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First Lady Michelle Obama will be in pueblo today as part of a broad push to use her popularity to energize the Obama campaign in Colorado in its tough fight with former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. 60 to 70 percent of voters regularly give Michelle Obama, 48, favorable ratings in polls. The first lady will be discussing Colorado’s role in the upcoming presidential election and how Colorado can continue to make progress in areas such as health care reform, home ownership and military issues. Mrs. Obama will be at the Colorado State Fairgrounds in Pueblo. Doors will open at 11am this morning.
Colorado State Attorney General John Suthers ruled yesterday that public colleges and universities cannot create discounted tuition benefits for undocumented students. Suthers, in a written statement, said, “After carefully reviewing the state and federal law in this area, [his] office has concluded that Colorado’s state-supported higher-education institutions cannot create discounted tuition categories for students who are unable to prove their lawful presence in the United States”. Suthers’ response came after he was questioned by the Colorado Community College System as to whether or not state-supported institutions have the authority to create discounted tuition categories for undocumented students without legislative approval. Earlier this month, Metropolitan State College of Denver created a new tuition classification for nonresident students who have graduated from and attended a Colorado high school for at least three years. Suthers said that federal law requires a decision on such a matter to come from the legislature.
More than 300 firefighters continue to battle the Springer Fire in Park County that continues to spread smoke throughout southern Colorado. The fire, which sparked to life on Sunday, is located five miles southwest of Lake George in Park County. It has grown to 1,100 acres and is currently 10% contained. Two heavy air tankers and three helicopters are assisting with the firefighting effort. Numerous subdivisions and residences along park county roads 98 and 403 have been evacuated due to the extreme growth potential and red flag warning conditions. Residents of southern Colorado can expect to be impacted by smoke, especially as it settles in each evening. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management issued a reminder to the public yesterday that the possession of and use of fireworks is prohibited year-round on all Colorado public lands.
Wildfires in Colorado and New Mexico continue to affect air quality in the San Luis Valley and southern front range. Wildfire smoke contains pollutants that can be harmful to health. Particles from smoke tend to be very small and can therefore be inhaled into the deepest recesses of the lung and may represent a greater health concern than larger particles. Even in healthy people, this can cause temporary reductions in long function and pulmonary inflammation. In general, if people can see or smell smoke, it is recommended that they avoid outdoor physical activities. If visibility is decreased to less than five miles, smoke has reached levels that are unhealthy. For any further questions or concerns, please call or visit your local county public health agency.
Lathrop State Park, located about 2 miles west of Walsenburg on U.S. 160, invites you to the amphitheater this weekend. On Friday, June 22nd, at 8pm, Brian Penn will talk about igneous petrology of the Spanish Peaks. From volcanic activity to earth movement, Brian will explain the geology of the area. Then, on Saturday, June 23rd, at 7pm, Gregg Goodland will talk about wildfire management. Gregg will discuss good and bad fire restrictions as well as fire fighting. All programs are free, however all vehicles entering the park must have a valid $7 park pass. For more information, call the park visitor’s center at 719-738-2376.