News, July 22nd

COL ATTY GENERAL DISPUTES FEDS TAKING ENERGY FUNDS

Grand Junction—Uncle Sam has no business taking energy lease money to pay down the federal budget deficit according to Colorado Attorney General John Suthers.  Suthers says about 110 million dollars is being withheld from energy-impacted states like Colorado and Utah.  He says the federal government has no authority to sequester that money that is supposed to help areas like Garfield County deal with the effects of the industry.  More than 8 million dollars in energy royalties are being withheld from Colorado.

PITCO RESCUE CREWS RECOVER BODY OF FALLEN CLIMBER

Aspen—The body of the climber who fell some 300 feet to his death while descending Capitol Peak outside Aspen was recovered.  The Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office says 35 year old Ryan Palmer of Vail chose to climb down the face of the peak instead of going down what’s known as the “knife edge.”  Palmer’s climbing partners had already crossed the edge and watched him make his way down the face.  They called 911 when he didn’t show up at their campsite.  Palmer’s body was spotted Saturday afternoon and his body was recovered yesterday.

NEW VETERANS HOSPITAL JEOPARDIZED

DENVER (AP) — The builder of a Veterans Affairs hospital in Aurora wants to quit the project over rising costs after the federal government balked at paying an additional $400 million.The Denver Post reports that Kiewit-Turner told a federal board the VA must redesign hospital to fit the budget or finds more money if work is to continue.The dispute threatens to cause further delays in the project that has been discussed since the late 1990s.A complaint filed by Kiewit-Turner said bungled designs and mismanagement contributed to an overrun that is now twice the size of the $200 million figure discussed in January.Congressman Mike Coffman said the delays and cost overruns are inexcusable.

NEW AVALANCHE APP FOR SMARTPHONES

BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — A Boulder company has developed a free app for smartphones to provide avalanche-safety tools that can help save the lives of hikers and skiers in Colorado’s backcountry.Boulder’s Backcountry Access co-founder Bruce Edgerly says he regularly interviews avalanche survivors to help develop more efficient safety tools. The company has been credited with saving lives with its digital Tracker avalanche beacon. The company’s Float backpacks have saved lives with air bags that inflate and carry skiers trapped in a mountainside of moving snow.

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