Mile-High Headlines for Monday, October 13

Sign up here to receive Panorama every weekday morning–before it’s published on our website.

Wishy-Washy in Lonesome Colorado
With about three weeks until Election Day, John McCain has resorted to smack talk, saying he will “whip” Barack Obama’s “you know what” in an upcoming debate, according to MSNBC. Then, the Republican said, he’ll campaign like crazy. He’ll need to if he’s going to have any luck defeating an apparently well-oiled Democratic machine. Calculations by National Journal’s The Hotline show Obama has a whopping 349 Electoral College votes and McCain just 180. Of 15 potential battleground states, only two lean McCain’s way. And there’s only one toss-up state–Colorado, which has nine electoral votes. Dick Wadhams, Colorado’s Republican Party chairman and manager of Bob Schaffer’s Senate campaign, “urged” McCain, via a front-page article in Sunday’s New York Times, to play up Obama’s seemingly tenuous connections to controversial figures like William Ayers and the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. Winning Colorado would be a big deal for Obama. The state hasn’t gone for a Dem since Bill Clinton’s first term, owing to “plenty of help from independent candidate Ross Perot,” as The Colorado Independent notes. More bad news for McCain: A Washington Post-ABC News poll finds Obama leading 53 percent to 43 percent nationally, citing Obama’s “clear edge on tax policy” and “strong leadership.”

Economy Settling and Unsettled
The major stock exchanges in New York, Europe, and Asia appeared to be recovering ground this morning after a tough week that ended with loads of government intervention around the globe, according to The New York Times. As stocks tumbled last week, prices for crude oil also fell, and, in turn, the cost of gas went down at the pump. Interestingly, that leaves Republican politicians without one of their “best weapons” for attacking Dems, according to The Colorado Independent, which quotes a former staffer to Senator Bob Dole with Americans for American Energy, admitting the drill-baby-drill issue has lost some political punch as Wall Street struggles. Bankruptcies in Colorado are regrettably up by more than 40 percent this year, compared to 2007 levels, according to the Rocky Mountain News, creating uncertainty. Just ask parents at Renaissance Academy private school in Colorado Springs, which suddenly shut down, leaving students without class, teachers without jobs, and stunned parents $9,000 in the hole, according Fox21 News.

Toddler Shot in Congress Park Neighborhood

There were more questions than answers after Denver police peacefully ended a two-and-a-half-hour standoff with a gunman in the normally tranquil Congress Park neighborhood. The man shot a father and his young child, killing the toddler. Nobody was named following the incident, which occurred at a duplex on the 1200 block of Madison Street, according to the Rocky Mountain News, where the child lived with his mother on the top floor. The suspect, who resided in the basement, got involved in an argument between the mother and the father, according to police. Several shots were fired, and the wounded father fled with the child. He eventually met an ambulance about a block away as the suspect remained on the porch. One witness saw the suspect, who was crying to police, “I didn’t mean to shoot anybody,” according to 9News.

Politicos Roped Into Wiretapping Case
Longtime political gadfly Mike Zinna has long alleged that Jefferson County Commissioner Jim Congrove and the county’s former assistant attorney, Duncan Bradley, were out to get him. Now a judge says Congrove and Bradley can be named as defendants in Zinna’s federal lawsuit, claiming they were part of an illegal wiretapping and defamation conspiracy, according to the Columbine Courier. Specifically, Zinna alleges Congrove and Bradley teamed with private investigator Daril Cinquanta to intercept his e-mail and phone calls to dig up dirt about him, posting some inaccurate information on a now-defunct website called, a play on Zinna’s own, which is also defunct. The county sought to prevent Congrove and Bradley from being added as defendants in the suit but failed. A county attorney told the Courier that there’s “no proof” to back up Zinna’s claims. Meanwhile, ColoradoPols described the judge’s ruling as a “major setback” for “infamous Republican commissioners here in Jefferson County, whose Byzantine cronyism and culture of payback against citizens has embarrassed us for too long.”

A Taste of Winter
Denver’s accident season is off to a smashing start as wintry weather settled in this weekend and shall persist through tomorrow, according to 9News weather dude Marty Coniglio. During the commute this morning, icy roads led to accidents in the west metro area, including West Sixth Avenue in Lakewood, according to the Rocky Mountain News. Yesterday, the weather was blamed in at least a dozen accidents along I-70 around the Continental Divide, including a semitrailer that dangled off Vail Pass, according to The Denver Post. The high today will hover at 45 degrees and tomorrow should hit 56, according to 9News, breaking up later this week when the 70s try to stage a comeback.

Camby Is Doing Just Fine, Thank You
Even though he’s taken a leadership role with his new team, the Los Angeles Clippers, center Marcus Camby still harbors some resentment against his old team, the Denver Nuggets. In an interview with The Denver Post, he admits he still feels “disrespected” after the July trade and wonders if he was the “scapegoat” for the Nuggets’ exasperatingly bad season last year. Despite his feelings, he hasn’t stopped lending a helping hand to needy kids in Denver. Camby’s mentoring program continues, and he’s building a computer room for the Boys and Girls Club of Denver.

Bad Call Leads to Broncos’ Fall?
Perhaps karma is catching up with the Denver Broncos. In prior games it seemed the refs’ calls favored them. But not yesterday, writes the Rocky Mountain News, in a 24-17 loss to Jacksonville that left linebacker Nate Webster yelling, “What about that (bleeping) call, boy?” Webster’s frustration followed a Jacksonville pass to tight end Greg Estandia in the final minutes of the game. Though the ball soared over Estandia’s hands, a ref called interference on Denver defenders, moving the ball within field goal distance–and out of Denver’s reach.

Cheapest Gallon of Gas ‘Round Here: $2.89, Gas&Food, 2385 West 84th Avenue (via