<![CDATA[Colorado Springs Gazette RSS - government]]> http://gazette.com/rss/government Fri, 17 Nov 2017 23:31:56 -0700 Zend_Feed http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss <![CDATA[Senators Baumgardner, Tate hit with allegations of sexual harassment at Colorado Capitol]]> http://gazette.com/senators-baumgardner-tate-hit-with-allegations-of-sexual-harassment-at-colorado-capitol/article/1615470?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/senators-baumgardner-tate-hit-with-allegations-of-sexual-harassment-at-colorado-capitol/article/1615470?custom_click=rss

Two Republican senators were accused Thursday of improper behavior at the Colorado Capitol amid a wave of sexual harassment and misconduct allegations that have rocked the Legislature over the past week, but the lawmakers both denied they had done anything inappropriate.

In a story first reported by Bente Birkeland of public radio station KUNC and posted online Thursday night, an intern described a series of "uncomfortable encounters" with state Sen. Randy Baumgardner of Hot Sulphur Springs during last year's legislative session, and a former intern, speaking anonymously, said state Sen. Larry Tate of Centennial had repeatedly spoken to her and acted inappropriately over a period of months last year.

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Fri, 17 Nov 2017 22:15:50 -0700
<![CDATA[Construction halted at controversial duplex site on Colorado Springs' west side]]> http://gazette.com/construction-halted-at-controversial-duplex-site-on-colorado-springs-west-side/article/1615493?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/construction-halted-at-controversial-duplex-site-on-colorado-springs-west-side/article/1615493?custom_click=rss

Colorado Springs engineers ordered work halted at a controversial West Side project after the developer began drilling without permits or approvals.

The order was issued first thing Monday after neighbors, who for years have opposed the three duplexes proposed for 543 Robbin Place, called the city saying construction began improperly, said city planner Lonna Thelen.

Plans for the six units, which Tara Custom Homes Inc. will build, have passed between the city's Planning Commission and the City Council for two years. Neighbors appealed the project, saying it would needlessly expose them to fire and other hazards, but the council sided with Tara owner Paul Rising last month.

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Fri, 17 Nov 2017 21:05:09 -0700
<![CDATA[Trump delays new policy on importing elephant parts]]> http://gazette.com/trump-delays-new-policy-on-importing-elephant-parts/article/1615510?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/trump-delays-new-policy-on-importing-elephant-parts/article/1615510?custom_click=rss

WASHINGTON— President Donald Trump said Friday he's delaying a new policy allowing the body parts of African elephants shot for sport to be imported until he can review "all conservation facts."

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Thursday it would allow such importation, arguing that encouraging wealthy big-game hunters to kill the threatened species would help raise money for conservation programs.

Animal rights advocates and environmental groups criticized the decision. California Rep. Ed Royce, the Republican chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, urged the administration to reverse the policy, calling it the "wrong move at the wrong time."

Trump tweeted Friday that the policy had been "under

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Fri, 17 Nov 2017 19:56:47 -0700
<![CDATA[Franken apologizes to woman who says he kissed, groped her]]> http://gazette.com/franken-apologizes-to-woman-who-says-he-kissed-groped-her/article/1615509?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/franken-apologizes-to-woman-who-says-he-kissed-groped-her/article/1615509?custom_click=rss

WASHINGTON (AP) — Minnesota Sen. Al Franken personally apologized to the woman who has accused him of forcibly kissing her and groping her during a 2006 USO tour, saying he remembers their encounter differently but is "ashamed that my actions ruined that experience for you."

In a guest appearance Friday on ABC's "The View," Leeann Tweeden read a letter she received from the Democratic lawmaker in which he also discussed a photo showing him posing in a joking manner, smiling at the camera with his hands above her chest as she naps wearing a flak vest aboard a military plane.

Franken missed votes in the Senate Thursday afternoon and has not made any public appearances since the allegations came out.

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Fri, 17 Nov 2017 19:51:54 -0700
<![CDATA[Colorado Springs Utilities Board considering closing Martin Drake Power Plant a decade early, three options presented]]> http://gazette.com/colorado-springs-utilities-board-considering-closing-martin-drake-power-plant-a-decade-early-three-options-presented/article/1615490?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-springs-utilities-board-considering-closing-martin-drake-power-plant-a-decade-early-three-options-presented/article/1615490?custom_click=rss

The coal-fired Martin Drake Power Plant nestled in the heart of Colorado Springs could be shuttered a decade earlier than its scheduled 2035 closure, but that work would come at a higher price.

The Colorado Springs Utilities Board is considering three options for Drake and the possibility of closing it by 2025 or 2030. One of the plant's three power-generating units already has been closed.

Prices for each option will be presented to the board Tuesday, said John Romero, Utilities' general manager of energy acquisition, engineering and planning.

Board members are expected to offer direction on the closure next month.

