Black-footed ferrets deployed by feds under Endangered Species deals

PUEBLO — Thirty black-footed ferrets bolted from cages onto barren ranchland Wednesday, potentially launching a new approach to rescuing endangered species — and introducing a natural predator of prairie dogs.

Although the federal government, led by biologists in Colorado, has bred thousands of black-footed ferrets in captivity, they still do not exist as self-sustaining species in the wild.

Plague has attacked some released ferrets in other states, but the bigger problem has been landowners hesitant to allow an endangered animal on their land fearing liability if anything happens to it.

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Front Range smog complicates push for oil and gas industry air rules

Smog along Colorado’s Front Range is thickening again, exceeding federal standards, and government-backed scientists say the oil and gas boom is partly to blame.

If the industry expands, scientists at a conference this week said, air quality probably will deteriorate.

“It’s going to be harder to meet our clean-air requirements,” said Gabrielle Pétron, a researcher in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s global monitoring division.

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How an Ethiopian torturer hid in Denver for 7 years in plain sight

He played the role of a jovial father figure with a new generation of Ethiopian-Americans in metro Denver, far from the Red Terror atrocities of another time, another continent.

To the young men at the Cozy Cafe, Kefelgn Alemu Worku was Tufa, a paunchy, gray-haired mentor who was quick to burst into song, sit down at the piano or settle an argument when others had too much to drink. They welcomed his advice, his company and his jokes.

“Work hard. This is a good place to live. Change your life,” he told one of them, 34-year-old Nas Siraj.

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Colorado School of Mines materials engineers turn food garbage to glass

GOLDEN — Colorado School of Mines engineers have found an alternative to digging into mountains for minerals: mining the minerals from food waste.

They’ve turned putrid banana peels, eggshells and rice husks into crystal-clear glass.

Now they’re investigating what other muck may yield.

In a lab here, they rigged up a cooking system that starts at a fridge, where students delightedly donate garbage.

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