SUNRISE: Dicey roads after Monday snowstorm

Staff reports Updated: March 5, 2013 at 12:00 am • Published: March 5, 2013

The traffic mantra Tuesday morning was slick side roads, black ice and slow and easy.

While roads were mostly clear after a snowstorm blew through the area Monday, there were slick spots, icy side roads and fog blanketing Monument Hill.

The forecast for Tuesday called for the start of a warmup with no precipitation until late Friday night or Saturday.

Trouble spots included Highway 115 near Fort Carson because of icy conditions. Black ice was also reported on Bradley Road, the site of a rollover accident. Another rollover was reported on Milton E. Proby Parkway near the Colorado Springs Airport.

Pueblo set a snowfall record with 3.5 inches for the day. The previous record was 2.4 inches in 1976, the National Weather Service said.

The next storm will likely start as rain Saturday, turning to snow later in the day and over night, said Pamela Evenson, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Pueblo.

"There's a lot of uncertainty still, but temperatures look like they will be warm enough Saturday for that to be rain for part of the day," she said.

Tuesday's road conditions are common following a snowstorm this time of the year, she said.

"We did have a lot of melting with the snow last night and then it got cold enough for it to freeze," Evenson said.

Snowfall totals included Black Forest at 3 to 5 inches; Cripple Creek 2 inches; Air Academy, up to 5 inches; northeast of the Air Force Academy, 3.7 inches; Colorado Springs, 1 to 2 inches; Monument, 3.8 inches; Fountain area, 3.5 inches.

The snowstorm also pushed night work on Fillmore Avenue to Tuesday night. For more on that story:

http://www.gazette.com/articles/fillmore-151797-east-street.html  

 

WEATHER

After the quick-hitting snowstorm you can expect a high near 44 Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service. Tuesday night it will be mostly clear with a low around 22. Wednesday there will be mostly sunny skies with a high near 60.

     

AROUND COLORADO

SnowBall music festival focusing on safety

WINTER PARK (AP) — Authorities are hoping this year's SnowBall Music Festival will roll along smoothly after it was moved from Avon to Winter Park over concerns it had gotten too rowdy.

According to the Denver Post (http://tinyurl.com/awdtp7j ), authorities plan to focus on emergencies when the festival begins on Friday and tone down police presence.

About 140 people were taken into custody last year on charges including trespassing, assault, and drug possession.

Independent investigator for ethics probe

DENVER (AP) — The Colorado Independent Ethics Commission has agreed to appoint an outside investigator to review its ethics probe of Secretary of State Scott Gessler.

According to the Denver Post (http://tinyurl.com/af5fusw ), Gessler says the independent investigation ordered Monday is necessary because of bias on the part of the agency's executive director.

The ethics commission last year launched an investigation following allegations Gessler improperly used state funds for political purposes.

He is accused of using the money for a trip to a Republican lawyers' meeting and a trip to the Republican National Convention. He's also accused of taking reimbursements from an office expense fund without submitting receipts.

Gessler says the investigation is politically motivated

DENVER (AP) — A U.N. drug agency says the legalization of marijuana for recreational use in Colorado and Washington violates international drug treaties.

The International Narcotics Control Board urged the Barack Obama administration to challenge the legalization measures. It made its appeal in an annual drug report released Tuesday.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said last week that he was in the last stages of reviewing the state laws. Holder said he was examining policy options and international implications of the issue. Marijuana is illegal under federal law.

The federal government could sue the states over legalization or decide not to mount a court challenge.

Bill would require DNA from misdemeanor convicts

DENVER (AP) — A coalition of district attorneys says it supports collecting DNA from people convicted of misdemeanors.

State Rep. Dan Pabon is expected to unveil a bill at a news conference Tuesday.

DNA collected after a misdemeanor conviction would be entered into a database where it would be compared with DNA found at a crime scene. Colorado began collecting DNA from accused felons in 2010 under the so-called Katie's Law.

That law is credited with solving cold cases and stopping repeat offenders.

