News in Brief
December 31, 2005
LOVELAND PASS – Dangerous snow conditions and the likelihood that no one was caught in an avalanche Friday in a backcountry area near Arapahoe Basin prompted rescuers to discontinue a search of the slide debris Saturday.”No missing people reports were called in [Friday] night,” said Summit Rescue Group public information officer Mike Schmidt. “Since there are no confirmed bodies, we decided to not go any further because at this point, there’s so much danger up there, we’d have a hard time doing anything safely.”The backcountry avalanche was reported about 3:45 p.m. Friday on the prominent avalanche path known as the Professor near Arapahoe Basin Ski Area along Highway 6. The slide was about 75 feet wide and fractured about 2 feet deep, Schmidt said.A backcountry skier in the area reported the slide, seeing tracks heading into the debris but not coming out. The skier called 911, then went to A-Basin ski patrol, Schmidt said. The rescue group mobilized Friday afternoon with help from the ski area’s patrollers. A two-man rescue team scoured the avalanche zone for more than an hour, seeing no signs of a burial, Schmidt said. – From the Summit Daily News
Federal officials estimate that 17 sex offenders could have made their way to the state after Hurricane Katrina.Louisiana officials contacted their counterparts in Colorado, said Patrick Maroney, agent in charge of the sex offender register unit of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. The notification came after federal Administration for Children and Families matched the names on sex offender registries in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama with the names of evacuees who applied for disaster assistance,The agency came up with more than 2,000 matches.By Friday, Colorado law enforcement agencies had searched for, found and registered three people.”When sex offenders know they’re being watched, when they know they’re being monitored, they are less likely to offend again,” said Wade Horn, assistant secretary for children and families at the Health and Human Services Department. “When they no longer believe they are being monitored or watched, they can be tempted to offend again.”Maroney said officials were making every effort to find the 14 other people, but added that was a small percentage of the several hundred sex offenders in Colorado who have failed to register. The state has more than 9,300 registered sex offenders. – From the The Associated Press
DENVER (AP) – A ballot proposal that would bar illegal immigrants from receiving government services won’t solve any problems and could end up costing taxpayers, opponents said Thursday in the first salvo of a fight that is expected to dominate Colorado next year.”This is a national problem. It can’t be solved at the state level, and any effort to do so is bound to backfire on Colorado taxpayers,” said Wade Buchanan, president of the Bell Policy Center, a liberal think tank.A recent study compiled by the center determined that legal and illegal immigrants add about $10 billion to the U.S. economy each year. He said most come here to work, not apply for government services, which is the target of the initiative.The November 2006 ballot proposal would bar services beyond those required by federal law to anyone who is not a U.S. citizen. It would apply to state agencies and all local governments and special districts. It also would allow citizens to sue state or local governments that refuse to enforce it.