Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

SUNRISE: Small mountain towns lose officers to large cities

The Gazette - Updated: May 28, 2013 at 9:51 am

FRISCO - The improving economy means police forces in larger Front Range cities are hiring away officers from smaller mountain towns.

The Summit Daily reported Sunday (http://tinyurl.com/q69c9t5 ) that police and the sheriff's department in Summit County struggle to keep young officers because of the lure of better pay, lower living costs and milder weather in such cities as Denver and Aurora.

Breckenridge officials say their police officers usually stay two to four years, leaving them with many newcomers and few veterans.

Breckenridge police chief Shannon Haynes says she stresses retention in recruiting, looking for officers who want to stay in the community.

Silverthorne Chief Mark Hanschmidt says his staff often recruits future officers before they finish training, and they keep them on board by offering them more training than bigger departments do.


   

WEATHER

The National Weather Service forecasts a high of 82 Tuesday in Colorado Springs. A red flag warning is in effect from noon to 9 p.m. in much of southern Colorado, including Colorado Springs, because of the dry and breezy conditions that lead to high fire danger. Expect an overnight low temperature of 50.

   

AROUND COLORADO

Governor to sign series of marijuana regulations

DENVER (AP) - Colorado's governor is scheduled to sign a series of bills to regulate and tax legal marijuana.

Gov. John Hickenlooper planned a Tuesday morning signing ceremony for six measures related to the drug Colorado voters made legal last year.

The new laws will dictate how marijuana should be grown, packaged and sold. Another new law sends to voters the question of taxing pot at least 25 percent, with proceeds going to school construction and the cost of regulating pot.

Hickenlooper also plans to sign a bill creating a new driving limit for marijuana as an analogy to the blood alcohol limit.

Another bill becoming law addresses a tax problem faced by marijuana businesses, allowing them to claim certain business deductions at the state level even though their businesses violate federal law.

Saudi national goes before parole board

DENVER (AP) - A Saudi national serving up to life in prison in Colorado on a sexual assault conviction is going before a parole board.

Homaidan al-Turki's hearing will be Tuesday at a prison in Limon, southeast of Denver.

Al-Turki is serving a sentence of eight years to life. He was convicted in 2006 of assaulting a housekeeper and keeping her as a virtual slave.

State officials say the hearing is unrelated to al-Turki's earlier request to be sent to Saudi Arabia to serve the remainder of his sentence, which was denied by the Department of Corrections.

Prosecutors opposed the request, fearing he would be released in Saudi Arabia. They also cited his refusal to undergo sex-offender treatment in prison.

Federal officials have said they want to be notified before al-Turki is released.

Disabilities group sues over open records request

ALAMOSA (AP) - A disabilities rights group wants the Conejos County Sheriff's Department to pay thousands of dollars in legal bills it racked up while pursuing an open records request.

The Alamosa Valley Courier reported last week (http://tinyurl.com/npn2x8f ) the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition spent at least $38,000 to get sheriff's data on services it offers detainees and inmates who hearing-impaired.

The coalition got the data in May 2012, about four months after requesting it.

The group claims the sheriff's department violated state open records and criminal justice records laws because the sheriff didn't' turn over the records after a judge held a hearing on the issue in July.

Conejos County Attorney Stefan Walter Atencio says the lawsuit is an attempt to get tens of thousands of dollars from the department.

State lacks money to study cyclists, pedestrians

DENVER (AP) - Cyclist and pedestrian deaths are up in Colorado, but transportation officials say they don't have the money for a database that would help find ways to reduce them.

The Denver Post reported Monday (http://tinyurl.com/pmf64ny ) that cyclist deaths are up 44 percent and pedestrian deaths are up nearly 10 percent since 2002.

Transportation experts say that simplifying and expediting the availability of collision data can make it easier to predict where accidents might happen and determine the causes.

But data-sharing systems can cost millions of dollars, and coordinating the effort can be difficult.

Democratic state Sen. Rollie Heath of Boulder says the state doesn't adequately fund basic road repairs, and the Colorado Department of Transportations has many needs for the money available.

