Today: Flooding likely, Aurora anniversary looms, major I-70 closure

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10 Things to Know Today

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1. Heavy rains, flooding likely along Front Range on Friday

The Front Range is expected to get a break from the blistering heat Friday, but with that break will come the high possibility of heavy rains and flooding in some areas. Flash flood watches have been issued in the High Country, the Foothills, and the burn scars in both Larimer and El Paso counties.

The storms are expected to roll into the Front Range around 4 p.m., with as many as 2.2 inches of rain just west of Boulder.

2. One year anniversary of Aurora theater tragedy hours away

Our community has healed, but we haven’t forgotten. FOX31 Denver has put together an interactive page looking back at the impact the Aurora theater tragedy had locally, and how it changed the landscape of the gun debate across the country.

Tensions surrounding that gun debate are expecting to come to a head once again today, as somber remembrance ceremonies, including famed Chicago carpenter Greg Zanis’ plan to erect 12 new crosses across the street from the theater, may clash with pro-gun rallies like the one scheduled in nearby Cherry Creek State Park.

3. Major I-70 closure planned Friday

I-70 will close in both directions between I-25 and Federal Boulevard for bridge work starting at 10 p.m. Friday. It will continue throughout the weekend until it’s expected to be lifted around 5 a.m. the ensuing Monday. During the closure, crews will demolish the existing Pecos Street bridge over I-70 and roll-in the new 2,400-ton Pecos Street bridge.

Lane closures will begin at 7 p.m. in preparation for the full closure.

4. First court appearance for Longmont officer accused of sex assault

An officer that has been with the Longmont Police Department for 12 years will make his first court appearance Friday, after being charged with sexual assault earlier in the week. Chris Martinchick was suspended from the department on July 3, and turned himself in Wednesday. He is accused of committing an off-duty assault in Loveland.

5. Colorado June unemployment numbers released

The Department of Labor and Employment released Colorado’s unemployment rate for June overnight, showing the rate rising slightly from 6.9 to 7 percent. The rate, which stood at 7.5 percent at the end of last year, had steadily dropped since the turn of 2013 until this latest report.

6. Fallout from Detroit’s filling for bankruptcy

Detroit filed for bankruptcy Thursday afternoon, becoming the nation’s largest public sector bankruptcy. The move could slash pension benefits to city workers and retirees, and leave bond holders with only pennies on the dollar.

Public employee unions are sure to begin their fight against the filing on Friday, charging that the city did not negotiate in good faith and should not be allowed to walk away from obligations made to employees and retirees.

8. NSA chief defends security programs at conference in Aspen

At a convention in Apsen on Thursday, the director of the National Security Agency offered a defense of a domestic monitoring program that has been at the center of government leaks, while also tacitly supporting an idea to dramatically change the controversial snooping.

Read more about his comments and find out what changes could be in store.

9. Half of seized dogs up for adoption

Half of the 118 Havanese dogs found living in filthy conditions in a home just east of Aurora were put up for adoption along the Front Range starting Thursday afternoon. Click here to find out how you can help find homes for the abused animals.

10. Woman turns 104 in Lakewood

Ruby Sharon was born in Sumner, Okla., in 1909. She’ll turn 104 at a Lakewood health care center on Friday. When asked for advice on her longevity, Sharon quipped, “Don’t die,” before adding, “keep your sense of humor.”

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