All posts by CBS Denver

Vigil Planned For CSU Student Killed In Shooting

By Karen Morfitt FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4) – Colorado State University student Savannah McNealy was among three people killed in a shooting in Fort Collins Thursday morning. Friends, students and members of the community are invited to attend a vigil for her on Friday afternoon.
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Savannah McNealy, October of 2016. (credit: Facebook)

According to a statement from University President Tony Frank, McNealy, 22, was majoring in arts and would have graduated in December. In the statement, Frank says, “I didn’t have the pleasure of knowing Savannah personally, but I have talked this afternoon with others who did… and she sounds like an exceptional, bright, energetic, confident and creative young woman. She was clearly loved as a friend and daughter.” A friend told CBS4, “Savannah was enthusiastic, witty and fun. She was a brilliant creative and a go-getter. She had bright things ahead of her, and the CSU community will greatly miss her.”
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Savannah McNealy, September of 2017. (credit: Facebook)

The shooting happened just before 2 a.m. at the Sunstone Apartments on City Park Avenue, just a few blocks from campus. Those living in the complex and nearby told CBS4 they heard nearly a dozen gunshots and then heard screams for help. “It all happened really fast,” CSU student Sebastian Davis said. “I was pretty sure they were gun shots so I ran over to my roommate,s room. He said he heard them too. He thought it was someone banging on the dumpsters.” Davis said he let his guard down and went outside to check. That’s when he saw a man outside the neighboring building, looking right at him. “At first we didn’t see the gun, with the cars in the way. We didn’t see it until he brought it up to himself,” Davis said. Darren Rutz also lives in the apartment complex and heard the shots. “Shortly after that there was female right outside our window asking for help,” Rutz said. When Fort Collins Police Department officers arrived, they found four people had been shot. Three people died — including McNealy and the suspected shooter. The other two people who died are expected to be identified by the Larimer County Coroners office on Friday. Investigators spent the day collecting evidence and talking to witnesses but have yet to say what may have led up to the shooting. There will also be a vigil for McNealy held on the CSU campus at 4 p.m. on Friday near the Ram Walk on Meridian Drive. Karen Morfitt joined the CBS4 team as a reporter in 2013. She covers a variety of stories in and around the Denver metro area. Connect with her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter @karenmorfitt or email her tips.

Latest Forecast: Temperatures Soar On Friday Ahead Of A Cold Front

By Ashton Altieri DENVER (CBS4) – The record high temperature in Denver for Friday is 83° set in 1950. It’s unlikely we’ll break (or even tie) that record but we should be close thanks to sunny skies and southwesterly winds that will transport warm air into Colorado from the deserts of Arizona and New Mexico. By Friday evening a cold front will move into northwest Colorado bringing rain and snow to the Craig, Meeker, and Steamboat Springs areas. The front will reach the Denver area by 2 a.m. but the precipitation associated with the front will stop short of reaching the Front Range. Instead we’ll just experience a shift in the winds to the northwest. And those northwesterly winds will continue through the day on Saturday keeping temperatures 20 to 30 degrees cooler than Friday. Gusts could reach 30 mph at times. In the mountains, snow is likely late Friday night into early Saturday morning. The snow should end before sunrise on Saturday and accumulation should be limited to just a couple inches on the higher peaks and passes mainly above 10,000 feet. Sunny and warmer weather will return statewide on Sunday with highs in the metro area reaching near 70°. 5day Latest Forecast: Temperatures Soar On Friday Ahead Of A Cold Front drought monitor Latest Forecast: Temperatures Soar On Friday Ahead Of A Cold Front Ashton Altieri is a Certified Broadcast Meteorologist. Watch him on the CBS4 Morning News weekdays from 4:30 a.m. to 7 a.m. Connect with Ashton on Facebook and on Twitter @AshtonCBS4.

