News, February 15th

GUN CONTROL AT STATE CAPITOL

Denver–It’s a gun-control battle at the State Capitol. Lawmakers are hunkered down for what is expected to be an emotionally-charged debate over firearms and 2nd Amendment rights. Several gun control bills are being discussed and voted on dealing with a wide range of topics including background checks for gun buyers and restrictions on ammunition. Lawmakers have been told not to make plans for Saturday. Ultimately, with the gun control-minded Democrats in power in the House and Senate, the outcome of the measures is a foregone conclusion.

BLM DISCLOSURE RULING

Denver–The Bureau of Land Management has 30 days to reveal the names of the companies that expressed an interest in drilling in Colorado’s North Fork Valley last year. A U.S. District Court Senior Judge reversed a 1995 policy by ordering the BLM to disclose the names of the firms looking to lease land for oil and gas development. It’s a victory for environmental groups like “Citizens for a Healthy Community” which sued after the BLM denied it’s original request for a list of the bidding companies. The BLM argued releasing the names would taint the bidding process.

BOARD OF PAROLE APPOINTMENTS

DENVER (AP) – Gov. John Hickenlooper has appointed former Colorado Senate President Brandon Shaffer to the State Board of Parole, along with former Colorado Department of Public Safety Executive Director Joe Morales. Shaffer, of Longmont, was appointed to serve as vice chair of the state board, which considers applications for parole. Hickenlooper’s office said yesterday that Shaffer was appointed to serve as a citizen representative for a term expiring July 1, 2016. Morales, of Silverthorne, was appointed to serve as a law-enforcement representative on the board until July 1, 2016. He is a past Summit County sheriff.

VICE PRESIDENT VACATIONING IN SNOWMASS

SNOWMASS VILLAGE (AP) – Vice President Joe Biden is visiting Colorado over Presidents Day weekend. The White House said yesterday that Biden will visit Snowmass with his family today through Monday. No public events are scheduled.

SNOWMASS FOSSILS ON DISPLAY

DENVER (AP) – If you didn’t get a chance to see fossils from the 2010 dig near Snowmass Village, you will have another chance this weekend. A traveling exhibit opens in Denver today, and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science is contributing a selection of pieces from the Colorado excavation.

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