Sheriff asks for state, federal help in wildfire investigation |

Sheriff asks for state, federal help in wildfire investigation

DENVER – The Huerfano County sheriff said Tuesday he has asked state and federal officials to help investigate the cause of a 4,500-acre wildfire that destroyed five homes.Sheriff Bruce Newman said the weekend blaze was believed to have started in a “slash pile” of tree limbs and other forest debris, but he said investigators have not interviewed the owner of the land where the pile stood.Newman said he asked the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Forest Service to help determine the cause of the fire near the Huerfano-Las Animas county line about 160 miles south of Denver.Forest Service officials have previously said the fire was human-caused.Newman said he did not know when the investigation would be complete.Ex-sheriff to challenge Hefley for GOP nomination for CongressDENVER – A homeland security consultant and former sheriff said Tuesday he will challenge 10-term Republican Joel Hefley for a seat in Congress from Colorado’s 5th District, a GOP bastion of two Air Force bases, the Air Force Academy and a major Army post.John Wesley Anderson said he would seek the party’s nomination this fall, pledging to bring fresh ideas, enthusiasm and a commitment to Republican values.Anderson, who served two terms as sheriff before term limits forced him out in 2003, has worked as a homeland security and homeland defense expert for Lockheed Martin Corp. since then. He said he would serve no more than 12 years in the House if elected.Treasurer, lawmakers want to save revenue windfallDENVER – Hoping to cash in on Colorado’s growing economy, the state treasurer and two lawmakers on Tuesday proposed stashing higher-than-expected revenues into a rainy-day fund to protect the state from the next economic downturn.Treasurer Mark Hillman, Rep. Cory Gardner and Sen. Paula Sandoval said voters specifically agreed to give up $3.7 billion when they relaxed state tax limits last fall. The trio said any amount over that should be put into a savings account.

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