Statetap: Funeral interrupted

In the middle of the funeral for 33-year-old Lakewood resident Vanessa Collier on Saturday, the minister abruptly stopped, demanding that photos of Collier and her wife be removed before the service could continue. Already in mourning over the loss of their loved one, Collier’s friends and family refused to accept that their celebration of her life couldn’t feature her “alternative lifestyle,” as the minister put it — that is, the fact that she was a lesbian. So they picked up her casket and continued the service at another mortuary, conveniently across the street. Protesters returned to New Hope Ministries the next day, chanting “Give us an apology!” and “Shame on Pastor Ray!” A representative from the church refused to comment, hanging up on a Denver Post reporter.

statetap The newly formed Fourth Corner Credit Union released a poll late last week to gather information on where folks in the pot business currently do their banking. Because the drug is still illegal at the federal level, big banks won’t touch the industry money, so banking practices associated with recreational pot are considered something of a trade secret. By gathering and analyzing this information, the credit union hopes to learn what it can do to attract business. “Basically [the survey] is to help answer [the question], If you build it, will they come?” explained Fourth Corner attorney Mark Mason. Via the Cannabist. 

The judge in the Aurora movie theater shooting case has denied the defense’s latest request to delay the trial so they could have more time to review the massive amount of evidence they’ve been handed by the prosecution. The prosecution is seeking the death penalty for defendant James Holmes who has pled not guilty by reason of insanity in the 2012 shooting that left 12 dead and 70 injured at an Aurora movie theater. Jury selection is set to begin next week. Via the Aurora Sentinel.

After failing to pass legislation that would ban surveillance cameras at busy intersections last year, state lawmakers are gearing up to take another stab at it. Some say the cameras are invasive and ineffective; others say they boost public safety, especially in areas short on police. Everyone agrees on one thing: They are useful for doling out tickets and raking in revenue. Via the Gazette.

[Top: Vanessa Collier and partner.]