Governor Hickenlooper signs Hit and Run Medina Alert Program bill

Categories: Politics

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Just over three years after 21-year-old Jose Medina, a valet at the now-defunct Rockstar Lounge at 940 Lincoln Street, died after getting struck by a hit-and-run driver, Governor John Hickenlooper signed House Bill HB14-1191 into law and created the Hit and Run Medina Alert Program, the first of its kind in the country. "The key is if we solve and get to these cases, it allows us to push back against hit and run," said the governor. "I think people feel that they get away with this, and if we do a better job of apprehending them, that will change."

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Coloradans get crafty as Supreme Court hears Hobby Lobby case

Categories: Politics

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Renegade Colorado crafters will be out in force this morning, delivering handmade "no thank you" cards to Attorney General John Suthers and telling him that birth control is #NotMyBossBusiness. Suthers filed a friend-of-the court brief in the Sibelious v. Hobby Lobby case, which the Supreme Court will hear today along with a related case. Hobby Lobby is arguing that the Affordable Care Act should not require the company to cover birth-control in its employer-provided health insurance because it conflicts with the Christian owners' religious beliefs.

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Millions served: Pie chart gives fresh look at who's in U.S. jails and prisons

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Reporters generally do a lousy job of analyzing the incarceration rate in the United States -- which, despite recent sentencing reforms, remains the highest in the world, with more citizens per capita behind bars than in Cuba, Rwanda or Russia. That's why a recent report by the Prison Policy Initiative, featuring a nifty pie chart that parses out the distinct systems of confinement in the U.S., is such a welcome tool -- it locks down who's locked up in our jails, prisons, juvenile and immigration detention facilities and more, giving a startling snapshot of Fortress America.

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We love Palisade peaches, but should they beat out cantaloupes as the official state fruit?

Categories: Politics

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We have nothing bad to say about fruits or vegetables. They are beautiful and amazing parts of this world, upstanding members of the ecosystem and, according to many sources, apparently healthy to eat. And even if we did have something bad to say about them -- cauliflower, in particular -- we wouldn't. Because in Colorado, it's illegal to disparage a fruit or vegetable. Here's part of the actual state statute (amended), passed years ago when some bad apple was maligning a Colorado product:

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Frackers and their critics argue over proposed study of industry's health risks

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Joann Ginal.
Not enough is known about the health impacts of oil and gas drilling in Colorado, or we already know more than enough. Surveying residents who live near wells about their "quality of life" is either a terrific idea or a lot of unscientific twaddle -- and a waste of money to boot. The sparring at Thursday's hearing over House Bill 14-1297, which would require a study on the effects of hydraulic fracturing in four Front Range counties, reflected the fractious divide among legislators, business interests, environmentalists and others over our booming natural gas industry.

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Marijuana industry being taken more seriously by D.C. power brokers, advocate says

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Not all that long ago, marijuana advocates tended to encounter more shut doors than open ones when dealing with lawmakers in Washington, D.C. But times are steadily changing.

Last week, a group organized by the Denver-based National Cannabis Industry Association spent two days in the Nation's Capitol, with members participating in a whopping sixty meetings with congressional staffers and the like over that span -- and officials from both parties were represented.

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Stapleton officials can't figure out if they can accept parks lover's cash offer

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Patricia Olson.
To Patricia Olson, the offer just made sense. If the Stapleton Development Corporation was having trouble paying for the continued services of Dennis Piper, a key consultant involved in planning the emerging neighborhood's parks and open space, then Olson would pay Piper's salary out of her own pocket.

But her generous offer has been hanging fire for two weeks while SDC officials try to figure out what to do about it.

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Cell-phone use while driving would be illegal unless device is hands-free under new bill

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That car driving slowly or erratically in front of you? Odds are good the person behind the wheel is talking on a cell phone. But unless the driver is under eighteen, doing so is perfectly legal in Colorado.

Representative Jovan Melton would like to change that. A new Melton-sponsored bill that will be heard in a House committee today would make it illegal for a driver to talk on a cell phone while on the road unless it's a hands-free device.

Get details and see the bill below.

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Edward Montour gets life, death-penalty foes get a win

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Edward Montour Jr.
After twelve years of trying to put Edward Montour Jr. to death for the murder of a Limon prison guard, it took only a few minutes late yesterday afternoon to sentence him to life without parole, after prosecutors grumblingly agreed to a plea deal that they said would provide only "partial justice" in the convoluted case.

As Michael Roberts reported yesterday, Eighteenth Judicial District Attorney George Brauchler made the offer of life in exchange for a guilty plea hours after opening statements in Montour's long-awaited retrial.

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Photos: New looks for new candidates Bob Beauprez and Cory Gardner

Categories: Politics

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When GQ offered to make over Colorado Congressman Jared Polis -- caught on camera wearing a polo shirt with a bow tie -- we couldn't resist offering our own makeover suggestions for the Boulder Democrat.

So when two Republicans recently announced they were going to join the hordes going for statewide office in November, we felt it only fair to offer updates for Bob Beauprez, now running (again) for governor, and Congressman Cory Gardner, who's aiming to unseat Mark Udall in the U.S. Senate.


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