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Colorado Senators Wayne Allard and Ken Salazar stuck to their guns yesterday over their conflicting views on judicial nominations to fill three open judgeships in the U.S. District Court in Denver. Allard has sent seven names to the White House for consideration. Salazar says that he will block any of those nominees that have not been reviewed and approved by his own panel of advisors. Allard said yesterday that he ‚€œfollowed a long-standing precedent and reached out to‚€¶ Salazar to collaborate on nominations‚€Ě. He said he proposed that the pair create a commission together, but that Salazar rejected that idea and is forging ahead on his own. Salazar is relying on a panel of legal advisors that he created last month to advise him on nominations. Salazar said he notified the White House that he expects the administration to recognize the senate‚€™s power of advise and consent on judicial appointments, meaning that Salazar does not want to be left out of the nomination process.
Governor Bill Ritter‚€™s Blue Ribbon Panel on Transportation officially delivered its report to the Colorado Legislature yesterday saying that Colorado needs at least $500 million in transportation funding if it wants to keep up with growth over the next 20 years. The report had originally been made public back in November. The 32-member panel said Colorado was in a ‚€œquiet crisis‚€Ě on transportation and needs as much as $2 billion to upgrade its roads, bridges and transit systems. The panel said that at a minimum, Colorado needs half a billion dollars just to maintain the transportation system that is already in place. The report says that 8% of Colorado‚€™s major roads are rated in poor condition, with 22% in mediocre shape. The panel predicts that by 2035, 75% of the state‚€™s roads will be rated poor to mediocre.
U.S. Senator Ken Salazar yesterday presented a new improved senate version of an economic stimulus package that has already been agreed on by the U.S. House of Representatives and by President Bush. Salazar said yesterday that the senate package would provide a broader range of tax rebates to U.S. citizens, create major incentives for small businesses to buy equipment and renovate their businesses, and would add provisions in legislation to continue to boost renewable energy job creation. Salazar said the package would go to the senate as a whole and would go to the president by the end of next week. He said that under this economic stimulus proposal, the average family of four in Colorado would receive a $1,600 tax rebate in the next several months.
Felix Granados will appear in Saguache County Court at 10:30 this morning to be advised of the charges against him in connection with the January 23rd murder of Isidora Chavez. Granados, 65, of Center, has been in the Saguache County Jail since he was arrested a week ago on suspicion of first-degree murder in the death of the 34-year-old Chavez. Granados is expected to be advised on a single charge of first-degree murder. Criminal records indicated that Granados had only been in trouble with the law one time prior to his arrest for killing Chavez. That incident was a domestic violence case involving his wife sally back in November.
William Sherman, 80, of Del Norte, was killed yesterday in a two-vehicle traffic accident that occurred about 5:30pm about 3 miles west of Monte Vista on U.S. 160. According to the Colorado State Patrol, Jeremy Montoya, 30, of Alamosa, was eastbound on the highway when he lost control of his 2004 Toyota Tundra on the icy roadway and skid broadside into the westbound lane of traffic. Sherman was westbound in his 1986 Jeep Cherokee and hit the passenger side of Montoya‚€™s pickup head on. Sherman was taken to the SLV Regional Medical Center in Alamosa where he later died. Montoya was not injured in the accident.