Coffman: Colorado could ‘patch’ faulty electronic voting machines |

Coffman: Colorado could ‘patch’ faulty electronic voting machines

DENVER – Colorado Secretary of State Mike Coffman said Tuesday some electronic voting machines that failed reliability tests could still be used in the 2008 presidential election if they are upgraded.Coffman urged state lawmakers to authorize the upgrades, one day after he declared many of Colorado’s electronic voting machines to be so unreliable they could not be used in next November’s voting.”We need to hold a 2008 presidential election,” he said.Coffman decertified equipment made by three of four manufacturers used by the state. The decision affected six of Colorado’s 10 most populous counties.Coffman said Monday Colorado’s actions would have national repercussions. “What we have found is that the federal certification process is inadequate,” he said.Doctor testifies that infant’s injuries were from abuseBOULDER – A pediatrician has testified that head injuries that killed a 10-week-old baby from Boulder had to be the result of abuse.Dr. Stephen Fries testified Tuesday in the trial of Molly Midyette, who is charged with fatal child abuse in the March 2006 death of her son Jason.On Monday, a nurse testified that after Midyette and her husband, Alex Midyette, were told of Jason’s injuries, she overheard the mother ask “Did you?” and the father reply “No.”Prosecutors allege Molly Midyette did not seek medical attention soon enough for her injured son.Ex-judge suspended from law work after alleged courthouse affairCASTLE ROCK – A former Douglas County judge accused of having an affair with a prosecutor has been suspended from practicing of law for three years.Grafton M. Biddle, 58, resigned his judgeship last year.Under punishment handed down Monday, he cannot practice law for three years. He can apply for reinstatement when the punishment is complete, said John Gleason of the state Supreme Court’s Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel, which investigates lawyer misconduct.A complaint said Biddle and former Deputy District Attorney Laurie A. Hurst, then using the last name of Steinman, began an affair in the spring of 2006. The two had sex in the judge’s chambers and on some occasions, Biddle would sneak into the women’s courthouse showers, according to the complaint.Hurst, 30, was fired and later went through a divorce. In September, she was ordered to serve a six-month suspension and was given 18 months of probation, during which she can work as an attorney.Family of man killed by police will receive $900,000DENVER – The family of a 64-year-old man who was shot to death by a police officer who apparently mistook a soda can for a gun will receive $900,000 in a settlement approved by the City Council Monday.Frank Lobato died July 11, 2004, after he was shot by officer Ranjan Ford Jr. who used a ladder to enter the Lobato’s second-floor room while searching for a domestic violence suspect.Ford said he believed Lobato had a gun. No weapon was found and a soda can was found on the floor of Lobato’s bedroom.The Denver Post reported money from the settlement will go to the family’s attorney, Kenneth Padilla, and Lobato’s children: Francisco, Anthony, Barbara and Ramona.Colorado scores 9 of 10 on health emergency preparednessDENVER – A national report issued Tuesday gave Colorado a score of nine out of 10 on preparedness for a public health emergency.But the report by the Trust For America’s Health said Colorado is one of only seven states that haven’t stockpiled antiviral drugs in case of a flu pandemic.Dr. Ned Colange, the state health department’s chief medical officer, said the federal government has stored enough antiviral drugs to protect Coloradans who would be vulnerable in a pandemic.”The metric was did we purchase any additional antivirals for state stockpiling in addition to the strategic national stockpile,” he said. “So the strategic national stockpile for Colorado is about 678,000 courses of antivirals. And that actually is enough to pay for all of the high-risk people who get the flu.”

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