Latest Colorado news, sports, business and entertainment


APNewsBreak: EPA mine spill could have been prevented

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Government investigators squarely blame the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for a 3 million gallon wastewater spill from a Colorado gold mine, saying a cleanup crew rushed its work and failed to consider the complex engineering involved, triggering the very blowout it hoped to avoid.

The Interior Department probe concludes that the spill that fouled rivers in three states would have been avoided had the EPA team checked on water levels before digging into the mine.

The Associated Press obtained the investigation's findings on the Aug. 5 spill prior to their public release on Thursday. The 132-page report has implications across the United States, where hundreds of thousands of abandoned mines have yet to be cleaned up.


NEW: Feds block push by Colorado to create pot bank

DENVER (AP) — Colorado's attempt to create a bank to service its marijuana industry has received a setback from the Federal Reserve.

The guardian of the U.S. banking system said in a court filing Wednesday that it doesn't intend to accept a penny connected to the sale of pot because the drug remains illegal under federal law.

The filing came in a legal battle between the Federal Reserve and a would-be credit union backed by the state of Colorado that would serve the industry.

Last year, the U.S. Treasury Department issued rules for how banks can accept pot money. But the Federal Reserve now says marijuana proceeds can't go into the banking system.

The would-be Fourth Corner Credit Union was set up last year to serve Colorado's $700 million-a-year marijuana industry. But it can't open without clearance from the Federal Reserve.


Snow in Colorado mountains forces closures

DENVER (AP) — Authorities are blaming snow in the Colorado mountains for several accidents and the closure of part of Interstate 70.

Interstate 70 was closed from Sliverthorne to the Eisenhower-Johnson tunnels because of accidents and snow on Thursday.

The National Weather Service in Grand Junction says two inches of snow fell on Vail Pass. Forecasters say up to 7 inches of snow is expected along the foothills.

Clear Creek County was on accident alert because of bad weather and numerous crashes, but no serious injuries were reported.


2 killed, 2 injured in chain-reaction semitrailer accident

HUGO, Colo. (AP) — Two drivers were killed and two injured in a chain-reaction accident involving four semitrailers east of Hugo.

Colorado State Patrol spokesman Josh Lewis says the accident occurred Wednesday afternoon on U.S. Route 40 when one truck crossed a median, sideswiped two other semitrailers and hit a third one almost head-on.

Lewis says Duane Olson, who was driving the truck that crossed the median, and Clint Torres of Mansfield, Texas, were killed in the accident. A hometown for Olson was not available.

Lewis says an unknown number of cattle were injured or killed.

Lewis says the cause of the accident has not been determined, but drugs, alcohol and speed are not believed to have been factors in the accident.


Lufthansa re-launching direct Denver-Munich flight

(Information in the following story is from: The Denver Post,

DENVER (AP) — Denver is getting another non-stop international flight.

Denver International Airport and Lufthansa announced Thursday that the German airline is bringing back a direct flight between the Mile High City and Munich starting in May.

The airline originally launched the service in 2007 but canceled it the following year because of low demand in the sluggish economy. Now the German airline says that lower fuel prices, greater consumer demand and the more fuel-efficient Airbus A300-330 make it a good time to try again.

The Denver Post reports that the airline can get $5 million to offset its operation costs depending on how many passengers use the flight.