Fugitive On Loose After Evading Larimer SWAT Team

BELLVUE, Colo, (CBS4) – A man wanted on several outstanding warrants and who evaded Larimer County Sheriff’s deputies Wednesday did so again Thursday when a SWAT operation failed to capture him. Cayne Trevin Lucia, 29, left a home and fled down a hillside as deputies and SWAT officers surrounded the home at 1 p.m. Thursday. Police formed a perimeter and searched for hours but did not locate Lucia.
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Cayne Trevin Lucia, booked in February after an arrest on drug offenses. (credit: Larimer County Sheriff’s Office)

Wednesday, Lucia tried to hit deputies with his vehicle as he eluded them, according to a news release distributed by the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office. Thursday, authorities obtained a search warrant for a home in the 100 block of Canyon Gulch Court in Bellvue. A search of online public records shows a home in this location is Lucia’s last known residence. A check of Lucia’s background in a Colorado Bureau of Investigations database reveals previous arrests for drug, assault and weapons offenses. LCSO says neighbors in the vicinity have been notified of Lucia’s disappearance. Lucia is described as a white male with brown hair and hazel eyes, 6’02”, and 165 lbs. He was last seen wearing a white t-shirt and blue jeans.  

I-225 Pilot Project Not Sitting Well With Commuters

By Kelly Werthmann DENVER (CBS4) – Later this month, the Colorado Department of Transportation is expected to begin construction that has many drivers and south Denver residents upset. i 225 improvements map transfer frame 945 I 225 Pilot Project Not Sitting Well With Commuters CDOT is conducting a pilot project to expand capacity on Interstate 225 southbound in the Denver Tech Center, an area it says is one of the worst bottlenecks in the region. To combat the issue, CDOT will convert the shoulder into a third lane by restriping less than a mile of southbound I-225 from Yosemite Street to Interstate 25.
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The plan also includes concrete barriers that will cut off access to southbound I-25, restricting drivers only to northbound I-25. “All that they’re doing is adding traffic to get onto Bellview and Hampden, which are already horrible,” Justin Perring, who lives near I-225 and Yosemite, said, “One of the prime reasons I bought in this location is for direct access to all the interstate interchanges.”
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Perrin says his direct access will become an inconvenience with the changes. He believes more drivers will rely on commuting along city streets to access southbound I-25, creating a bigger traffic issue and safety concerns. “It’s just shuffling the problem elsewhere,” Perrin told CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann. Perrin is in good company when it comes to people aggravated by CDOT’s pilot project. Many people have shared their frustration on social media and neighborhood sites like Next Door. On the CDOT Facebook page, one upset person wrote, “I’ve decided CDOT is using monkeys to design the ‘improvements.’”
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To address concerns, CDOT had its chief engineer and a regional director answer questions during a Facebook Live video Thursday evening. Among the top concerns from the dozens of viewers who chimed in was how CDOT will monitor the traffic impact in places like Greenwood Village. “We’re expecting minor increases in delays in those interchanges,” Paul Jesaitis, Regional Transportation Director for CDOT, said, “but we’re not expecting some form of Armageddon to occur.”
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The Facebook event seemed to be an attempt to remind driver that CDOT’s pilot plan for I-225 is not a long-term solution, rather one that fits their current budget and immediate need. According to a CDOT study of the I-225 south congestion issue in 2013, the recommended long-term fix was $65 million. The cost is high, CDOT explained on its Facebook page, because there is limited space to build new infrastructure with businesses and light rail bordering CDOT’s right of ways and they would need to replace bridges and overpasses. “That was suggested in 2014,” Perrin said, “I don’t know when they made their latest decision to move forward with that, but the population has increased so much and I don’t know if they’ve done proper testing to justify means of the additional traffic this temporary fix will add to Yosemite, DTC Boulevard and Hampden.” CDOT engineer Josh Laipply explained during the Facebook Live event that engineers will monitor the traffic impacts using Bluetooth technology. Traffic Impacts:
  • Nighttime work on southbound I-225 from Yosemite Street to I-25, lasting up to a month beginning later in October (information on exact dates forthcoming)
  • At least one lane open on southbound I-225 during overnight construction
  • First few nights: concrete barriers will prevent DTC Boulevard and other on-ramp traffic to I-225 southbound from entering I-25 southbound
  • Remaining nights: restriping southbound I-225
Kelly Werthmann joined the CBS4 team as the morning reporter in 2012. After serving as weekend morning anchor, Kelly is now Covering Colorado First for CBS4 News at 10. Connect with Kelly on Facebook or follow her on Twitter @KellyCBS4.

