NW COL GOVTS, ENTITIES SEND MESSAGE TO HICKENLOOPER
Rifle—Western Colorado wants Governor John Hickenlooper to hear the cries for help regarding the federal plans to protect the Greater Sage Grouse. Elected officials from Garfield, Mesa, Rio Blanco and Moffat counties held a news conference yesterday in Rifle denouncing the BLM’s plan to protect the bird saying it is overreaching and would have a major economic impact on the region. Hickenlooper says he is urging the federal government to consider Colorado as a model for sage-grouse management and to avoid listing the bird as a threatened or endangered species.
PARACHUTE MAN MAY BE MENTALLY INCOMPETENT TO STAND TRIAL FOR MURDER OF MONTANA TEACHER
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) – Attorneys for a Parachute, Colorado man charged with killing an eastern Montana teacher say his mental disabilities make him unfit to stand trial. The attorneys asked a state judge on Friday to commit 24-year-old Michael Keith Spell to a state facility for up to 60 days to undergo a mental examination. Spell faces a felony murder charge in the death of Sherry Arnold, a Sidney High School teacher killed in January 2012 while on her morning run. A co-defendant, 48 year old Lester Van Waters, pleaded guilty under a deal with prosecutors. Spell could face the death penalty if convicted. Court records in Colorado show Spell was declared incompetent by a judge in 2010 in a Garfield County drug case. His defense attorneys say he also has a prior diagnosis of mental retardation.
POSTAL SERVICE PAYS BIG MONEY FOR TEMPS IN ASPEN
ASPEN (AP) – The U.S Postal Service is having trouble keeping managers in Aspen and has paid temporary employees more than $122,000 to do the job. That money includes per diem benefits and reimbursements for rent, hotel rooms, airfare and the use of private vehicles. The temporary managers also drew their base salaries that ranged between $53,000 and $90,000.
COUPLES WAITING TO GET HITCHED IN DENVER
DENVER (AP) – Couples have been camping out since Wednesday in front of a Denver city building to make sure they get their dream wedding spot.Friday is the first day the Denver Parks and Recreation department will accept applications for 2014 permits for events and weddings. Couples say their choice of city property is important for sentimental reasons, but also desirable because the city charges much less for a permit than private establishments cost to rent.