Wednesday, February 11
Questioning of jurors begins in theater shooting case
CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) — Jury selection in the Colorado theater shooting case has entered its second phase with the judge and lawyers on both sides asking prospective jurors how they feel about the death penalty and mental illness.
Attorneys on Wednesday began to individually question hundreds of people who were not excused after filling out lengthy questionnaires.
The first person questioned expressed some reservations about the death penalty but said she could keep an open mind.
She was asked to return for the next round of jury selection.
James Holmes sat at the defense table doodling and didn't look up when District Attorney George Brauchler told the woman she might have to vote on whether to impose the death penalty against Holmes.
The 27-year-old Holmes has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity in the July 20, 2012, attack on a Denver-area movie theater that killed 12 people and injured 70 others.
Authorities suspect murder-suicide in 2 deaths
BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. (AP) — Summit County authorities say they believe a man and woman died in a murder-suicide.
The Summit County Sheriff's Office says two bodies were found Tuesday when deputies were asked to check on them.
Investigators say multiple shots were fired inside the home and a weapon was found at the scene.
The names of the man and woman have not been released.
GOP's revival of parental-rights measure passes Senate
DENVER (AP) — Colorado Republicans say parents need more control over their children's school curriculum and medical treatment, and they've advanced what they call a "Parents' Bill of Rights" with their newfound majority in the Senate.
The Senate gave initial approval to the bill Wednesday. Democrats argued the measure is too broad.
The bill would allow parents to exempt their children from "any learning material or activity" and would ban schools from conducting medical exams without parental permission. Democrats call that a recipe for hiding child abuse.
Republicans insist the bill simply reiterates existing parental rights, including the ability not to vaccinate their kids. Supporters say it would increase parental involvement in education.
The measure faces one more vote before it heads to the Democratic House.
SEXUAL ASSAULT-AIR FORCE ACADEMY
1 in 10 females at AF Academy report unwanted sexual contact
AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. (AP) — A Defense Department survey says 1 in 10 female cadets at the Air Force Academy reported unwanted sexual contact in the 2013-2014 academic year.
That figure is essentially unchanged from the previous academic year, according to the survey released Wednesday.
The survey says the academy also had the highest rate of women who reported unwanted sexual conduct, at 20 percent, over the last academic year, compared to the other service academies.
Air Force Academy vice commander of cadets for culture and climate Col. CJ Bausano says cadets get intensive training on what constitutes sexual assault but that there is more to do.
WIND FARM FRAUD
Federal court affirms Utah man's wind farm fraud convictions
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A federal appeals court has upheld the convictions of a Utah man who defrauded investors nationwide of more than $4.4 million by promoting investment in nonexistent wind farms in Wyoming and South Dakota.
A three-judge panel of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday rejected arguments from defendant Robert Arthur Reed of Salt Lake City.
Reed, now in his mid-50s, pleaded guilty in 2013 to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and conspiracy to launder money. A federal judge sentenced him to more than 12 years in prison.
Reed represented himself on appeal and argued that investors had agreed to lend money to a wind farm development company for three years. He said the three-year loan period hadn't run out before he and the others were arrested.
Changes proposed in US coal royalty program
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Western lawmakers want the Interior Department to extend a comment period on proposed reforms to royalty payments from coal sales.
Fifteen Republicans from six states asked Interior Secretary Sally Jewell in a letter Tuesday to extend the March 9 comment deadline by 60 days.
Led by Montana US. Sen. Steve Daines and Wyoming U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis, the lawmakers said states and Indian tribes that share in royalty payments need more time to weigh in.
Under a 1989 rule, companies can sell coal to affiliates and pay royalties on that price, then turn around and sell the coal for more overseas. Critics of the rule say taxpayers could be losing many millions of dollars as a result.
Coal industry representatives are resisting changes to a system they contend is fair.