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Lakewood police search for vandals who blew up mailbox with fireworks

1 hour 32 min ago

LAKEWOOD, Colo. — Kathy Walters has lived in a Lakewood neighborhood near Highway 285 and South Kipling Street for decades. She says it’s peaceful and mostly quiet, which is why Wednesday night took her by surprise.

“It was so sudden and so big, it made me jump,” Walters said.

Walters went outside after hearing dozens of loud pops and saw a plume of smoke billowing over her neighbors' trees across the street. When the smoke cleared, brick and concrete was sprawled out across South Hoyt Circle.

Lakewood police say a brick mailbox was blown up by fireworks late Wednesday night. There are bits of red and blue firecracker shredded across the road.

“For somebody to come up and ruin something so nice, and [that] probably means a lot to him, it’s just heartbreaking,” said neighbor Kurt Sheffield. “He’s gonna have to come back from vacation to a smashed mailbox and have to start over.”

Sheffield believes the fireworks alone couldn’t have done all that damage, because of the mailbox’s structural strength.

Denver police pursue stolen tractor from City Park to LoDo

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 22:48

DENVER -- Officers pursued a stolen tractor towing an attachment through central Denver Friday night. The pursuit began near City Park and ended in Lower Downtown.

Videos show a number of Denver Police Department vehicles pursuing the tractor, which could be seen driving on busy city streets and sidewalks. One clip shows the tractor crossing Park Avenue.

#Denver #tractor #slowspeedpursuit pic.twitter.com/jBQTEzlK9o

— garbuckle (@gazucci) July 21, 2018

The pursuit ended near 15th and Market Streets in LoDo. The Denver Police Department said two of its officers were taken to the hospital with injuries.

One witness said the pursuit ended when a police cruiser hit the tractor head-on. The impact was strong enough to make the police vehicle's airbags deploy. The witness reported that immediately after, the officer who had been driving the wrecked cruiser used a Taser to subdue the tractor driver.

#Breaking @DenverPolice blocking off several blocks around 15th and Market. One cruiser is wrecked after hitting a tractor. @KDVR @channel2kwgn pic.twitter.com/4kqVtfhBWR

— Alex Rose (@AlexRoseNews) July 21, 2018

Another witness reported the male suspect was apprehended and placed in an ambulance.

"It could've definitely been a lot worse, for sure," he said.

The second witness also described the actions of the officer who rammed their vehicle into the tractor, ending the pursuit.

"Him doing that and going for it -- that takes a lot of dedication," he said.

Police said officers did not fire their guns.

FOX31 and Channel 2 have reached out to the DPD for details regarding the circumstances of the chase.

This story will be updated as authorities make more information available.

For alerts on the latest breaking news, download our app for iPhone and Android.

Russian warship rumored to carry fortune in gold found over a century after it sank

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 22:19
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ULLEUNG, South Korea – A massive Russian ship with a potential fortune in gold on board has been discovered at the bottom of the ocean more than a century after it sank, a South Korean company said Thursday.

The 5,800-ton Dmitri Donskoii, a first class armored cruiser, first set sail in 1885, according to the Shinil Group, the company which announced its rediscovery this week. It was scuttled during the 1905 Battle of Tsushima in the waters between present-day South Korea and Japan, during the Russo-Japanese War, which Moscow eventually lost.

Since its sinking, there have been numerous attempts to explore the remains of the ship and hunt for its purported treasure.

It is believed to have had a large amount of gold coins on board — money that was part of the Russian war fund. The now bankrupt Donga Construction company previously attempted to explore and salvage the ship in the early 2000s.

According to reports from the time, claims the ship’s cargo was worth potentially billions of dollars caused Donga’s stock value to spike — despite denials of this claim by the South Korean authorities.

Shinil Group told CNN it believes the ship is worth 1 billion won ($884,000), but was unclear about the exact value of the gold on board.

