The Home Front: Cory Gardner and Elizabeth Warren want feds forced to ‘respect state laws on marijuana’

“The federal government would be forced to respect state laws on marijuana under a bill introduced Thursday by U.S. Sens. Cory Gardner and Elizabeth Warren,” reports The Denver Post. “The measure, which is welcomed by the cannabis industry but faces a tough path to becoming law, wouldn’t legalize the drug in states that haven’t sanctioned its use or sale. Nor would it expand its legality beyond whatever a state already has approved — say, to authorize recreational use in a state that has approved marijuana only for medical purposes. But in states that have welcomed marijuana, including Colorado, the measure would end the current conflict between federal and state law by giving states the upper hand. “We just want the federal government to get out of the way,” Warren said.”

“The last night of the Sumdog National Math Contest, Chappelow K-8 third-grader Luca Wakefield went to bed before the results had been finalized,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “He knew his Chappelow team, one of 1,500 in the country competing in the online competition, had a shot at first place, but he wasn’t sure they’d be able to secure it. Then, while Luca slept, his mom Mariana got an email with the results — they’d won. She told her son as soon as he woke up.”

“A new natural gas-fired electricity plant in western Colorado sought by local elected officials and the energy industry isn’t part of an Xcel Energy state power plan proposal unveiled this week,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “Not only was no new western Colorado plant proposed during the bidding process Xcel conducted in developing the plan, but the company is proposing that what natural gas power it would obtain would come through the purchase of existing plants.”

“St. Vrain Valley Superintendent Don Haddad told an audience at Sunset Middle School in Longmont on Thursday evening that the roughly 50 students who’ve been asked to chime in about police keeping AR-15 rifles at Niwot High and Lyons Middle/Senior High were split on the issue,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “‘It was a mixed bag,’ Haddad said. ‘For some, it made them feel anxious. Others said, ‘You know, if that’s what it takes to keep us safe.'” The Boulder County Sheriff’s Office has asked for permission from the school district to keep an AR-15-style rifle — popular with gun enthusiasts, but targeted by gun-control advocates — in a locked safe the Niwot and Lyons schools for use in the event of a school shooting.”

“With a dry and hot start to June and high wildfire risk in parts of Colorado, the city of Steamboat Springs has been working on a backup plan if it is too dry to launch July Fourth fireworks,” reports The Steamboat Pilot. “‘The leaning from the fire chief at this point is no fireworks,” City Manager Gary Suiter told Steamboat Springs City Council members Tuesday. “The long-term forecast shows maybe an afternoon shower later in the month.” When fireworks were canceled last July Fourth, the city was left without a backup plan, and city officials have been wanting to make plans for future years.”

“A 9th Judicial District Court Judge has concluded that prosecutors haven’t met their burden in proving Michael Montgomery should face first-degree murder charges in the shooting death of his son-in-law in Rifle in March 2017,” reports The Glenwood Springs Post-Independent. “Instead, Judge Denise Lynch has decided to bind the case over as second-degree murder. According to Colorado statute, first-degree murder is defined as both intentional and premeditated. At Montgomery’s last hearing on May 24, Judge Lynch decided there wasn’t enough evidence to prove the crime was planned.”

“Death threats, both over the phone and via social media. Continued harassment and denigration, mostly through social media, that’s led to the departure of staff and a culture of fear,” reports The Pueblo Chieftain. “Despite City Council’s passage of the Pueblo Animal Protection Act, which come January will mandate a 90 percent live animal release rate, those who believe Pueblo Animal Services is euthanizing adoptable dogs are continuing with a campaign of intimidation and abuse. So says Julie Justman, who as the shelter director is often the lightning rod for the critics’ wrath.”

