DENVER – Southern Colorado residents assessed damage to homes
and businesses Wednesday from a magnitude-5.3 quake, the state’s
biggest since 1967, as officials warned that minor aftershocks were
expected for weeks. In the former coal town of Valdez, Dean
Moltrer, co-owner of Purgatoire Valley Construction, said he wasn’t
waiting for the Las Animas County building inspector to document
any wrecks. He found severe damage to one structure and cracks in
walls and foundations of other buildings. By Steven K. Paulson.
Files AP file photos.

DENVER – Colorado Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia acknowledged that
inequities exist in education but says the state has met its
constitutional obligation in how it funds its schools. Garcia took
the stand Wednesday as the government’s first witness in a lawsuit
challenging Colorado’s education funding system. Garcia says he
favors giving schools more resources but that additional funding
alone won’t produce better results. By Ivan Moreno.

CASTLE ROCK – A 6-year-old girl’s life was spared during the
slayings of her mother and uncle because she wasn’t part of a
$20,000 murder-for-hire plot, according to court testimony. One of
the four men facing first-degree murder charges in the Feb. 23
slayings of Amara Wells and Robert Rafferty detailed the alleged
plot in an interview with sheriff’s detectives. A video of the
interview was played in court Tuesday during a three-day
preliminary hearing that was to continue Wednesday. Member pickup.
On Colorado lines.

– BREAST MILK-DONATIONS – A slowdown in donations this summer
has forced the Mothers’ Milk Bank in Denver to limit its supply of
breast milk to premature babies in intensive care units.
– CONGRESS-PENSIONS – Republican Rep. Mike Coffman says members
of Congress should follow millions of American workers and give up
their pensions.
– ANIMAL CRUELTY – A woman facing animal cruelty charges is
expected in court and she wants her animals back.
– ROBBERY CASH – Three teenage girls are being honored for
returning $1,200 in cash they found scattered through a Fort
Collins field.
– VACATION RENTALS – Jefferson County commissioners are
considering allowing homeowners to rent out their homes for
vacation rentals.
– FATAL CRASH-BRULE – A blown tire has been blamed for a crash
that killed a Colorado woman who was headed to her son’s court
appearance in Nebraska.
– CONDEMNED APARTMENTS – Colorado Springs code inspectors have
ordered 21 renters to leave their apartments after they found
electric code violations.
– SHOPPER KILLED – An 83-year-old woman was killed by a hit and
run driver while walking to the entrance to a Colorado Springs
– SCHOOL DISCIPLINE-COLORADO – Law enforcement and victim rights
groups will talk to a panel reviewing disciplinary policies at
Colorado schools created after the Columbine High School shootings.


DENVER – A manager at Shell Exploration and Production Co. is
telling two Republican Colorado congressmen that the energy
industry needs a clear, regulatory framework for commercial oil
shale development to move forward. Shell heavy oil development
manager Dan Whitney was among 10 speakers Wednesday at a field
hearing in Grand Junction of the House Energy and Mineral Resources
Subcommittee on oil shale. Rep. Scott Tipton and subcommittee
chairman Doug Lamborn conducted the hearing.

– MARIJUANA BANK – The last bank in Colorado that was publicly
doing business with the medical marijuana industry is closing all
of those accounts because of concerns over regulations and legal
– LABOR DAY-COLORADO – The number of travelers in the Mountain
Region this Labor Day holiday weekend is expected to drop more than
2 percent over a year ago.