Apr 17, 2014 fbook icon twitter icon rss icon


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11New Hampshire Likely To Repeal Anti-Adultery Law

Although cheating on a spouse is largely considered a moral misstep, it’s not typically considered a breach of the law. In New Hampshire, however, adultery is currently a class B misdemeanor that can lead to fines up to $1,200. The antiquated law, of course, is rarely enforced. Still, lawmakers in the state are expected to pass a new bill that would repeal the law. 

According to Newser, the bill to repeal the statute was introduced by Rep. Tim O’Flaherty (D) and easily passed in the state House of Representatives. 

“I don’t think there’s any appetite in New Hampshire to use police powers to enforce a marriage,” O’Flaherty said during a recent hearing with the Senate Judiciary Committee. 

If the bill passes the Senate, Gov. Maggie Hassan is likely to sign it into law. 

Tthe law has been in place in New Hampshire for over 200 years but hasn’t been enforced for over 10 years. According to the Washington Post, the New Hampshire Supreme Court ruled in 2003 that homosexual adultery could not be covered by the law, as it was written to cover “intercourse from which spurious issues may arise,” such as disputes involving children conceived during affairs. 

If New Hampshire repeals the law, it will follow the path of Colorado, which repealed a similar law last year.

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11Man Fatally Falls After Eating Pot Cookie In Colorado’s First Marijuana-Related Death

The autopsy of a 19-year-old who fell off the balcony of a Denver hotel earlier this month reveals he is Colorado’s first marijuana-related death since the drug became legal in January.

The report, released Wednesday, says Levy Thamba, a student from Wyoming, died from the March 11 fall but lists “marijuana intoxication” as a “significant condition” that contributed to his death.

Thamba, a native of the Republic of Congo, was taking classes at Northwest College in Powell, Wyo., as an exchange student in January. His educational focus was engineering and advanced mathematics, according to school officials.

He was reportedly visiting Denver on spring break with several other classmates.

He was staying at the Holiday Inn Denver East, where he and at least one other person consumed a marijuana cookie.

Denver Office of the Medical Examiner spokeswoman Michelle Weiss-Samaras said that shortly after they ate it, “another kid got sick and [Thamba] had this happen.”

"That's all we had," Weiss-Samaras said. "He was fine, he was normal, he was an easy-going kid, and then he ate this cookie and went over the balcony. And this was not a kid who was suicidal."

While his death is “a little unique,” she said, everyone, especially parents, should know the risks.

"We don't know how this will affect you," she said. "We all react differently."

Sources: WWMT, Westword

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11Deer Trail, Colo. Residents Shoot Down Drone Hunting Proposal

Residents of Deer Trail, Colo., voted down a proposal Monday that would have allowed them to shoot down unmanned drones. According to a story by Denver ABC affiliate, 7 News, 73 percent of voters in the Eastern Colorado community rejected the ordinance that would have allowed the city to issue hunting permits for drones owned by the federal government.

"We do not want drones in town," said Phillip Steel, who drafted the ordinance as a symbolic protest. "They fly in town, they get shot down.”

The law, had it been passed, would have paid out a $100 bounty for a drone with U.S. government markings. 

Steel drafted his proposal last year after learning that the Federal Aviation Administration had “loosened regulations that would allow the flight of drones in domestic airspace.” 

Congress asked the FAA to put together a plan that would help integrate drones into U.S. airspace by September, 2015. Thirteen states have already issued laws regarding the use of the vehicles and others are being considered in at least three more states.

The FAA monitored the special election closely and issued a statement prior to the vote. 

"Shooting at an unmanned aircraft could result in criminal or civil liability, just as would firing at a manned airplane," it read.

In order to get his proposal on a ballot, Steel had to get 19 residents of the 550-resident town to sign a petition. He turned in 23 signatures. But not all residents supported the proposal.

Daniel Domanoski told CNN in December that the ordinance was a “ridiculous thing and embarrassing to the town.”

Others embraced the idea as a novelty and thought that passage of the law could promote tourism. 

“This could bring in some free money -- that’s why I’m all for it,” Deer Trail’s Mayor Frank Fields told Businessweek.

It is estimated that by 2020 there could be as many as 7,500 commercial drones operating in U.S. airspace.

Sources: 7 News Denver, CNN, Businessweek


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11Colorado Mom Fakes Her Son's Cancer And Steals Over $25,000 In Donations

A Colorado mother was arrested after it was discovered that she took in over $25,000 in donations from her community because she lied about her son being sick with cancer.

Sandy Thi Nguyen, 28, allegedly convinced her own son, the rest of her family, and the community at large that the 6-year-old boy had a rare form of terminal cancer.

"We don't have any reason to believe that anyone other than her knew the truth," said Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Captain Larry Etheridge. "The little boy believed he had cancer. The rest of the family believed he had cancer."

