitted to a mental hospital after the shooting incident and given medication to treat his schizophrenia.

The next legal proceeding is scheduled for Nov. 14, where Judge Bakke will determine if the evidence against Alissa is enough for a trial to officially begin. 

 

Boulder County Social Media Account Hacked

The Boulder County Office of Disaster Management’s X account–  formerly known as Twitter – was hacked Saturday. 

County officials say dozens of unauthorized posts promoting cryptocurrency were made to their X account. 

The posts offered cash rewards for joining the THORchain app, and included embedded links to THORchain’s website.

The Office of Disaster Management deactivated the X account and will only post updates on its website for the time being, until a new account is created. 

According to the director of Boulder County Officer of Disaster management, Mike Chard, said the team doesn’t know who the hackers are.

 

115 Decaying Bodies Found In Funeral Home 

115 decaying bodies were found inside the Return to Nature Funeral Home in Penrose, Colorado on Friday.  Owner Jon Hallford was allegedly storing bodies improperly, but claimed he was doing taxidermy, according to a state document. 

A report to authorities was made Friday after complaints that a “putrid” scent was coming from the facility. Authorities entered the funeral home with a search warrant, discovering the decaying bodies inside the one-story home

According to the Associated Press, Return to Nature Funeral Home advertised itself as a “green” facility, where bodies were buried or cremated without embalming chemicals or a metal casket. 

 

Wolf Reintroduction In Colorado Begins

Coloradans voted to reintroduce wolves in 2020 but Colorado Wildlife struggled to find suitable wolves, until now.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will supply about 10 gray wolves for the reintroduction. The wolves will be released in isolated land near Glenwood Springs, Roaring Fork Valley, and Vail after they’re tested and treated for disease.

Not all Coloradans are celebrating the return of gray wolves. Executive vice president of the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association, Erin Karney, told The Denver Post that wolves are a threat to livestock and people.

Gray wolves have not been an active species in Colorado since 1940.

 

Colorado School Districts Join Lawsuit Against Social Media Corporations

Denver, Jeffco and Aspen Public School Districts are suing social media companies including TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat and Meta for allegedly contributing to a youth  mental health crisis. 

The three school districts are the first in Colorado to join a lawsuit that includes hundreds of school districts nationwide. Douglas County School board representatives say they are also considering joining the suit. 

According to the Denver Post, school districts are at the frontline of a mental health crisis affecting students nationwide. The lawsuit is an effort to reform social media platforms so that they become less addictive and harmful to their students’ self esteem. 

 

3D Printed Homes To Be The Future Of Housing 

A 3D printed housing community is coming to Colorado. Alquist 3D, a 3d printing construction company, and the nonprofit, Habitat for Humanity are teaming up to build the homes in the Hope Springs community, located in Greeley.

The homes are created from concrete and Alquist 3D says this helps lower residents’ utility bills and protect from natural disaster because the homes can’t burn.

The state, local government, and local community college offered about $4 million in funds to bring Alquist 3D to Greeley in search of more affordable housing. Printing homes at a large scale is more affordable than printing the same number of wood-frame homes, according to the company.

Aims Community College is expanding its 3D printing curriculum to work with the company. Alquist 3D is looking to hire about 20 more employees, including students within the Aims program. 

 

JonBenet Ramsey Case To Be Revisited

A controversial murder case that made international news nearly thirty years ago will get a new look from law enforcement. The Colorado Cold Case Review Team and the Boulder Police Department will cooperate in revisiting the 1996 death murder of JonBenet Ramsey. 

JonBenet was six years old when she was found murdered inside her family home in Boulder. The murderer was never found and the case remains unsolved. 

Last year, a family member made a formal request to Gov. Jared Polis for the case to be revisited by Colorado’s Cold Case team and be removed from Boulder P.D. ‘s care, according to The Denver Post. Although the Cold Case team was tasked with further investigation of the murder, Boulder P.D. has the final say in the case. 

The news of a case revisit came at the same time that lead detective of the case, Thomas Trujillo, was transferred to a different unit. Boulder police spokeswoman Dionne Waugh told The Denver Post that the reassignment of Trujillo wasn’t connected to the decision to revisit the murder case. 

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