The Colorado news roundup: Wolf Creek to reopen, Senate GOP members out, Denver lawyer nominated to bench by Obama (04.28.16)
Here’s what’s happening across Colorado today:
Wolf Creek Ski Area to reopen Saturday, Sunday thanks to big snows
Wolf Creek Ski Area announced Thursday it will reopen Saturday and Sunday for a grand finale on its slopes.
The resort says 100 percent of its mountain will be open with discounted lift tickets.
Wolf Creek had been mulling a reopening, deciding against earlier weekends this month but waited until nearly the last minute to the pull the trigger.
Aspen Highlands will reopen from Friday through Sunday as well for a final weekend of skiing and riding.
Jury rules for company in discrimination case over head scarves
A federal jury in U.S. District Court in Denver on Thursday ruled in favor of JetStream Ground Services, finding the company did not discriminate against Muslim women.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission had sued in 2013, claiming that JetStream violated the civil rights of Muslim women by refusing to hire them or firing them or reducing their hours if they were religiously observant.
The jury found no discrimination or failure to accommodate in the workplace based on religion. They also found the company did not retaliate against the women.
JetStream offers ground services for airlines including cargo, freight, mail handling, aircraft maintenance and cabin cleaning.
The EEOC suit sought back pay and compensatory damages for plaintiffs Safia Abdulle Ali, Sahra Bashi Abdirahman, Hana Bokku, Sadiyo Hassan Jama and Amino Warsame. The case was heard in U.S. District Court in Denver.
JetStream attorney Raymond Deeny said in court the company does not discriminate against women but had to lay off numerous employees when the company lost a contract with Denver International Airport.
Colorado lawmakers agree to 911 regulation study
A long legislative debate over who should oversee 911 service in Colorado has been put on the shelf for more study.
The state Senate agreed Thursday to revise a bill banning Colorado’s Public Utilities Commission from expanding its authority over the emergency calls.
The changes mean the state will spend another year talking to phone companies, emergency responders and seniors groups about how 911 service needs to change.
The debate pitted first responders, emergency dispatchers and consumer advocates against wireless carriers that argued their operations fall under the federal jurisdiction — and threatened lawsuits if Colorado expanded its rules.
The decision to study the problem before making bigger changes came after the governor urged the PUC to drops its plan to expand oversight. The PUC agreed.
Colorado’s Blaha, Fraser fail to make GOP US Senate primary
Colorado businessmen Robert Blaha and Ryan Frazier have failed to make the state’s Republican U.S. Senate primary.
Colorado’s top elections official said Thursday that Blaha and Frazier didn’t get enough voter signatures to qualify for the June 28 primary.
Blaha and Frazier chose to petition onto the ballot rather than earn a spot at this month’s state Republican assembly, where El Paso County Commissioner Darryl Glenn advanced to the primary.
Fort Collins businessman Jack Graham successfully petitioned his way to the primary.
Former state Rep. Jon Keyser has appealed Secretary of State Wayne Williams’ finding that he, too, didn’t collect enough signatures for the primary. A judge rules on Keyser’s challenge this week.
The primary winner will take on Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet.
Obama nominates Denver lawyer Regina Rodriguez to federal bench
A Denver attorney whose career has focused on trial advocacy and complex civil litigation could be Colorado’s next federal judge.
President Barack Obama on Thursday nominated Regina Rodriguez to the federal bench as a district court judge. She would replace Judge Robert Blackburn, who earlier this month retired from full-time work.
Both of Colorado’s U.S. senators, Michael Bennet and Cory Gardner, support Rodriguez’s nomination and recommended her for the bench.
“Regina Rodriguez will bring her impressive background in both the public and private sectors to the federal bench,” Bennet said in a statement.
“Regina Rodriguez is one of Denver’s best litigators and has served Colorado well,” Gardner said in a statement. “Her experience is a testament to her qualifications to serve on the federal bench, and the opportunity to meet with her provided me further confirmation of that.”
Three times a charm? Sheridan nixes anti red-light camera effort again
For a third time running, Sheridan has rejected an effort by anti-photo radar and red-light camera forces to get a measure on the ballot designed to let voters to decide the fate of the automated traffic control devices.
Clerk Arlene Sagee ruled this week that a petition to move the measure to the ballot still lacked the correct number of valid signatures — missing the required 452 threshold by four signatures.
She cited illegibility, discrepancies in the spellings of voter names and a failure by several voters to list Sheridan as their city of residence as reasons to strike the names down.
Earlier this month, she had invalidated the petition because it was short by seven signatures. She accepted three of the signatures this past week after the measure’s proponents filed a protest.
Paul Houston, a Denver resident who has helped spearhead the fight against Sheridan’s red-light camera and photo radar van, said the city’s latest ruling “disenfranchised a large percentage of its voters for the most absurd signature technicalities imaginable.”
“In order to get the result they wanted, they knowingly thwarted the will of their citizens,” he said.
Houston said he and the Sheridan residents who submitted the petition are “evaluating all our legal options” and will continue their fight.
Sheridan had rejected the first attempt at the ballot measure in December, when it ruled that petition booklets had been improperly pulled apart and re-stapled.
— The Associated Press
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