Colo. health exchange CEO drops raise request
DENVER (AP) - The head of Colorado's state health care exchange is backing off her request for a year-end raise and bonus.
Patty Fontneau said Friday that the attention on her pay has been a distraction at a time when the exchange is focused on getting people signed up for health insurance. She is currently paid more than $190,000 a year, a salary that is supported by Colorado taxpayers.
Enrollment figures through the exchange so far are short of expectations. Officials' high-end projection for how many people would enroll in an insurance plan through December was more than 61,000. But earlier this week, officials said just under 10,000 people had bought private health insurance plan.
MISSING MONTANA TEACHER
After teacher's death, suspect's trial in doubt
SIDNEY, Mont. (AP) - The killing of a high school teacher has weighed heavily in rural Montana. Hundreds of people helped search for Sherry Arnold, and calls for frontier-style justice greeted the arrest of the man accused in her death.
Today, the fate of 24-year-old Michael Keith Spell rests not with a jury but with experts evaluating whether he should be declared unfit for trial. The Colorado man's attorneys say he has intellectual disabilities dating to his elementary school days.
If he goes to trial, they say the death sentence sought by prosecutors should be barred under a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that forbids executions of the mentally disabled. Prosecutors are sending their own team to evaluate Spell.
A co-defendant has entered into a plea deal that calls on him to testify against Spell.
Another snowstorm headed for Colorado
DENVER (AP) - Coloradans are bracing for another round of snow this weekend as blistering cold temperatures continue across the state.
The National Weather Service said Friday a winter storm watch is in effect on Saturday and Sunday for the Western Slope. Forecasters say up to a foot more of snow is expected in the mountains, and the storm is expected to move east.
The weather service reports temperatures ranged Friday from 26 degrees below zero in Walden to 13 above in Cortez, with several communities on the Eastern Plains warming up to 10 degrees above zero.
COLD SNAP-DENVER AIRPORT
Deicing delays expected at Denver's airport
DENVER (AP) - Passengers flying out of Denver could see some delays because of frigid weather but the airport isn't expecting any big impact from the ice storm in Texas.
Airport spokesman Heath Montgomery says passengers may have to wait 15 to 30 minutes for their planes to be deiced after boarding on Friday.
Denver is expected to reach a high of just 8 degrees.
TRANSGENDER BATHROOM FIGHT
Teacher backlash over transgender comments
DENVER (AP) - A western Colorado school board member says she has no regrets saying boys should be castrated if they want to use a girls' locker room.
The Denver Post also reported Friday that Delta School District 50J school board member Kathy Svenson said she doesn't believe there is such a thing as people who are transgender.
Svenson says she was flooded with criticism for her comments from activists, even though no transgender students have asked to use the girls locker room.
In Colorado, transgender people are allowed to access public or workplace restrooms designated for the gender that matches their self-identification.
That was affirmed in June when the Colorado Civil Rights Division ruled that a 6-year-old transgender girl, who was born male, could use the facilities for girls in her Fountain school.
Alamosa theater reopens after Thanksgiving flood
ALAMOSA, Colo. (AP) - People in Alamosa can finally catch up on their holiday movie watching.
The Valley Courier reports that the town's only movie theater is reopening Friday night after a devastating flood caused by broken water lines on Thanksgiving morning.
The San Luis Valley city often ranks as one of the coldest spots in the continental United States. The Disney movie "Frozen" is one of the films now showing at the Ski Hi 6 Theatre.
Fox decides to coach from sideline
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) - John Fox will coach the Denver Broncos from the sideline and not the booth upon his return Sunday five weeks after heart surgery.
Fox said he wrestled with the pros and cons of both scenarios.
The booth allows a better view of the game and he would have had direct communication with all his coordinators. Being down on the field allows him to get a better feel for the mood of his team and he can look his players in the eye.
Withstanding two days of practice in temperatures around zero degrees this week helped convince Fox and his doctors that he'd be able to handle Sunday's forecast of snow and temperatures in the teens when the Broncos (10-2) host the Tennessee Titans (5-7).
MEN'S WORLD CUP
Svindal wins World Cup downhill at Beaver Creek
BEAVER CREEK, Colo. (AP) - Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway weathered falling snow, freezing temperatures and low visibility to win a World Cup downhill race Friday.
Svindal finished in a time of 1 minute, 44.50 seconds, beating Hannes Reichelt of Austria by 0.17 seconds. Peter Fill of Italy was third.
Bode Miller, of Franconia, N.H., wound up in 13th place as he works his way back from a knee injury that sidelined him all of last season.
This wasn't the downhill course the racers have grown accustomed to at Beaver Creek. It was a hybrid path that featured part of the women's downhill before switching over to the more traditional men's setting.
No matter the terrain in Beaver Creek, Svindal finds a way to shine. He's now won four races at this venue.
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