Aurora

Esther Honig

Immigration and Customs Enforcement invited journalists to visit their detention center in Aurora Friday. The facility, run by private contractor GEO Group, has been at the center of a string of recent stories in the area, from holding parents that were separated from their children at the border to quarantines for outbreaks of mumps and chickenpox, to local and national politicians calling for more oversight at the facility.

An administrator at a suburban Denver high school was arrested after police said he brought a handgun to the school and threatened other staff members.

Tushar Rae was arrested on charges of carrying a concealed weapon at a school and making violent threats, The Aurora Sentinel reported Friday.

Geo Group, Inc

Dozens of young children were reunited with their parents yesterday after being separated at the border under the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy. The government is still working to reunite many more children with their parents, some of whom are being held at a detention center in Aurora, Colorado.

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[Updated June 12, 2018, 3:25 p.m.] The cities of Lakewood and Wheat Ridge also filed a lawsuit against the nation's largest opioid manufacturers, including Purdue Pharma, Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Cephalon, Johnson & Johnson, Janssen, Endo and Mallinckrodt, in U.S. District Court in Denver on June 8.

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Boulder County and 12 other local governments want to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable for skyrocketing rates of opioid abuse, overdoses and deaths in their communities. According to the Denver Post , they plan to file a lawsuit to force the companies to pay a penalty and change their practices for marketing the drugs.

Luke Runyon / KUNC

Campfires, sing-alongs and… the undead?

It might not be the most natural pairing, but it’s the exact combination that sets zombie apocalypse camp in Aurora, Colo. apart.

Luke Runyon / KUNC/Harvest Public Media

The streets of Edgewater, Colorado, aren’t paved in green, but the city’s mayor says they might as well be.

After an influx of tax revenue from five retail marijuana shops, the small community of 5,300 people just west of Denver repaved every street in town. But that’s just the start. Mayor Kris Teegardin estimates the city’s coffers will pull in $1.2 million this year, a combination of its own sales taxes on the drug’s sales, and redistributed money from state taxes. That amount makes up roughly a sixth of the city’s total annual budget.

It’s an extreme example of marijuana tax dollars at work, best seen in the city’s plans for a multi-million dollar civic center with a new police station, library and fitness center. Teegardin says marijuana tax revenue will pay for half.

Luke Runyon / KUNC/Harvest Public Media

Few things are more valuable to a farmer in the arid West than irrigation water. Without it, the land turns back into its natural state: dry, dusty plains. If a fast-growing city is your neighbor, then your water holds even more value.

Farm families in Western states like California and Colorado are increasingly under pressure to sell their water. It’s been coined “buy and dry,” as water is diverted from farm fields and instead used to fill pipes in condos and subdivisions.

Buy and dry deals are usually cut behind closed doors, in quiet, unassuming meetings. A city approaches a farmer, or a farmer approaches a city, and strikes a deal. But a recent public auction in Loveland, Colorado threw the doors wide open, bringing myriad bidders and interests into one room to duke it out. It gives a glimpse of the unique stresses and opportunities farmers face in parched portions of the West.

Algr

A civil trial is now underway questioning whether the Aurora movie theater bears any liability for the mass shooting where James Holmes killed 12 people and wounded 70 others. The plaintiffs argue Cinemark failed to provide armed guards and other security measures that would have prevented the July 2012 attack at a midnight showing of the Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises.

James Holmes will get life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The jurors who convicted him of murdering a dozen people and trying to kill 70 more at a midnight movie three years ago could not agree on a death sentence.

The jury of nine women and three men deliberated for less than seven hours over two days.

District Attorney George Brauchler, who had sought to have Holmes executed, said, "I still think death is justice for what that guy did ... but I respect the outcome." He also said the jury did "a hell of a job."

Jurors in the trial of Aurora Theater shooter James Holmes did not come to a unanimous final sentencing decision. As a result, the court will impose the sentence of life in prison for Holmes' killing of 12 and injuring of 70 others in 2012. Even though he was spared the death penalty, the trial is likely to once again spark debate over whether Colorado should even have the penalty on the books.

The last attempt to repeal the state's death penalty was in 2013. It was backed by former Representative Claire Levy (D-Boulder).

"I think it's immoral, it's ineffective. I think it doesn't belong in a modern system of justice. I don't think we impose it in a fair impartial way," said Levy. "People don't get executed. They sit waiting the outcome for decades."

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