News, June 20th

ASPEN (AP) – Tractor-trailer drivers who try to illegally use Independence Pass this summer could find themselves with a mandatory court appearance as authorities try to crack down on the dangerous route. County emergency dispatchers already this spring and summer have taken 14 calls about semitrailers going over the pass. There is no room for a tractor-trailer and cars traveling the opposite direction, forcing smaller vehicles to back up, jamming up traffic.

DENVER (AP) – The wildfires burning across Colorado have prompted a series of smoke warnings, with some residents being asked to stay inside to avoid hot, smoky conditions. Smoke advisories are posted today for parts of metro Denver and stretching south to include Colorado Springs and some towns farther south. People in smoke-affected areas are advised to limit outdoor exercise.

DENVER (AP) – State health officials are warning smoothie drinkers in Colorado that they may have been exposed to Hepatitis A. KMGH-TV reports smoothies made for the Groovy Greens smoothie delivery service in Boulder and at the Sweet Pea Restaurant in Steamboat Springs may have contained recently recalled frozen berries. State officials say no Hepatitis cases have been tied to the two restaurants, but 22 cases have been identified in Colorado residents.

DENVER (AP) – Colorado lawmakers approved $1 million annually for prison officials to create a fugitive unit that tracks parolees who flee. The move is the latest response state officials have undertaken to address the slaying of Colorado Department of Corrections Chief Tom Clements. A parolee who was released early and slipped out of his monitoring bracelet is the lone suspect in the case.

DENVER (AP) – The governor’s economists say Colorado’s employment levels are back to where they were before the recession and tax receipts continue to exceed expectations. Tax receipts are expected to be $307 million higher than they predicted in March, meaning the state will end the fiscal year with about $8.6 billion in general fund revenue. The economists also noted a benchmark today. Colorado now has 2.4 million jobs – the same number the state had in 2008 before the Great Recession hit.