Opponents Unconvinced Of Amazon HQ2 Benefit

By Stan Bush DENVER (CBS4) – Opponents of Denver’s attempt to secure Amazon’s second domestic headquarters are wringing their hands over a survey that suggests renting will become even harder.
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Apartment List, a group that monitors renting trends, believes rent would jump nearly 9% if Amazon moves to Denver.
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Amazon has said their new headquarters would likely bring more than 50,000 new jobs to whichever city they move to.
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“If this was 2010 there would be no question that we’d want this,” says Steve Ferris, a real estate analyst, “If we were Detroit we’d do anything to get this.” Denver’s average rent for a one-bedroom apartment, about $1,300 a month, is already higher than the national average which is closer to $1,000. RELATED: Amazon Hiring Aurora Fulfillment Center Jobs Rent is already expected to increase in 2018 regardless of Amazon’s decision.
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Ferris says the concerns about rent only take in a short view of the area’s business potential. “There are about 27,00 units being under construction and another 20,000 planned,” says Ferris. “I don’t know if that’s being considered.” RELATED: Site Of Amazon’s HQ2 Has Much To Learn From Seattle Denver finalized their bid for Amazon earlier this week. Stan Bush is a general assignment reporter at CBS4. His stories can be seen on CBS4 News at 10. Read his bio and follow him on Twitter @StanBushTV.

‘They Violated Our Kids’: Marching Band Equipment Stolen

By Jeff Todd PARKER, Colo. (CBS4) – Just one day after it won the Denver Metro area championships, someone broke into the Legend High School marching band’s storage containers and took vital equipment.
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“I was probably the most disappointed when they showed me the video and I could actually see the suspects involved,” said Orlando Otis, the Legend High School Band Director.
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CBS4’s Jeff Todd talks with Legend HS Band Director Orlando Otis (credit: CBS)

Parker police are hoping someone will recognize the suspects or the white van allegedly used in the heist. Surveillance video shows a white vehicle arriving around 2:30 in the morning and leaving just after 3 a.m.
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“I saw them with their wire cutters cut the bolts and that’s when I think it really hit me that someone came and violated our kids,” Otis said. Generators, expensive special extension cords and special orbs used in the band’s performance were taken. In total, everything was worth a few thousand dollars.
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“They’re very specialized balls, they glow in the dark and they have special fabric covers. They’re very expensive. I was really disappointed that somebody came and took those because that’s something our kids fundraise and work really hard to make sure they got,” Otis said. He first heard about the theft after school started. By the time he could tell the whole band most of the students already knew.
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“They all understood we have a job to do, we came out and had band rehearsal and decided to let everything take it’s course,” Otis said. The state championship band competition is October 28 and 29. The band is hoping the suspects can get caught and return the stolen equipment by then. “It’s very serious because this is something that impacts our entire community, the school, the kids who have worked hard. Someone pretty much came and put a road block in the way,” Otis said. Jeff Todd joined the CBS4 team in 2011 covering the Western Slope in the Mountain Newsroom. Since 2015 he’s been working across the Front Range in the Denver Headquarters. Follow him on Twitter @CBS4Jeff.

