Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Gay Marriage

A judge in Boulder says he'll rule shortly on whether clerk Hillary Hall can keep issuing marriage licenses to gay couples.  Judge Andrew Hartman held a hearing on the issue this morning. It included testimony from some of the more than 100 same-sex couples who have gotten licenses in Boulder since a federal appeals court ruled against Utah's gay marriage last month.  Tracey MacDermott says not being allowed to marry previously made her feel like a "second-class citizen". She says she and her partner understood the risks of getting married in Boulder even though the court battle over the fate of gay marriage bans isn't done. 

Obama/Udall

President Obama urged Colorado Democrats to throw their support and their money behind the state's Sen. Mark Udall, though Udall was a no-show at a fundraiser in Denver.  Udall's campaign said the senator needed to stay in Washington today to vote for Obama's nominee to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development, who was overwhelmingly confirmed.  Ahead of the Udall fundraiser, Obama touted his administration's efforts to boost jobs and economic growth during a speech in a Denver park.  He said that while he understands that Washington looks "screwed up" to many Americans, there have been positive steps toward strengthening the economy.

Pneumonic Plague

A Colorado resident is being treated for the pneumonic plague, the first confirmed case in the state since 2004.  The state health department says tests confirmed the plague in the unidentified patient as well as the family dog, which recently died unexpectedly.  The plague is spread by fleas from rodents, especially prairie dogs, and officials say they may have contracted it in eastern Adams County.  The department isn't saying whether the patient is a man or woman but confirms the person has been hospitalized. Officials are looking for people who may have had contact with the patient so they can be treated with antibiotics.  Pneumonic plague is caused by the same bacteria as bubonic plague but it attacks the lungs and can sometimes be deadly even when treated.

Sterling Library

It's a busy month at the sterling public library... Jim Jackson and the Big Bubble Circus will be at the library on July 10th at 7:00 p.m. Mr. Guffaw has a great bubble program planned. He will make every size of bubble. He will make a bubble sculpture and bubbles large enough to contain an audience member or two, and much more.
The Think Like a Scientist @ the Library program on Monday, July 14th at 2:00 p.m. will be Think Like a Scientist in the Science Lab. Carlye Armstrong will provide the program. She has some wonderful experiments to show the kids.
Don’t forget the last day to turn in your reading time is July 25th at 5:00 p.m.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Longmont Pot

A Longmont man's accused of selling pot to at least two high school students from his apartment.   
The Daily Camera reports police charged 47-year-old Stephen Tuggle after students at Silver Creek High School identified him as their dealer.  Tuggle's charged with suspicion of selling marijuana and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.  If convicted of selling pot within 1,000 feet of a school, he faces at least eight years in prison.  One student says he knew as many as 20 students who were buying marijuana from Tuggle, who's being held on a $50,000 bond.

Alcohol Factor in Car Crash

Alcohol's believed to have been a factor in a crash that killed three people in southwestern Colorado Saturday.  They were on their way to a campsite after celebrating July 4th in Telluride when their Chevrolet Cruze went off Colorado Highway 145, rolled several times down a steep embankment covered with loose rock.  The only survivor was Weston Gleiss, a math teacher from Eagle Valley High School in Gypsum, who crawled out of the wreckage and flagged down a deputy.  Another Eagle Valley teacher, 26-year-old Garrett LaForce, along with 23-year-old Edward Bollman and 21-year-old Carly Sansone, who both have ties to Michigan, died in the crash.

Fort Collins VA Center Legion

A Veterans Affairs investigation has shown long wait times for veterans seeking treatment at the VA's local community  based outpatient clinic in Fort Collins... and so the American Legion  is sending a team of its experts next week to Fort Collins. The VA investigation showed that many the veterans treated at the Fort Collins CBOC had to wait several months for their appointments, and that clerks there were instructed how to falsify appointment records so it appeared the clinic was meeting VA’s goal of scheduling veterans for medical appointments within 14 day. Members of The American Legion’s System Worth Saving Task Force will hold a town hall meeting and operate a crisis center for local veterans and family members affected by delays in getting access to their health care at the Fort Collins CBOC. The town hall meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on July 14 at American Legion Post 4 on 2124 Country Road 54 G in Fort Collins. The meeting is open to the general public and local veterans are encouraged to attend, especially those affected by wait-time delays. The American Legion will also set up a Veterans Crisis Command Center at Post 4 from July 15 to the 18th. Members of the Legion’s national staff, along with local Legionnaires, staff from VA facilities and volunteers from other organizations will be on hand to assist veterans and their families. Services provided will include assistance in filing for VA appointment scheduling, grief counseling, benefits claims, and help with enrollment in VA health care.

Health Exchange Policy Drops

Colorado's health insurance exchange has doubled its estimate of how many will drop their policies.  Connect For Health Colorado projected in April that 13% of people would drop or not pay for policies this fiscal year.  But the Denver Post reports that the exchange now expects about 24% to drop their policies.  The newspaper says that the change will result in about $1 million less in revenue this fiscal year.  According to the revised estimates, Connect for Health expects 35,800 of its 152,200 individuals covered with exchange policies this fiscal year to drop coverage.  The drop in revenue will mean a smaller reserve for the exchange.

Suicide By Cop Try

Authorities say a man accused of shooting and wounding two suburban Denver police officers told them he opened fire because he wanted police to kill him.  Court documents released today say 54-year-old Gordon Lee Moench (mench) told 911 dispatchers that he was armed with three guns and ready to hurt people.  Police say Moench fired from the back of his truck when officers arrived at his home Saturday night, woudning two of them.  One officer left the hospital yesterday, the other is still hospitalized.   Moench has been ordered held on $2 million bond.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Boulder Gay Marriage

Boulder County's attorney says the clerk will continue issuing marriage licenses to gay couples because failing to do so is a violation of their constitutional rights.  In a letter Wednesday to the Colorado attorney general's office, County Attorney Ben Pearlman says recent court rulings finding gay marriage bans unconstitutional mean the clerk is acting legally.  Clerk Hillary Hall began issuing licenses last week after a federal appeals court in Denver ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry. The ruling was put on hold pending appeal.