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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

FILE - In this Nov. 21, 2013 photo, Utah Attorney General John Swallow speaks during a news conference in Salt Lake City. Swallow announced Thursday that he is stepping down amid multiple investigations of bribery and misconduct that have hounded him ever since he took office at the beginning of the year.  The Utah Republican Party's governing body is set to select three candidates on Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013 to replace Swallow. Gov. Gary Herbert will choose one of the three to fill the office until a special election can in November 2014. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Utah officials blocked again on gay marriage ban

A federal judge denied Monday the Utah attorney general's request for a stay of his ruling allowing same-sex marriages, clearing the path for gay couples to marry in what may be the nation's most socially conservative state. Published December 23, 2013

Secured: Action by the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Department in Colorado ended a school shooting Friday in 80 seconds, when an armed deputy closed in on the gunman. (Associated press)

Armed response, not restrictive gun laws, brought swift end to school shooting

It's a stark fact that is fueling an already intense debate about gun rights in this state: It was an armed deputy who stopped the Arapahoe High School gunman last week from unleashing a deadly massacre, not the expansive new gun control laws approved by Colorado Democrats in March in reaction to two mass shootings. Published December 18, 2013

Newly-assembled 30-round capacity ammunition magazines for high-velocity rifles are stacked awaiting packaging inside the Magpul Industries plant, in Erie, Colo. The company plans to relocate now that gun control bills have become law. (Associated Press)

Gun rights groups target California city's ordinance

If you own an ammunition magazine that holds more than 10 rounds and you live in Sunnyvale, Calif., you can keep it — as long as you also have a second home in another city. Published December 17, 2013

In this still image taken from video provided by Fox 31 Denver,  students gather just outside of Arapahoe High School as police respond to reports of a shooting at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colo. Friday, Dec. 13, 2013. Colorado division of emergency management spokeswoman Micki Trost said her director went to the school and their weren't any more immediate details. (AP Photo/KDVR) MANDATORY CREDIT

Sheriff: Colo. school shooter kills self, wounds two

A student armed with a shotgun and looking for a staff member burst Friday into suburban Arapahoe High School, where he shot and injured two students before turning the gun on himself. Published December 13, 2013

The German-built zeppelin flies over the Golden Gate Bridge, arriving in San Francisco on Oct. 25 to begin aerial tours of the Bay Area. The airship is the first of its kind to fly in the United States in more than 70 years. (Associated Press)

Californians turn against unions after spending clashes, strikes: poll

In one of the nation’s bluest states, public opinion is souring on California’s power labor unions amid heated debate over funding for public pensions, a rash of municipal bankruptcies and a recent public-transportation strike, according to a poll released Friday. Published December 13, 2013

People carry signs and banners as they pass by The White House to protest the Keystone Pipeline, in Washington, D.C., Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

Fracking fallout: Colleges ditch fossil-fuel stock

Like most other college campuses, the University of California at Berkeley has all the ingredients for a pitched battle over the school's financial ties to the fossil-fuel industry. Published December 11, 2013

Demonstrators rally for better wages outside a McDonald's restaurant in Chicago on Thursday. Demonstrations planned in 100 cities were part of push to raise the federal minimum wage of $7.25. The effort produced a backlash. (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Fast-food protests spur backlash

The labor movement's latest fast-food protest drew a "delicious backlash" Thursday from the burger-loving opposition. Published December 5, 2013

THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE. Photo courtesy of Lionsgate

'Hunger Games' delivers Obama's message on income inequality

A cultural tug of war is brewing between conservatives and liberals over the message of "The Hunger Games." Are the popular teen novels and films a leftist call for the downtrodden to rise up against the rich? Or an Orwellian take on the dangers of Big Government? Published December 4, 2013

Gay couple's complaint against Colo. baker gets hearing

A bakery owner who refused to prepare a wedding cake for a gay couple heads to court Wednesday in a case closely watched for its implications on religious freedom in a society that increasingly embraces same-sex marriage. Published December 3, 2013

**FILE** Madelaine O'Neal, a freshman from St. Louis, Mo., studies outside the book store at the University of Colorado in Boulder on Oct. 1, 2008. (Associated Press)

Easy for you to say: Campus considers dorm names 'Houusoo' and 'Nowoo3'

Unusual campus names are a venerable college tradition — think Harvard's Wigglesworth Hall or USC's Argue Plaza — but nothing quite compares to those under review at the University of Colorado Boulder, where a commission has recommended renaming renovated dormitories "Houusoo Hall" and "Nowoo3 Hall" after two Arapaho Indian chiefs. Published November 29, 2013