Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Gazette Premium Content SUNRISE: Colorado drought may force water restrictions

Staff reports Updated: March 13, 2013 at 12:00 am

DENVER (AP) — Colorado's largest municipal water providers are considering restricting spring and summer watering to two times a week because of the continuing drought.

Denver Water, Aurora Water and Colorado Springs Utilities are considering strict drought restrictions, which have yet to be approved. Colorado Springs is also facing drought restrictions, according to Colorado Springs Utilities, caused in part by low snowpack in the mountains.

According to the Denver Post (http://tinyurl.com/cemma2l ), details of how the restrictions would be imposed also have not been announced.

      

WEATHER

Skies will be mostly sunny with a high near 65 Thursday, according to the National Weather Service. The overnight low will be about 38. On Friday it will be mostly sunny with a high near 72. If the high reaches 72, it would exceed that day's previous record of 71, set in 1935, according to the service.

      

AROUND COLORADO

Solar panels too heavy for middle school

FRISCO (AP) — A plan to put solar panels on top of Summit Middle School may have to be changed because they are too heavy for the roof.

The proposed solar panel project was approved by the board in November.

According to the Summit Daily (http://tinyurl.com/bwezqp9 ), engineers told the school board on Tuesday the solar panels may have to be set up on the ground to avoid damaging the building.

Search stepped up in effort to find missing skier

ASPEN (AP) — Searchers are stepping up their efforts to find a skier who has been missing for a week.

The Pitkin County Sheriff's Office decided Wednesday to send a team to check for signs of 55-year-old Jeff Walker in an out-of-bounds area near the Aspen Highlands ski resort.

According to the Aspen Daily News (http://tinyurl.com/ckjqttx), the Pitkin County Sheriff's Office and Mountain Rescue Aspen suspended their search at the end of the day Monday. Searchers say they plan to cover new territory.

Walker's last known location was a scan of his ski pass at the base chairlift on March 7. He was reported missing Saturday evening.

  Cow tail debate returns to House

DENVER (AP) — Dairy cow tails are back before the Colorado Legislature, which is considering a divisive proposal to prevent farmers from cutting cattle tails.

The bill would ban so-called docking except when performed by a veterinarian using anesthesia. A House committee delayed a vote last week after hours of contentious debate.

The Humane Society of the United States and other animal advocates want to limit tail docking because research has found it doesn't make milk or workers safer. The groups also argue tail docking robs cows of their built-in fly swatters and causes pain.

Few farmers dock cow tails the old-fashioned way, but those that do insist it isn't cruel. A vote Thursday could send the bill to the full House.

Tanning bed limits under review again

DENVER (AP) — Tanning bed limits for teenagers are again up for discussion in the Colorado Legislature.

Colorado is one of the few states that don't restrict youth tanning bed use. A bill up for its first hearing in a House committee Thursday would change that. Minors under 15 would not be allowed to use indoor tanning beds without a doctor's note. Teens 15 to 18 would need parental permission every six months.

A similar bill was withdrawn last year. The indoor tanning industry calls the limits unnecessary, while health advocates say indoor tanning should be completely off-limits for people under 18.

Lawmakers in 25 other states are reviewing tighter restrictions on young people tanning, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Lawmakers to consider Medicaid expansion

DENVER (AP) — State legislators are taking the first steps toward offering health assistance to more needy Coloradans.

A Senate committee will hear a bill Thursday that would allow the state to proceed with Gov. John Hickenlooper's plan to expand Colorado's Medicaid program.

The bill would make single adults and parents earning less than the federal poverty level eligible for public health assistance.

The expansion would extend health care aid to an estimated 160,000 low-income adults who don't receive it now.

Hickenlooper proposed the expansion in January.

The federal government is expected to fund a portion of the expansion costs until 2017, but critics have raised concerns about what happens if federal money runs out.

Gun background checks face more review

DENVER (AP) — Background checks for private gun purchases are up for additional review in the state Legislature.

A group of House and Senate members is expected to begin work ironing out particulars Thursday on the bill to require background checks on private and online gun sales.

The lawmakers will be looking specifically at exemptions to allow people to give guns to relatives without doing a background check. Both parties want to make sure that family exemptions won't be threatened by language about gun transfers by corporations.

The background check bill is one of the biggest pieces of gun-control legislation still pending. A limit on ammunition magazines has cleared the Legislature and awaits the governor's signature.

Threats in theater shootings viewed as hoax

DENVER (AP) — Authorities say someone threatened to blow up airports, airplanes, a hotel and the jail where the Colorado theater shooting suspect is being held unless the suspect is freed, but the threats were considered hoaxes.

The Denver Post reported Wednesday (http://tinyurl.com/c8pnohq ) the threats are detailed in federal court records.

Federal agents are looking for a suspect. A spokesman for the U.S. attorney in Denver says no arrests have been made.

Records say the threats were made in emails and telephone calls made via the Internet, and that the email account used was traced to Internet addresses in Iran.

A telecommunications company spokesman says the origin of such calls can be disguised.

James Holmes is jailed on murder and attempted murder charges. The July 20 shootings killed 12 and injured 70.

Man in DUI crash that killed fetus is found dead

LONGMONT (AP) — Authorities say a Longmont man who pleaded guilty to a drunken-driving crash that killed a fetus has been found dead in a Denver motel.

The Denver medical examiner identified the body of 53-year-old Gary Sheats on Wednesday.

The Longmont Times-Call reports (http://tinyurl.com/cv2ghts ) an autopsy is planned to determine the cause of death.