Board member Richard Skorman said he wants to close Drake by 2025 and shut down another of its

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Fri, 17 Nov 2017 15:51:37 -0700
<![CDATA[Colorado Springs' Gordon Klingenschmitt goes to Alabama, says Roy Moore's accusers lie]]> http://gazette.com/colorado-springs-gordon-klingenschmitt-goes-to-alabama-says-roy-moores-accusers-lie/article/1615475?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-springs-gordon-klingenschmitt-goes-to-alabama-says-roy-moores-accusers-lie/article/1615475?custom_click=rss

Alabama Senate candidate and "Ten Commandments Judge" Roy Moore had some controversy-seasoned Colorado support Thursday during a press conference with religious leaders intended to refute the latest allegations of sexual misconduct. Prominent at his side during the presser: controversy lightning rod, former Colorado lawmaker and TV pastor Gordon Klingenschmitt, aka "Dr. Chaps."

Klingenschmitt, who served one term in the Colorado General Assembly, was a featured speaker, telling those in attendance that Moore is a man "who does not lie, compared to some of his accusers."

Klingenschmitt said he met Moore a decade ago when the former judge came to his defense when the government ordered him not to mention Jesus in his official

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Fri, 17 Nov 2017 15:02:11 -0700
<![CDATA[Treasury paid nearly $1 million for harassment, other claim settlements in Congress in 2017 alone]]> http://gazette.com/treasury-paid-nearly-1-million-for-harassment-other-claim-settlements-in-congress-in-2017-alone/article/1615483?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/treasury-paid-nearly-1-million-for-harassment-other-claim-settlements-in-congress-in-2017-alone/article/1615483?custom_click=rss

Nearly $1 million in taxpayer-funded settlements have been paid to eight victims of sexual harassment and other work-related issues on Capitol Hill in 2017, according to a congressional Office of Compliance report released late Thursday.

In the first 10 and a half of months of this year, the Treasury Department paid $934,754 to Capitol Hill employees who were the victims of various work issues.

Last year, 15 victims were compensated a total of $588,049.

In total, 264 victims have been paid a total of $17 million since 1997.

The newly released records show the greatest number of settlements took place in 2007, when 25 victims were compensated a total of $4.05 million for abuse and other issues experienced while

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Fri, 17 Nov 2017 13:41:14 -0700
<![CDATA['Let the battle begin' says defiant Moore camp in challenge to accusers, Republican detractors]]> http://gazette.com/let-the-battle-begin-says-defiant-moore-camp-in-challenge-to-accusers-republican-detractors/article/1615473?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/let-the-battle-begin-says-defiant-moore-camp-in-challenge-to-accusers-republican-detractors/article/1615473?custom_click=rss

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Ever defiant, Republican Roy Moore's campaign lashed out at the women accusing him of sexual misconduct, declaring "let the battle begin." Women's advocates decried the talk as worn intimidation tactics in a desperate attempt to keep his imperiled Senate bid alive.

Moore ignored mounting calls from Washington Republicans concerned that he may not only lose a seat they were sure to win but also may do significant damage to the party's brand among women nationwide as they prepared for a difficult midterm election season.

Moore's team showed no such concerns Thursday.

"You ask me if I believe the girls. No, I don't believe the girls. I believe Judge Moore," Moore strategist Dean Young said. "Let

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Fri, 17 Nov 2017 08:52:29 -0700
<![CDATA[Judge orders end to El Paso County holding released inmates who can't pay $55 fee]]> http://gazette.com/judge-orders-end-to-el-paso-county-holding-released-inmates-who-cant-pay-55-fee/article/1615440?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/judge-orders-end-to-el-paso-county-holding-released-inmates-who-cant-pay-55-fee/article/1615440?custom_click=rss

El Paso County's top judge has halted a practice that allegedly extended jail terms for hundreds of inmates who couldn't afford a $55 fee imposed by the county.

"It is hereby ordered that defendants granted supervised (personal recognizance) bonds shall be released from custody on the day the PR bond is granted," 4th Judicial District Chief Judge William Bain said in an order signed Wednesday.

The move came roughly a week after the ACLU of Colorado filed a federal civil rights claim on behalf of Jasmine Still, a Colorado Springs woman who spent 27 days in jail after a judge approved her release on a PR bond, or written promise to appear in court.

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Thu, 16 Nov 2017 21:59:51 -0700
<![CDATA[New operator taking over El Paso County detox center]]> http://gazette.com/new-operator-taking-over-el-paso-county-detox-center/article/1615446?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/new-operator-taking-over-el-paso-county-detox-center/article/1615446?custom_click=rss

El Paso County's detox center, which provides a haven for drug addicts and alcoholics, is getting new management after a months-long struggle to maintain operations with a dwindling staff.

Since the county disclosed in the spring that it was looking for another organization to run its 40-bed detox center, employees - concerned they would be let go if a new owner took over - have sought jobs elsewhere, said officials with the county's Department of Human Services.

As the center's team of addiction councilors has diminished from 19 to seven, officials have been forced to slash capacity by more than half.

