News, October 25th

GOLDEN – 17 year old Austin Reed Sigg has confessed in the abduction and killing of a 10-year-old girl and in a separate attack on a runner in Westminster. Jefferson County District Attorney Scott Storey says they have “overwhelming” DNA evidence against the boy. Sigg made his first court appearance this morning in the death of Jessica Ridgeway and an assault on a 22-year-old female runner in May. He kept his head bowed most of the time, talking with his attorney but otherwise saying very little. Storey says the law prevents prosecutors from seeking the death penalty because Sigg is a juvenile, even though he is being prosecuted as an adult. Authorities have released few details about their investigation, and court documents have been sealed. A police custody report indicates Sigg was cooperative when he was arrested and waived his rights.

ASPEN – Even in Aspen, times are tough. An emergency fund that began
with 45 thousand dollars 10 months ago is now dry. Pitkin County commissioners voted to put another four thousand dollars in the emergency assistance fund to help folks pay for rent, utilities, transportation and other needs. Most of the money has gone for rental assistance. The county hopes the additional four thousand dollars will carry them through the rest of the year. Officials will talk about expanding the fund for 2013.

DENVER – If marijuana was legal in Colorado, it would put less strain on the criminal justice system according to supporters of Amendment 64. Pro-64 activists released a report today saying arrests for the petty offense of pot possession have more than doubled in Colorado in the last 25 years. Citing information from the FBI Uniform Crime Reports, the group says of those arrests, two-thirds were 25 or younger and over two-thirds were black or Latino. Amendment 64 has a long list of opponents including the Colorado Education Association and the County Sheriffs of Colorado.

WETMORE, Colo. (AP) – Some victims of the Wetmore wildfire that had to be evacuated from the small southern Colorado town are being allowed back in to inspect damage after the fire damaged at least 14 homes. U.S. Forest Service spokesman Ralph Bellah said Thursday the fire has destroyed about three square miles near the unincorporated town in Custer County. Nearly 400 people were evacuated after the fire broke out Tuesday and quickly grew in winds gusting up to 80 miles an hour. The fire forced authorities to go door-to-door to evacuate seven more homes in neighboring Pueblo County. Authorities there say most of those residents have been allowed to return home.