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Valerie Richardson

Valerie Richardson

Valerie Richardson covers politics and the West from Denver. She can be reached at

Articles by Valerie Richardson

Some alumni are calling for the University of Denver to bring back Denver Boone, the mascot that was jettisoned in 1998 for being politically incorrect.

Mascot feud hits Denver after university introduces Boone replacement

University of Denver officials reignited the school's simmering mascot feud last month by proposing three new mascots — an elk, a jackalope and a "mountaineer" — but many alumni are still smarting over the school's decision to dump Boone, the chubby pioneer who was jettisoned in 1998 for being insufficiently inclusive. Published July 8, 2013

Bolivian President Evo Morales talks to reporters at Schwechat Airport outside Vienna, Austria, on Wednesday, July 3, 2013. Mr. Morales plane was rerouted to Austria after various European countries refused to let it cross their airspace because of suspicions that NSA leaker Edward Snowden was on board, Bolivian officials said Tuesday. (AP Photo/Hans Punz)

Bolivian government angry over plane rerouting due to Snowden suspicions

While still apparently holed up in a Moscow airport, National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden precipitated another international incident, this time over the Bolivian president's plane being rerouted to Austria over concerns that Mr. Snowden might be onboard. Published July 3, 2013

Magpul floods Colorado with ammo magazines 2 days before gun laws kick in

An estimated 5,000 gun-rights advocates lined up hours in advance Saturday to score 20,000 free and discounted 30-round ammunition magazines at "A Farewell to Arms," billed as a "freedom festival" for those disenchanted with the Colorado Legislature's aggressive gun-control push. Published June 30, 2013

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper faces a declining approval rating following a legislative session described as the most liberal in state history. Mr. Hickenlooper made a much-criticized decision to grant an indefinite reprieve of execution to death row inmate Nathan Dunlap. (Associated Press)

Poll: Colorado voters souring on Democrats

A Quinnipiac University poll released last week shows Colorado voters registering greater disapproval for Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper and the Democrat-controlled legislature, following a legislative session described as the most liberal in state history. Published June 16, 2013

** FILE ** Sponsors and family members of victims watch as Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper signs gun-control bills into law at the Capitol in Denver on Wednesday, March 20, 2013. The bills, which place new restrictions on firearms, thrust Colorado into the national spotlight as a potential test of how far the country might be willing to go on new restrictions after the horror of the Newtown, Conn., and Aurora, Colo., shootings. (Associated Press)

Second Colorado Democrat facing recall over gun vote

Gun-rights advocates in Colorado submitted signatures Monday against a second Democratic state lawmaker in the escalating backlash against the Colorado legislature's recently approved gun control bills. Published June 10, 2013

** FILE ** Aurora, Colo., theater shooting suspect James Holmes sits in the courtroom during his arraignment in Centennial, Colo., on Tuesday, March 12, 2013. (Associated Press/Denver Post)

Holmes can plead insanity in Colo. theater shooting

Mass shooting suspect James Eagan Holmes was allowed Tuesday to change his plea to not guilty by reason of insanity, setting the stage for an extensive mental-health evaluation that could stretch into 2014. Published June 4, 2013

Rep. Darrell E. Issa said uneven scrutiny by the IRS was "a problem that was coordinated in all likelihood right out of Washington headquarters." (Associated Press photographs)

IRS audits moderate group with GOP ties; Issa says scrutiny known in D.C.

Two weeks before news broke that the IRS had targeted conservative groups for special scrutiny of their tax-exempt applications, a moderate GOP organization received word it was being audited — a move its organizers said suggests the tax agency's scrutiny included non-tea party political groups. Published June 2, 2013