Jake Butt Bringing Smiles To Broncos

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Trevor Siemian broke into a wide grin when asked about seeing Jake Butt line up and finally run some routes this week. The versatile tight end from Michigan blew out his right knee against Florida State in the Orange Bowl. Now healthy, he could be the elixir for much of what’s ailing a sputtering offense that’s managed a single touchdown in each of the Broncos’ last three games. Butt can open up the middle of the field, take pressure off Demaryius Thomas and help the offensive line keep Siemian safe. Coach Vance Joseph isn’t sure how much Butt will add to or change the offense, “but we drafted Jake because he was a playmaker and he was a blocker, also. And that’s rare to find a young tight end who can block and catch balls. He’s a big target. He can run vertically. He’s got great ball skills.” Siemian likes the sneak peek so far. “It was good,” Siemian said of Butt’s practice debut . “I had to give him a hard time every now and again, first time being out there, but it was good.” Instagram Photo The Broncos even told Butt to hit the brakes. “We had to tell him to slow down a few times,” offensive coordinator Mike McCoy said Thursday. “But it’s great. You love his mind-set, you love the way he prepares, you love everything about him. So, we’re excited to get him out there whenever he’s ready to go.” Winner of the 2016 John Mackey Award bestowed on the nation’s top tight end, Butt was heralded as the headliner of this year’s bumper crop of tight ends that was compared to the 1983 QB class. But he didn’t join O.J. Howard, Evan Engram and David Njoku as first-round flashes, slipping instead to the fifth round where Broncos general manager John Elway grabbed him with the 145th overall pick. Unlike several other teams who felt Butt would basically need a redshirt year in the pros, the Broncos medical staff was confident he’d be back by midseason. More than nine months after undergoing surgery to repair his torn ACL, Butt made his practice debut this week. The Broncos (3-2) can activate him anytime but it’s almost certain he won’t play Sunday against the Chargers (2-4). “He hasn’t played enough football to play an NFL game,” Joseph said, “so, hopefully he continues to get in football shape and he can play next week or the week after.” Butt may not have his stamina yet but he said “it felt good to shake off some of the rust.” “In terms of knowing the offense, I feel pretty good,” he said. “It just feels good to be back out there and get the chance to do my job.” LYNCH UPDATE: Joseph said quarterback Paxton Lynch is throwing every day now as he builds strength in his sprained throwing shoulder. “He’s still a little sore after he throws, so it’s not totally healed yet,” Joseph said. “We’re going to take it slow with him to make sure he’s right before he comes back to play.” Lynch seems a prime candidate for IR with Ray and Butt primed to return to the active roster, but Joseph demurred when asked if he could keep three QBs. “I’m concerned about today and tomorrow and Sunday,” Joseph said. “When that time comes we’ll discuss it but everything’s possible, right?” COLORFUL TALIB: The Chargers will wear powder blue this weekend, so Aqib Talib said his favorite jerseys were the creamsicle ones he wore in Tampa Bay at the start of his career. “They’re real smooth, old school, remind you a lot of the Sapp-Ronde dominant days,” he said. Many NFL fans consider those the ugliest. “Nah, they don’t know how to wear them,” countered Talib. “Look at my films. When I had them on, I looked nice.”

Notes: Thomas returned to practice Thursday after taking a day off to rest his sore right calf. … LB Brandon Marshall (shoulder) and TE A.J. Derby also returned to practice. Derby missed Wednesday to attend the birth of his daughter. … Joseph on Siemian’s diving miss on Janoris Jenkins’ pick-6 that sent the QB to the locker room to check on his left shoulder: “I don’t blame Trevor for trying to tackle a guy. He should try that.” By ARNIE STAPLETON (© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) 

