• University of Colorado tells students to choose Halloween costumes wisely

    10/24/13 12:59 PM

    The University of Colorado's dean of students wants students to dress in appropriate costumes for Halloween this year in an effort to discourage the community from dressing in what the school deems as culturally inappropriate garb.

  • Blizzard coats South Dakota, Wyoming with rare autumn snow

    10/4/13 4:25 PM

    SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - Blizzards rolled into parts of Wyoming and South Dakota on Friday, bringing the snow-savvy states to an unseasonably early winter standstill and even forcing a tourist town to cancel its annual Octoberfest's polka-dancing bar crawl.

    A foot of snow had fallen in western South Dakota's scenic Black Hills by early Friday, though residents were bracing for as much as 3 feet of snow and wind gusts of up to 70 mph. The storm system also spawned a tornado in Nebraska, blanketed Colorado's northern mountains with snow and was threatening to push strong thunderstorms as far east as Wisconsin.

    Julie Lee said she and fellow members of her White Rose Band were accustomed to snow, just "not for the fourth of October." They had barely unloaded their instruments in South Dakota's Old West casino town of Deadwood before the wet, heavy snow started falling and closed part of Interstate 90, the area's only interstate.

    "Our car is like an igloo," said Lee, who sings and plays the clarinet and saxophone for her North Dakota-based polka band. "I'm glad we got everything out."

    The weather, which even forecasters acknowledged was rare, prompted Deadwood officials to postpone their annual Octoberfest, including Friday night's dancing-and-singing pub crawl and Saturday's Wiener Dog Races and Beer Barrel Games. But Lee said she and her accordion-playing husband, who had planned to set up in a casino bar, still planned to entertain stranded guests because "you can only gamble for so long."

    Officials were warning drivers to stay off the roads in the Black Hills and in eastern Wyoming, where reports of 5 to 10 inches of snow were common. Forecasters urged people trying to travel to carry survival kits and to stay in their vehicles if they get stranded.

    "I've lived in Wyoming my whole life and I've never seen it like this this early," Patricia Whitman, shift manager at the Flying J truck stop in Gillette, said in a telephone interview Friday morning. She said her truck stop's parking lot was full of travelers waiting out the storm.

    "I know several of the businesses nearby are completely closed because they can't even get workers into work - it's pretty nasty," she said.

    The snow also snapped tree limbs that knocked out power lines in parts of the state, causing thousands of people to lose power.

    It was a similar scene at the typically bustling Pilot Travel Center in western South Dakota near Rapid City, about 40 miles southwest of Deadwood. It was like a ghost town Friday morning, which store general manager John Barton attributed to drivers likely heeding forecasters' warnings to stay off the roads.

    The blowing snow was picking up outside the truck stop along Interstate 90, which was closed for about 30 miles because of the weather. Conditions were expected to deteriorate throughout the day.

    "Yesterday we were really busy," Barton said. "I think a lot of people got ahead of it."

    Although early October snowfalls aren't unusual for the region, a storm of such magnitude happens only once every decade or two on the Plains, National Weather Service meteorologist Steve Trimarchi said.

    "I couldn't say when the last time we've had one like this. It's been quite a while," Trimarchi said.

    Large hail and powerful winds were forecast to hit northwest Oklahoma later Friday, while heavy rain settled in parts of Iowa and was expected to swoop northeast across the region into Wisconsin.

    In Nebraska, a tornado that touched down Thursday night damaged homes and businesses in several communities, knocked out power and toppled trees. But no injuries have been reported.

    Snow also was still falling across northern Colorado on Friday, though no major problems were being reported. Forecasters expect snow to be the heaviest in the higher mountains, while the Denver metropolitan area was reporting rain turning into snow.

  • Colorado flooding death toll reaches 8 after 79-year-old woman found

    9/23/13 1:58 PM

    Officials say 79-year-old woman found dead in Colorado flood; death toll reaches 8.

