Worker’s body found in Arvada
ARVADA – Officials have confirmed that a body found in the rubble of an Arvada building gutted by a fire is that of a man who worked there.
The body of 55-year-old John Rutter was found Monday after emergency workers used dogs and heavy equipment to search the three-story building.
Rutter was an addiction counselor for Creative Treatment Options, a nonprofit that was housed in the building.
Police said Tuesday that the coroner has confirmed the identity of the body. Building occupants said Rutter was last seen at the site of the fire.
The fire at the Scenic Heights Professional Building began Saturday morning and took firefighters five hours to extinguish. Two people, including a firefighter, were injured in the blaze. The cause is under investigation.
Trinidad boy accidentally shot
PUEBLO – Trinidad police are investigating an accidental shooting that critically injured a 9-year-old boy.
The Pueblo Chieftain reported the boy and his 8-year-old brother were waiting in a parked car Monday when they found a loaded gun. The older brother was shot in the head and underwent surgery at Denver Children’s Hospital.
Investigators say the two boys were in the care of family friend because their parents had a medical appointment. The car was parked near a natural gas station where the caregiver works. He was working on a pump at the time of the shooting.
Police have not arrested anyone, and the district attorney’s office will review the investigation to determine what charges, if any, will be filed.
Aurora Dem talks gun control to Obama
DENVER – A state lawmaker who pushed for gun-control legislation in Colorado was among those invited to the White House for the announcement of President Barack Obama’s plan to tighten gun regulations.
Democratic state Rep. Rhonda Fields of Aurora says she got an unexpected invitation to talk to the president about gun control Tuesday and watch the announcement. She posted on Facebook that the East Room was “heavy with grief” from families who have lost children to gun violence.
In 2013, Fields sponsored the expansion of background checks and limiting the sale of ammunition magazines that hold more than 15 rounds in response to mass shootings at an Aurora movie theater and Connecticut’s Sandy Hook Elementary School.
CU professor settles with school
BOULDER – The University of Colorado has agreed to pay $25,000 to a philosophy professor who was temporarily banned from the Boulder campus after making a joke about suicide and murder.
The Daily Camera of Boulder reported that a federal judge had previously thrown out Dan Kaufman’s claims of discrimination and retaliation against the university, but he did not rule on claims made under state law. Rather than pursue the state claims, Kaufman entered into the settlement agreement.
Kaufman was banned from campus for two months in 2014 after he told his department chairman that he would not kill himself, the chairman or anyone else unless they were “truly evil” or “had Hitler’s soul.”
Kaufman filed a lawsuit claiming the university discriminated against him because he has depression with psychotic features, a disability.
Rocky Mountain Park sets visitation record
FORT COLLINS – After passing a record-breaking 4 million visitors, officials at Rocky Mountain National Park are looking at how to manage larger crowds.
The Coloradoan reported that the park eclipsed 4 million visitors for the first time in its history in November and saw a 21 percent increase in visitors in 2015 as compared to 2014. Park officials predict an even busier 2016 with the celebrations for the National Park Service’s 100th birthday.
Park spokeswoman Kyle Patterson says officials are now turning their attention to how to alleviate the congestion that the popularity brings. Visitors to the park this summer and fall experienced long lines and wait times at the entrance, filled parking lots and packed hiker shuttles.