Latest Colorado news, sports, business and entertainment


Woman charged in deadly downtown Denver crash

DENVER (AP) — Prosecutors have charged a 25-year-old woman accused of a car crash that killed one pedestrian and injured two others last weekend.

The Denver District Attorney's office alleges that Andrea Milholm was driving drunk at the time of the accident at about 2:15 a.m. Saturday in downtown Denver. The crash killed 28-year-old Krista Pert.

Prosecutors on Friday charged Milholm with vehicular homicide, DUI, and assault charges. She's free on $50,000 bail and is due in court Nov. 8 to hear the charges against her.


DA can use Holmes' 1st statements to police

DENVER (AP) — Prosecutors will be allowed to use statements that Colorado theater shooting defendant James Holmes made to police immediately after his arrest.

The judge ruled Friday the statements can be used at Holmes' trial on murder and attempted-murder charges. Holmes pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. The 2012 attack killed 12.

Police say when they asked Holmes if he had an accomplice, he replied, "It's just me." Police also say Holmes told them bombs would go off in his apartment if wires were tripped.

The defense argued Holmes hadn't been read his rights and that his statements weren't voluntary. Prosecutors said police didn't have to read Holmes his rights because they urgently needed to know if there was another shooter. They denied he was coerced.

The judge agreed with prosecutors.


Gov's budget pays for disasters, more ed funds

DENVER (AP) — Gov. John Hickenlooper's proposed Colorado budget for next year is influenced by what the state has to pay for historic wildfires and flooding, but the improving economy is allowing for increases to education.

The Hickenlooper administration has been forced to use $122 million for the disasters this year. That's money that could've been used next year on other programs. However, there's enough money to increase funding per pupil by $223 next year to keep pace with inflation and student growth under Hickenlooper's proposal.

Hickenlooper is also proposing restoring higher education funding to exceed pre-recession levels.

Friday's proposed budget is just a first step. Lawmakers will spend months next year working on it.

The budget now doesn't account for next week's vote on a $1 billion tax increase for schools, and a marijuana tax.


Fliers delayed after Los Angeles airport shooting

Thousands of fliers were delayed Friday after a shooting at Los Angeles International Airport closed parts of the airport for hours.

Flights heading for Los Angeles, which had not yet taken off, were held at their gates by the Federal Aviation Administration. Others in the air — including three JetBlue flights from the East Coast — diverted to other airports.

Travelers hoping fly out were unable to reach Los Angeles airport because of road closures.

Los Angles is a major gateway for flights to Asia, Australia and New Zealand. The shooting occurred just before a large bank of flights arrived from Sydney, Tokyo, Beijing and other cities across the Pacific Ocean. Domestically, the largest cities served are: San Francisco, Las Vegas, New York, San Jose, Calif., San Diego and Phoenix.


Loveland Pass open after snow slide

SILVERTHORNE, Colo. (AP) — A snow slide on Friday closed Loveland Pass for more than three hours.

Department spokesman Joe Tucker said no injuries were reported from the snow slide early Friday. He said driving was treacherous over Vail Pass, where several tractor-trailers jackknifed overnight. Those accidents were cleared and the highway reopened.

The National Weather Service said Friday travel over high mountain passes in northern and central Colorado will be difficult because of snow and blowing snow.


Attorneys: Man unfit for homicide trial in Montana

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Attorneys for a Colorado man charged with killing an eastern Montana teacher say his mental disabilities make him unfit to stand trial.

The attorneys asked a state judge on Friday to commit 24-year-old Michael Keith Spell to a state facility for up to 60 days to undergo a mental examination.

The Parachute, Colo., man faces a felony murder charge in the death of Sherry Arnold, a Sidney High School teacher killed in January 2012 while on her morning run.

A co-defendant pleaded guilty under a deal with prosecutors. Spell could face the death penalty if convicted.

Court records in Colorado show Spell was declared incompetent by a judge in 2010 in a Garfield County drug case. His defense attorneys say he also has a prior diagnosis of mental disability.


Colo. prosecutors oppose Saudi's deportation

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) — A Colorado prosecutor says the investigation into the slaying of the state's corrections chief is one reason to keep a Saudi man convicted of sexual abuse behind bars in the U.S.

During a court hearing in suburban Denver on Friday, prosecutor Ann Tomsic (TOM'-sick) asked a judge not to allow Homaidan al-Turki (HO'-ma-don al-TUR'-kee) to be sent back home.

If al-Turki is deported to Saudi Arabia as he has requested, she says authorities wouldn't be able bring him back to the U.S. if investigators find a link between him and Tom Clements' killing earlier this year.

Her comments came a day after testimony suggesting that investigators haven't found any connection.

Al-Turki's lawyer says he should be allowed to serve probation at home because he's a model inmate, is considered a low risk for reoffending and has been separated from his family for eight years.


US rig count up 4 this week, settles at 1,742

HOUSTON (AP) — Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. rose by four this week to 1,742.

The Houston-based company said in its weekly report Friday that 1,376 rigs were exploring for oil and 360 for gas. Six were miscellaneous. A year ago there were 1,800 rigs.

Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Texas gained nine rigs, Wyoming increased by six, Kansas added two and Oklahoma and West Virginia each rose by one.

North Dakota lost eight rigs, Colorado and Louisiana lost three each, Alaska and Pennsylvania each dropped two and New Mexico and Utah lost one each. Arkansas, California and Ohio remained unchanged.

The U.S. rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981 and bottomed at 488 in 1999.