Tempe police officers allegedly watch a homeless man drownTEMPE, Ariz. – Three Tempe police officers are under non-disciplinary administrative paid leave after allegedly not helping a homeless man who drowned in a man-made city lake. Tempe police have released edited body camera footage from officers of the May 28 incident.According to a transcript of the footage provided by the city, 34-year-old Sean Bickings told Tempe police he was drowning and begged officers for help.Police said Bickings apparently jumped into the lake in an attempt to evade police after officials did a background check and found three outstanding warrants. The transcript of the remaining portion of the video indicates the video cuts off when Bickings starts telling police that he's going to drown, the Arizona Republic reported Monday. One officer reportedly told Bickings: “I am not jumping in after you."According to the transcript, a person identified in the document as a witness attempted to jump into the lake to help Bickings, who did not resurface.A city fire department rescue team recovered Bickings’ body and pronounced him dead.Tempe officials have asked the Arizona Department of Public Safety to investigate the police response to the drowning.
TEMPE, Ariz. – Three Tempe police officers are under non-disciplinary administrative paid leave afte...
133rd annual Ute Mountain Ute Bear Dance starts FridayAnnual dance celebrates renewal of life, spirit of the bearThe Ute Mountain Ute Tribe will hold its 133rd annual Bear Dance Friday through Monday in Towaoc.The Bear Dance kicks off an eventful weekend at 10:30 a.m. Friday.The dance is a yearly tradition of the tribe that dates to the 15th century. Held in spring, the dance shows respect for the spirit, celebrates the renewal of live, and relieves tension after the cold of winter.Traditionally, when the first thunder of spring was heard, it was time for the Bear Dance to commence.The event was closed to nontribal members last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but parts of the dance will be open to the public this year. Observers are asked to adhere to the tribe’s COVID guidelines. A vaccination card or negative COVID test is required for entrance. Masks are optional.While nontribal members are invited to join the festivities, photography and videos are prohibited unless there is permission from the chief.Bear Dance chiefs are Terry Knight Sr., Mark Wing, Austin Jacket, Farley Ketchum Sr., and Terry Knight Jr.In addition to the Bear Dance Friday morning, the tribe plans an open hand game tournament and a co-ed softball tournament. A powwow wraps up the day’s activities at 7 p.m. Registration for the softball tournament has closed.Saturday, the co-ed softball tournament starts at 8 a.m. The Bear Dance and powwow takes place all day. A Bear Dance walk is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Saturday; and a parade, for 10 a.m. Registration for the walk is at 8 a.m. in front of the recreation center in Towaoc.Registration for the hand game tournament is noon to 2 p.m. at the Bear Dance grounds, about 11½ miles south of Cortez off U.S. Highway 160/491. The tournament begins at 2:30 p.m. sharp.Sunday and Monday, the Bear Dance again takes place all day. A feast at 6 p.m. Monday concludes the events.
Gloves come off in first debate between congressional candidates Don Coram and Lauren BoebertRepublican primary opponents offered voters a glimpse of their different approaches to legislatingIGNACIO – Sparks flew during Thursday’s debate between state Sen. Don Coram and U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert as they jousted ahead of next month’s Republican primary.The two met Thursday morning at the Sky Ute Casino Resort in Ignacio in a crowded event center filled with about 150 people split down the middle, literally; Coram supporters on left and Boebert supporters on the right.It was the first of two debates scheduled for the candidates.Moderated by Dave Woodruff, general manager for El Moro Tavern and the Durango chapter president for the Colorado Restaurant Association, the two began by discussing gun control in the wake of the Uvalde, Texas, school shooting that left 21 people dead earlier this week before moving to more local topics such as public land management, wildfires, worker shortages and water.In the strictly cast event with no signs and no cheering after questions, Boebert supporters broke out multiple times in applause while Coram supporters laughed at statements the congresswoman made, prompting Boebert at one point to shout “order.”The debate was relatively civil at the beginning with both candidates answering Woodruff’s questions and trading barbs, but it quickly devolved into attacks during the approximately 10 minutes of cross examination when each candidate was allowed to ask a question of the other and then respond.Boebert’s first attempt was less a question than a comment.“Don, I want you to hear this directly from me,” she said. “The information proposed about you at corruptcoram.com is absolutely facts, facts, facts. You are corrupt sir. You use your political office to pass legislation to line your own pockets.”When Woodruff interjected and asked the Rifle Republican to ask a question, she said: “Any comments?”Throughout her primary campaign, Boebert has taken to calling her opponent “Corrupt Coram,” alleging that he used his time in the Colorado Legislature to pass legislation that would benefit his hemp operation and citing the website “corruptcoram.com” and an editorial by The Gazette in Colorado Springs.Boebert’s campaign runs corruptcoram.com, and The Gazette editorial board endorsed Boebert in the 2020 election.Coram, a Montrose Republican, returned the jab, noting the Federal Election Commission’s investigation into Boebert’s personal use of campaign funds and her failure to disclose her husband’s income from the energy industry.