Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Gazette Premium Content SUNRISE: Commissioner debating governor on fracking

Staff reports Updated: April 1, 2013 at 12:00 am

BOULDER — Boulder County Commissioner Elise Jones is scheduled to debate Gov. John Hickenlooper on the impact of natural gas drilling and the chemicals used in the process.

The debate is scheduled Monday in Denver, according to the Associated Press. Issues will include public health concerns, the environmental impact and local economic considerations.

State officials insist they alone have the right to regulate how and where the industry does its drilling. Attorneys for the state are fighting local governments that try to impose their own rules.

Hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, is a gas drilling process that blasts chemical-laden water deep into the ground. Supporters say the process is safe, while opponents say the technique pollutes groundwater and the chemicals are unsafe.

    

WEATHER

Changes are coming our way after a balmy weekend. The National Weather Service forecasts a high temperature of 49 degrees and a 20 percent chance thunderstorms Monday afternoon around Colorado Springs. Expect an overnight low of 30.

On Tuesday, we'll have a chance of snow showers before 10 a.m.

   

AROUND COLORADO

Death of skier near Loveland under investigation

GEORGETOWN (AP) — The death of a skier just beyond the boundaries of Loveland Ski Area remains under investigation two weeks after his body was discovered.

The Denver Post Sunday first reported the death (http://bit.ly/X6hc6r ) of the 33-year-old skier. Details, including the man's hometown or identity were not released by the ski area or Clear Creek County Coroner Don Allan. Allan told The Associated Press that the death remains under investigation.

Loveland spokesman John Sellers says the ski patrol was notified of the missing skier March 17 and patrollers found the man just outside the ski area's boundaries near an expert run called The Face.

Sellers says Loveland does not issue news releases when there's a death at or near the ski area along the Continental Divide near Interstate 70.

Health officials hold off on Parachute oil spill

PARACHUTE (AP) — The Colorado health department says it won't intervene in an oil-like spill near Parachute unless it becomes a health hazard.

Work crews and others employed by Williams Midstream are being monitored by state regulators at the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, which has assured health officials that the contamination has not reached water supplies.

Samples of water taken from monitoring wells showed extremely high levels of benzene, a liquid hydrocarbon associated with oil and gas drilling, which is a known carcinogen linked with leukemia and birth defects.

Health department spokesman Mark Salley tells the Glenwood Springs Post Independent (http://tinyurl.com/ckp2up5 ) the department typically does not get involved with spills linked to oil and gas drilling activities unless there is evidence of a threat to human health or the environment.

Community college bill faces test

DENVER (AP) — A bill to allow community colleges to grant more four-year degrees faces a test Monday in the House Education Committee.

The bill has already cleared the Senate, despite some concerns there needs to be additional review before community colleges expand too far into the business of giving bachelor's degrees.

Colorado's four-year institutions are concerned the proposed changes will siphon off money they need to grow.

Pot regulation gets more review

DENVER (AP) — A House-Senate committee looking at marijuana regulation is scheduled to meet again.

The committee has extended its work and meets again Monday.

Lawmakers last week put off votes on how marijuana should be taxed. On marijuana product safety, lawmakers simply agreed that the governor should decide which agency oversees it.

A bill to regulate marijuana now isn't expected until the middle part of April. That leaves lawmakers just a few weeks to come up with regulations.

Child pot poisoning up for some hospitals

DENVER (AP) — Colorado doctors say looser pot laws are leading to more child poisonings.

Doctors say children are attracted by drug-laced edibles like gummy worms or brownies.

According to the Denver Post (http://tinyurl.com/c34dngg ), calls about potential marijuana exposure for all ages have doubled since 2009 at one poison center.

From early 2005 to late 2009, Children's Hospital Colorado had no emergency-room visits by kids who had ingested marijuana. In the following two years, after medical marijuana became legal in Colorado, it had 14.

Boulder to enforce smoking ban on Pearl St. Mall

BOULDER (AP) — Enforcement of an ordinance that bans smoking on downtown Boulder's popular Pearl Street Mall is set to begin Monday.

The smoking ban, which includes the four blocks of the mall and the lawn of the Boulder County Courthouse, took effect Jan. 18, but officers have only been giving out warnings because "No Smoking" signs had not yet been installed.

The maximum penalty for a first or second offense within two years is a $500 fine, while a third conviction within two years carries up to a $1,000 fine and a 90-day jail sentence.

Proponents say the smoking ban will reduce litter and protect people from the health effects of secondhand smoke. Opponents worry it will discourage visitors.

Police investigate vandalism of 'Big Blue Bear'

DENVER (AP) — The 40-foot big blue bear outside the Colorado Convention Center downtown has a big blue green streak on its back.

Denver police spokesman John White says they're investigating the vandalism of the public art piece reported to police around 9 a.m. Sunday.

The Lawrence Argent sculpture, "I See What You Mean," was installed in 2005 and is popularly known as the "Big Blue Bear."

White says they haven't determined how vandals were able to get the paint on the bear.

    

TODAY IN HISTORY

In 1853, Cincinnati, Ohio, established a fire department made up of paid city employees.

In 1912, the city of Branson, Mo., was incorporated.

In 1933, Nazi Germany staged a daylong national boycott of Jewish-owned businesses.

In 1939, the United States recognized the government of Gen. Francisco Franco in Spain, the same day Franco went on radio to declare victory in the Spanish Civil War.

In 1945, American forces launched the amphibious invasion of Okinawa during World War II.

In 1962, the Katherine Anne Porter novel “Ship of Fools,” an allegory about the rise of Nazism in Germany, was published by Little, Brown & Co. on April Fool’s Day.

In 1963, New York City’s daily newspapers resumed publishing after settlement was reached in a 114-day strike. The daytime drama “General Hospital” premiered on ABC-TV.

In 1972, the first Major League Baseball players’ strike began; it lasted 12 days.

In 1976, Apple Computer was founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne.

In 1983, tens of thousands of anti-nuclear demonstrators linked arms in a 14-mile human chain spanning three defense installations in rural England, including the Greenham Common U.S. Air Base.

In 1984, recording star Marvin Gaye was shot to death by his father, Marvin Gay Sr. in Los Angeles, the day before his 45th birthday. (The elder Gay pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter, and received probation.)

In 1992, the National Hockey League Players’ Association went on its first strike, which lasted 10 days.

Ten years ago: American troops entered a hospital in Nasiriyah, Iraq, and rescued Army Pfc. Jessica Lynch, who’d been held prisoner since her unit was ambushed on March 23. A Cuban plane hijacked the day before with 32 people aboard landed at Key West, Fla., where the hijacker surrendered.

Five years ago: The Pentagon made public a legal memo dated March 14, 2003 that approved the use of harsh interrogation techniques against terror suspects, saying that President George W. Bush’s wartime authority trumped any international ban on torture. Top executives of the country’s five biggest oil companies told a skeptical Congress they knew record fuel prices were hurting people, but argued it wasn’t their fault and that their huge profits were in line with other industries.

One year ago: A coalition of more than 70 partners, including the United States, pledged to send millions of dollars and communications equipment to Syria’s opposition groups. Myanmar’s democracy icon, Aung San Suu Kyi, was elected to her country’s parliament. Former Mexican President Miguel de la Madrid died at age 77.

   

HAPPENINGS

-- “Stories and Crafts,” children’s program, 3 p.m., Ute Pass Branch Library, 8010 Severy Ave., Cascade, free.

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