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Colorado’s Missy Franklin wins Gold at the Olympics

LONDON — Missy Franklin of Centennial won her first Gold medal of the 2012 Summer Olympics Monday.

The 17-year-old swimmer won the women’s 100-meter backstroke for the United States. She finished the race in 58.22 seconds. She did that just a few minutes after landing the eighth and last qualifying position in the 200-meter freestyle semifinals.

Emily Seebohm of Australia finished in 58.68 to take the silver medal and Aya Terakawa of Japan finished in 58.83 to take bronze.

Franklin won the backstroke just a few minutes after landing the eighth and last qualifying position in the 200-meter freestyle semifinals.

Franklin won her first medal Saturday. She was a member of the U.S. Women’s 4×100 relay team that won the bronze medal.

Franklin attends Regis High School.

Man arrested for carrying gun into Thornton movie theater

THORNTON, Colo. — Some would argue that this is not the time to bring a gun into a theater. But police said James Mapes told them it is exactly the time, telling authorities he brought a gun into a Thornton movie theater Sunday for his own protection.

His handgun was strapped to his waist — he was wearing it so others could see it.

A cell phone video captures Mapes being arrested for possession of a weapon in a liquor and beer establishment, a misdemeanor. Police said he was cooperative and emphasized his right to bear arms.

Technically, police said Mapes was arrested because he was carrying his weapon in a way that caused alarm and fear for others. He received a summons and was later released.

Once theater managers learned of the gun, they quickly evacuated several theaters in the building. About 30 people were affected. Witnesses said it was a frightening ordeal with the Aurora shooting still fresh in their minds.

Young shooting survivor gets gift that gives her a big smile

A local business owner is inspired by a 13-year old girl who survived the Aurora shooting.

Tim Powers, owner of Rocky Mountain Laptops, said he was inspired by 13-year-old Kaylan after hearing her story of survival inside theater nine.  He wanted to give something back to the teen who spends a lot of her time giving to the homeless.

So, on Friday he asked FOX 31 Denver to help organize a meeting where he could surprise her with a laptop computer.

When Kaylan walked into the store she had no idea what to expect until Tim greeted her.

“We would like to give you this laptop,” said Tim Powers, owner of Rocky Mountain Laptops.

“Oh, my goodness,” said Kaylan, who survived the shooting.

“What do you say?” said Heather, Kaylan’s mother. “Thank you,” said Kaylan.

Colorado ranked 22nd in child well-being survey

Rise in concentrated poverty continues to limit state, despite gains in education and health

Soldier in Afghan War Zone helping shooting victims back home

ARVADA, Colo. — Sean Horan was just a teenager living in Jefferson County when the Columbine tragedy played out, now he is an ex-soldier still serving in Afghanistan as a contractor, but the movie massacre has him in full-help mode.

“I just want to do some random thing to help these people who were randomly attacked last week,” said Horan.

“I have a collectors edition guitar built by Luthier, George Gorodnitsky, which I am putting up for auction on eBay and my hope is someone like Slash or Santana will step up and bid on this one-of-a-kind guitar to enable us to make a donation to the funds for families being collected in Colorado.”

We spoke with Horan by Skype and his father, Dan Horan in Arvada, who was playing the super-strong guitar on his deck.

Middle school teacher accused of child sexual exploitation arrested

WESTMINSTER, Colo. — A middle school teacher has been arrested. He’s accused of sexual exploitation of a child.

Police say Daniel Patterson, 35, worked as a language arts teacher at Mandalay Middle School in Westminster.

Police arrested him last week after detectives say they received information that he could have many images of child pornography.

Patterson began teaching at Mandalay in August 2011. He taught at Wheat Ridge Middle School and North High School in Denver before that.


EXCLUSIVE: Hickenlooper absorbs families’ emotions and his own

DENVER — Gov. John Hickenlooper was celebrating a friend’s birthday in Colorado Springs Thursday night and he was still there early Friday morning when his phone rang with news of the deadly shooting rampage inside an Aurora movie theater.

“My first reaction is as a parent and I know how I felt, just how my guts constricted,” Hickenlooper said Monday in an exclusive interview with FOX31 Denver at the Capitol.

For the last three days, Hickenlooper has been meeting with law enforcement, escorting the president, counseling victims’ families and survivors at the University of Colorado Hospital, addressing thousands at Sunday’s candlelight vigil, juggling myriad interviews with the national media and, almost as an afterthought, thinking about his own emotions.