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SUNRISE: Lawmakers review bills to address Colorado wildfires

September 25, 2012
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Colorado lawmakers will review possible legislation to apply lessons learned from a March wildfire that killed three people and damaged two dozen homes.

Some ideas lawmakers will discuss Tuesday include providing grants for fire-mitigation projects in high-risk communities and increasing what Colorado pays to victims when the state is responsible for a wildfire. The wildfire this spring in the foothills southwest of Denver grew out of control from a state-prescribed burn.

State Rep. Cheri Gerou, a Republican from Evergreen, tells KMGH-TV ( the report fails to address responsibility.

Lawmakers approved a committee this year to examine events surrounding the fire and to propose possible legislation for next year.

Colorado experienced one of its worst wildfire seasons this year, with the Waldo Canyon and High Park fires.

U.S. Senators to host town hall in Springs

Three Republican U.S. Senators will host a town hall meeting 10-11 a.m. Tuesday in Colorado Springs to discuss looming defense spending cuts.

The senators, all members of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, are John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire.

The town hall is open to the public, and those who want to attend are asked to call the Greater Colorado Springs Chamber and EDC at 719-884-2828.

The event will be at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs in the Upper Lodge. Attendees must park in the University Village shopping center in the far northeast corner near Costco. Shuttle buses will provide transportation to the town hall.

Colorado SAT scores beat national average

Colorado students this year continued to outperform the national average on SAT college readiness tests, but the results are tempered by a shrinking pool of test-takers.

About 8,500 of the state's 2012 high school graduates scored a combined average of 1,718 on three tests measuring reading, math and writing skills — well above the national average of 1,498. Scores range from 200-800 on each of three sections.

However, some states require high school students to take the SAT, and therefore have a larger number of participants and a greater range of scores. Colorado has required high school juniors to take only the ACT since 2001.

State participation in the SAT, which is administered by the College Board, has dropped by about one-third since 2005, when nearly 13,000 students took the test.

Over the past five years, Colorado's participation rate in the SAT has fallen from 21 percent to 17 percent, according to the College Board.

Read more on SAT scores at

Snow expected across the Rockies

The first week of autumn is expected to bring snow to Colorado — above 11,000 feet — this week as a low-pressure system and a cold front sweep across the high country.

One to 3 inches is expected by Tuesday afternoon in parts of the Gore and Elk mountains, central mountain valleys and San Juan mountains, including Aspen, Vail, Snowmass, Crested Butte, Taylor Park, Marble, Ouray, Telluride, Lake City, Silverton, Rico and Hesperus, according to the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction.

"Outdoor recreationalists expected to be in the high country, especially above 11,000 feet, should be prepared for winter-like weather," forecasters warned Monday.

Read more on the weather at

Eagle County coroner IDs body found in river

GYPSUM — The Eagle County coroner has identified the body of a woman found in the Eagle River as 40-year-old Stephanie Brantley of Gypsum.

Coroner Kara Bettis said Monday that Brantley died of a gunshot wound to the chest. The case is under investigation.

A fisherman discovered Brantley's body on Friday behind the Gypsum Wastewater Treatment Facility.

Greeley man gets 16 to life for rape conviction

GREELEY — A Greeley man convicted of raping a woman in Lincoln Park has been sentenced to serve 16 years to life in prison.

The Greeley Tribune reports ( ) that Adrian Parra Hernandez, 46, was sentenced Monday in Weld County District Court.

Parra Hernandez was convicted in June of felony sexual assault, second-degree kidnapping and possession of a controlled substance.

The assault occurred in April 2011.

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