Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

SUNRISE: Greeley bans recreational pot shops

THE GAZETTE - Updated: June 5, 2013 at 8:34 am

GREELEY - Greeley City Council members have approved a ban on recreational pot shops.

Council members cite public health issues, including potential harm to young people.

According to the Greeley Tribune (http://tinyurl.com/mos7582 ), the council approved several ordinances Tuesday to address issues with Amendment 64, a voter-approved state amendment that legalizes the possession and use of marijuana for adults 21 and older.

 

WEATHER

The National Weather Service forecasts a high of 56 and 20 percent chance of isolated thunderstorms Wednesday in Colorado Springs. Expect an overnight low of 48.

 

AROUND COLORADO

Fire near Evergreen caused by tree on power lines

EVERGREEN (AP) - A fire that prompted evacuations in the foothills near Evergreen was sparked when a 48-foot tree fell onto power lines and burned, officials said Tuesday.

Firefighters took advantage of cooler temperatures and higher humidity on Tuesday to fully contain the wildfire estimated at 10 acres about 30 miles west of Denver.

Sheriff's officials allowed remaining evacuees back home at 8 p.m., and power had been restored to about 360 homes.

The fire began on Monday, prompting evacuations after wind carried sparks a half-mile. Some evacuees were allowed back home Monday night. No structures have been lost.

Temperatures in the 60s helped firefighters digging a 200-foot-wide containment line around the fire. But officials were watching incoming weather that could bring winds and lightning late Tuesday into Wednesday.

Even with full containment, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office advised residents that they might see dense smoke for days because of heavy fuels that fed the fire.

The fire has cost an estimated $80,000 to fight.

Judge accepts insanity plea in theater shooting case

CENTENNIAL (AP) - A judge accepted James Holmes' long-awaited plea of not guilty by reason of insanity Tuesday and ordered him to undergo a mental evaluation - an examination that could be a decisive factor in whether the Colorado theater shooting suspect is convicted and sentenced to die.

The judge also granted prosecutors access to a hotly contested notebook that Holmes sent to a psychiatrist shortly before the July 20 rampage, which left 12 people dead and 70 injured in a bloody, bullet-riddled movie theater in suburban Denver.

Taken together, the three developments marked a major step forward in the 10-month-old case, which at times has inched along through thickets of legal arguments or veered off on tangents.

Holmes faces more than 160 counts of murder and attempted murder, and prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

He will now be examined by the Colorado Mental Health Institute in Pueblo, but it's not certain when the evaluation will begin or how long it will take. Hospital officials have said that before they meet with Holmes, they want to review evidence in the case, which prosecutors said totals nearly 40,000 pages.

Judge Carlos Samour Jr. set a tentative date of Aug. 2 for the exam to be complete but said he would push that back if hospital officials request more time. Samour indicated he still hopes to begin Holmes' trial in February.

Evidence over threats to lawmaker missing

DENVER (AP) - An attorney for state Rep. Rhonda Fields says a Colorado Springs man accused of sending a series of racially and sexually offensive e-mails has destroyed key evidence in the case against him.

Attorney Craig Silverman says a tablet computer was run over and destroyed when Denver police sought to search it, and a laptop computer has not been found.

A judge has set a Nov. 20 trial date for Franklin Sain, of Colorado Springs, who is charged with attempting to influence a public official and harassment during a gun control debate.

According to the Denver Post (http://tinyurl.com/kw7tebf ), Sain's attorney, Siddhartha Rathod, wrote in court documents that Sain voluntarily gave the broken tablet computer to detectives to be searched.

He says tests of several printers linked to Sain were inconclusive or showed no match.

Special prosecutor sought for councilman

CANON CITY (AP) - District Attorney Thom LeDoux is requesting a special prosecutor to handle the assault case involving Canon City councilman Colby Katchmar.

LeDoux said he filed the motion because he knows Katchmar well and Katchmar was a contributor to his election campaign.

Katchmar has told colleagues on the council that he is innocent of accusations he assaulted an elderly couple.