Trading Scars for Art: Breast Cancer Survivors Get Inked

By Laura Phillips EDGEWATER, Colo. (CBS4) – For many breast cancer patients, a mastectomy is life-saving and life-changing procedure. Whether the women get reconstructive surgery or not, the procedure leaves scars. Now some women are choosing to cover their scars with art.
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On Wednesday, a local tattoo studio donated their time, and ink, to some pretty incredible women. Non-profit organization Personal Ink, known as “P.ink,” teamed up with All Sacred Tattoo in Edgewater to give six survivors complimentary tattoos.
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“It’s something that allows us to reclaim our relationship with a mirror, our relationship with our lovers and to just love our bodies again,” said Karen Richards. Richards is a 15-year breast cancer survivor and organizer of the “P.ink Day” event. This year alone, there are P.ink Day events in 13 cities with 68 artists creating tattoos for 66 survivors.
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Andrea Ema was 31 years old when she had her mastectomy. That was 31 years ago. “Back in the day you weren’t given a lot of options,” Ema said, “I had a radical mastectomy. My lymphnodes were removed. It was treated very aggressively. I felt kind of butchered, but I survived. And that’s the important thing.” Ema read about “P.ink Day” on Facebook in 2013. She put in her application and got an appointment at this year’s event. She traveled here from the Chicago area and says it’s an opportunity she couldn’t pass up. “One thing about having this mastectomy tattoo is that it’s something that I’m doing for me. One hundred percent for me. Nobody else. Not my business. Not my family. Not my friends. It’s mine and own it,” Ema said. Many of the tattoo artists participating in the event have long wait lists.
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Shop owner Aries Rhysing says he loves celebrating survival stories. He said, “Cancer is something that has touched my family to a profound degree. I’m the oldest living member of my family. Everyone else has passed away form cancer, including my own mother. So for me survivors are particularly special.” It’s not just the artists who made donations. Brother Mobile Solutions is a company out of Westminster. They co-sponsored the event and donated a PocketJet mobile thermal full-page printer, then showed the artists how to use the device to create detailed stencils of the artwork. The breast cancer survivors may have walked into the tattoo shop with scars, but they walked out with a new sense of empowerment. “The pure joy and the emotion that bubbles up out of these women when they first see the complete artwork on these bodies that have been just ravaged by cancer, it’s nothing I could really describe,” Richards said, “The women come in unsure of themselves, but they come out like warriors and it’s an amazing thing to witness.” LINK: All Sacred Tattoo Studio Laura Phillips produces CBS4 News at 10 and various special projects. She has been producing news in Denver since 2006. Follow her on Twitter @LA_Phillips.

Annual Fundraiser Brings Opportunity To See ‘Hamilton’

DENVER (CBS4) – The Denver Center for the Performing Arts announced the date of its annual Saturday Night Alive fundraiser Thursday night. Organizers will hold the highly-anticipated event on March 3, 2018.
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2017 Saturday Night Alive (credit: Denver Center for the Performing Arts)

Last year, the fundraiser helped raise more than $1.2 million for DCPA education programs which “give 106,000 students the opportunity to take their first step toward changing their lives and transforming the world around them,” said the organization in a press release.
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2017 Saturday Night Alive (credit: Denver Center for the Performing Arts)

Tickets start at $1,000 which includes a donation to the DCPA, a luxury silent auction, dinner in the Seawall Grand Ballroom and a viewing of “Hamilton” at The Buell Theatre that same night.  
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Performance of “Hamilton”(credit: DCPA)

“Being able to celebrate that with Hamilton, a show that is equally passionate about Arts Education, is an exciting opportunity for donors,” said DCPA President and CEO, Janice Sinden.
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2017 Saturday Night Alive (credit: Denver Center for the Performing Arts)

An estimated $21 million has helped DCPA programs over the last three decades.
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Tickets for Saturday Night Alive go on sale at the end of November. Tickets to see “Hamilton” in Denver go on sale after the first of next year.

Neighborhood Bears Causing Problems In High Country

ASPEN, Colo. (CBS4) – Those living in an Aspen neighborhood have two new furry neighbors. Erik Larson snapped pictures of two light-colored and darker-colored bears in the ABC neighborhood.
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He says he sees them every day. The two have been named Louie and Fred.
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Larson told the Aspen Times he saw Louie climb into Volkswagon Beetle, so he walked to the stranger’s car and hit it with his hand in an effort to scare the bear away. It worked. Louie walked away after that. But Larson says Louie eventually came back and was back inside the car. “They will get into your vehicle every chance they get,” said ReRe Baker, Pitkin County’s animal safety director.
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Aspen police say they’ve responded to 77 bear-related calls in October alone. Colorado Parks and Wildlife has euthanized 18 bears this year through September. Experts say more and more bears are coming around because of lack of food in the mountains.