GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) – State statistics show Colorado paid
nearly $60 million to departing workers for unused leave and sick
time over the past three years and could owe $367 million more to
current employees. The figures were reported by the State
Controller’s Office. Republican state Rep. Laura Bradford of
Collbran says her own research found that a single state worker who
retired in 2010 was paid more than $60,000 in unused leave and sick
time. Bradford is considering a bill that would stop the practice
of accumulating such benefits.

DENVER (AP) – Colorado is saving millions of dollars since
lawmakers changed the rules for a pension program a year ago. A
loophole allowed immigrants to immediately enroll in the state’s
Old Age Pension after joining relatives in Colorado. A 2010 law
imposed a five-year residency requirement. The Denver Post reports
that Colorado spent $77 million on monthly cash benefits under the
program in the fiscal year that ended in June, down 13 percent from
the year before.

DENVER (AP) – A Denver District Court judge will begin hearing
arguments tomorrow on the congressional redistricting process
required every 10 years to reflect updated Census statistics.
Democrats and Republicans sued after the Legislature failed to
agree on drawing new districts this spring. The court will have
about a half dozen maps to consider in a trial expected to last two

DENVER (AP) – Many state offices are closed for Columbus Day.
State driver’s license offices, the vital records office of the
Department of Public Health and Environment, Division of Wildlife
Service Centers and administrative offices for executive branch
departments are among the agencies that won’t be open. State
troopers will patrol highways and the highway maintenance crews
will work as necessary.

ASPEN, Colo. (AP) – A Colorado birdwatcher portrayed by Steve
Martin in the comedy film “The Big Year” says his fascination
with birds may have rubbed off on some of the cast. Martin plays a
character modeled on Al Levantin of Snowmass. The movie follows
Levantin’s character and two rivals competing to see who can
observe the most species of birds in North America in a calendar
year. The movie opens Friday.

PAGOSA SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) – Colorado’s Wolf Creek Ski Area will
remain open through the Columbus Day weekend and then closes for
four days before opening again next weekend. The southern Colorado
resort became the first in in the state to open this season when it
welcomed skiers on Saturday. Wolf Creek usually isn’t in the
running to be the first in the state to open, but it got three feet
of snow late last week.

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