Midday News Update

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  • (Golden-AP) -- Investigators from several agencies are on the scene of a deadly construction accident this morning, trying to figure out how a steel girder crushed a sport utility vehicle along Interstate 70 over the weekend.

    Three people died when the girder came out of nowhere and cut a Dodge Durango in two Saturday morning. The accident happened near the junction of I-70 and state Highway C-470.

    The prime contractor for the bridge expansion project, Asphalt Specialties, plans to issue a written statement later today. Jefferson County Sheriff's Department officials say they've received conflicting reports from witnesses about when things started to go wrong. Those include some accounts that the girder had been slowly bending for several days before it collapsed.

  • (Golden-AP) -- A family of three killed when a 40-ton steel girder sliced their vehicle in two on Saturday had reportedly moved to Colorado from New York just last year---hoping to find a safer place to raise a family.

    The Denver Post identified the victims as William and Anita Post, and their two-year-old daughter, Koby Ann. Jefferson County Coroner Carl Blesch declined to confirm the report, saying authorities are still working to identify the three. The Post cited an interview with Debra Crawford, Anita Post's cousin from Texas.

    Crawford said the Posts wanted to escape the rat race of New York, and settled in Evergreen because William Post had a cousin there. Crawford says relatives are planning for a funeral in North Carolina.

  • (Denver-AP) -- The state Supreme Court has upheld tough sentencing laws for vehicular homicide -- saying a statute aimed at providing treatment alternatives was never intended to ease the penalties for drivers.

    In a 5-to-2 decision, the court said it would make no sense to allow drunken drivers in fatal accidents to get off lightly. The case was brought by Scott Frazier, who pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide for causing the death of a friend in a motorcycle accident in 2001. He said his six-year sentence was too harsh.

    At the time of the accident, one statute prescribed a one-year county jail sentence, while another mandated four to twelve years in prison. Lawmakers later clarified the law to make it clear they never intended to reduce penalties when someone is killed in an accident.

  • (Denver-AP) -- A teenager accused in the stabbing deaths of two Denver men is scheduled to appear in court this morning to hear some of the charges against her.

    Amber Torrez, 19, was formally charged last week with first-degree murder in the killing of John Hand. The 55-year-old founder of Colorado Free University was found dead in his apartment March 28th.

    Torrez was charged with first-degree murder after deliberation, first-degree felony urder, aggravated robbery, forgery and criminal impersonation. Torrez was previously charged with first-degree murder in the death of 46-year-old Masfin Gezahgn. The body of the Denver cab driver was discovered March 29th.

  • (McAlester, Oklahoma-AP) -- The wife of the prosecution's star witness could testify for the defense today in the murder trial of alleged Oklahoma City bombing conspirator Terry Nichols.

    Lori Fortier is expected to be called by Nichols' attorneys as they try to show Nichols was backing out of the bombing plot. Fortier's husband is Michael Fortier. He testified earlier in the trial that bomber Timothy McVeigh tried to recruit him because Nichols was backing out.

    Michael Fortier is serving a 12-year prison sentence for knowing about the bombing plot and not telling authorities. Nichols is serving life in prison after his Denver federal
    conviction for the 1995 bombing. He now faces 161 state murder charges. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

  • (Denver-AP) -- Letters from the government hint that federal attorneys are investigating Home Depot stores in Colorado. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has alerted former Home Depot employees of a possible class-action lawsuit against the company.

    The lawsuit would center of allegations of discrimination and a hostile, retaliatory work environment at the company.

    Home Depot has 35 stores in Colorado that employ 7,000 people. Company officials haven't commented. In 1998, Home Depot agreed to a $65 million class-action settlement over complaints that it discriminated against female employees in ten western states.

  • (Air Force Academy-AP) -- The Air Force Academy's oversight board is living up to the promise of its new chairman to be more involved in academy affairs. The Board of Visitors had been criticized for largely being a ceremonial board, and not recognizing that there was a problem with female cadets being sexually assaulted.

    During two days of meetings this weekend, the board's members met with cadets, faculty and top administrators. They also took the first step towards changing their rules so any board members who miss meetings without a good reason can be kicked off the board.

  • (Denver-AP) -- At least 18 superintendents of small Colorado school districts plan to leave their jobs this summer. That's nearly two-thirds of the 29 Colorado superintendents who have announced plans to retire or resign, according to the Colorado Department of Education.

    A small district is defined as one with no more than 1,000 students. Small schools make up more than half of the 182 districts in Colorado. According to a 2003 report from the Colorado Association of School Executives, almost half of the rural superintendents last year who came from other districts say they left their jobs due to a lack of board support or pressure.

  • (Denver-AP) -- No word yet on the condition of a young girl who was hit in the head by a foul ball during yesterday's game between the Colorado Rockies and Philadelphia Phillies.

    The girl was sitting about 20 rows behind the Rockies' dugout on the first-base side of the stadium when she was struck in the seventh inning. Paramedics attended to her for about 10 minutes before putting her in a neck brace and taping her head to a stretcher. A paramedic says the girl was taken to Children's Hospital in Denver, but privacy laws prevented officials from releasing her name or condition.

  • (Boulder-AP) -- A report on the University of Colorado's athletic recruiting practices heads to regents today. A panel that was appointed to investigate CU's recruiting scandal will provide regents with the report. But it won't be available to the public until Wednesday. That's when members of the panel plan to discuss the findings with the regents.

    Regents formed the panel earlier this year to look into whether sex and alcohol played a role in the school's recruitment of football players. At least eight women have said they were sexually assaulted by players or recruits since 1997, though no charges have been filed.

    Last week, Attorney General Ken Salazar said his review turned up no fresh evidence warranting criminal charges.

  • (Frisco-AP) -- Forest Service officials say an American flag erected on a mountain near Frisco after the September 11th attacks may be removed. Hikers had erected a flag at nearly 13,000 feet on Peak One to remember victims of the 2001 attacks, but unknown vandals burned it last year.

    Forest Service officials have allowed a replacement flag to fly on Peak One, but now they're looking to remove Old Glory without inciting a backlash. Dillon District Ranger Rick Newton says he has trouble justifying a permanent memorial on the peak. Instead, he supports a memorial possibly in town.

  • (Denver-AP) -- The Colorado Rockies and the Philadelphia Phillies will wrap-up their four-game series this afternoon at Coors Field in Denver. The Rockies broke their three-game losing streak yesterday with a 7-to-6 home field win over the Phillies.

  • (Denver-AP) -- The Colorado Rockies have recalled right-hander Allan Simpson and sent infielder Aaron Miles to the Triple-A Colorado Springs Sky Sox. Colorado switched to a four-man rotation two weeks ago, but might be forced to abandon it after deciding to
    bring up Aaron Cook to start today.

  • (Salt Lake City-AP) -- The Colorado Springs Sky Sox will play the third game of their series against the Salt Lake Stingers tonight in Utah. A pair of bases-loaded walks in the eighth inning pushed the Stingers to a 5-to-3 win over the Sky Sox yesterday.

  • (Indianapolis-(AP) -- The Colorado Crush is now 9-and-5 after falling to the Indiana Firebirds yesterday, 59-to-56. Adrian McPherson threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Andy McCullough with 55 seconds left to give the Firebirds the victory.