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News in brief

Aspen Times writer

Helen Roche, who walked away from a badly damaged pickup truck that rolled more than 100 feet down a steep embankment along Castle Creek Road earlier this week has been charged with careless driving and driving while intoxicated, according to the Colorado State Patrol.Roche, 43, of Aspen, told an investigating patrolman that she swerved on Castle Creek Road to avoid an oncoming vehicle late Tuesday night and skidded off the icy road a short distance upstream from the Aspen Country Day School campus.Her truck, which reportedly rolled several times before coming to rest near the creek, was not discovered until the next day. Police found Roche on Wednesday morning in a building at the Country Day campus, where she apparently broke in to find shelter on the night of the accident.The state patrol is awaiting test results to determine Roche’s blood-alcohol content.She has been ordered to appear in Pitkin County Court on the charges.

DENVER (AP) – A federal arrest warrant was issued Saturday for a former air traffic controller accused of setting off three bombs in Grand Junction, all at the homes of former colleagues.Robert L. Burke, 54, is accused of setting off three explosives and leaving two others that were disarmed Friday. No one was hurt and damage was slight.”We have been in close contact with the Federal Aviation Administration and Transportation Security Administration tracking his movements to see if there had been explosions elsewhere where he had been working,” said Tom Mangen, spokesman for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.Mangen said the devices were especially dangerous because they included ingredients meant to spread fire.”We believe based on the evidence and interviews that Mr. Burke is solely responsible for the serial bombings,” said Mangen.He said Burke was fired by Serco GROUP Pcl. in 2004. “It was a personal issue.”All the explosives were placed outside the homes of Serco employees.The control tower at Grand Junction’s Walker Field was closed for about an hour after the bombs were found and a security team screened the area. Denver controllers handled air traffic in the meantime.

DENVER (AP) – More than 50,000 people gathered downtown Saturday as part of a national protest against a crackdown in immigration laws, including federal legislation aimed at criminalizing illegal immigrants and building more walls along the U.S.-Mexico border.Protesters also came out to urge the state Senate to reject a resolution supporting a ballot issue that would deny many government services to illegal immigrants in Colorado.The large crowd surprised police officers, who were expecting only a few thousand people at Civic Center Park next to the Capitol and Denver city and county buildings, said Denver police spokesman Sonny Jackson.But the crowd, mostly made up of families and older people, was respectful and the four-hour rally ended without incident, he said.Speakers during the rally ridiculed the Republican party telling participants that “they’re not on our side and they’re pitting Americans against us.””This is the standing point of a new beginning,” said protester Eli Chairez-Clendenin, 36, of Denver, who immigrated to Colorado in 1974. “We’re not going to be intimidated or afraid to speak our mind. We’re going to be who we are.”


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