It’s also uncertain just how much of the gold Shinil Group will be able to recover. An official with the South Korean Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries said that the company had not yet applied for salvage rights, which would require a down payment of about 10% of the estimated value of whatever they recover to the area’s maritime police.

A spokesman for Shinil Group said on top of the salvage fee, the company plans to donate 10% of the bullion for tourism projects on nearby Ulleungdo Island, including a movie set and a memorial of the ship.

According to the company, its exploratory team found the vessel over the weekend hanging on a slope on the ocean floor. Parts of the hull that were bombarded were in poor condition, but other parts of the hull had almost no damage.

Shinil Group’s team said part of the wreckage had the name “DONSKOII” carved into the ship in Cyrillic. They also identified the ship by comparing the various parts of it they found to historical blueprints.

In a publicly issued statement, the company said that the armor on the side of the hull is “well preserved,” and the anchor, guns and machine guns remain in their corresponding places.

“The three masts were broken and overturned, the two chimneys were broken, and there was a trace of bombardment on the side of the ship,” said the statement.

It added they planned to register the ship with the authorities and then lift it to the surface.

Immigrants held at Aurora ICE detention center to be reunited with children

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 21:11

AURORA, Colo. -- Dozens of immigrant parents being held at the Denver Contract Detention Facility in Aurora are on their way to Texas to be reunited with their children, according to an immigration attorney.

The immigrants began arriving at the detention center in May.

FOX31 learned they are being moved to reunification centers near Brownsville, Texas, along the U.S.-Mexico border.

“All the parents that are currently detained that have children are being transferred down to the family detention centers to be reunified so they can comply with the order," said Federal Practice Group immigration attorney Astrid Lockwood.

The order demanded that President Donald Trump's administration reunite the more than 3,000 separated families by July 26.

As many as 70 immigrants were being held in the Aurora facility.

One 26-year-old mother of two was bonded out Thursday morning with the help of a local church group. She has been separated from her daughters for almost two months. She said she doesn’t know when she’ll be reunited with her 5- and 6-year-old daughters being held in a detention facility in Phoenix.

The woman has been staying at Casa De Paz, a Denver safehouse. She will soon leave in the hopes of being reunited with her daughters.

Lockwood said she had 13 clients in Aurora who she believes are now in Texas. Their departure surprised her.

“I showed up this morning for a hearing, only to be told my client was no longer available. The government is not giving us this information. Even though I am attorney of record, I am not informed. I am not being told what’s going to happen to my cases," Lockwood said.

Couple hopes to rebuild after home destroyed in Spring Fire

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 20:35

COSTILLA COUNTY, Colo. -- After burning 145 homes, the Spring Fire  in Huerfano and Costilla Counties in southern Colorado has marked its place in history as the state's third largest ever recorded. It scorched more than 108,000 acres.

“It is devastation," said Lynda, a woman who lost her home in the fire. She and her husband Phil -- who did not want to use their last name -- had just moved to their Paradise Acres home a few months ago. They said it was their dream house.

“The grandchildren were already calling it Nanny's Forest," Lynda said.

So many of their memories are now melted.

“It’s just stuff," Phil said.

"It’s all stuff that has something attached to it," Lynda said.

As the couple went through their belongings on Friday, there was suddenly a sign of hope.

“In the middle of crying, we laugh about it," Lynda said.

They found their prized sterling silver.

“Thats it. It’s all right here," Phil said.

It's these moments that keep them going amidst the indescribable devastation. The couple said that at least 20 homes were lost in their neighborhood alone.

"We can always build again, and we probably will," Lynda said.

Residents say they have 60 days to clear their lots, so they are in desperate need of help from contractors.

New Aurora recreation center funded by marijuana tax revenue

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 20:05

AURORA, Colo. -- A recreation center under construction in Aurora is being paid for with revenue generated by marijuana taxes.

The recreation center will be at the corner of East Vassar Place and South Telluride Street. It is the first new rec center in the area in 40 years.

