The Home Front: A Colorado satanist gave the invocation at a city council meeting

“The anticipation of the first invocation delivered by a satanist before the Grand Junction City Council lasted much longer than the actual event, which measured about a minute,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “Although it drew about 50 attendees to the council chambers – including some who brought Bibles and prayed – the invocation was completed without much fanfare. Prior to the start of the council’s regular meeting Wednesday night, a group of Christians gathered in protest outside City Hall. They prayed in a circle as members of the Western Colorado Atheists and Freethinkers entered the building. Mayor Rick Taggart introduced Scott Iles, the member of the Western Colorado Atheists and Freethinkers who had his name selected randomly to offer the invocation. Iles stepped up to the podium and introduced Andrew Vodopich and said he was a ‘much better public speaker’ and would be offering it instead. Vodopich is a satanist who has lived in Grand Junction for almost 20 years and the atheists group had previously announced it intended to have a satanist perform the invocation. Vodopich, dressed in an all-black outfit punctuated by a red silk tie and sporting a serpent beard ring twisted in his goatee, spoke for approximately a minute and delivered an invocation that touted tolerance, equality and truth. He also promoted free inquiry, reason and a rebellion against theocracy and ended his invocation with, ‘Hail, Satan.'”

“The immigration crackdown supported by President Donald Trump will make employers its next target, the acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said this week,” reports The Greeley Tribune with a national wire report. “‘You are going to see a lot more work-site enforcement this year,’ Thomas Homan said. ‘We will take action against those employers who knowingly hire illegal aliens.'”

“The felon accused of fatally shooting another man in a Longmont Walmart parking lot — an act prosecutors ruled was self-defense — also will not face charges related to the possession of a firearm by a previous offender,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “While Joseph Anderson was released from custody Tuesday after prosecutors declined to press charges, Longmont police have not closed their case and continue to investigate — though they are vague as to why. “We are working many different angles of this investigation,” Sgt. Matt Cage said Wednesday.”

“In a forceful move to get Black Hills Energy to the negotiating table, local Pueblo developers are taking soil samples from Downtown property around the utility’s headquarters to uncover what they believe will be serious underground contamination that could be tracked to the old power Stations,” reports The Pueblo Chieftain. “Ryan McWilliams and Brett Verna, along with Denver developer Dana Crawford, want Black Hills to transfer ownership of the old power station to the city as a first step toward redevelopment through the Pueblo Urban Renewal Authority.”

“When the Sand Wash Advocate Team, which collaborates with the Bureau of Land Management on wild horse issues, hosts a public meeting in Craig Aug. 5, the wild card in the room is likely to be the policy change being contemplated by the U.S. Congress, which could clear the way for the slaughtering of wild horses in an effort to check their population growth,” reports The Steamboat Pilot. “The Denver Post and Associated Press reported July 19 that the House Appropriations Committee voted to reverse a ban on destroying healthy wild horses in a spending bill signed into law by President Trump in early May.”

“The 23-year-old mother found dead in Sheldon Lake in June drowned, the Larimer County Coroner’s Office announced Wednesday,” reports The Coloradoan in Fort Collins. “The office previously ruled the death of Heather “Helena” Hoffmann a homicide, but had not provided further details about how she died. Hoffmann also suffered significant blunt force injuries, said Debbie Reisdorff, a spokeswoman for the Larimer County Coroner’s Office.”

“The University of Colorado asked visitors Wednesday not to badger an ‘extremely dangerous’ animal following a rare sighting on the Boulder campus, but a state wildlife official says CU has the critter’s reputation all wrong,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “Colorado Parks and Wildlife came to the badger’s defense after CU officials sounded the alarm about the campus’s four-legged visitor. ‘It’s not rare, and it’s not a dangerous animal,’ said Jennifer Churchill, spokeswoman for the state agency. Churchill explained that badgers aren’t unusual in the area, with some known to congregate in Estes Park.”

“A three-day jury trial for a Penrose woman accused of 40 counts of animal cruelty began Wednesday afternoon with opening arguments,” reports The Cañon City Daily Record. “Penny Gingerich, 42, is being charged with 40 counts of animal cruelty after the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office seized horses from her property Jan. 20. Originally, the FCSO seized 63 horses and subsequently charged Gingerich with 64 counts of cruelty to animals because one of the horses was not found. However, in April the number of charges was dropped after County Norman Cooling ordered 24 of the 63 horses be returned.”

“International engineering behemoth CH2M, one of Colorado’s largest private companies, has agreed to be purchased by Dallas-based Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. for $2.85 billion, the companies announced Wednesday,” reports The Denver Post. “For Colorado, this is a big deal. Panama Canal big. CH2M, after all, was one of the key contractors hired to manage construction of the third lane for the watery shortcut through the Americas. When the third lane opened last year, CH2M CEO Jacqueline Hinman was one of the few Coloradans personally invited by the Panamanian government to attend the event.”

“With the deadline approaching for Colorado Springs to finalize a proposed stormwater fee on the county’s November ballot, details about who and how much would be charged are becoming clearer,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. “Mayor John Suthers announced his goal of resurrecting the fee in June. While he has support from the majority of City Council members, some have raised concerns. If passed, the fee would raise an estimated $17 million annually for stormwater costs, freeing up general fund money that Suthers said he would like to use to hire more police officers and updating the city’s aging vehicle fleet.”