Police investigate Lakewood man's disappearance

LAKEWOOD (AP) - Lakewood police say they believe foul play is involved in the disappearance of a 50-year-old man.

David "Dave" Noren, who is known to frequent the Pub on Colfax in Lakewood, was last seen May 19, and his constant companion, a black Labrador retriever, was found at his home.

The Denver Post reports (http://bit.ly/19dmz94 ) Noren does not have any known medical conditions, and police have called the disappearance "unusual."

No other information has been released.

Future of Colorado River on agenda in San Diego

(AP) Top water decision-makers from seven Western states plan to join conservation groups and Indian tribes in San Diego on Tuesday to begin hammering out rules for squeezing every useable drop from the overtaxed Colorado River.

The work meeting hosted by federal water managers comes amid dire predictions for the waterway. The U.S. interior secretary five months ago issued a call to arms and declared that the river already described as the most plumbed and regulated in the world would be unable to meet demands of a growing regional population over the next 50 years.

"We're looking at a very significant chance of declaring a shortage in the Colorado River basin in 2016," Michael Connor, commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation, said in an interview in advance of the conference.

"We really need to get to specifics, technical liabilities and the political feasibility of projects," he said.

Connor heads the federal agency responsible for what he called the most litigated and fought-over resource in the country. He said data projects 2013 will be the fourth-driest year in the Colorado River basin over the past 100 years. Last year was the fifth-driest year on record.

The river provides drinking water, power and recreation for some 40 million people in California, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico and Wyoming. Its largest reservoirs - Lake Mead near Las Vegas and Lake Powell near Page, Ariz. - are projected to drop to 45 percent capacity by September, Connor said.

   

TODAY IN HISTORY

In 1533, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer, declared the marriage of England's King Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn valid.

In 1892, the Sierra Club was organized in San Francisco.

In 1912, the Senate Commerce Committee issued its report on the Titanic disaster that cited a "state of absolute unpreparedness," improperly tested safety equipment and an "indifference to danger" as some of the causes of an "unnecessary tragedy."

In 1929, the first all-color talking picture, "On with the Show," opened in New York.

In 1934, the Dionne quintuplets - Annette, Cecile, Emilie, Marie and Yvonne - were born to Elzire Dionne at the family farm in Ontario, Canada.

In 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt pushed a button in Washington signaling that vehicular traffic could begin crossing the just-opened Golden Gate Bridge in California. Neville Chamberlain became prime minister of Britain.

In 1940, during World War II, the Belgian army surrendered to invading German forces.

In 1959, the U.S. Army launched Able, a rhesus monkey, and Baker, a squirrel monkey, aboard a Jupiter missile for a suborbital flight which both primates survived.

In 1961, Amnesty International had its beginnings with the publication of an article in the British newspaper The Observer, "The Forgotten Prisoners."

In 1977, 165 people were killed when fire raced through the Beverly Hills Supper Club in Southgate, Ky.

In 1987, to the embarrassment of Soviet officials, Mathias Rust, a young West German pilot, landed a private plane in Moscow's Red Square without authorization. (Rust was freed by the Soviets the following year.)

In 1998, comic actor Phil Hartman of "Saturday Night Live" and "NewsRadio" fame was shot to death at his home in Encino, Calif., by his wife, Brynn, who then killed herself.

Ten years ago: President George W. Bush signed a 10-year, $350 billion package of tax cuts, saying they already were "adding fuel to an economic recovery." Amnesty International released a report saying the U.S.-led war on terror had made the world a more dangerous and repressive place, a finding dismissed by Washington as "without merit."

One year ago: President Barack Obama paid tribute on Memorial Day to the men and women who died defending America.. Nineteen people were killed in a mall fire in Qatar.

     

HAPPENINGS

-- "Senior Lunch and a Movie," bring a lunch and watch "Les Mis?ables," noon-2:45 p.m., East Library, 5550 N. Union Blvd., free.

-- Showing of "Rise of the Guardians," 6:30 p.m., Old Colorado City Library Branch, 2418 W. Pikes Peak Ave., free.

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