“You are absolutely false, and if you want to talk about corruption, let’s talk about you,” he said.During the debate, Coram positioned himself as a moderate who could work across the aisle. He relied heavily on his track record as a state representative and a senator in arguing for voters’ support.Boebert also touted her work in the U.S. House over the last year and a half, often answering Woodruff’s question by highlighting legislation she has introduced.Coram finished his opening statement by challenging Boebert’s work, comparing her time in Congress to a football player who throws many passes but completes few.“You are introducing, introducing, introducing, but passing is the word,” he said.Both candidates hit on conservative policies, including border security, stopping fentanyl, reining in spending and a limited role for the federal government. However, Boebert attacked Coram’s Republican credentials throughout the debate.She questioned Coram’s 2017 vote to fund the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey, a voluntary and anonymous survey that asks middle and high schoolers about topics including sexual activity, drug and alcohol use, and suicide.Coram was one of two Republicans who voted to renew funding for the survey, which in recent years has become a target of conservatives.Boebert also targeted Coram’s vote for a 2019 bill that made less than 4 grams of fentanyl a misdemeanor, a vote Coram said he regretted.“I certainly stand by my votes and don’t regret them because I read the bills and understand them,” Boebert said.Though the candidates’ differed in their approaches to the debate – Boebert fiery and charismatic and Coram calm and reasoned – the starkest difference between the two was in their responses to Woodruff’s question about election integrity.Toeing the line of former President Donald Trump’s false election claims, Boebert said hundreds of thousands of votes were cast illegally and that the “Fauci-funded China virus” (coronavirus) interfered with the 2020 election, a statement that was met with guffaws from Coram’s supporters.Coram did not reject that voter fraud may have occurred during the last election, but he said there was no evidence to support Boebert’s claims, later telling reporters that every election has some degree of voter fraud but that it does not make a difference in the outcome.“I’ve heard all these talks about all this evidence, but I’ve never seen it in a court of law,” Coram said during the debate.The responses from both candidates oscillated between addressing local and national issues as they sought to appeal to the Republican and unaffiliated voters in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District who will decide the June 28 Republican primary.The 3rd Congressional District covers the Western Slope of Colorado and extends to Pueblo County in the southern half of the state.Boebert often approached her responses through a national lens, assailing federal policies for Colorado’s workforce shortages and depicting immigration into a local issue.“Every state is a border state when you have 3 million illegal aliens invading our country,” she said.When asked by Woodruff after she discussed her vocal opposition to pandemic shutdowns why she voted no on the Restaurant Revitalization Fund Replenishment Act, which would put $42 billion toward supporting restaurants and small businesses affected by the pandemic, Boebert put her platform succinctly.“I would have to look at that bill specifically, but I’m sure that there was something with too much spending, not the proper role of government or not going through the proper order,” she said.Coram reiterated his background in agriculture and his time representing the Western Slope throughout the debate. He attempted to keep his answers focused on local issues relevant to the voters of the 3rd Congressional District, portraying Boebert as out of touch with the issues voters in the district face.During the cross examination, Coram asked Boebert about her stance on water as a public trust.Public trust doctrine holds that water can never be privately controlled, a departure from Colorado’s system of prior appropriation, which essentially allows water to be possessed and sold by private individuals.Boebert dodged the question, leading Coram to ask it again.“I think that’s a great answer, but it doesn’t answer the question,” Coram said.The debate began awkwardly when Boebert met Coram on stage and Coram questioned why his opponent had notes, saying he believed the candidates’ campaigns had agreed to not allow them.Boebert, who referred to her notes throughout the debate, replied that the campaigns had agreed to allow paper.Speaking to reporters after the debate, Coram said he and his campaign felt good about the race, noting that unaffiliated voters, a growing subset of the district’s voters, will be able to cast a ballot in the primary. Boebert did not speak with reporters, instead engaging with her supporters after the event.A second debate between the two Republican candidates will be held in Pueblo ahead of the June primary, but a date and time has yet to be determined.Both candidates professed Thursday to offer voters their own approach to legislating.“I’ve been very effective in getting things done because I know how to work together and create coalitions,” Coram said. “We have a nation in D.C. that is so divided that they couldn’t agree on buying ice cream and that needs to change.”Boebert made a different pitch.“I ran as a conservative and I won as a conservative. I legislate as a conservative because I am one, and I will win this primary because I’m the only conservative in this race,” she email@example.com
Republican primary opponents offered voters a glimpse of their different approaches to legislating
Pueblo Community College honors 196 students in Cortez commencementStudents come from PCC sites in Mancos, Durango and BayfieldPueblo Community College Southwest recognized 196 graduates at its 2022 commencement Saturday in the Montezuma-Cortez High School auditorium.State Rep. Barbara McLachlan, a Democrat from District 59, was the guest speaker.Students from the Mancos/Cortez campus and PCC’s sites in Durango and Bayfield received degrees and certificates.
