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Panorama: Mile-High Headlines for Wednesday, August 13

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Primary Concern (Denver/Boulder) Software mogul Jared Polis, a Democrat who poured more than $5 million of his own money into one of the nation’s costliest primary campaigns, has won what was at times a bitter primary battle for the 2nd Congressional District–Democratic turf spanning Boulder, north-metro suburbs, and ski towns. As Time reports, Polis, 33, now the probable heir to U.S. Representative Mark Udall, who is running for Senate, “will almost assuredly join Tammy Baldwin and Barney Frank as just the third openly gay member of Congress.” Meanwhile Mike Coffman easily won a four-way Republican tussle to replace outgoing Representative Tom Tancredo–who ran a losing campaign for presidency on the anti-illegal-immigration issue–in Colorado’s 6th District. The Denver Post has results here, and the Rocky Mountain News‘ coverage is here. Primary Concern (Springs) Down in Colorado Springs, embattled state Representative Douglas Bruce lost to fellow Republican Mark Waller, who ran because he thought Bruce’s headline-grabbing gaffes and missteps made the Pikes Peak region look dumb. The result was close: 52 percent for Waller; 48 percent for Bruce. Meantime, perhaps Doug Lamborn’s appearance at a gun show helped him cruise on to victory (see an account of that episode and more by 5280’s Patrick Doyle in this month’s issue). Ultra-con Lamborn, oft-criticized for not getting business done, fought off an inner-Republican rivalry, securing a second term with 45 percent of the vote and, perhaps finally, a smoother ride in years to come. The Denver Post has results here, and the Rocky Mountain News‘ coverage is here.

“Gitmo” on the Platte and How to Get Obama Tix A day without a story about the Democratic National Convention? We at Panorama wouldn’t hear of it. In fact, let’s make it a double. First, CBS4 News has learned that if mass arrests occur (and this story seems to remove the “if”), protesters will be warehoused on the northeast side of Denver. There, they will be herded into five-yard-by-five-yard metal cages and greeted with signs that read, “Warning! Electric stun devices used in this facility.” Denver is resorting to a converted warehouse because the county jail is already full. Reporter Rick Sallinger, seemingly well recovered from taking his family to Europe and blogging about it, takes you on a guided tour. Second, if you want to get tickets to see Barack Obama speak during the convention, get off the fence. The campaign apparently doesn’t want anyone who is still making up their mind about whether or not to vote for Obama. If you’re going to be there, you’ll have to agree to roll up your sleeves and volunteer up to six hours for the Dem’s presidential campaign, according to Fox31. A Rail Vision Like Europe’s for Colorado, Wyoming, and New Mexico A couple days after the Casper Star-Tribune ran an editorial supporting investment in a study of long-distance, ultra-fast rail–noting Colorado has been slow on the uptake–the Colorado-based Rocky Mountain Rail Authority announced a $1.5 million study that is hopefully the first step to obtaining the last of 11 national rail designations (and the big federal bucks that go with it). Trains, which would travel 90-124 miles per hour, according to the Tribune, sound something like Eurorail, linking Casper, Wyoming, in the north, to Alburquerque, New Mexico, in the south, bringing commuters and tourists along Colorado’s bustling Front Range. Rail might also run up Interstate 70, toward ski towns, according to several local papers, including the Denver Business Journal, which notes Colorado’s rail authority involves more than 45 cities, counties, and organizations. Sounds process heavy. Chandler Grafner Saga Ends Amid Lingering Questions It wasn’t just the parents who failed little Chandler Grafner, the boy who died after being locked in a closet without food. The social services system didn’t catch the abuse, as FOX 31’s Charlie Brennan discovered in talking to critics of the system in a report noting some changes that have already begun as a result of the case. A jury yesterday found the seven-year-old boy’s guardian, John Phillips, 27, guilty of first-degree murder just a day after Phillips’ girlfriend, Sarah Berry, 23, pleaded guilty to second degree murder, according to numerous news sources, including the Rocky Mountain News. Perhaps the most damaging and compelling evidence came from Chandler’s younger brother, Dominic Phillips, who provided drawings to tell a story of neglect and abuse. Headlines about the case dominated newspapers and television during the two-week trial that ended in a life sentence without parole for Phillips. Berry is expected to be sentenced to 48 years in prison next month. Stretch of Interstate Named for Tuskegee Airmen John Mosley was an all-city football player for Manual High School in the late 1930s. Yet he was considered “physically unqualified” to serve in the Reserve Officer Corps at Colorado State University. The reason? He was black, according to the Rocky Mountain News. Now the 87-year-old pilot and fellow Tuskegee Airmen who broke the race barrier has been honored on Interstate 70. An 11-mile stretch of the highway between Brighton Boulevard and Tower Road has been renamed the Tuskegee Airmen Memorial Highway to make Coloradans aware of the World War II pilots who, as state Representative Terrance Carroll notes, “fought for this country when this country wouldn’t stand for them.” Several Tuskegee Airmen from Colorado were at a ceremony Tuesday, and CBS4 has a decent little slideshow. Alleged Porn-Seeking Cop-Impersonator Nabbed A Longmont sword maker who was pretending to be a police detective in a porn shop, demanding free videos to see if the women in them were of legal age, has been caught. That’s assuming that 33-year-old Drew Libby is the right man. Surveillance video of Libby at the adult novelties store splashed across television news stations–and even made this USA Today blog–earlier this week. Libby was nabbed at his home, where officers found a badge with the words “private security” on it, according to the Longmont Times-Call, which also printed a photo of Libby dressed in Samurai-style armor. Libby racked up an impressive number of charges: two counts of impersonating a police officer, possession of an illegal weapon, possession of less than one ounce of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia. They Can’t All Be Winners Beki Snyder, who was born in Canada, grew up in Grand Junction and now lives in Colorado Springs, placed a disappointing 41st in a qualifying heat for the 10-meter air pistol, taking aim for the U.S. Olympic Shooting Team. She also finished 28th in the 25-meter precision shooting qualification Tuesday night, missing today’s finals. In March she placed first at the U.S. team’s women’s 10-meter air pistol trials despite having retired from competitive training a year earlier, according to Grand Junction’s Sentinel. More in “They Can’t All Be Winners”: Chapter 2, The Rockies “Reality is starting to settle in at Coors Field. It’s no fun for the Rockies or their fans,” as the Rocky Mountain News writes, noting somewhere in the article that nobody wants to read that “things went bad.” The Rocky adds, the Rockies were “looking for a sweep of National League West-leading Arizona to try to put some oomph in their hopes of a late-season surge to a division title” but lost 4-2 last night. Phelps: Monkey Boy Michael Phelps kept alive his hopes of breaking Mark Spitz’s 1972 record of seven gold medals this morning in a world-record-shattering performance during the 4×200-meter relay, according to myriad sources. As for his exuberant victory dance, arms thrust toward the sky and chest puffed out, it signals the defeat of an opponent, a trait instinctive among primates, including humans, according to new research cited by The Los Angeles Times. Cheapest Gallon of Gas ‘Round Here: $3.68, Western Convenience, 11515 N. Hwy. 83 in Parker (via www.gasbuddy.com). Enjoy what you’re reading? Starting August 18, Panorama will be available as an e-newsletter. Sign up now, and receive our Mile-High headlines each weekday morning via email.

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