According to reports, the Department of Human Services received information alleging that the sick boy was not actually sick. The sheriff’s office launched the investigation on March 7 and discovered that the woman had made up the story in order to steal money from people. The investigation determined that Nguyen “did convince her son, family and community that her 6-year-old son had cancer and was receiving cancer treatment since approximately September 2012.”

Massive fundraising efforts took place in Nguyen’s community once she was able to convince her family that the young boy had cancer. The mother started a Facebook page to gain support from people, and the page featured pictures of the boy with a shaved head to look as if he had been going through chemotherapy. Donations came pouring in from fundraisers at the boy’s school, Rolling Hills Elementary, and the family eventually collected more than $25,000.

"Over the last several months, Ms. Nguyen accepted at least $16,000.00 from that account, as well as a trip to Disneyland for herself and family, which was paid for by the donated funds,” said the sheriff’s office, adding that after interviewing her, Nguyen "admitted that her son does not have cancer, and stated that some of the money [$23,000) recovered from the residence was from donations received.”

Nguyen said that her son was diagnosed with stage three Acute Myelogenous Leukemia and had received 317 days of chemo, seven days of radiation, and a number of other serious procedures in order to fight the cancer. An October 2013 5K walk was even held in honor of the boy, and according to the walk’s website, they were informed that the boy only had around eight months to live.

Rolling Hills Elementary Principal Darla Thompson sent a letter to parents after police informed her that Nguyen had scammed the community.

"We are deeply troubled by these allegations and saddened to learn that an adult may have taken advantage of an innocent child and our school community,” wrote Thompson. “But the allegations do not, in any way, diminish the concern and support demonstrated by the Rolling Hills community for a child believed to be facing a life-threatening challenge. It is important for our community to continue to show support and compassion for this child, who is also a victim in this case. The child was wrongfully led to believe that he was ill, and he was not responsible for the parent’s alleged actions.”

After being arrested on felony charges of theft and criminal impersonation to gain benefit, Nguyen posted $10,000 bond and was released for the time being.

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11Colorado Mining Corp. Spills 20,000 Gallons of Uranium Waste Amid Negotiations To Clean Up 15 Million Tons More

A broken pipe at a dismantled Colorado mill spilled 20,000 gallons of uranium waste just as the corporate owner is negotiating with state and federal authorities to clean up another 15 million tons of radioactive uranium tailings.

The Colorado mining and milling corporation Cotter Corp. is working with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) to negotiate one of the nation's longest-running cleanups in history. The agencies are expected to help Cotter clean up, gather data, and figure out what to do with 15 million tons of radioactive uranium tailings.

They could remove the tailings, which would cost more than $895 million, or bury the waste.

In the meantime, a 6-inch plastic pipe, part of a 30-year-old system on Cotter’s 2,538-acre property in Canon City, broke and spewed 20,000 gallons of uranium-laced waste.

State officials say the spill was contained to Cotter’s property, but a Feb. 20 report shows groundwater uranium levels in the Canon City neighborhood of Lincoln Park “were the highest recorded for this location.”

"This isn't acceptable," Fremont County Commissioner Tim Payne said of the spill, which is Cotter's fourth since 2010. "[CDPHE] told us it is staying on Cotter's property. But 20,000 gallons? You have to worry about that getting into groundwater."

In November, Cotter reported another spill of 4,000 to 9,000 gallons.

CDPHE lab analyst Jennifer Opila says Cotter’s system pumping toxic groundwater back so that it never leaves the site – posing no risk to public drinking water.

A community group, Colorado Citizens Against Toxic Waste, is pressing Cotter and the state for more facts about the spills and cleanup operations.

Energy Minerals Law Center attorney Travis Stills says the public deserves to know more.

"There's an official, decades-old indifference to groundwater protection and cleanup of groundwater contamination at the Cotter site — even though sustainable and clean groundwater for drinking, orchards, gardens and livestock remains important to present and future Lincoln Park residents," Stills said. "This community is profoundly committed to reclaiming and protecting its groundwater.”

Sources: The Coloradoan, Denver Post

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11Carjacker Leads Police On Wild High-Speed Chase (Video)

A crazed Colorado man carjacked three vehicles and led police on a wild high-speed chase this morning. The chase was recorded in shockingly clear quality by a camera in a following helicopter.

According to police, suspect Ryan Stone carjacked a maroon Ford Edge SUV from a Longmont, Colorado gas station this morning. The car had a four-year-old boy inside. Stone sped away with the child, leaving the mother at the gas station.

Stone tore through rush-hour traffic at breakneck pace as police followed. He soon ended up on a nearby highway where he decided it was time to ditch the Ford for another car. Stone rear-ended a minivan and threw the van’s driver out of the car.