The Central Aurora Recreation Center, a temporary name, is not going to be a run-of-the-mill workout facility. The 60,000 square-foot complex will feature a public art display, wine tasting classes, a teaching kitchen, four swimming pools and a unique "animated" water slide.

The $40 million complex is being funded entirely by Aurora's marijuana tax revenue.

The local community shared their input to what they wanted to see built. Construction is scheduled to be complete in June 2019.

El Paso County authorities ask for public’s help finding missing teen

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 19:19

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. — The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office is hoping the public might be able to help them find a missing teenage boy.

Bill “Billy” Doukakas, 15, was originally reported missing on June 24. However, he was recently seen near Pikes Peak Avenue and Murray Boulevard in Colorado Springs. He is a former Mitchell High School student and may also be in that area.

Doukakas is African-American and 5 feet 10 inches tall. He weighs about 160 pounds, according to the sheriff’s office.

Doukakas has a French accent and his hair may be in cornrows or short braids. He often wears the silver chain seen in the above photo.

Anyone with information about where the teen might be is asked to call the sheriff’s office: 719-390-5555.

Adams County authorities searching for child sex assault suspect

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 19:05

ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. — The Adams County Sheriff’s Office is asking the public for help locating a fugitive. Anthony Rucobo, 35, was out on bond awaiting trial for charges of sexual assault on a child. He is also wanted for possession of schedule II and vehicular eluding by Thornton police.

The sheriff’s office said Rucobo allowed his ankle monitor to die.

Rucobo is 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs about 215 pounds. He has brown hair and brown eyes. His last known location is the city of Denver.

Warrants for Rucobo’s arrest have been issued.

Anyone who may know where the fugitive is should call 911 or the Adams County Sheriff’s Office: 303-288-1535.

Veterans have conflicting emotions ahead of new Aurora hospital opening

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 18:32

AURORA, Colo. -- Saturday is a day many believed would never come. The new Aurora Veterans Medical Center is scheduled to open following a ribbon-cutting ceremony. While ribbon cuttings are usually a celebration, this one is full of conflicting emotions.

Some veterans are enthusiastic.

"I'm excited about it," Elmer Seagon, a Vietnam War veteran said outside the old VA Medical Hospital in Denver Friday. "This is about used up, I think," Seagon said of the old hospital.

However, for veterans like John Hildebrande, there is little excitement around the facility.

"It took too damn long to build it," Hildebrande said.

Perhaps Congressman Mike Coffman summed the problem up best.

"It has been a nightmare," Coffman told FOX31 political reporter Joe St. George when asked to reflect on the project.

The Aurora VA Hospital is more than $1 billion over budget and it is five years behind schedule. The center has fewer exam rooms, fewer surgical rooms, and no PTSD unit.

The Problem Solvers previously examined the issues with the new facility in depth and how Congess was forced to get involved.

As a result, the current VA hospital will have to stay open for the foreseeable future.

"It is not a good design. It doesn't have a PTSD unit facility -- the signature wound of a military engaged in decades of war," Coffman said.

However, Coffman said he is pleased veterans will be given a state-of-the-art facility that they deserve -- even if no VA official was terminated for the cost overages and delays.

Some of benefits of the new hospital include private rooms for veterans, expanded family space, spinal surgery options and aquatic therapy.

Sen. Cory Gardner focused on the positives when asked about the hospital Friday.

"This will be a crown jewel of the VA system and this is something veterans have worked hard on for years to see through its completion," Gardner said.

Bear cub burned by Colorado wildfire healing, gaining weight

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 17:20

DENVER — An orphaned bear cub that was burned by a wildfire in Colorado is healing and gaining weight.

Wildlife officials said Friday that the bear no longer has to wear bandages on her feet, which were severely burned by the 416 Fire north of Durango. The cub has more than doubled in size to 26 pounds since being spotted by firefighters and has left her cage to live in a pen with other cubs at a rehabilitation center.

