300 TEACHERS RECEIVE FIREARMS TRAINING YESTERDAY
300 Colorado teachers participated in a firearms training course in Fort Collins yesterday. Dudley Brown, Executive Director of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, Colorado’s largest grassroots gun rights organization, says ever since the tragedy in Connecticut, teachers have been “beating down our doors” for training. The spike in training requests coincides with the introduction of Senate Bill 9, the Colorado Teacher Carry Bill. The republican bill would have given school boards the ability to allow teachers to carry a firearm, as long as they had a concealed weapons permit. However, that bill died in Senate Committee yesterday. Dudley says teachers are telling him they don’t want their students to become victims of the next Adam Lanza. He says “they want the next Adam Lanza to face the barrel of a .45″. The training course lasted four hours.
BLM PULLS OIL AND GAS LEASES EAST OF DINOSAUR
The federal Bureau of Land Management has pulled three parcels east of Dinosaur National Monument from an oil and gas lease sale after concerns were raised by the National Park Service and conservation groups. The agency deferred the three parcels, totaling more than 5,000 acres, for further analysis. Environmentalists said the agency has not done a required inventory of wilderness areas around the lease parcels.
COLORADO DEMS VOTE TO REGULATE BREAKFAST AT SCHOOL
Colorado Democratic lawmakers say they want to ensure children are eating breakfast by requiring schools to serve the meal for free after the first bell of the day. Schools that have 70 percent of more students who qualify for free or reduced lunch would be required to participate in the program. It would be start next year. The bill passed its first vote yesterday. Colorado Springs Democratic Representative Tony Exum, a bill sponsor, says the goal is to create a good learning environment for students who arrive at school hungry. He says schools that provide breakfast after the first school bell have shown that more students eat, compared to schools that offer breakfast before classes begin. Parker Republican Chris Holbert says individual school districts should decide when to serve breakfast.
DEMOCRATS REJECT BILL MAKING IT A CRIME TO KILL A FETUS
Colorado legislative Democrats have rejected a bill to make it a crime to kill an unborn baby, opting for a different approach they say won’t infringe on abortion rights. A Democrat-controlled statehouse committee voted down Republican State Representative Janak Joshi’s proposal yesterday. His bill addressed crimes against an “unborn child.” Joshi said it was inspired by cases where drunken drivers and other criminals injured mothers and killed their unborn children but could not be prosecuted for the death due to a loophole in state law. Democrats and an attorney for Planned Parenthood argued that the bill would effectively legalize the unborn and embryos and tabled it. Minutes later, Democrats introduced their own bill criminalize unlawfully terminating a pregnancy. That bill says it would not endow fetuses with legal rights or ban abortions.
UDALL PRESSES FOREST SERVICE TO UPGRADE FIREFIGHTING FLEET
Colorado Democratic Senator Mark Udall says delays in upgrading the U.S. Forest Service fleet of firefighting aircraft are unacceptable and he’s asking federal officials to speed up the process. In a letter released yesterday, Udall tells Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, whose department oversees the Forest Service, the planes are urgently needed before the start of the 2013 wildfire season. Udall says 2012 legislation authorized the Forest Service to acquire up to eight new tanker planes to drop retardant on wildfires. He says the planes have been delayed by appeals and contracting issues. Separately, Udall is also asking the military to speed up the transfer of up to seven surplus cargo planes to the Forest Service for firefighting duty. He says the transfer is authorized in the Defense Authorization Act.
TELECOM MEETING SCHEDULED FOR TOMORROW IN DENVER
Leading regional advocacy groups Club 20, Action 22 and Progressive 15 will host a rural telecommunications conference tomorrow in Denver. The conference will discuss the importance of telecommunications for the health, safety and economic growth of rural Colorado communities. The conference will also focus on the current rulemaking process at the Colorado Public Utilities Commission. Club 20, Action 22 and several other regional advocacy groups, counties and cities have already submitted letters to Governor Hickenlooper and the PUC registering their concerns about the current telecommunications rulemaking. You can view an agenda for tomorrow’s meeting by clicking here.
TANCREDO WON’T SMOKE POT AFTER ALL
Former Congressman Tom Tancredo has, in his words, “welched” on a bet with a documentary film maker. Tancredo, who was a supporter of Amendment 64, says he told the film maker if Colorado voters approved the amendment, he would smoke marijuana. Tancredo says his support for the measure was economical. He likened the prohibition of the drug to the country’s earlier prohibition on alcohol, saying that keeping the drug illegal only funnels money to criminals in Mexico, when it can stay here and help government programs. That said, Tancredo felt living up to the bet would put his grandchildren in the difficult spot of having to justify his actions to their peers.
In high school sports:
Meeker hosts Grand Junction at 5:30.