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A Colorado House committee yesterday killed a bill that would have made it a felony to spread deceptive information about elections. Under SB147, intentional deception about the time or place of an election in the 90 days before the election would have become a class 5 felony, punishable by up to three years in prison. Testimony over the bill yesterday focused on a series of “robocalls” voters received on the eve of the 2008 presidential election that falsely asserted their polling places had changed and their times of operation had been altered. Progressive groups, voters’ rights groups and organizations focused on the interests of women and minority groups testified in favor of SB147. However, the Colorado Attorney General’s Office opposed it, and so did all the republicans and one democrat on the house judiciary committee, which defeated the bill on a 6-4 vote. The bill had previously passed the senate.

The Trinidad City Council once again postponed setting a public hearing for City Manager Ed Gil De Rubio last night. Trinidad Mayor John Rino tried to convene a special meeting of council last night with the aim being the consideration of holding a public hearing in executive session. Only four council members voted to do so, however, while three council members objected. The council must have at least a two-thirds vote to go into executive session, so the matter stalled. The issue has been divisive among the council and among the community. Whether or not the issue of setting a public hearing for Gil De Rubio will be on the council’s agenda when they meet again next Tuesday is not known. Gil De Rubio was placed on paid leave on March 6th following a 4-3 council vote.

A biannual rate study that was recently completed by the Colorado Association of Municipal Utilities found that San Isabel Electric Association features the lowest monthly electric bills in southern Colorado. Specifically, the study found that San Isabel features the lowest average monthly residential bills for electric utilities south of Colorado Springs and on the southeastern plains. The group conducts a survey of residential, commercial and industrial electric rates twice a year for all municipal utilities, cooperatives and investor-owned utilities in Colorado. San Isabel officials say that the study was based on January charges for 700 kilowatt hours. The study found that the utility’s average rate is $105.66 for the fixed amount of electric consumption. The group asks utilities to provide not only a charge for electric usage, but for all fees and additional charges that would appear on a monthly bill. The study did not include sales tax.

Habitat for Humanity is planning a Restore Sale in order to sell donated building materials and home furnishings at discounted prices. All proceeds will help Habitat build houses in the San Luis Valley. The sale will be held on Saturday, March 24th, from 9am to noon at Apple Tree Storage in the 1800 block of State Avenue in Alamosa. Habitat continues to accept donations of new and gently used building materials. Call the habitat office at 719-589-8678 or go to www.slvhabitat.org for more information.

A blood drive will be held for the family of Ty Noga of Walsenburg from 11am to 6:30pm tomorrow, March 22nd, at 3676 Parker Blvd. in Pueblo. For those of you who can, please consider donating blood whenever you can. You never know when a simple donation can save a life, and perhaps your life. In the case of 22-year-old Ty Noga, he was seriously injured last Wednesday in Walsenburg and lost a large amount of blood. Thankfully there was enough blood in storage to save his life. Again, the blood drive will take place tomorrow from 11am to 6:30pm at 3676 Parker Blvd. in Pueblo.