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5 things you need to know for Tuesday, July 6

Posted at 5:58 AM, Jul 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-06 08:16:27-04

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

If you'd like to read the full story, be sure to click on the story headline.

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Today is going to be an active day for strong to severe weather in our southern mountains, valley, and southeast plains.


Slow moving storms in a very wet environment will enhance flooding concerns in and outside of the mountains today and tonight. Rain over the last few days has saturated the soil, and flash flooding could happen quickly across the Wet and Sangre De Cristo Mountains, as well as the Wet Mountain Valley.

Severe Storms:

Strong to severe storms are likely in the mountains, but also across the plains today from Pueblo down to Trinidad and out east. Storms that turn severe today in the plains could pack 1 inch hail, 60 mph winds, and even a quick landspout tornado in the afternoon and early evening hours.

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Murder trial begins today for man accused of killing, dismembering mother

The murder trial for Anthony Cuevas gets underway this week in Pueblo on charges he killed his mother and disposed of her body across town in suitcases.

In October 2019, Pueblo police officers found some of the remains for 58-year-old Maria Cuevas-Garcia inside a dumpster.

Security video released later in the day shows a man placing objects into the dumpster outside a car wash on Ivywood Lane.

36-year-old Anthony Cuevas and his wife, Melanie, were arrested outside a restaurant several days later. Police charged the son with first-degree murder and for a parole violation. The wife was charged with criminal impersonation.

News5 will keep you updated as trial proceedings begin in Pueblo.


Climber dies Monday in N Cheyenne Canyon

A man out hiking and climbing in N Cheyenne Canyon died after an hours-long rescue effort by the Colorado Springs Fire Department on Monday.

The Colorado Springs Fire Department received a call around 10:15 Monday morning about a climber who had fallen and was stranded approximately 100 feet off the ground.

CSFD said the experienced climber was using ropes and safety gear and was climbing with a partner, who was below him on the ground. He fell approximately 50 feet.

It took quite some time to get the necessary gear in place for firefighters to reach the man, who had very weak vital signs when they made contact.

The Colorado Springs Police Department is investigating the incident. The name of the climber will be released by the El Paso County Coroner's Office.


As wildfires increase in number and size, the number of hotshot crews dwindles

At a time when wildfires are at their worst in U.S. history, there are fewer firefighters to try and stop them in their tracks.

The number of hotshot crews, the teams that go to the front lines of wildfires in our country, are dwindling as many parts of the country are experiencing unprecedented heat and drought.

“It’s tough to hire people now because you can go to the local McDonald’s and make $15 an hour, or you can jump out of an airplane and make $15 an hour and make a little overtime,” said said Chuck Sheley, Vice President of the National Smokejumper Association.

According to Sheley, the wage gap between federal hotshots, many of whom are employed by the U.S. Forest Service, and private entities is massive.

In an email, the U.S. Forrest Service told us the pay for federal hotshots is about half of what it is at the state level.

A CNN analysis of the pay structure digs deeper, showing that the pay discrepancy in California, a state with many of the country's wildfires, is in the range of $38,000 per year.


The melon harvest has begun in Rocky Ford

The sweet smell of melons is in the air in the small town of Rocky Ford. The first cantaloupes of the season have been picked.

News 5 stopped by Smith Farms to see what the melon forecast for the season is looking like.

"Every year I think they are sweeter than the previous year. They just seem to be getting better and better. There are new varieties coming out, new growing practices, and every year they are just fantastic," Farm Manager Adam Smith said.

The farm said watermelons should be available in two weeks and you can expect to see Rocky Ford's prized crops in grocery stores in about a month.

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