Latest Colorado news, sports, business and entertainment


Udall: Army backing off Colorado expansion plan

PUEBLO, Colo. (AP) — Sen. Mark Udall says the Army has taken another step back from its one-time plan to expand a 365-square-mile training site in southeastern Colorado.

Udall said Monday the Army is asking the Pentagon to cancel a waiver that represented one of several clearances the military needed to expand the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site.

The waiver granted the Army an exception to a ban on acquiring land.

Army leaders have insisted in recent years they no longer want to expand the site, and Congress imposed a series of bans on expansion funding.

But ranchers have said the waiver left their futures uncertain and made banks reluctant to loan them money for fear the Army would take their land.

Udall says the Army's decision will restore some certainty to the ranchers' lives.


Effect of recreational pot on ski biz remains hazy

DENVER (AP) — Colorado's ski resorts are taking the offensive in ensuring the multi-billion-dollar-a-year industry isn't hurt by recreational marijuana stores set to open Jan. 1.

Jennifer Rudolph is a spokeswoman for Colorado Ski Country USA, a trade association that represents 21 resorts. She says the ski industry generates about $3 billion in tourism revenue annually and Colorado had more than 11 million skier visits last year, more than any other state.

The group is informing visitors through social media about the new pot laws, which were passed last year and legalize marijuana possession in small amounts for adults over 21, including out-of-state visitors.

Ski industry officials note that it's still illegal to smoke marijuana in public and on federal land, where 90 percent of Colorado's ski resorts are located.


1 arrested in Colorado marijuana crackdown

(Information in the following story is from: KUSA-TV,

DENVER (AP) — One arrest has been announced in last week's federal raids of more than a dozen sites connected to the marijuana business.

Forty-nine-year-old Hector Diaz faces gun charges after federal authorities seized five assault-style rifles, five handguns, a shotgun and a "large cache of ammunition" during a home search last week.

KUSA-TV reports that Diaz is a Colombian national. He was charged Friday with being in possession of a firearm after having been admitted to the United States under a non-immigrant visa.

The arrest was revealed in a court document unsealed Monday.


Holmes judge rebuffs request for more secrecy

DENVER (AP) — The judge in the Colorado theater shootings has rebuffed a request by the defense to further limit public access to documents in the case.

The ruling was dated Friday.

Attorneys for defendant James Holmes had asked the court to stop posting documents online and deny public access to transcripts and the docket, a weekly summary of court developments. They argued publicity would make it impossible to find an unbiased jury.

Media groups including The Associated Press objected, saying the defense didn't show Holmes was hurt by online documents or by public access to the transcripts and dockets.

The judge agreed. He also noted many documents in the case remain secret.

Holmes pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to charges of killing 12 people and injuring 70 in July 2012.


Colorado far behind health insurance goal

DENVER (AP) — Colorado is dramatically behind its goals for getting people to sign up for health insurance under the new health care law.

The Denver Post reports Monday that enrollment through Colorado's state-run exchange is barely half the state's worst-case projection.

The online shopping site announced last week that it had signed up 6,001 Coloradans so far. Exchange board members had projected a lowest-level mid-November enrollment of 11,108.

The exchange needs 136,300 enrollees in 2014 to raise $6.5 million of its $51.4 million expenses.

Emails obtained by the newspaper under open-records laws show board members are concerned the shortfall. Board members are also worried about a possible logjam at the Dec. 15 deadline for buying coverage that would start at the beginning of next year.


Colorado's Powers voted MLS Rookie of the Year

NEW YORK (AP) — Colorado midfielder Dillon Powers has been voted Major League Soccer's Rookie of the Year.

The 22-year-old from Notre Dame started 29 games and had five goals and six assists this season.

The league announced Monday that Powers received 93 percent of team, media and player votes. Rapids forward Deshorn Brown was second at 75 percent and Seattle defender DeAndre Yedlin was third at 43.

The Los Angeles Galaxy won the team Fair Play Award and Portland midfielder Darlington Nagbe won the individual Fair Play Award.