Sheats pleaded guilty last month to felony vehicular assault and driving under the influence. He faced up to 20 years in prison at a sentencing hearing scheduled for April 6.

Longmont police arrested Sheats after a July 5 crash injured Heather Surovik, who was expected to give birth within a few days. Her mother sustained minor injuries.

Denver Post CEO Ed Moss resigns

DENVER (AP) — Ed Moss, the president and chief executive officer of The Denver Post, is resigning effective April 1.

Moss told Post staff in an email Wednesday that he also is resigning his position as executive vice president of Digital First Media, which manages newspapers owned by MediaNews Group and Journal Register Co.

The Post reports (http://tinyurl.com/cvpy8wq ) that Moss said he needs to dedicate his time to recover from injuries he suffered in an October accident.

Moss is a former publisher of the San Diego Union-Tribune. He was hired by Digital First Media in February 2012.

Rant gets murder defendant ejected from courtroom

COLORADO SPRINGS (AP) — A man charged with strangling an 87-year-old woman and setting her body on fire has been forcibly removed from a Colorado Springs courtroom after refusing to enter a plea and erupting in a rant.

Twenty-one-year-old Marcus Smith was supposed to enter a plea on Wednesday to charges of first-degree murder in the November 2011 slaying of Katherine Grazioli.

When he refused, District Judge Barbara Hughes entered a not-guilty plea on his behalf.

The Gazette reports (http://tinyurl.com/d2mb43g ) Smith kicked an empty chair, insulted the judge and repeatedly interrupted the proceedings before Hughes ordered him removed.

Hughes has ruled that Smith is competent to stand trial. His trial is scheduled to start Aug. 5.

Marijuana task force in Colo. finishes work

DENVER (AP) — Exhaustive suggestions for how marijuana should be grown, sold and taxed are finally in the hands of the elected officials who will decide how to regulate the newly legal drug.

A task force made up of pot advocates, law enforcement and government regulators released its report Wednesday. The task force looked at everything from labeling standards to recommendations for keeping the drug away from children.

The task force report is just a series of suggestions. The final marijuana regulations will be made by state lawmakers, who have created a special marijuana committee to look at nothing but pot regulation.

Marijuana remains illegal under federal law. The U.S. Department of Justice has not said whether it will sue to block Colorado's law.

Bill to repeal adultery law passes Senate

DENVER (AP) — The crime of adultery could soon be struck from Colorado's law books after the state Senate approved the bill and sent it to the governor.

The Democratic-controlled Senate gave final approval to the bill Wednesday to removing what supporters say is an outdated 19-century statute. The bill also would repeal the rarely-used law of contributing to "sexual immorality" by providing a place, such as a hotel room, for unmarried people to have sex.

Bill sponsors say the bill is about keeping government out of people's bedrooms.

Republican Sen. Kevin Lundberg opposed the bill, saying the law is not archaic and moral standards continue to be important.

Adultery is illegal in Colorado, but no criminal penalty is specified.

     

TODAY IN HISTORY

In 1743, a memorial service was held at Faneuil Hall in Boston honoring Peter Faneuil, who had donated the building bearing his name.

In 1794, Eli Whitney received a patent for his cotton gin, an invention that revolutionized America’s cotton industry.

In 1885, the Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera “The Mikado” premiered at the Savoy Theatre in London.

In 1900, Congress ratified the Gold Standard Act.

In 1923, President Warren G. Harding became the first chief executive to file an income tax return, paying a tax of $17,990 on his $75,000 salary.

In 1932, photography pioneer George Eastman, founder of Eastman Kodak Co., died by his own hand at age 77 in Rochester, N.Y.

In 1939, the republic of Czechoslovakia was dissolved, opening the way for Nazi occupation of Czech areas and the separation of Slovakia.

In 1951, during the Korean War, United Nations forces recaptured Seoul.

In 1962, Democrat Edward M. Kennedy launched his successful candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat from Massachusetts once held by his brother, President John F. Kennedy. (Edward Kennedy served in the Senate for nearly 47 years.)

In 1964, a jury in Dallas found Jack Ruby guilty of murdering Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin of President John F. Kennedy, and sentenced him to death. (The conviction and death sentence were overturned, but Ruby died before he could be retried.)

In 1967, the body of President John F. Kennedy was moved from a temporary grave to a permanent memorial site at Arlington National Cemetery.

In 1980, a LOT Polish Airlines jet crashed while attempting to land in Warsaw, killing all 87 people aboard, including 22 members of a U.S. amateur boxing team.

In 1991, a British court overturned the wrongful convictions of the “Birmingham Six,” who had spent 16 years in prison for a 1974 Irish Republican Army bombing, and ordered them released.

   

HAPPENINGS

-- “St. Patty’s Sports Expo” with running shoes, bike accessories and more vendors, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Colorado Springs City Auditorium, 221 E. Kiowa St., free admission.

-- “Felt Crafts,” for children in grades 1-5, 3-4 p.m., Fountain Library Branch, 230 S. Main St., Fountain, free.

-- Black Rose Acoustic Society Rockabilly Jam, 7-9 p.m., Senior Center, 1514 N. Hancock Ave., free, donations accepted.

-- The Quiet Storm, 8 p.m.-midnight, Meadow Muffins, 2432 W. Colorado Ave., free cover.

-- Kooks and Kettles, 9 p.m., Wyatt’s Pub and Grill, 806 Village Center Drive.

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