News, February 14th

‘WEE HOURS’ BAR BILL ADVANCES AT STATE CAPITAL

DENVER (AP) – Bars could bars stay open past 2 a.m. under a bill moving forward in the Colorado House. Lawmakers advanced the bill Friday with an unrecorded voice vote, setting up a final vote next week to send the proposal to the Senate.  The proposal would let municipalities decide whether to let bars stay open until 4:30 a.m. Current law prohibits the sale of alcohol from 2 a.m. to 7 a.m. Opponents raised safety concerns, saying it could contribute to drunk driving. Some lawmakers also want uniformity on the closing hours that are set within municipalities to prevent bar hopping.  Supporters of the bill say the goal is to give local governments more control, and potentially reduce large, unruly crowds that let out at the traditional closing time.

LAST WEEKEND’S MOUNTAIN TRAFFIC JAM BLAMED ON DRIVERS

DENVER (AP) – The Colorado Department of Transportation is blaming drivers for a traffic tie-up over the weekend that left drivers fuming after being stuck in traffic for hours.
It took some drivers around eight hours to get from Vail to the Denver area Sunday. Just going from Silverthorne to the Eisenhower Tunnel took some over four hours after so many skiers and snowboarders flocked to the mountains.The department says some drivers had cars with bald tires and big trucks were not using chains on slippery roads, bringing traffic to a near-standstill when vehicles spun out of control.The department said in a statement Thursday that those vehicles caused delays to increase at an “astounding rate”, forcing it to close eastbound lanes to clear the highway.

COLORADO CONEALED CARRY PERMIT RENEWALS MAY BE LESS HASSLE

DENVER (AP) – Conceal-carry firearm holders would have greater flexibility to renew their permits under a bill given initial approval by Colorado lawmakers. The state House voted Friday with an unrecorded voice vote to allow the renewal of conceal-carry permits at any sheriff’s office. Current law requires people to renew their permit with the sheriff’s office that issued it.  The bill sponsored by Democratic Rep. Ed Vigil needs one more vote next week to be referred to the Senate.