“After Loveland resident Gabriel Navarrete pleaded guilty in the death of his infant son Monday, the Larimer County Coroner’s Office released an autopsy report outlining the 8-month-old’s cause of death,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “Based on the report, Adrian Dominguez, born April 11, 2017, died after being dropped and then smothered against Navarrete’s jacketed chest. Larimer’s coroner and chief medical examiner, Dr. James Wilkerson, states in the report that the smothering ended baby Adrian’s life but that his body also suffered rib fractures and blunt-force damage to the face and neck.”

“Navigating the parking lot of the former Kmart store on South College Avenue near Drake Road can be a teeth-jarring experience,” reports The Coloradoan in Fort Collins. “Some of the potholes in the pavement are huge: Speed bumps near the entrance to the boarded-up big-box store, which closed in May 2016, are still doing the job of slowing vehicles, although many drivers know how to get around the obstacles. Drivers ignore movable stop signs near the bumps. Few pedestrians use the sidewalk in front of the empty building, so there’s no point in stopping.”

“Boulder police again plan to use discretion in enforcing open-carry rules during Saturday’s planned ‘Rally for Our Rights’ downtown, pointing to a possible repeat of a similar pro-gun protest in April at which demonstrators were allowed to wield weapons in violation of the city’s laws,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “‘The Boulder Police Department has contacted event coordinators to reiterate city open-carry laws,’ spokeswoman Shannon Aulabaugh said in an emailed statement Thursday. ‘Officers will monitor Saturday’s event and allow participants to express their constitutional rights, while protecting the public safety for attendees and the community.'”

“Vail Resorts’ acquisition and pass-sales strategies seem to have weathered a snow-short winter in the Colorado Rockies,” reports Vail Daily. “During a Thursday, June 7, conference call, Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz said the company performed well in the third quarter of its 2018 fiscal year. The company’s fiscal year runs from Aug. 1 to July 31, so third-quarter results encompass the final three months of the ski season.”

“La Plata County sheriff’s deputies began knocking on doors in an expanded evacuation area north of Durango on Thursday after the 416 wildfire spread to 5,103 acres in southwest Colorado,” reports The Denver Post on the front page of The Cañon City Daily Record. “An additional 497 homes were evacuated Thursday morning, bringing the total number to 1,276, said Megan Graham, La Plata County spokeswoman. Pre-evacuation orders have been issued to 750 other homeowners, Graham said. The wildfire is only 10 percent contained, she said. Firefighting conditions are terrible because the wildfire is burning in steep terrain in a drought area.”

“Hundreds of La Plata County residents found themselves facing an uncertain future Thursday as the 416 Fire inched its way closer to their Hermosa homes,” reports The Durango Herald. “Almost 500 homes – 497 to be exact – were evacuated at 6 a.m. Thursday in the Hermosa area. Hours later, an additional 751 homes were put on pre-evacuation notice. Multiple vehicles packed to the brim with personal belongings departed the Hermosa area Thursday morning, with no time frame for when they would be able to return home. “’It’s kind of like an apocalypse,’ said Wes Stein, who was given a pre-evacuation notice Thursday morning. ‘It was super smoky, everyone’s packing up, the sheriff’s out here on a megaphone telling everyone to get ready to leave. It’s eerie. It feels like ‘The Walking Dead.’’”

“Peterson Air Force Base will lose 72 airmen and civilians after Air Force Space Command was stripped of its role overseeing the service’s computer warfare efforts,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. “The Air Force announced the change Thursday afternoon, moving the service’s cyber component from Colorado Springs to Virginia where it will become part of Air Combat Command. “This move will drive faster decisions as we fight by realigning the cyber operations and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions under the same command,” Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said in a statement.”

The Colorado Independent is a statewide online news source operating in a time when spin is plentiful, but factual, fair and unflinching news in the public interest is all too rare. Our award-winning team of veteran investigative and explanatory reporters and news columnists aims to amplify the voices of Coloradans whose stories are unheard, shine light on the relationships between people, power and policy, and hold public officials to account. We strive to report the news with context, social conscience, and soul, and to give Coloradans the insight they need to promote conversation, understanding and progress in this square, swing state we call home.

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