News, February 13th

VAIL (AP) – All the new snow in Colorado’s mountains that has raised the avalanche danger likely helped save the lives of two people whose car plunged down Vail Pass off Interstate 70 earlier this week. Fire Chief Mark Miller told the Vail Daily that 8 feet of snow acted as a cushion, likely preventing even more serious injury or death.

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) – A Mesa County Valley school district  plans to hire security officers who will patrol schools  but won’t be allowed to make arrests. School District 51 officials say the officers will be armed, trained and in uniform. The first two security officers will be assigned to four middle schools.

DURANGO, Colo. (AP) – A La Plata County outfitter has been sentenced to four months in jail for violating probation after he was found guilty of operating his business on federal land without a valid permit. Keith Harper was continuing to offer tours after pleading guilty to operating a guide service in the San Juan National Forest on an expired license.

DENVER (AP) – Democrats stopped another Republican bill that tried to repeal limits on the size of ammunition magazines. Democrats passed the law last year. It prohibits the sale of magazines that hold more than 15 rounds. The law was passed in response to mass shootings in Colorado and Connecticut. A Senate committee rejected the proposal on a 3-2 party-line vote yesterday.

DENVER (AP) – State health officials say flu-related hospitalizations peaked in early January but new cases are still being reported. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said more than 315 people were hospitalized in the first week of January, the second-highest weekly number since tracking began nine years ago. The highest was 355 hospitalizations in one week in October 2009, during the H1N1 influenza pandemic.