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Thu, 16 Nov 2017 21:40:54 -0700
<![CDATA[Health insurance sign-ups through Colorado's exchange on the rise]]> http://gazette.com/health-insurance-sign-ups-through-colorados-exchange-on-the-rise/article/1615420?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/health-insurance-sign-ups-through-colorados-exchange-on-the-rise/article/1615420?custom_click=rss

Health insurance enrollments through Colorado's exchange are outpacing last year's sign-up rate by 33 percent, mirroring a national trend of strong enrollment tallies so far in November.

Connect for Health Colorado on Thursday announced that 22,650 people signed up for medical plans from Nov. 1 through Nov. 15.

That averaged to 1,510 enrollments a day - more than the 1,132 average daily tally during the first two weeks of open enrollment in 2016.

"It's very good - it's very encouraging," said Luke Clarke, the exchange spokesman. "But I hope to keep up this pace all the way through."

Sign-ups also are on the rise on the federal exchange, Healthcare.gov, which serves 39 states. More than 134,000 people a day signed

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Thu, 16 Nov 2017 16:15:08 -0700
<![CDATA['Al Franken kissed and groped me without my consent,' broadcaster Tweeden says]]> http://gazette.com/al-franken-kissed-and-groped-me-without-my-consent-broadcaster-tweeden-says/article/1615391?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/al-franken-kissed-and-groped-me-without-my-consent-broadcaster-tweeden-says/article/1615391?custom_click=rss

ST. PAUL, Minn. — A Los Angeles radio news anchor says Democratic Sen. Al Franken forcibly kissed her during a 2006 USO tour. The anchor says Franken posed for a photo with his hands on her breasts as she slept.

Leeann Tweeden accuses Minnesota's Franken in an essay on the website of California radio station KABC, where she anchors a morning talk show. Tweeden says Franken wrote a skit for the pair during a 2006 USO tour to the Middle East and insisted they practice a kiss during rehearsal.

Tweeden says she tried to resist but says Franken forced himself on her and stuck his tongue in her mouth. A copy of the photo is posted with the article.

Franken's staff has not yet responded to a request for comment.

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Thu, 16 Nov 2017 15:49:15 -0700
<![CDATA[House passes GOP tax bill, upping pressure on struggling Senate effort]]> http://gazette.com/house-passes-gop-tax-bill-upping-pressure-on-struggling-senate-effort/article/1615414?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/house-passes-gop-tax-bill-upping-pressure-on-struggling-senate-effort/article/1615414?custom_click=rss

WASHINGTON - The House passed its version of the Republican tax overhaul Thursday, notching a key win for President Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis. But obstacles remain in the Senate, which is refining its own version of the legislation amid objections from key GOP senators.

The bill passed with 227 votes in favor and 205 against. Thirteen Republicans voted against the bill. No Democrats voted for it.

Trump and Republican leaders in Congress are aiming to pass a bill that would cut taxes by as much as $1.5 trillion by the end of the year. Both the House and Senate bills deliver the majority of the cuts to businesses and wealthy Americans, but there are significant differences between the bills that will have to be

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Thu, 16 Nov 2017 14:26:30 -0700
<![CDATA[Trump reverses ban on importing elephants killed as trophies ]]> http://gazette.com/trump-reverses-ban-on-importing-elephants-killed-as-trophies/article/1615401?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/trump-reverses-ban-on-importing-elephants-killed-as-trophies/article/1615401?custom_click=rss

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration said it will allow the importation of body parts of African elephants shot for sport, contending that enabling wealthy big-game hunters to kill them will aid the vulnerable species.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said in a written notice issued Thursday that allowing elephants in Zimbabwe and Zambia to be killed will enhance the survival of the threatened species by raising money for conservation programs from trophy hunters who pay to shoot them.

The change marks a shift in efforts to stop the importation of elephant tusks and hides, overriding a 2014 ban imposed by the Obama administration. The new policy applies to the remains of African elephants killed between January

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Thu, 16 Nov 2017 11:38:07 -0700
<![CDATA[Colorado Springs crowd skeptical of purpose, effectiveness of red light cameras]]> http://gazette.com/colorado-springs-crowd-skeptical-of-purpose-effectiveness-of-red-light-cameras/article/1615366?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/colorado-springs-crowd-skeptical-of-purpose-effectiveness-of-red-light-cameras/article/1615366?custom_click=rss

The prospect of installing red light cameras at some Colorado Springs intersections was met by the public Wednesday with cautions of corruption, accusations of money grubbing and questions of effectiveness.

But police and city leaders said during a public meeting Wednesday night they’re only trying to make the city’s streets safer and reduce traffic fatalities. The idea, however, was largely met with distaste, though a few in the crowd applauded the idea.

This summer, Mayor John Suthers gave Police Chief Pete Carey the green light to see if the cameras could reduce traffic violations, decrease accidents and free officers for other duties.

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Thu, 16 Nov 2017 10:48:33 -0700