TELLURIDE, Colo. (AP) — The four U.S. soldiers who will participate in a fundraising race to the South Pole with Britain's Prince Harry are in the mountains of southwestern Colorado to train and bond in preparation for the long days they'll spend trekking across Antarctica on skis.
The group began their training Thursday with a technical hike on a narrow trail along the box canyon that surrounds the town.
Capt. Ivan Castro of Fort Bragg, N.C., who was blinded after mortar shells exploded near him in Iraq, said he hiked the Via Ferrata with his arm on the pack of the teammate in front of him, anchored to the cable that lines the route. He said he had to do the first 100 meters or so on all fours and take baby steps at other points.
In the South Pole, team members will have to work together and communicate well in order to ski for 12 hours a day pulling sleds with their supplies, he said.
"It's a great opportunity to show the world what we can do, given the right resources and opportunity," Castro, who is on active duty at the Army Special Operations Command, said during a lunch break.
The other team members are Mark Wise of Colorado Springs, Therese Frentz of Del Rio, Texas and Margaux Mange of Yuma, Ariz.
They'll compete against teams of service members from the United Kingdom, including Prince Harry, Canada and Australia on the 200-mile course to raise money for re-integration programs for wounded veterans.
ABC News reporter Bob Woodruff, who was injured by a roadside bomb in Iraq, is visiting the U.S. team members while they're in Telluride.
The team is organized by Soldiers to Summits, a group started by Erik Weihenmayer, the first blind climber to reach the top of Mount Everest. It organizes mountain treks to help the recovery of disabled veterans.
BLM oil, gas lease auction raises $478,845
DENVER (AP) — The Bureau of Land Management has raised $478,845 in its latest quarterly auction of oil and gas leases in Colorado.
The auction Thursday was for three parcels involving 2,125 acres.
The BLM says Morrison, Colo.-based Bullock Corp. bid the highest per-acre price Thursday of $425 per acre for a 908-acre parcel in Moffat County that went for $385,900.
Oxy USA Inc. of Houston won the other two leases, also in Moffat County.
More planning, environmental analysis and public input would be needed before any drilling on the leases could start.
The U.S. government gets 51 percent of the proceeds from each sale, with the state of Colorado getting the rest.
The next BLM auction in Colorado is scheduled for November.
Longtime Denver TV news anchor stepping down
DENVER (AP) — Bertha Lynn, a longtime Denver television news anchor, is leaving KMGH for a nonprofit.
Lynn's last broadcast is Friday. She's leaving to become executive director of the Children's Diabetes Foundation in Denver.
Lynn started as a reporter and anchor in 1976 on KBTV, now KUSA. She moved to KMGH IN 1984.
Most recently she has been co-anchor of the station's 11 a.m. weekday newscast.
Colorado stores sell 2 Powerball tickets worth $2M
DENVER (AP) — Colorado is looking for its latest millionaires.
The Colorado Lottery says two Colorado stores each sold a Powerball ticket worth $2 million in the drawing Wednesday for a $448 million jackpot. One ticket was sold at East Valley Liquors in Clifton, and the other was sold at Fuel-B's in Ellicott (click here for more). The stores each get a $3,000 retailer selling bonus.
The $448 million jackpot is going to the holders of three winning tickets that were sold in New Jersey and Minnesota.
Hiker finds half of human skull in Eagle County
VAIL, Colo. (AP) — Authorities say a hiker in the Holy Cross Wilderness area has found what appears to be the top half of a human skull.
The Vail Daily reports (http://bit.ly/11Q5IWV ) the hiker notified the U.S. Forest Service after finding the remains Thursday, and the agency notified Eagle County sheriff's officials.
Investigators are trying to determine whether it might belong to someone who was reported missing in that area.
TODAY IN HISTORY
In 1842, the United States and Canada resolved a border dispute by signing the Webster-Ashburton Treaty.
In 1854, Henry David Thoreau’s “Walden,” which described Thoreau’s experiences while living near Walden Pond in Massachusetts, was first published.
In 1862, during the Civil War, Confederate forces drove back Union troops in the Battle of Cedar Mountain in Culpeper County, Va.
In 1902, Edward VII was crowned king of Britain following the death of his mother, Queen Victoria.
In 1936, Jesse Owens won his fourth gold medal at the Berlin Olympics as the United States took first place in the 400-meter relay.
In 1942, Britain arrested Indian nationalist Mohandas K. Gandhi; he was released in 1944.
In 1944, 258 African-American sailors based at Port Chicago, Calif., refused to load a munitions ship following an explosion on another ship that killed 320 men, many of them black. (Fifty of the sailors were convicted of mutiny, fined and imprisoned.)
In 1945, three days after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan, the United States exploded a nuclear device over Nagasaki, killing an estimated 74,000 people.
In 1969, actress Sharon Tate and four other people were found brutally slain at Tate’s Los Angeles home; cult leader Charles Manson and a group of his followers were later convicted of the crime.
In 1982, a federal judge in Washington ordered John W. Hinckley Jr., who’d been acquitted of shooting President Ronald Reagan and three others by reason of insanity, committed to a mental hospital.
In 1988, President Ronald Reagan nominated Lauro Cavazos to be secretary of education; Cavazos became the first Hispanic to serve in the Cabinet.
In 1995, Jerry Garcia, lead singer of the Grateful Dead, died in Forest Knolls, Calif., of a heart attack at age 53.
Ten years ago: The Army fired up its first chemical weapons incinerator located near a residential area, outside Anniston, Ala., to destroy two rockets loaded with enough sarin nerve agent to wipe out a city. Dancer-actor Gregory Hines died in Los Angeles at age 57.
Five years ago: Todd Bachman, the father of 2004 volleyball Olympian Elisabeth “Wiz” Bachman, was stabbed to death by a Chinese man in Beijing in an apparently random attack just hours after the start of the Olympic Games. (The assailant took his life.) Mariel Zagunis led a U.S. sweep of the women’s saber fencing for the first American medals of the Games. Comedian Bernie Mac died in Chicago at age 50.
-- Homeschool Resource Fair, 9 a.m.-noon, East Library, 550 N. Union Blvd., free.
-- Rocky Mountain Rampage International Skateboarding Competition 2013, renown athletes will compete in Vert, Street and Bowl Competitions, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Memorial Park, 1605 E. Pikes Peak Ave., free.
-- Movies in Manitou - The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, 2-4 p.m., Manitou Springs Library, 701 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, free.
-- Let’s Play Chess children’s program, for all skills levels and ages, 3:30-5 p.m., Briargate Branch Library, 9475 Briar Village Point, free.
-- Black Rose Acoustic Society Open Stage, headlined by Phil Volan and Joleen Bell, 7 p.m., Black Forest Community Center, 12530 Black Forest Road, Black Forest, $4-$7.