News, September 26th

Rifle–The man who shot a Rifle police officer nearly two years ago is going to prison for a long time. 55 year old Phillip Amonette was sentenced yesterday in Garfield County District Court to 29 years in prison for shooting Officer Garrett Duncan on the night of October 22nd, 2010 in front of the U-Haul center in North Rifle. Officer Duncan survived the shooting because he was wearing a bullet-proof vest. His fellow officer returned fire and shot Amonette who spent the next few weeks recovering in protective custody at Saint Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction. Amonette apologized to Duncan before being sentenced.

DENVER (AP) – The director of Colorado’s unemployment department says the system is broken and many people are having trouble getting their checks. Colorado Department of Labor director Ellen Golombeck says the computer system the state uses is more than 20 years old and it’s inefficient. Golombeck says the state has approved a $72 million system paid with a federal grant that will replace the old system, but it will take four years. Colorado plans to share the new system with Wyoming, North Dakota and Arizona.

GRAND JUNCTION (AP) – The Colorado State Patrol has fired two troopers who were involved in the 2010 shooting death of an unarmed suspect. State Patrol Capt. Jeff Goodwin says trooper Ivan Lawyer and Cpl. Kirk Firko were notified Tuesday they are no longer employed by the agency. Goodwin declined to answer questions related to the shooting. The troopers went to Jason Kemp’s home in 2010 while investigating a traffic accident. Lawyer said that during a struggle, he shot Kemp because he saw him raise his arm and thought he had a weapon. The troopers had no comment.

DENVER (AP) – Marijuana legalization in Colorado is up for debate at the University of Denver tonight. Proponents of the measure say that marijuana should be regulated like alcohol and taxed to raise money for school construction. Opponents say the pot measure would increase youth drug use and wouldn’t raise that much money. Former Republican Senate candidate Ken Buck will argue against legalization.
Colorado is one of three states considering ballot measures this fall to defy federal law and legalize marijuana without a doctor’s recommendation. Colorado and 16 other states already buck federal drug law for so-called “medical marijuana,” or allowing people with certain medical conditions to use the drug.