According to the Canon City Daily Record (http://tinyurl.com/mgm952k ), Katchmar and local artist Thomas Lockhart were arrested Thursday night on suspicion of assault and crimes against at-risk adults after a reported altercation with the couple.

Robert Martin and Margene Martin say Katchmar tried to block them from leaving a local business. Police say Margene suffered serious injuries, including a fractured hip.

Boulder approves fracking moratorium

BOULDER (AP) - Boulder City Council members have unanimously approved a one-year fracking moratorium, blocking oil and gas drilling permits in the city and on Boulder-owned open space properties.

Several council members said Tuesday they are also considering a ballot measure in November to approve a longer-term ban.

According to the Boulder Daily Camera (http://tinyurl.com/k7l739t ), city councilwoman KC Becker says voters need to send the message to their state legislators and governor about their opposition to hydraulic fracturing.

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, involves blasting water, sand and chemicals underground.

State reviewing Utah plan for drilling waste

GRAND JUNCTION (AP) - Colorado is reviewing a Utah company's proposal for an 800-acre oil and gas waste disposal facility southeast of De Beque.

According to the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel (http://tinyurl.com/laqcq2v ), RN Industries of Roosevelt, Utah, wants to set up 27 evaporation ponds to handle hundreds of thousands of gallons of fluids.

It also would include two land farms for treating petroleum-contaminated soil so the soil can be reused, and a system that uses microbes to consume hydrocarbons to reduce volatile organic compounds enough to meet air quality standards.

The state will evaluate the proposal for compliance with regulations and laws designed to protect health and the environment. It will present its findings to Mesa County commissioners, who will ultimately decide whether to approve the plan.

Independent panel readies review of BLM mustangs

RENO, Nev. (AP) - An independent panel of scientists that spent two years reviewing the U.S. government's contentious management of wild horses planned to release a series of recommendations Wednesday to combat skyrocketing costs and help quell decades of conflict on public rangelands.

The study was expected to touch on a wide range of fronts, from mustang roundups and fertility control to better ways to calculate the preferred size of the free-roaming herds and their impacts on rangeland ecology in 10 Western states.

The Bureau of Land Management requested the appointment of the 14-member research committee by the National Academy of Science's National Research Council in June 2011, nearly three years after congressional auditors concluded rising costs at facilities to house tens of thousands of gathered animals would "continue to overwhelm the program" with no end in sight.

Especially contentious is disagreement over the role of and need for the roundups, a debate that has pitted horse protection advocates against ranchers in competition for the grasses for decades but has become more acute in recent years for cash-strapped federal land managers with no room for any incoming animals.

The number of animals at holding facilities surpassed the estimated number on the range in 10 Western states earlier this year for the first time since President Richard Nixon signed the Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971.

A recent BLM report shows 49,369 wild horses and 1,348 wild burros were being housed in government corrals and pastures. It said 31,500 wild horses and 5,800 burros remained in the wild - about half of them in Nevada. It estimates the population on the range doubles naturally about every five years.

Man held after threatening to bomb college

KENT, Ohio (AP) - Authorities say a 58-year-old Colorado man was jailed after he allegedly told a cab driver to take him to a northeast Ohio university so he could set off a bomb.

Portage County Sheriff's Office said a taxi picked up the man at Akron-Canton Airport, and he told the driver to take him to Kent State University so he could set off the bomb.

The driver relayed the message to his dispatcher, and police later stopped the car and arrested the man.

Louis Koleszar of Glenwood Springs, Colo., was jailed with no bond on a felony charge of making a false alarm. An arraignment was set for Wednesday.

Attorney information wasn't available.

After bear sightings, campers told to secure food

ASPEN (AP) - The White River National Forest is ordering campers to properly secure food and trash at some recreation sites to keep bears away.

The Aspen Daily News reports (http://bit.ly/1b06xgI ) the food storage order was issued Sunday for all developed recreation sites in the Aspen-Sopris Ranger District, including campgrounds off Independence Pass. The order also applies to campgrounds in the Crystal and Fryingpan valleys. Violators could be fined.

The order was issued after campers reported a string of bear encounters in May.

The order requires food, coolers, and cooking equipment and utensils to be secured when unattended or not in use. Trash must be properly stored when campers leave the site or after dark. Coolers can't be left out unattended.