Colorado District Attorneys Council executive director Tom Raynes says the bill would include safeguards to protect civil liberties.

Immigrant tuition hits farthest point 

DENVER (AP) — Republicans in Colorado are giving a boost to a bill offering illegal immigrants a chance at in-state tuition.

The tuition proposal is nearing its final lap in the Legislature as the House plans to debate the measure Tuesday. Similar bills have cleared the Senate in recent years, but stalled in the House.

This year the House is under Democratic control, and Republicans support is not needed to get the measure to the governor's desk. But this year's version has attracted unprecedented Republican support.

The measure gives Colorado residents in-state tuition regardless of immigration status. Students who aren't here legally would have to pursue citizenship to receive the tuition.

Bill calls for in-person concealed carry course

DENVER (AP) — Residents who want a concealed carry permit would not be able to take any of their classes online, under a bill given initial approval in the state Senate.

The proposal clarifies that firearm training classes to get a concealed carry permit must all be taken in person. The bill passed the Senate Judiciary committee on a 3-2 party-line vote on Monday, with Republicans opposing.

Opponents of the bill say it places another burden on people who want permits. Supporters say one-hour online courses aren't sufficient to merit the right to carry concealed weapons.

The bill still needs approval from the full Senate.

Assault weapon liability bill gets first approval

DENVER (AP) — A proposal to hold sellers and owners of assault weapons liable for damages in Colorado shootings got initial approval in the state Senate.

Democratic senators pass the bill on a 3-2 committee vote over Republicans' objections on Monday.

The bill would set different liability standards for manufacturer, sellers, and owners of assault weapons, with owners having the strictest standard. It would be up to juries to decide individual cases.

A federal law protects gun makers and sellers from liability for crimes committed with their products. But Democratic Senate President John Morse says he crafted his bill to avoid that conflict.

Constitutional law professor David Koppel slammed the bill and says it's poorly drafted.

The bill still needs a full Senate vote. Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper has not said if he'll sign it.

2 companies settle complaints over military leave

DENVER (AP) — Two companies are settling a complaint that they undercompensated two Air Force reservists who went on military leave.

Centennial-based FlightSafety Services Corp. and a subcontractor Delaware Resource Group of Oklahoma aren't admitting any wrongdoing in agreeing to the settlement. Documents filed Monday in federal court in Denver said the companies settled to avoid litigation.

Michael J. Sipos started working for FlightSafety in 2006 at McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey, and Gary D. Smith started working for FlightSafety in 1990 at Westover Air Reserve Base in Massachusetts. They alleged they weren't allowed to make "catch up" contributions to their 401(k) plans or receive matching contributions that they missed while they were on military leave.

Under the settlement, they can make the contributions and receive matching contributions.

Police release more on hit-and-run victims

DENVER (AP) — Denver police say four people who were struck in a hit-and-run accident after a disturbance over the weekend were innocent bystanders.

Authorities say a disturbance in the Maxim Lounge parking lot around 2 a.m. Sunday spilled into the street, and a vehicle sped through a parking lot and hit four pedestrians who weren't involved in the fight.

Police said Monday that a husband and wife are still hospitalized in critical condition. Another man also was injured, and a woman who walked away from the scene was later diagnosed with a concussion.

Investigators describe the suspect's vehicle as a silver Honda Civic hatchback with tinted windows and damage on the driver's side front end.

Limits on ammunition magazines gets 1st Senate OK

DENVER (AP) — New limits on the size of ammunition magazines got initial approval in the Colorado Senate over objections from Republicans who say the restrictions can be easily bypassed and won't prevent gun violence.

The proposal would ban ammunition magazines that hold more than 15 rounds, with a limit of eight for shotguns.

Three Democrats supported the bill in a Senate committee Monday and two Republicans voted no. The proposal still needs to be approved by the full Democratic-controlled Senate. But two Democrats have said they would vote no, meaning Republicans need only one more Democrat to defeat the bill.