Students come from PCC sites in Mancos, Durango and Bayfield
Fort Lewis College featured on PBS NewsHour for efforts to reckon with its pastBoarding school stripped Native Americans of language, culture and identityFort Lewis College was featured this week on PBS NewsHour as part of a national segment about the United States’ history of removing Native American children from their families and placing them in boarding schools, where they were forced to give up their language and culture.The eight-minute segment, titled “Colorado college reckons with a troubling legacy of erasing Indigenous culture,” includes interviews with FLC President Tom Stritikus, faculty members and a student. It also features several shots of the college, the Old Fort campus in Hesperus and footage of a powwow held at FLC.“There has been a huge reckoning in this country to say that institutions must take a look at their own racialized history and understand the implications of that racialized history,” Stritikus told PBS NewsHour. “For Fort Lewis College, that racialized history is embedded in the fact that we started as an Indian boarding school.”The college offers a Native American tuition waiver as part of a land agreement struck more than 100 years ago. Indigenous students make up about 45% of the student body, from 185 nations, tribes and villages, according to the college.FLC is engaged in an effort to explore its history, acknowledge its past and provide a “more supportive learning environment” for Indigenous students, the PBS NewsHour narrator explains. Thousands of Native American children attended school at the Old Fort campus 15 miles west of Durango where they were “stripped of their language, their culture and, frankly, their identity,” he says.Majel Boxer, an associate professor in the department of Native American and Indigenous Studies at FLC, had grandparents who attended boarding schools around the country. Her father didn’t learn the Dakota language, she told PBS NewsHour, because his parents determined he would be better served to learn English without any accent.The news segment also speaks with Joslynn Lee, a former student and current assistant professor of chemistry at the college, who helped lead an effort to update the language used on panels under the college clock tower explaining the school’s boarding school history. One of the panels read: “The children are well-clothed and happy.”Lee told PBS NewsHour it was an inappropriate representation.She sent an email to Stritikus in August 2019, and the college formed a History Committee to re-evaluate the school’s history. The panels were removed last year.Noah Shadlow, a senior, told PBS NewsHour he has seen a change in campus culture since the reconciliation efforts began.“I feel more recognized. I feel more acknowledged on this campus, rather than how it was before, where it’s just like, ‘Oh, there’s just some Indian kids over there,’” he said.But he said more needs to be done, including hiring more Indigenous staff members, including a counselor.And the college is working to improve its graduation rate among Native American students, which is about 30%, slightly below the national rate, according to PBS NewsHour.The school’s effort to recognize its history and learn from it has been meaningful, according to those interviewed.“I think this has opened up a lot of discussion on how we can start to learn more about each other’s culture,” Lee firstname.lastname@example.org
Boarding school stripped Native Americans of language, culture and identity
Wildlife at home among Mesa Verde National Park’s ancient dwellingsPark cameras capture a variety of species in and around ancient dwellings When the tourists leave the cliff houses at Mesa Verde National Park, wildlife will wander in for a photo shoot.Cameras monitor the condition of ancient dwellings and watch for looting and trespassing humans.But when wildlife show up and trigger the cameras, it’s a “highlight of the monitoring program – much better than seeing people illegally entering sites,” said Kay Barnett, a park archaeologist, in an email.Here are a few favorites over the years. They include a black bear, bobcat, foxes and a ring-tailed cat, which is a member of the raccoon family.Squeaks, a 2-year-old mountain lion living at the park since August 2020, is also featured on a game camera and appears to be doing well. He made headlines after a 558-mile journey from central New Mexico recorded on a GPS collar. The trek included swimming across Navajo Reservoir email@example.com