WASHINGTON (AP) – As many as 14 people have died from possible
listeria illnesses traced to Colorado cantaloupes – a death toll
that would make the outbreak the deadliest in more than a decade.
The Centers for Disease Control said last week that 55 illnesses
and eight deaths were linked to the outbreak. Since then, state and
local health departments in Kansas, Nebraska, Texas and Wyoming
have reported six additional deaths that may be linked to the
tainted fruit. Listeria is more deadly than more well-known pathogens like
salmonella and E. coli, though those outbreaks generally cause more
illnesses. Twenty-one people died in an outbreak of listeria
poisoning in 1998 traced to contaminated hot dogs and possibly deli
meats. Jensen Farms of Holly, Colo., recalled cantaloupes earlier this
month linked to the illnesses.

DENVER (AP) – U.S. Sens. Mark Udall and Michael Bennet are
sponsoring a bill to declare about 61,000 acres in southwestern
Colorado as federal wilderness and special management areas.
The San Juan Mountains Wilderness Act would designate 33,000
acres as federal wilderness, much of it by expanding existing
wilderness areas. Another 6,000 acres would be barred from oil and
gas development. Nearly 22,000 more acres would be managed to preserve their wilderness characteristics while allowing some outdoor recreation,
including hiking, hunting and fishing.

DENVER (AP) – Colorado lawmakers are directing auditors to
research how to examine online schools K-12 schools after
Democratic Senate President Brandon Shaffer expressed concern over
student failure rates at the schools.
Lawmakers voted Tuesday to approve staff research time on how an
audit of the online schools would be conducted. Shaffer told
lawmakers in a letter Monday that he wants an emergency audit
completed before the Legislature meets in January and begins budget
discussions. An audit typically takes about 9 months to complete.
The state auditor’s office says it will look at whether it can
complete part of the audit before the legislative session and the
rest of Shaffer’s request later. Officials will revisit the topic
in November. Shaffer says online schools receive state funding but have
little oversight.

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) – The oil and gas industry says
leasing on public lands in Colorado is down sharply from three
years ago. The industry blames red tape from the federal government.
Officials with the Western Energy Alliance say the
number of parcels offered by the Bureau of Land Management is down
by 70 percent and the acreage involved is down by 81 percent for
the fiscal year that just ended. The bureau in Colorado offered only four parcels in 2011, and Utah had slightly more, with 17 parcels.

GILCREST, Colo. (AP) – A Gilcrest Town Board member is objecting
to printing code enforcement warnings in Spanish because he
believes Latinos should learn to speak English.
Robert Gandelman says it would cost more money to issue code
enforcement warnings in Spanish. The town board wants to give
residents more time to chop down dead trees because of safety