The Home Front: Lawyer says transgender inmate was raped in Colorado prison. ‘They threw a 20-year-old kid in the shark tank.’

“A transgender prison inmate who identifies as a female was raped hours after a … federal judge denied her request not to be sent to a pod occupied by male inmates who had previously propositioned her or threatened to rape her, the inmate’s attorney claims,” reports The Denver Post on the front page of The Cañon City Daily Record. “They threw a 20-year-old kid in the shark tank knowing what would happen. This is outrageous,” said Paula Griesen, attorney for Lindsay Saunders-Velez. “She looks like a woman and has female attributes, including breasts.” Griesen said the assault came within hours after Krieger denied her request not to be moved into a punishment pod at Colorado Territorial Correctional Facility in Cañon City, a prison for men.”

“Longmont officials announced Thursday that they’d reached a proposed agreement with a pair of oil and gas companies that would end the possibility of drilling for oil and gas from the surfaces of properties within city limits,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “Under the agreement, Lakewood-based TOP Operating Co. would plug and abandon eight active wells, abandon or remove flow and gathering lines associated with those wells, relinquish 11 future drilling sites, abandon 80 potential well permits, and never again drill from within city limits, according to the city’s announcement. As part of the agreement, Highlands Ranch-based Cub Creek Energy LLC, the second company involved in the proposed pact, will commit to forever relinquishing any right to drill inside Longmont city limits or on city-owned property — if the state approves Cub Creek’s proposed well location in Weld County northeast of Union Reservoir.”

“For years, CJ Renaud commuted from the Greeley area every day to the Aurora high school where she worked as a school resource officer,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “Back then, the officers had a morning meeting twice per week. One day, when she got there, she found two men in suits who weren’t taking part in any of the usual pre-meeting banter between officers. They were, as they said later, from the FBI. When they did speak, they told the officers in the room about the three Aurora teenage girls who had boarded a plane bound for the Middle East after ISIS recruited them online. Authorities intercepted the girls in Germany and returned them to their parents.”

“They say bad things come in threes. Dylan McWilliams is hoping maybe his misfortune is over,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “The 20-year-old recently became internationally famous for being bitten by a shark in Hawaii, after he already survived a bear attack and a rattlesnake bite in recent years. Less than a year after a bear dragged him out of a sleeping bag by the head and shook him like a rag doll, a tiger shark bit his leg while he was surfing. And a little more than three years ago, he was bitten by a rattlesnake while hiking in Utah. National Geographic reported this week the chances of being bitten by all three animals is almost 900 quadrillion to one, making McWilliams one of the unluckiest people on the planet. But he doesn’t see it that way. “I’m thinking I should buy a lottery ticket,” he said, sitting at his parents’ Clifton home after returning from Kauai.”

“With the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment declining to intervene in the ongoing impasse between Pueblo City Schools (D60) and its teachers and paraprofessionals, a long-threatened districtwide strike is expected to begin Monday,” reports The Pueblo Chieftain. “The district had reached out to the state department in hopes it would enact jurisdiction and, subsequently, stave off a strike for as long as 180 days. The fact that only one of the entities involved in the stalemate requested intervention appears to have played a part in the denial.”

“A New Mexico mother believes her two Native American sons were the victims of racial profiling during a campus tour at Colorado State University on Monday,” reports The Coloradoan in Fort Collins. “Thomas Kanewakeron Gray, 19, and Lloyd Skanahwati Gray, 17, had saved enough money to drive roughly seven hours from the family’s home in Santa Cruz, New Mexico, to Fort Collins to tour the campus, Lorraine Kahneratokwas Gray told The Associated Press. The family is Mohawk, and they lived in upstate New York before moving to New Mexico, she told the AP. In a Facebook post this week, Gray wrote that it was their dream to study at CSU, so they “scraped their dollars together” and took the family’s van to Fort Collins for the tour.”

“The body of Gabriel Conde, the Berthoud-area soldier killed this week in Afghanistan, arrived back in the United States on Thursday, hours after leaving Afghanistan with a ‘ramp ceremony,'” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “That ceremony, during which the fallen soldier’s body was carried onto an aircraft, took place in the morning, Afghanistan time, according to Major Christopher-James Hart, public affairs officer for Conde’s infantry brigade and division. According to the Associated Press, his body has arrived at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. Conde, 22, was killed in action Monday, dying of small arms fire in the Tagab District while supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. A 2014 graduate of Berthoud High School, Conde had enlisted in 2015. His division was weeks from returning home when he was killed.”

“Recall supporters turned in 2,168 additional signatures Wednesday in their second go-around to oust La Plata County Commissioner Gwen Lachelt,” reports The Durango Herald. “I think we got it. I feel confident,” said David Peters, one of three county residents leading the effort to recall Lachelt, a Democrat. “We have a little more than 300 over,” he said, initially estimating he had brought in about 2,400 signatures. “It was awfully hard work; we had a short period of time to collect about 2,000 signatures. I’m glad we got it done.” Organizers have set up a website, Save La Plata County. On April 17, La Plata County Clerk and Recorder Tiffany Parker determined 5,475 signatures of the 6,485 submitted in the first, 60-day collection period were verified as valid, more than 2,000 signatures short of the 7,505 required to force the recall forward.”

“For decades, employers in the eastern part of Eagle County have used housing options as a way to recruit and retain employees,” reports Vail Daily. “That strategy is moving westward with two downvalley employers — City Market and Castle Peak Care — now offering housing units as an employment lure. City Market recently took over a master lease on a number of the Gypsum Plaza Suites, located east of Eagle Valley High School and south of U.S. Highway 6. At Castle Peak, temporary housing is offered in three Sylvan Square units master leased by the care center. Additionally, employees can find temporary living quarters within the facility itself, renting out assisted living units that are not yet.”

“Ingrid Encalada Latorre stood in the rain outside the Unitarian Universalist Church of Boulder on Thursday,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “It’s been her home for several months after she took sanctuary to avoid being deported. “I pleaded guilty to a felony in 2010, as you all know, without knowing the immigration consequences of the plea,” she said. “That is what is continuing to jeopardize my future with my family in this country.” The crime to which she referred involved using false documents, so she could work. But when she took a plea, she didn’t know it could mean being sent back to Peru, her native country, but one she left as a child.”

“A local Democratic activist’s online post criticizing the El Paso County Republican Party’s auctioning an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle at its annual fundraising dinner this month was reported to police as a potential threat,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. “Betty Field, who failed to qualify for the primary ballot to run for Congress, asked fellow activists to protest the auction at the GOP’s Lincoln Day Dinner at the Antler’s Hotel in Colorado Springs on May 12 with a Facebook event titled “Republican Death for Profit.” The post caught the eye of several people, including county GOP Executive Director Cassandra Sebastian, who reported it to Colorado Springs police and the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office. ‘We’re not terribly worried about it, it’s just the name that’s so bothersome,’ Sebastian said.”

The Colorado Independent is a statewide online news source operating in a time when spin is plentiful, but factual, fair and unflinching news in the public interest is all too rare. Our award-winning team of veteran investigative and explanatory reporters and news columnists aims to amplify the voices of Coloradans whose stories are unheard, shine light on the relationships between people, power and policy, and hold public officials to account. We strive to report the news with context, social conscience, and soul, and to give Coloradans the insight they need to promote conversation, understanding and progress in this square, swing state we call home.