  • Colorado flooding: Rescuers urged some to leave flooded towns

    9/15/13 4:34 PM

    The search for people stranded from the Rocky Mountain foothills to the plains of northeastern Colorado grew more difficult Sunday, with a new wave of rain threatening to hamper airlifts from the flooded areas still out of reach.

  • Colorado flooding: Rescues accelerate as floodwaters inundate plains

    9/14/13 2:41 PM

    Rescues and evacuations are accelerating today in a flooded part of Colorado that's nearly the size of Connecticut. National Guard helicopters are scooping up the stranded while hundreds more are being driven to safety in convoys.

  • Colorado flooding 2013: Boulder County flash flooding kills four

    9/13/13 6:13 PM

    Three people have died and thousand have been evacuated as a deluge of rain continues to cause flash flooding throughout Boulder County in Colorado.

  • Flooding in Colorado worsens as rain continues to fall, towns get evacuated

    9/13/13 10:39 AM

    Rain is still falling in Colorado, where flash flooding is forcing officials to move residents to higher ground and prompting President Obama to sign an emergency declaration.

  • Colorado flooding 2013: Trapped people rescued from Boulder apartment balcony

    9/12/13 8:01 AM

    Firefighters and first responders in Boulder, Colo. were able to come to the rescue for several people who were trapped on their apartment balcony during the brunt of heavy rain and flooding in the area.

  • Marijuana use in Colorado, Washington won't be blocked by feds

    8/29/13 2:31 PM

    The federal government said Thursday that it won't sue to stop the states of Colorado and Washington from allowing recreational marijuana use.

  • Body recovered from mudslide in Colorado; three missing

    8/10/13 7:05 PM

    Authorities have recovered a man's body from debris left by a fast-moving mudslide that swept through a historic town near Colorado Springs, Colo., and crews continued their search Saturday for three people reported missing after the flood.

  • Fire crews assess damage from Colorado wildfire

    6/15/13 7:18 PM Comment

    A Colorado sheriff said firefighters "are getting the upper hand" on the most destructive wildfire in state history Saturday.

  • Black Forest Fire now most destructive in Colorado history

    6/13/13 1:37 PM Comment

    The tally of lost homes was a dramatic increase from Wednesday evening, when 92 homes were listed as gone. The blaze in the Black Forest area northeast of Colorado Springs is now the most destructive in Colorado history.

  • Black Forest fire: Colorado woods, homes scorched by major wildfires

    6/12/13 8:17 AM Comment

    Three forest fires, likely driven by record temperatures and strong winds, broke out in Colorado Springs, Colo. killing two and prompting the evacuation of more than 2,500 homes.

  • James Holmes pleads not guilty by reason of insanity

    6/4/13 11:19 PM Comment

    A Colorado judge accepted Tuesday a not guilty by reason of insanity plea from James Holmes, the man suspect of going on a shooting rampage at a Denver-area movie theatre.

  • Gary Cole claims he invented Doritos Locos Tacos

    5/17/13 2:40 PM Comment

    The Doritos Locos Taco has been a smashing success for Taco Bell since they were rolled out last spring. According to ABC News, though, a Colorado state prisoner says it was all his idea.

  • Prince Harry joins olympian, naval officer to launch Warrior Games in Colorado

    5/12/13 8:02 AM Comment

    Combat helicopter pilot Prince Harry of Britain along with Olympic swimming champion Missy Franklin joined an American naval officer who had been blinded in Afghanistan in launching the Warrior Games for wounded service members.

  • James Holmes, Aurora shooting suspect, to enter insanity plea

    5/7/13 8:15 PM Comment

    Attorneys for James Holmes said in a court filing Tuesday they plan to formally ask for the change of plea at a May 13 hearing.

  • Crowds rally in Denver, D.C. on pot holiday

    4/20/13 8:22 PM Comment

    Gunfire erupted at a Denver park Saturday, injuring two people and sending tens of thousands gathered for an annual 4/20 pot celebration fleeing the area, police said. Rallies were held nationwide, including outside the White House and on the National Mall.

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