Friday, May 4, 2012

Friday May 4, 2012

The Colorado State Patrol is honoring law enforcement officers who've died in the line of duty.  A ceremony today will add the names of 7 officers, including two who died last year.  Governor John Hickenlooper has proclaimed today "Colorado Law Enforcement Day" in honor of those killed in the line of duty.

Garfield County Sheriff's officials are warning recreationists to be on the look out for people who might be exposing themselves on public trails and rest areas.  They say there've been an increasing number of reports since 2008 and want the public to be aware and report any suspicious incidents immediately.

New concrete road bed in Glenwood Canyon is complete, and crews today will re-open all lanes in both directions. C-DOT says the work is the third in a series of phased projects replacing the current asphalt pavement through the canyon with more durable, longer-lasting concrete pavement which has a 30 year life span.  The work was finished 10 days ahead of schedule, netting the contractor $60,000 in early-completition incentives.

Snowpack in Colorado continues it's rapid decline, with the latest snow surveys showing most low and mid elevation measurement locations well below average and rapidly melting.  The Natural Resources Conservation Service says the May 1st snowpack is just 19% of average, with stream-flow forecasts less than 50% of average for the May to July season.  Reservoir storage remains above average in all basins in the state except the San Miguel, Dolores, Animas and San Juan where measurements show 89% of average storage.

Nearly 60 visitors from Denver are making their way to the Grand Valley this weekend for the 23rd annual Colorado Wine Country Experience.  The Visitor and Convention Bureau is hosting the event with AAA Colorado.  The group arrives by train and returns to Denver by bus.  The VCB estimates each tour like this one produces more $10,000 in revenue to the community.

State lawmakers are trying to make a substance known as "bath salts" a controlled substance and a bill to do that has passed out of the House Jucidiary Committee.  Senate Bill 116 creates a new class 3 felony for a person who distributes, manufactures, dispenses or sells the substance which can produce a stimulant like effect leaving abusers with symptoms similar to cocaine, amphetamines and methamphetamines. Bath Salts are legal under Colorado Law but the bill's sponsors say the law will help combat new problems and protect people.

Mesa County District Attorney Pete Hautzinger has dismissed two charges on which a jury failed to reach a decision in the trial of State Trooper Gene Lawyer who shot and killed an unarmed suspect nearly two years ago. The jury found Lawyer not guilty on four counts including criminally negligent homicide. Now Lawyer tells the Daily Sentinel he wants his job back. Lawyer still faces a federal lawsuit in the death of Jason Kemp.  Cpl Kirk Firko who was with Lawyer at the time of the shooting is to go on trial in July.

A state house committee has approved a bill allowing same-sex couples to enter into civil unions.  The debate was heated, and in the end, the measure which has already passed the Senate, moves on to the Finance and Appropriations committees.  If Senate Bill 2 eventually passes, it will make Colorado the 9th state to provide state-level recognition of civil unions or domestic partnerships.

The 280 pound black bear whose picture falling from a tree went viral last week is dead.  Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials say the bear was hit by a car and killed yesterday morning on highway 36.  The bear was found on the CU campus April 26th and relocated to a wilderness area 50 miles away. It took just over a week to make its way back to Boulder.