EAGLE (AP) – An Eagle County man who shot and killed an alleged masked intruder last week is behind bars after later allegedly pointing a rifle at detectives driving up to his home. Douglas Behrends says he shot 32-year-old Brooks Hampton Friday night after Hampton kicked open the door of his house in Burns and started screaming at him. On Monday, detectives in an unmarked vehicle accompanied Hampton’s relatives to Behrends’ house to pick up Hampton’s car. Behrends put his hands up after detectives got out and drew their pistols. Behrends says he didn’t know who was coming down his driveway and feared they might start shooting. Prosecutors say he was put in jail for menacing and partly for his own safety. No charges have been filed.
GRAND JUNCTION (AP) – Colorado oil and gas industry leaders say new fines for rule violations could lead in some cases to companies shutting down or curtailing operations. An attorney for the Colorado Oil and Gas Association industry group told regulators penalties should be waived for minor infractions. The commission is considering the new fine structure to comply with a state law passed this year and an executive order by Gov. John Hickenlooper. The law raises the daily penalty limit from $1,000 to $15,000 for each violation and requires commissioners to assess a penalty for each day a violation occurred. The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission delayed action until next year after a hearing on Tuesday.
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) – U.S. officials say they will decide next year whether the Greater Sage Grouse needs protections even though Congress has blocked such protections from going into effect. That means wildlife officials could determine the greater sage grouse is heading toward possible extinction, but they would be unable to intervene under the Endangered Species Act. President Barack Obama signed a $1.1 trillion spending bill late Tuesday that bars money from being spent on rules to protect the chicken-sized grouse and several related birds. Interior Department officials say they’ll continue analyzing whether protections are needed and reach a decision by September 30, 2015. Sage grouse range across 11 Western states and two Canadian provinces. Oil and gas drilling, wildfires, livestock grazing and other activities have consumed more than half the bird’s habitat.