News, June 13th

BLACK FOREST FIRE DEEMED STATE’S MOST DESTRUCTIVE

Colorado Springs—The Black Forest Fire near Colorado Springs is now officially the worst in state history. New estimates coming from authorities say at least 360 homes have been destroyed by the blaze this week and that number is expected to rise. The fire is burning not far from last summer’s Waldo Canyon fire that leveled 347 homes. Officials say close to 80 homes are threatened as the fire continues to rage out of control. It has nearly doubled in size in the last 24 hours to 15 thousand acres. The fire has become a top national priority with the military providing equipment and personnel including four helicopters, seven fire trucks, four bulldozers, a pair of c-130 slurry bombers and nearly three dozen firefighters. Fort Carson, the Air Force Academy, Peterson Air Force Base, Cheyenne Mountain Air Station, Buckley Air Force Base and the 302nd Airlift Wing are all helping to fight the Black Forest Fire.

ASPEN MAN INJURED IN PARAGLIDING ACCIDENT

Aspen—A paragliding accident on Aspen Mountain seriously injured a local man yesterday afternoon. Authorities say the man, who’s name was not revealed, sustained injuries to his back, abdomen and ribs and was flown to a Denver hospital. According to reports, just after take-off, the man’s canopy got tangled with the control lines and the chute only opened partially.

NO SIGN OF MISSING MESA VERDE HIKER

MANCOS (AP) – A search of cliffs and trails has failed to turn up any sign of a Texas man missing since Sunday in Mesa Verde National Park. Park spokeswoman Betty Lieurance said Thursday rescuers are continuing to search canyons and trails for 51-year-old Mitchell Stehling of Goliad, Texas. Stehling was reported missing by relatives, who are at the park awaiting word.

HICKENLOOPER NOT REAL POPULAR AFTER DUNLAP DEATH PENALTY DECISION

DENVER (AP) – A new poll suggests Colorado voters strongly support the death penalty but are evenly split over whether Gov. John Hickenlooper deserves re-election. The Quinnipiac (KWIHN’-uh-pee-ak) University poll says more than two-thirds of Colorado voters think the death penalty should stay on the books. Just 24 percent want it abolished. Hickenlooper last month indefinitely suspended the death sentence of Nathan Dunlap. Dunlap killed four people at a Chuck E. Cheese in 1993 and was scheduled to be executed in August.
Republicans were fiercely critical of the decision. The poll said it was opposed by 67 percent of voters. The survey also suggested Hickenlooper is neck-and-neck with his possible Republican challengers in next year’s gubernatorial race.