View Full Version : January 19, 2004

01-19-2004, 02:59 PM
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The Colorado House on Friday gave preliminary approval to HB1065 that would give human service referrals immunity from civil lawsuits. The bill deals with the fledgling 211 human services telephone referral program. The bill would allow the 211 service the same immunity that is now provided to agencies and companies that take 911 emergency calls and 411 telephone information calls. The immunity, however, would not apply to gross negligence, such as giving a caller recklessly false information that could cause him or her harm. The Federal Communications Commission reserved 211 calling in July of 2000 for services that help people needing information about dealing with a family eviction notice, homelessness, meals, medical care, child welfare and other concerns. The plan calls for setting up a 17-county region centered in Pueblo for the 211 program that would include Fremont, Custer, Huerfano, Las Animas, Otero, Crowley, Bent, Baca, Prowers and Kiowa counties and the San Luis Valley.

Joseph Navares of Alamosa was found not guilty of disfiguring a man last summer at the Mormon Pioneer Days Celebration in Manassa. A 12-person jury in Conejos decided the case on Friday saying that there was not enough evidence to convict Navares of first-degree assault resulting in disfigurement. Navares was accused of purposely biting off part of Manuel Duran's ear after a feud between the men became violent. Navares was found guilty of a lesser charge, third-degree assault, and a violation of a restraining order. According to Judge Robert Ogburn, who presided over the trial, Navares could receive 16 to 18 months in jail for the third-degree assault and 3 to 12 months for the violation of the restraining order.

Bob Torres, Regional Director for the Colorado Department of Transportation said last Thursday that given the budget shortage in the state, there is only $31.5 million for the project to reconstruct and straighten the I-25 viaduct through Trinidad, instead of the $62 million that is needed. With the money that is available, Torres said that would pay for complete restoration and reconstruction of the Northbound or East viaduct, however, there would be no money to begin the Southbound or West viaduct. Torres did say that the $4.7 million first phase of the job, which will connect Colorado 12 with the Santa Fe Trail via a new bridge, is progressing on schedule. Work on the first phase should be complete by mid June with the second phase beginning this fall.

Democrat number 5 entered the race to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Scott Mcinnis on Saturday. Jim Spehar, 57, made the announcement at the Pueblo City Hall as part of the "kick off tour" of the 3rd Congressional District. Spehar, a Mesa County native, is currently the Mayor of Grand Junction. He said that he loves the district and has already done work in or on behalf of 28 of the 29 counties in the 3rd district.

HB-1088, State Rep. John Salazar's first bill of the current legislative session passed the House Transportation and Energy Committee last week. The bill would make it possible for thousands of U.S. Military Veterans to receive a commemorative military license plate without paying a fee. Currently on veterans who own a car less than 6,500 pounds can receive the commemorative plates for free. Salazar's bill would increase the limit to 12,000 lbs.