He then sped across a median in the minivan before weaving through oncoming traffic on the highway. The chase continued for some time before Stone switched cars again.

To carjack the third car, he side-swiped a woman in a silver Toyota. As the driver pulled over, Stone got out of the minivan and approached her vehicle pretending to mad about the wreck. Stone opened the Toyota’s door and threw the driver to the ground before hopping in and speeding away.

Stone continued to run from police until he crashed into a car at an intersection. He then jumped out of the car and ran from police. He was detained minutes later after failing to jump over a fence.

The child from Stone’s first car-jacking was unharmed and is being reunited with his mother. Stone is wanted on drug charges. 

Sources: NY Daily News, The Denver Channel

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11Man Rescued From Flooded Creek Suing Colorado's Broomfield County

A man who was rescued from a creek during the floods that took place in Colorado last year is suing the county for taking too long to rescue him. 

The man, Roy Ortiz, found his vehicle submerged in a Broomfield County creek after hitting a washed out area of the road on U.S. 287. Ortiz was trapped in his vehicle for around two hours, ABC 7 News Denver reports. 

Ever since filing suit against the county, Ortiz has been receiving backlash for suing those who were simply trying to help him. Ortiz insists that he should not be criticized for the situation.

"People react like I am a bad man for filing this," Ortiz said. "It's not like that. I just tried to defend my rights. My name is being defamed; I've been working for the same company for 17 years, I'm co-pastor of a church in Aurora. People know me. I've never caused trouble."

Ortiz’s attorney, Ed Ferszt, explained that this lawsuit should not be viewed as his client's being ungrateful for the work his rescuers did to save his life. Instead, people should note that the length of time that it took to find Ortiz and remove him from his vehicle demonstrated negligence.

“Of course he was thankful because those divers did have a major role to play in saving his life that day," Ferszt said. "That doesn’t negate the fact that a mistake may have been made. I can understand why there’s a lot of furor over people thinking that he’s biting the hand that feeds. Does that mean the officers of North Metro Fire are above reproach?”

According to Ortiz, one of the reasons he is suing the rescuers is because he has accumulated at least $40,000 of medical bills directly related to the incident. 

“I’m really happy to be alive, but I’m looking for some help with my bills,” Ortiz explained. 

Ortiz also explained that the county did act with negligence, despite much of the backlash he has received for suing them. Ortiz claims that the rescue mission took place over the course of longer than an hour, and the divers still did not see Ortiz until they hooked up tow cables to his car. Other vehicles had been submerged in the water after hitting the same washed-out spot on the road, diverting the divers’ attention to other vehicles and individuals.

According to the Huffington Post, Ortiz is suing for damages up to $500,000.

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11Testing Reveals Inconsistency In Edible Marijuana Products In Colorado

Since the recreational use of marijuana became legal in Colorado at the beginning of the year, businesses have been trying to keep up with demand for new products. As that demand increases, many believe that further state regulation is going to be necessary to protect consumers and keep the quality of new products consistent. A new story in the Denver Post claims that recent testing of edible marijuana products revealed levels of the euphoria-inducing THC were inconsistent with product labeling. 

One company, Dr. J’s Hash Infusion, had two of its products tested. One was a milk chocolate Star Barz that carried a label claiming the product contained 100 mg of THC. Tests revealed that the bar only contained 0.37 mg. A similar product with the same claim of 100 mg of THC, the Winter Mint bar, contained only 0.28 mg. 

Joseph Evans of Steep Hill Halent, the laboratory that conducted the tests, said it shows that some companies, including Dr. J’s, need to work on their consistency.

"They need to work on their process," Evans said. "I don't know that it's irresponsible, but it's nonprofessional.”

A report by ABC News pointed out earlier this year that sales of edible marijuana-infused products were up 300 percent in Colorado since the drug became legal in the state. Owner of LoDo Wellness Center in Denver, Linda Andrews, said she was having trouble keeping such products on the shelf.

"We got a new supply in last week and sold out in an hour," Andrews told ABC.

Such high demand may be the culprit for inconsistent products. That is the claim of Dr. J’s owner Tom Sterlacci.

"We were making smaller batches prior to recreational [legalization], but the demand went so high that we are now making bigger batches," Sterlacci said. He claimed in the Denver Post story that the company changed its process in the last week to make batches more consistent with product labeling.

Dr. J’s has begun offering refunds on unopened products on a case-by-case basis while they iron out the new process.

Evans also says testing is becoming more consistent in the state but is not yet perfect. As the industry in Colorado continues to grow, he urges customers not to place too much faith in the numbers on the packages.

Sources: Denver Post, ABC News


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11School District Destroys Records Of Autistic Student To Hide Them From Family

The Poudre School District in Fort Collins, Colo., is under intense scrutiny after an investigation found officials from the district intentionally destroyed records of a special needs student in order to keep them away from his family.

