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Just a week after supporters of same sex civil unions chanted “shame on you” to Colorado House Speaker Frank McNulty, opponents of the measure yesterday lauded McNulty as a hero for strangling the bill at a rally at the state capitol. McNulty said yesterday that attacks on family, attacks on marriage continue. House Minority Leader Mark Ferrandino, of Denver, who is gay and a sponsor of the civil unions bill, said that it underscored Colorado’s constitutional definition of marriage as an institution between a man and a woman. Ferrandino said that McNulty imposed his view over the view of the majority of legislators. At the rally, McNulty’s political maneuvers were seen as heroic. Governor John Hickenlooper called the special legislative session to reconcile the civil unions question and other matters. McNulty has criticized Hickenlooper for placing such a premium on civil unions. Backers of civil unions say that the issue will be back before the legislature next year, and opponents are girding against it in hopes of defeating it once again.

Water projects for the San Luis Valley and a measure that would ease the cost of unemployment insurance for businesses in Colorado are the last issues to be tackled in the special legislative session that is expected to conclude today. Bills to establish a legal limit for marijuana intoxication while driving and to allow businesses to establish for-profit enterprises built on socially conscious foundations fell by the wayside yesterday. The bill with the most direct impact for southern Colorado is the authorization of water projects, according to Representative Ed Vigil of Fort Garland. The Rio Grande and Beaver reservoirs in the valley stand to gain $30 million in improvements and storage expansion of the bill is approved. The water projects bill and unemployment insurance savings bill face final votes in the house today.

Ryan Dougherty, 21, Dylan Stanley-Dougherty, 26, and Lee Grace Doughtery, 29, have been taken to Georgia where all three appeared in court yesterday to face charges of robbing a bank in Valdosta, Georgia, and stealing $5,168 to fund their cross-country crime spree. The three pleaded not guilty to the charges against them in Georgia. They could face decades more in prison for the robbery, on top of the lengthy sentences they have already received in Colorado for leading police on a high speed chase leading to their capture after an eight-day national manhunt. The trio only spoke briefly at the hearing, telling the judge that they understood the charges and entering their not guilty pleas. Their attorneys declined to comment after the hearing. The siblings also face additional charges in Florida of shooting at an officer who tried to pull them over.

Trinidad City Councilman Al Pando has filed a formal objection to the recall effort currently taking place against him. Because of Pando’s objection, a hearing has been scheduled for 2pm, next Monday, May 21st, at Trinidad City Hall to address Pando’s protest of the recall. Pando and Michael Griego, a member of the Concerned Citizens for Las Animas County, filed the protest with City Clerk Audra Garrett. The pair contends that there are a number of legal issues that are wrong with the petition.

Effective immediately, Conejos County Sheriff Robert Gurule has lifted the county-wide stage one fire ban and restrictions. For more information about the lifting of the ban and restrictions, or for any questions you may have, contact the Conejos County Sheriff’s Office at 719-376-6778.