Supporters of the proposal say it addresses mass shootings. But opponents say people would still have access to magazines of any size in other states.

Magazine manufacturer Magpul says it will leave Colorado if the bill passes.

Background check fee clears CO Senate committee

DENVER (AP) — A plan to revive fees for gun purchasers who need background checks has passed its first test in the Colorado Senate.

The bill would state that gun purchasers would have to pay a fee, likely $10, to cover the cost of a required background check on gun purchases. The Democratic bill passed a Senate committee on a party-line 3-2 vote Monday. One more committee vote is required before the gun fee bill heads to the full Senate.

The background check fee has already cleared the Democratic House. Supporters say the fees need to be revived to address a state background check backlog. They point out that many states charge similar fees.

Republicans have derided the fees as an unconstitutional infringement on the right to bear arms.

Document on Denver Water project expected in Feb.

DENVER (AP) — A key document on a proposal to enlarge Gross Reservoir in Boulder County is scheduled to be released in February.

Gov. John Hickenlooper had pushed for the final environmental impact statement for Denver Water's Moffat Collection System Project to be released this year. But the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Monday it will release it in February and give the public time to comment on it before it decides whether to issue a permit for it.

Denver Water says the project is needed to help ensure the water supply to the 1.3 million people it serves as it collects water from the Fraser and Williams Fork River basins.

Conservation groups including Trout Unlimited say they're pleased officials are taking time to study how the project will affect river flows.

Gun restrictions in domestic violence cases passes

DENVER (AP) — Colorado Democrats advanced an expansion on restrictions on gun ownership for people convicted of domestic violence offense.

The bill passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday with a 3-2 party-line vote with Democrats in favor. Democratic Sen. Evie Hudak says the bill seeks to address what she called the "lethal combination of guns and domestic violence."

The proposal imposes new restrictions on gun ownership for people who have restraining orders and who have been convicted of a domestic violence offense.

Republican Sen. Steve King says the bill should allow for more judicial discretion.

The bill still faces a vote before the full Senate.

    

TODAY IN HISTORY

In 1770, the Boston Massacre took place as British soldiers who’d been taunted by a crowd of colonists opened fire, killing five people.

In 1868, the Senate was organized into a Court of Impeachment to decide charges against President Andrew Johnson, who was later acquitted.

In 1933, in German parliamentary elections, the Nazi Party won 44 percent of the vote; the Nazis joined with a conservative nationalist party to gain a slender majority in the Reichstag.

In 1934, the first Mothers-in-Law Day celebration and parade took place in Amarillo, Texas.

In 1946, Winston Churchill delivered his “Iron Curtain” speech at Westminster College in Fulton, Mo.

In 1953, Soviet dictator Josef Stalin died after three decades in power. Composer Sergei Prokofiev died in Moscow at age 61.

In 1960, Cuban newspaper photographer Alberto Korda took the now-famous picture of guerrilla leader Ernesto “Che” Guevara during a memorial service in Havana for victims of a ship explosion. Elvis Presley was discharged from the U.S. Army.

In 1970, the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons went into effect after 43 nations ratified it.

In 1979, NASA’s Voyager 1 space probe flew past Jupiter, sending back photographs of the planet and its moons.

In 1982, comedian John Belushi was found dead of a drug overdose in a rented bungalow in Hollywood; he was 33.

In 1983, Country Music Television (CMT) made its debut with the video “It’s Four in the Morning,” performed by Faron Young.

In 1993, Palair Macedonian Airlines Flight 301, a Fokker 100, crashed after taking off from Skopje Airport, killing 83 of the 97 persons aboard.

  

HAPPENINGS

-- Toddler Time, 10:30 a.m., Penrose Library, 20 N. Cascade Ave., free.

-- Paws to Read children’s program, 3:45-5 p.m., Ruth Holley Library Branch, 685 N. Murray Blvd., free.

-- Study Buddies Children’s Program, 6:30 p.m., East Library, 5550 N. Union Blvd., free.

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