10 Sweet Leaf marijuana dispensary employees formally charged in ‘looping’ scheme

DENVER – Ten employees arrested earlier this month in a sweep of Sweet Leaf marijuana dispensaries in Denver and Aurora have been formally charged with varying degrees of marijuana distribution.

Five of those charged face felony charges of marijuana distribution of more than four ounces, while the other five face misdemeanor charges for distribution of more than one ounce. Continue reading

Independent probe shows standard procedures violated in warrantless Longmont K-9 apartment searches

LONGMONT, Colo. – An independent investigation into the warrantless police K-9 searches done earlier this year at a Longmont subsidized housing unit found the two K-9 handlers and their superior violated standard procedures in getting consent to enter eight apartments.

The independent investigation was done by the Weld County Sheriff’s Office and was released Wednesday as part of a settlement between the city of Longmont and the ACLU of Colorado, which was announced mid-November.

Denver7 broke the story about allegations that Longmont officers and their K-9s had gone along with Longmont Housing Authority workers during a May inspection at The Suites, and entered people’s apartments without a warrant. Continue reading

Judge allows testing to resume immediately on issue-plagued RTD G-Line

DENVER – The Regional Transportation District’s Gold Line will be able to start some limited testing on the G-Line immediately after a judge on Tuesday granted RTD’s motion to resume tests.

Testing has been on hold since July after the last round of testing as RTD worked to fix technology issues that have plagued the system for the line’s crossing arms along both the G-Line and A-Line.

An administrative judge for the Public Utilities Commission said Tuesday though that RTD can immediately start testing again, though only along the lines of the plan it filed in March. Continue reading

Denver man sentenced to life plus 128 years for murder, shooting at police

DENVER – A Denver man will spend the rest of his life in prison for a November 2015 murder at a house party and for shooting at police officers six months later, and he still faces further felony charges in other cases.

Darius Ratcliff, 21, was earlier this month to life in prison without parole, plus 48 years, after he was convicted earlier this month of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder stemming from the 2015 party shooting. Continue reading

Lakewood man arrested on suspicion of child abuse that led to infant daughter’s death

LAKEWOOD, Colo. – Police arrested a man Thursday on suspicion of child abuse five months after his 3-month-old daughter died with unexplained injuries.

Kelly Ray Kerr, 38, was arrested by authorities at his Lakewood home and is being held on suspicion of child abuse resulting in the death of his infant daughter, Olivia Hobbs. Continue reading

Colorado children’s health insurance program gets funding extension through February

DENVER – Colorado’s children health insurance program will be funded through at least February, as the state budget committee approved emergency funding that will temporarily stop cancellation notices from being sent out next week.

The Joint Budget Committee on Thursday approved Gov. John Hickenlooper’s request for $9.6 million to continue covering the Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+), which provides health insurance coverage for around 75,000 children and about 800 expectant mothers in Colorado who don’t qualify for Medicaid. Continue reading

Colorado Democrats vote against stopgap spending bill with no long-term DACA, CHIP fixes

DENVER – Congress voted Thursday to pass a continuing spending bill that will fund the federal government through Jan. 19 when it is signed by President Trump, but all of Colorado’s Democratic delegation voted against the measure, saying Congress should stay and extend programs for young immigrants and children’s health insurance before going home for the holidays.

In the House, Reps. Diana DeGette, Ed Perlmutter and Jared Polis voted against another funding extension, while Sen. Michael Bennet made the same choice in the Senate. All four House Republicans and Sen. Cory Gardner voted in favor of the temporary package. Continue reading

Flake says bipartisan DACA talks, which include Colorado’s senators, to Senate floor in January

DENVER – The bipartisan talks to get DACA extended in Congress before March, some of which include involvement from both of Colorado’s U.S. senators, will be brought to the Senate floor in January, Sen. Jeff Flake says he was told by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Flake made the announcement Wednesday after the Senate and House passed a sweeping tax cut package.

“I am also pleased that the Majority Leader has committed to bring the bipartisan DACA bill we are currently negotiating to the Senate floor in January,” Flake said Wednesday, adding that he was happy the GOP tax bill lowers the corporate tax rate.

Denver7 first reported earlier this month that Flake, an Arizona Republican who isn’t seeking re-election, was working with Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., and Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., to put together a DACA deal that would include the Dream Act and some border security measures. The team had initially sought to have a deal by the year’s end, but that now appears unlikely. Continue reading