In a statement from Colorado Parks and Wildlife, veterinary technician Michael Sirochman said the bear began pulling off her bandages about two weeks after she was rescued as she began to feel better.

Officials plan to move the cubs to the wild as they hibernate this winter, allowing them to wake up there in the spring.

(Photo: Colorado Parks and Wildlife)

Wildfire forces closure of I-70 in Eagle County

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 17:10

DOTSERO, Colo. — Authorities closed Interstate 70 in both directions near the Eagle County town of Dotsero due to a wildfire Friday afternoon.

The interstate reopened around 6:30 p.m.

Dotsero is about 18 miles east of Glenwood Springs.

Baby born in Chick-Fil-A bathroom gets free meals for life, job offer

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 16:57

SAN ANTONIO — A couple in Texas delivered their baby in a Chick-Fil-A bathroom and now the baby will get free meals for life.

KSAT reported that Falon Griffin was having contractions Tuesday night, so she and husband Robert drove to meet a family friend at a Chick-Fil-A to drop off their two children before going to the hospital.

When they got to the restaurant parking lot, however, Falon knew she couldn’t wait, so she headed to the bathroom. The restaurant was closed, but she banged on the door and begged the staff to let her in.

“I was very insistent,” Falon joked while talking to KENS.

With the baby starting to crown, the couple decided to deliver right there, in a stall of the fast food restaurant.

Robert wrote on Facebook:

“When she got to the shoulders, I realized the chord was wrapped around her neck TWICE. Didn’t want to alert my wife, so just told her try to relax for a minute and I was somehow able to unwrap the chord from the baby’s neck. With two more strong pushes, and using my shirt for a towel, out came Gracelyn Mae Violet Griffin.”

Employees called an ambulance, but Gracelyn had already been born by the time it arrived. The baby and her mother were taken to a hospital.

Chick-Fil-A has offered Gracelyn free food for life and a guaranteed first job at age 16, according to KENS. Store owners said they want to host her first birthday party.

White teeth today

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 16:51

Look 10 years younger with the help of whiter teeth. Power Swabs takes only five minutes and you are on your way to a brighter smile. Buy two and get one free plus three free quick sticks for maintenance. Also, free shipping! 1-800-204-1211

Legal Expert Phil Harding: The Art of Stacking Insurance Policies

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 16:44

On Fridays Phil Harding takes us to law school for the lay person. He couldn't be here today, so we were joined by Attorney Chris Parrish from his office.

If you have any legal questions for Phil, he wants to hear from you. Just submit your question on our Ask the Attorney page. Phil answers all questions personally and confidentially. If you'd like to reach Harding & Associates directly, all (303)762-9500, or visit them online at HLaw.org.

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again – Review

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 16:22

Lady Bronc Riders at Cheyenne Frontier Days

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 16:21

CHEYENNE, Wyoming — There’s something new this year at Cheyenne Frontier Days: The Lady Bronc Riders.

In what’s considered a heavily male-dominated sport, female competitive bronc riders are showing folks what they’re made of.

The first time a female rider broke into rodeo bronc riding at Cheyenne Frontier Days was in 1904.

The members participating in Cheyenne Frontier Days are also part of a new show called ‘Cowgirls’, which is featured on Ride TV.

To find out when the Lady Bronc Riders are riding at Cheyenne Frontier Days, check the event schedule.

You can learn more about the show by clicking here.

The Equalizer 2 Review

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 16:20


Large fire in Adams County; black smoke visible for miles

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 16:16

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — A fire burning in unincorporated Adams County is sending black smoke into the air that can be seen for miles.

Garages and sheds in the 3100 block of East 78th Avenue are burning, according to Adams County Fire.

At 3:45 p.m., Adams County Fire said the fire was under control.

This is a breaking news story. FOX31 and Channel 2 News will have new information soon.

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