News, December 31st


SNOWMASS VILLAGE – Investigators are headed to the site of Colorado’s first avalanche death this season.
A member of Aspen Skiing Company’s off-duty ski patrol died yesterday after an avalanche in a permanently closed area at the Snowmass ski area. 49-year-old Patricia Hileman was killed when the avalanche carried her over a cliff in the Ship’s Prow Glades area. A team from the Colorado Avalanche Information Center plans to visit the area Monday. The avalanche danger is extremely high in the mountains of western Colorado after several rounds of storms. That includes areas near Steamboat Springs, Aspen, Gunnison and in the San Juan and Sawatch mountains. The danger in the Front Range mountains is rated as moderate. Last year’s first death of seven came in January.


Frisco–Avalanche season in Colorado could be deadlier than last year when 7 people lost their lives in backcountry slides. Experts are warning that another dry start to this winter could mean increased avalanche danger in Summit County later on in the season. Brian Lazar with the Colorado Avalanche Information Center says so far this year, a weak base layer has been topped with more snow than last season. That means avalanches could be bigger and just as easy to trigger. Lazar says people should educate themselves on current snowpack conditions by staying up to date on avalanche advisories. An average of 25 people die in avalanches in the United States every year.


DENVER (AP) – The Colorado Bureau of Investigation is planning to ask lawmakers for $500,000 to help it more quickly process the huge backlog of background checks for gun buyers that has swamped the agency after the elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn.
A month ago the average wait time for a background check was around 20 minutes. Now, the wait time is about a week as the CBI struggles with the backlog of more than 11,000 applications. CBI spokeswoman Susan Medina says the supplemental appropriation would be used for more staff and technology.


PUEBLO (AP) – Church pastors organized a small gun buyback in Pueblo in response to the elementary school shootings in Connecticut. Yesterday’s buyback brought in only seven rifles, one handgun and 30 rounds of ammunition, however the pastors who organized the buyback said the event was meaningful and symbolic.
Pastor Kim James of Wesley United Methodist Church told the newspaper that the shootings in Newtown, Conn., have left parishioners grieving and wondering what they can do. She said the churches were trying to show a different response than flocking to gun stores to stock up on guns. The Pueblo Police Department collected the weapons for disposal.


DENVER (AP) – The Colorado Medical Society has filed a lawsuit to stop the implementation of a new regulation that would allow chiropractors to administer internal medications. The Chiropractic Board of Examiners proposed in November to allow chiropractors to give drugs topically and orally to their patients, as well as to perform injections. John Conklin, a spokesman and attorney for the Colorado Medical Society, says authorizing chiropractors to administer drugs and give injections “threatens irreparable injury” to patients and public welfare. Meanwhile, the attorney general’s office says the change exceeds the legislative scope of authority granted to the chiropractic board, which typically is responsible for licensing chiropractors and massage therapists. The change would take effect Jan. 14.