News, March 7th

GLENWOOD/HWY 82 ACCESS CONTROL PLAN HEARING

Glenwood Springs–The Glenwood Springs City Council is hoping for a more civil, constructive discussion tonight on the controversial Access Control Plan for the city and Highway 82. Tonight’s council meeting begins at 7 with the public hearing on the plan scheduled for 7:35. The last big discussion turned devolved into an emotional, finger-pointing session.

COLORADO SCHOOL FUNDING LAWS DEBATED IN STATE SUPREME COURT

DENVER (AP) – State government attorneys told Colorado Supreme Court justices that legislators should have discretion over school funding in an historic case contending the state’s school funding scheme is unconstitutional. Meanwhile, an attorney for parents and 21 school districts urged the court to step in to protect low-income students falling behind their peers across the state. The lawsuit argued on Thursday seeks to settle a yearslong debate over how Colorado should fund schools to give all students an opportunity to succeed. The state can have major implications on the already cash-strapped budget. A ruling is months away. Nearly half of the state budget goes to schools, and Colorado attorneys say the state can’t afford to spend more on education. Plaintiffs say they want the state to spend money where it’s needed most.

THOMPSON DIVIDE OPPONENTS GAIN ANOTHER CONVERT

SNOWMASS VILLAGE, Colo. (AP) – Gov. John Hickenlooper is siding with local opposition over proposed oil and gas drilling around the Thompson Divide near Carbondale. The Governor says the area is a beautiful landscape that should not be developed.
Conservationists have tried to protect the area from drilling because of its wildlife habitat, scenery and concerns over the possible effect on organic farms. There are currently numerous applications to drill in the area, as well as requests by the gas industry to extend leases that are about to expire.

STATE COMPENSATION FOR WRONGLY CONVICTED CITIZENS

DENVER (AP) – How much does Colorado owe people imprisoned for crimes they didn’t commit? How about $70,000 a year?
A state House committee starts work Thursday on a proposal to set compensation rates for people wrongly incarcerated. The bill was inspired by a western Colorado man who is surviving on food stamps and donations after serving a decade in prison for a rape and murder he didn’t commit. Robert Dewey was exonerated last year by DNA evidence and plans to visit the Colorado Capitol to argue in favor of compensation for the wrongly imprisoned. The bill up for debate in a House committee sets compensation at $70,000 a year in prison, and $25,000 a year for people who were wrongly on parole, probation or a sex offender registry.

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