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5 things you need to know for Thursday, May 6

Posted at 6:15 AM, May 06, 2021

Good morning southern Colorado and here's what you need to know on your Thursday, May 6.

If you'd like to read the full story, be sure to click on the story headline.
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The Rebound Colorado: One woman's mission to save military lives

As we work to rebound from the effects of the pandemic, we’re talking about a really tough subject, military suicides.

News5's Elizabeth Watts met with an Air Force Military Spouse of the Year is speaking out on her experiences, hoping to encourage others to get help. Unfortunately, the data from 2 years ago does not show the full picture of the suicides in the military across active duty, reserves and National Guard units.

Kristen Christy a mom, a volunteer, and a military spouse. “I never in a million years would have expected to be sitting here talking about this subject,” Christy said, “13 years ago my first husband took his life after a deployment.”

She now teaches resiliency. She’s done over 120 presentations. She has received coins from the military elite as a thank you for her testimony.

Christy helped spearhead the three-digit suicide lifeline number planned to roll out in Summer 2022.

If you or someone you know is struggling, there is help available 24/7. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, when you call there is an option to talk with someone specifically on the Military Crisis Line. Phone: 1-800-273-8255.

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Friends of Suzanne Morphew speak out after husband is arrested

Barry Morphew, the husband of missing Colorado mother Suzanne Morphew, has been arrested in Chaffee County on multiple charges, including first-degree murder, almost a year after Suzanne was first reported missing, according to court documents.

Over the last year, Suzanne's friends say day in and day out they searched for Suzanne tirelessly, hoping one day she would return. "It was such a let down, it was so sad because we didn't get the results we had hoped for, it was like the death all over again," said Tisha Leewaye, Suzanne's friend.

Leewaye says Suzanne's husband, Barry, turned down invitations to search efforts and vigils they planned for his missing wife, and mother of two.

Suzanne, 49, has been missing since May 10, 2020, Mother's Day, from the Maysville area in Chaffee County. A neighbor called 911 to report that she had gone for a bike ride and never returned that day, the sheriff's office said.

Barry, who has retained counsel, is scheduled to make his first court appearance Thursday morning.

Anybody with information on this case is encouraged to call the tip line at 719-312-7530.

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James Papol sentenced to 60 years for 1988 rape and murder of Colorado Springs woman

Wednesday, the man who pleaded guilty to the 1988 murder of 24-year-old Mary Lynn Vialpando in Colorado Springs was given the maximum sentence of 60 years in prison.

James Papol was 15 at the time of Vialpando's death. The victim was found raped, stabbed, and beaten to death in an alley in Old Colorado City in 1988. She died of blunt force trauma. No suspects were ever named in the case, but police sent DNA evidence to a lab in Virginia, which recreated the suspect’s facial appearance.

Papol was arrested in 2018 by the Colorado Springs Police Department based on DNA evidence. Then District Attorney Dan May said this was the first case in Colorado state history where officers collected DNA from a crime scene.

Originally, Papol was charged with first-degree murder. He entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity, leading the court to order a mental evaluation at the Colorado Mental Health Institute in Pueblo where Papol was arrested in 2018.

On Wednesday, the judge presiding over the case said Papol had taken no accountability for his actions. She added that even at the age of 15, she probably would have given him the maximum sentence of 60 years.

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Hangar Bar and Grill closing permanently

An iconic restaurant in Pueblo that's been around for over 70 years, is closing its doors for good.

When Brian and Shawn Valencia took ownership of the Hangar Bar and Grill 10 years ago, they knew that the nearby interstate would eventually consume the property. However, the couple thought they had at least 10 more years from 2021 until they had to face that issue, so when the state called recently about purchasing the property, they were "surprised".

"It's bittersweet," said the Valencias, describing their decision to close instead of moving locations.

The state offered to help the couple move or to simply buy them out for the construction they have planned on I-25, but Shawn Valencia said moving to a new spot in town would be like "starting over".

The walls of the restaurant are covered in memorabilia that has been collected over the years. Shawn says she plans on having a silent auction, one way the legend of the Hangar can live on after they close.

The Hangar officially closes on June 15, 2021.

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Get your latest First Alert 5 Weather forecast

The weather looks outstanding today with sunny skies, warm temperatures, and light winds across most of the region.

We'll see highs in the 70s across Colorado Springs and right near 80 in Pueblo. We'll have enough wind today to feel nice outside but not be annoying.

We'll be hotter tomorrow with the chance of scattered and isolated storms across the region, but dry air off the mountains will make most of what we see virga which is rain that falls and doesn't hit the ground.

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