Mortgage relief coming

DENVER (AP) - Coloradans affected by mortgage servicing issues should see a relief check sometime this month.

Checks totaling more than $33 million are to be mailed to nearly 23,000 Colorado borrowers who had submitted a valid foreclosure-payment claim through the National Mortgage Settlement administrator.

Colorado Attorney General John Suthers announced Tuesday that the average check will be about $1,480, much more than the original $840 that was anticipated.

Arrangements set for boy who drowned

MASCOUTAH, Ill. (AP) - Funeral arrangements are set for a 5-year-old southwestern Illinois boy who authorities say drowned in a Colorado pond while he was with his family.

Authorities say Colt Meurer of Mascoutah (muh-SKOO'-tuh) went missing last Thursday morning after being last seen with two older brothers on a dock of a pond in northwestern Colorado, near the border of Eagle and Routt counties.

A diver found him later, and the boy was flown by the Colorado National Guard to a Vail hospital where he died.

Funeral home visitation will be Thursday at Moll Funeral home in Mascoutah.

 

TODAY IN HISTORY

In 1794, Congress passed the Neutrality Act, which prohibited Americans from taking part in any military action against a country that was at peace with the United States.

In 1884, Civil War hero Gen. William T. Sherman refused the Republican presidential nomination, saying, "I will not accept if nominated and will not serve if elected."

In 1916, the Arab Revolt against Turkish Ottoman rule began during World War I.

In 1933, the United States went off the gold standard.

In 1947, Secretary of State George C. Marshall gave a speech at Harvard University in which he outlined an aid program for Europe that came to be known as The Marshall Plan.

In 1950, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Henderson v. United States, struck down racially segregated railroad dining cars.

In 1963, Britain's Secretary of State for War, John Profumo, resigned after acknowledging an affair with a call girl, Christine Keeler (who was also involved with a Soviet spy), and lying to Parliament about it; while there was no finding of a security breach, the scandal helped bring down the Conservative government of Prime Minister Harold Macmillan.

In 1967, war erupted in the Mideast as Israel raided military aircraft parked on the ground in Egypt; Syria, Jordan and Iraq entered the conflict.

In 1968, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated in Los Angeles' Ambassador Hotel after claiming victory in California's Democratic presidential primary. Gunman Sirhan Bishara Sirhan was immediately arrested.

In 1976, 14 people died when the Teton Dam in Idaho burst.

In 1993, country star Conway Twitty died at age 59 in Springfield, Mo.

In 2004, Ronald Wilson Reagan, the 40th president of the United States, died at age 93 in Los Angeles after a long struggle with Alzheimer's disease.

Ten years ago: Speaking to American soldiers in Qatar, President George W. Bush argued the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq was justified and pledged that "we'll reveal the truth" on Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction.

Five years ago: Defense Secretary Robert Gates ousted Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Michael Moseley and Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne, holding them to account in a historic Pentagon shake-up after embarrassing nuclear mix-ups.

One year ago: Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker beat back a recall challenge, winning the right to finish his term and a voter endorsement of his strategy to curb state spending.

  

HAPPENINGS

-- Beth Epley Presents - The Rock Brothers children program, 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., East Library, 5550 N. Union Blvd., free.

-- "The Amazing Arthur" children's program, 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., Penrose Library, 20 N. Cascade Ave., free.

-- Inspector Magic with Magical Adventures to the Center of the Earth children's program, 10:30 a.m., Sand Creek Library Branch, 1821 S. Academy Blvd., free.

-- "Dig in with Kathy's Kritters" children's program, 10:30 a.m., Palmer Lake Library Branch, 66 Lower Glenway, Palmer Lake, free.

-- "2013 Wolf Ranch Summer concert Series" with Bob Margarita Brothers Band, 6-8 p.m., Gateway Park, Wolf Ranch, North Powers Boulevard and Research Parkway, free.

-- "How to Water Your Landscape During Drought" class, 6:30-8 p.m., Colorado Springs Utilities Conservation and Environmental Center, 2855 Mesa Road, free.

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