The district’s actions were brought to light after the student’s father, corporate lawyer Ephraim Starr, filed an Open Records Act request with the school. Starr requested the educational records of his 9-year-old autistic son, Isaac, after the child started reverting back to problematic behaviors he hadn’t displayed in years. The behaviors started soon after Isaac was enrolled in the Poudre School District following the family’s move from California.

"He would throw 45-minute tantrums, things he had done when he was several years younger, that now started resurfacing again," said Starr. "He wasn't doing well in school. Things were getting much worse."

Starr’s Open Records request did turn up a number of documents, though they were not at all what the Starr’s expected to see. The family discovered that Sarah Belleau, the district’s director of integrated services, was telling school staff to delete all records they had on file for Isaac.

Here is one of Belleau’s emails to her special education coordinator from Dec. 9, 2010:

"Hi Gloria,

Please delete this e-mail when done…

Please ask all involved staff to delete AND destroy any e-mail or paper records related to this family. When they delete the e-mail, they need to then "empty the trash" Please have them do this immediately. All other records with the exception of the latest plan should be destroyed -- shred. The reason is to protect against an Open Records Request.

Thank you for doing this and for verbally communicating this with staff. I do not want this put in writing.


An email dated just days after Starr’s request shows that Isaac’s principal at Bacon Elementary, Joe Horky, was involved in the cover-up too. Horky mentioned both Belleau and Starr in an email and encouraged staff to use a code word when referring to the two in order to avoid the email from showing up in data searches.

“Student initials may not be the only/best answer to our email issue," read Horky’s email. "Please creatively think of something we may all be able to use as a 'code' word - haha!!”

He later reminded officials to delete all emails and records pertaining to Isaac in an email saying, “Delete your message!” “Delete your deleted!” and, “Delete your sent!”

Special Education Coordinator Gloria Hohrein told Colorado news station ABC 7 the officials deleted their messages out of fear “that he [Ephraim Starr] would bring a lawsuit against the school district. Because he wasn't getting the services he wanted."

As you would imagine, the Starrs feel incredibly betrayed by the district.

"I'd never seen a record like that in my life," Starr said. "I didn't know what to think. I felt like, so not only do we have every reason to be distrustful of these people, but by virtue of their approach to our son's special education they were intentionally destroying the very records on which we would like to rely to make sure his education was what he deserved."

The Starr family’s lawsuit against the Poudre District has cost taxpayers over $200,000. After finding the district illegally held records from the family, a judge ordered the district to pay the family’s $122,577 in attorney fees. The district also had to foot a $56,609 bill owed to a data recovery agency used in the investigation. The lawsuit has not yet come to a close.

"It's not merely unethical, unconscionable; it's fundamentally corrupt, I think," Starr said. "Parents throughout the district ought to be concerned that what the school district is telling parents is not the same as what's actually happening."

Sources: The Denver Channel, The Daily Caller

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11Pizza Driver Robbed, Has Car Stolen, And Is Fired All In One Weekend

A Papa John’s pizza driver was robbed at gunpoint, had his car stolen, and was fired from his job last weekend. And you thought you’ve had a bad couple of days.

Reza Abolhassani was delivering a pizza to an apartment complex Saturday night when two men approached him.

“I thought he was the customer waiting for the pizza,” Abolhassani said. “As I walked up the stairs, two men ran at me, said, ‘shhhh, where’s the money.’”

The men held Abolhassani at gun point.

“I just told them, ‘please don’t shoot me. I have a three year old kid,’” he said.

The men didn’t shoot Abolhassani, but they did steal all of his money and his 2006 Nissan Sentra. He reported the holdup to his shift manager, who put his call on hold. When his shift manager never got back to him, he reported the theft to police.

The next day, the Papa John’s store manager called him.

“He asked 'What happened? Why did you not put your money in the red box?' which he never gave me."

Drivers are never supposed to carry more than $20 cash on them at a time. The rest goes in the aforementioned red box. But according to Abolhassani, management didn’t give him a box.

“(The manager) gave me a box for about week, then took my name off of it and gave it to someone else,” he said.

Regardless, management fired Abolhassani for violating company policy.

“They said, ‘I’m sorry Reza. We know you’re a good driver, but we can’t keep you because it’s the policy,’” he said.

Abolhassani suspected from the start that the delivery he was making when he was robbed wasn’t legitimate.

“I told [the manager] before I left the store, ‘if I don’t come back in 20 minutes, please call the cops,” Abolhassani said.

One estimate claims two-thirds of pizza delivery driver robberies happen on fake orders made with the intention of robbing the driver.

Sources: 7 News, Baltimore Sun

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