HOBBY LOBBY-BIRTH CONTROL
Birth control coverage up for federal appeal
DENVER (AP) - Contraception coverage by for-profit companies faces a prominent test in Denver.
Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. is asking a federal appeals court for an exemption from part of the federal health care law. Hobby Lobby says it shouldn't be required to offer health coverage that includes access to the morning-after pill.
The Oklahoma City-based arts & crafts chain argues that businesses - not just religious groups - should be exempted from that part of the health law if it violates their religious beliefs.
Lower courts have rejected Hobby Lobby's claim, saying that secular for-profit companies aren't exempt from the requirement.
The 10th Circuit is hearing the case before all nine judges, indicating the case's importance.
Colorado killer's reprieve sharply criticized
DENVER (AP) - Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper's decision to block the execution of convicted killer Nathan Dunlap for as long as he is governor infuriated victims' families and brought quick criticism from Republicans.
Hickenlooper granted Dunlap an indefinite reprieve Wednesday. Dunlap is on death row for the ambush slayings of 4 people in 1993.
The reprieve essentially guarantees Dunlap will stay alive at least through Jan. 13, 2015, the last day of Hickenlooper's first term.
Marj Crowell, whose 19-year-old daughter Sylvia Crowell was killed, says Hickenlooper took "the cowardly way out."
Hickenlooper is running for re-election next year, and Dunlap's fate is certain to be a campaign issue. No prominent Republican has signed up to challenge him, but his decision on Dunlap prompted unusually personal criticism from the GOP.
Secretary of State repays Colo for trip to RNC
DENVER (AP) - Colorado's Secretary of State is picking up the tab for a trip he took to the Republican National Convention that he originally billed to the taxpayers.
Scott Gessler had spent state money to travel to Tampa and speak at a panel on election law last year. He is a Republican and critics said he should not have used public funds for a partisan event. A watchdog group filed a complaint before the state's ethics commission.
Gessler sent a check for $1,278 to the state treasury Wednesday to cover the cost of the trip. A spokesman said that it became apparent Gessler wouldn't receive a fair hearing and he hoped to put the matter behind him.
Also today, Gessler filed paperwork to run for governor in 2014.
Tancredo running for Colorado governor
DENVER (AP) - Former U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo has become the latest Republican to announce plans to challenge Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper.
Tancredo said on radio station KHOW the last straw was a decision by Hickenlooper to delay the execution of convicted murderer of Nathan Dunlap, who was convicted of killing four people in 1993. Tancredo says he is also upset with Hickenlooper's approval of sweeping gun legislation this year, including a law limiting the size of ammunition magazines
Steve Laffey, a onetime Republican U.S. Senate candidate in Rhode Island, announced Tuesday he's running for governor of Colorado.
Secretary of State Scott Gessler has also expressed interest.
Wildfire bills set for governor's signature
CORTEZ, Colo. (AP) - Wildfire prevention measures passed after Colorado's tragic wildfire season last year are expected to be signed into law by Gov. John Hickenlooper.
The governor plans to sign the bills at Mesa Verde National Park in Cortez.
1 of the bills puts new curbs on prescribed burns on state forest land. The safeguards include a new requirement that people tend the fire as long as it's burning, along with a requirement that nearby residents are alerted to planned burns.
The other bill gives the governor more flexibility to send money to fight wildfires in an emergency.
Six people died in three major wildfires last year.
Hickenlooper also had a list of economic development bills he planned to sign into law at locations across southwestern Colorado.
Daytime drive-by shooting in Montrose, no injuries
MONTROSE, Colo. (AP) - Montrose police are investigating a daytime drive-by shooting that wounded no one but shocked the town center.
The Montrose Daily Press reports that police are looking for a white pickup truck, possibly with Texas plates, in this morning's shooting.
Someone opened fire at an unoccupied Honda Civic parked on Cascade Avenue near Main Street.
Police Chief Tom Chinn says officers have identified several suspects.
Man arrested after 2 people stabbed at campground
NEDERLAND, Colo. (AP) - Boulder County authorities have arrested a man suspected of stabbing two people at a campground near Nederland.
Search dogs found the suspect hiding behind a garbage container in Boulder early this morning.
Sgt. Jayson Heathman tells KMGH-TV the search for the man began after a man and a woman were stabbed Wednesday night at Gordon Gulch campground about 25 miles west of Boulder. Heathman says their injuries are serious.
There is no word on possible charges.
Legal battle continues over Burnt Mountain
SNOWMASS VILLAGE, Colo. (AP) - An environmental organization that unsuccessfully tried to prevent Aspen Skiing Co. from thinning trees on a portion of Burnt Mountain last year is back in court to try to bar any potential for chairlifts or grooming on property adjacent to Snowmass.
The Ark Initiative and its executive director, Donald Duerr, filed an appeal earlier this month in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia over a federal court's decision to let the ski company advance with its plan.
According to the Aspen Times, ski company officials insisted eight years ago that they weren't interested in building the East Burnt Mountain chairlift, closest to West Buttermilk. The company has conceptual approval for a West Burnt Mountain chairlift along the Long Shot trail.
Resort owner considers Copper Mountain sale
DENVER (AP) - 1 of the largest resort owners in North America is testing the market by listing 7 of its resort villages, including Copper Mountain's base village, for more than $142 million.
CNL Lifestyle Co. has listed seven villages across the country for sale, including commercial space in CNL's resort site at Copper Mountain.
According to the Denver Post, company officials believe the resort industry has improved steadily since the 2009 economic downturn.
Colorado wildlife pickup trucks hit roadblocks
DENVER (AP) - Colorado wildlife officials are struggling to make new pickup trucks powered by compressed natural gas work in the backcountry.
Officials cite a lack of refueling stations and problems hauling big loads during recent tests.
According to the Denver Post, the agency is trying to comply with a pledge by Gov. John Hickenlooper to add more natural gas-powered vehicles to the state fleet.
The wildlife agency plans to add at least 30 F-250 pickup trucks that run on both natural gas and gasoline for use by wildlife officers in their fleet.
Authorities seize horses at animal rescue facility
MORRISON, Colo. (AP) - Jefferson County sheriff's investigators and animal control officers have seized 18 horses at an animal rescue facility in Morrison.
The sheriff's office says in a news release that deputies served a search warrant Wednesday following complaints the horses were being mistreated.
The horses have been taken to another facility in Parker.
A sheriff's department spokesman says the owners could face charges including cruelty to animals.
UAF nearing partnership for veterinary program
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) - The University of Alaska Fairbanks is nearing agreement on a partnership that would establish a new veterinary medicine program.
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports the proposal would allow the school and Colorado State University to jointly offer a veterinary degree. Under terms of the deal, details of which haven't yet been finalized, UAF would provide the first two years of graduate-level study and Colorado State would provide the final two.
The arrangement would allow UAF to provide a limited number of students with access to a top-tier veterinary school without the expense of maintaining a full program.
Paul Layer, a UAF dean, says Alaska is currently the only state that doesn't have a veterinary school or a partnership with a state that does.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.