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Saying, ‚€œEnough is enough‚€Ě, Senator Wayne Allard yesterday said that he ‚€œcouldn‚€™t care less who gets the credit for preventing the disaster our courts will face if these vacancies are not filled soon‚€Ě. Allard was referring to the deadlock between him and Senator Ken Salazar over nominations to fill three judgeships on the U.S. District Court in Denver. Allard said yesterday that he is urging the seven nominees he referred to the White House earlier this week to also apply to Salazar‚€™s judicial advisory commission as well. Salazar welcomed Allard‚€™s decision yesterday. Salazar‚€™s spokesman, Cody Wertz, said, ‚€œWe are glad that Senator Allard has agreed to encourage his recommended nominees to apply to our bipartisan commission‚€Ě. Salazar said his committee would consider applications until February 15th with a goal of making nominations to the White House by March 15th.
Governor Bill Ritter‚€™s Blue Ribbon Commission on Health Care Reform detailed its findings to the Colorado Legislature yesterday, however most of the recommendations aren‚€™t expected to go anywhere this year, in part because of the cost for the five main recommendations. While the panel presented 5 proposals, it only pushed the final one. That idea was a mixture of several from the four other formal recommendations and 27 other plans the panel initially revealed. The last recommendation calls for providing coverage for at least 85% of the almost 800,000 Coloradoans who have no insurance or who are underinsured. The recommendations don‚€™t include ideas as to how to pay for any of the plans, but the panel discussed options such as increasing alcohol and cigarette taxes, doubling the state‚€™s 4.6% income tax rate, or creating new taxes such as one on non-nutritional food items. Any new tax or tax hike would require voter approval.
Fernando Garcia-Pantoja, 26, of Omaha, and Ascendcion Figueroa-Guillen, 23, of Phoenix, were arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance and possession with intent to distribute. The arrests came as the culmination of a traffic stop on Interstate 25 south of Pueblo. Garcia, who was driving, is also facing a charge of driving without a license. The car was stopped about 8:40am after it was following others too closely in traffic. The trooper became suspicious when the men‚€™s stories about their trip were inconsistent. Garcia reportedly consented to a search of the vehicle. Noticing fresh scratches and fingerprints around the battery, the trooper pried off the battery cover and found a package containing 3 pounds of methamphetamine.
Julio Ernesto Cruz De Medina, 22, of Alamosa, one of three men charged with the August 2007 beating of Paul Quintana, pled guilty to burglary and assault charges yesterday. De Medina pled guilty to felony second-degree burglary of a dwelling and felony second-degree assault in connection with the August 7th, 2007, incident that sent Quintana to a Denver hospital with serious injuries after he was beaten with a baseball bat. De Medina could receive 4-12 years in the Department of Corrections on the burglary charge and 2-8 years in prison on the assault charge. Alamosa District Judge Pattie Swift accepted the guilty plea and scheduled sentencing for Wednesday, March 5th.
Trinidad Police Chief Charles Glorioso told the Trinidad City Council this week that Trinidad State Junior College has offered to pay to have an armed officer on campus to increase student safety. The request comes after in increase in assaults and theft at the college. Glorioso said that while the campus already has a security guard, he thinks having an officer in uniform will send a stronger message to those looking for trouble. If approved by council, one officer would patrol the campus overnight, five days a week.