Latest Colorado news, sports, business and entertainment


Man poses with girl shortly before slaying

WESTMINSTER, Colo. (AP) — Police say a picture was posted on Facebook of a man and a 19-month-old girl shortly before the toddler was fatally shot and the man seriously wounded.

Westminster police spokeswoman Cheri Spottke (SPOT-kee) says the man in the picture, Merrick McKoy, is the lone suspect in Monday's slaying of 19-month Mia McKoy-Phanthavongsa. Spottke says investigators were able to interview the mother, Kim Phanthavongsa, early Wednesday.

Spottke says Phanthavongsa confirmed in the interview that the picture was taken either "near or at the time" of the slaying.

Spottke says other details, including confirmation that McKoy posted the picture and that he shot himself, were not being released because of the ongoing investigation.


Car windows broken on Colo. highways investigated

GOLDEN, Colo. (AP) — Authorities say three drivers have had their car windows shattered while on highways in Jefferson County and officials are asking the public for help to solve the cases.

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office says no one was injured and investigators have not found any projectiles near the scene.

The sheriff's office says that on July 24, a driver going east on C-470 at Alameda Parkway had the passenger window of his truck shattered. On Nov. 14, another driver going south on Highway 285 near Highway 8 heard a gunshot and the driver's side window of his car shattered. On Nov. 19, a driver heard a boom and her rear driver's side window shattered on C-470 near Alameda Parkway.

It's unclear if any of the incidents are related.


Colo. man sues police over fatal dog shooting

(Information in the following story is from: The Pueblo Chieftain,

DENVER (AP) — A man whose dog was fatally shot by a Commerce City police officer last year is suing the department.

Pueblo resident Gary Branson says the officer was negligent and did not have a legal right to kill his dog, a pit bull mix named Chloe.

Officer Robert Price was acquitted last month of animal cruelty charges. Police maintain that Price was unable to find the person responsible for Chloe and that the dog was agitated and uncontrolled.

The Pueblo Chieftain reports Wednesday that Branson argues Chloe was not being aggressive. The dog was being restrained with a catch pole noose by an animal control officer when it was shot.

A neighbor captured the shooting on video.

Branson is seeking monetary damages. The lawsuit was filed in federal court.


CSU sports out of compliance with Title IX

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Education says Colorado State University did not meet gender-equity requirements because it didn't offer enough athletic scholarships for women.

The Coloradoan reports Wednesday that CSU entered into a resolution agreement in January to resolve the complaint, filed last year. The complaint, which is anonymous, alleged CSU violated Title IX, the law requiring gender equity in every educational program that receives federal funding.

An audit commissioned by the university last year found that about 57 percent of scholarship funds went to male student athletes during 2011-12, while female student athletes received 42.7 percent.

CSU says agreeing to a resolution does not mean they're admitting to wrongdoing. To meet federal standards, CSU is eliminating women's water polo and replacing it this year with women's soccer to generate more scholarships.


School drops religion-related gift program

(Information in the following story is from: The Denver Post,

DENVER (AP) — A charter school in Douglas County says it will no longer participate in a Christmas donation program sponsored by a religious organization after a humanist group threated a lawsuit.

The Denver Post reported Wednesday that SkyView Academy is dropping its participation in Operation Christmas Child, a program of The Samaritan's Purse, a non-denominational Christian organization.

The program sends hygiene items, candy, gifts and a Christian message to disadvantaged children around the world.

The American Humanist Association confirmed Wednesday it asked the school to drop the program, saying it violated the constitutionally mandated separation of church and state. SkyView is considered a public school.

Lorrie Grove, president of the SkyView board, says board members were disappointed by the threat of a lawsuit.


Flood-damaged Colo. highways to reopen before goal

DENVER (AP) — Gov. John Hickenlooper says all Colorado highways damaged by September's massive floods will be reopened before Thanksgiving, well ahead of the Dec. 1 goal the state had set.

The governor said Wednesday that Colorado Highway 7 between Lyons and Allenspark will reopen at 10 a.m. Tuesday, making it the last highway closed by the floods to reopen. U.S. Highway 34 between Estes Park and Loveland is reopening Thursday.

About 485 miles of highways were destroyed or damaged by flooding. In all, 27 highways were closed.

The Colorado Department of Transportation worked with the state patrol, the National Guard, and local governments to reopen the highways.