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News in Brief

VAIL – Eagle County commissioners were expected to vote Tuesday on a proposal that would ban smoking not just at indoor spots but also on ski lifts and on or near lift lines.If approved, it would apply in unincorporated Eagle County, which includes all lifts at Beaver Creek Mountain and several at Vail Mountain. Other Vail lifts are within the town of Vail and would not be covered.County Commissioner Arn Menconi, who supports the proposed ban, said he wants to prevent secondhand smoke and set a good example for young people.”Is it really an infringement to not smoke in a lift line?” he said. “I’ve been hearing from a lot of people who smoke who are very happy that we are creating measures that help them stop smoking.”Skier Avrielle Ragghianti of Atlanta, who was having a cigarette at a lift line Friday, said she should be able to smoke there.”I pay to be on the mountain,” she said. “I can smoke. … I’m not from another country. I should have rights.”Emile Gauthier, a snowboarder and smoker from Sunset, La., said the ban would be too hard to enforce and could cost the resorts customers.But Holly Moebius of Vail and Milwaukee, standing near a lift line, said the proposal was a good idea.”I don’t want people smoking in this beautiful environment on this beautiful day,” she said. “No. Get real.”In Maine, Black Mountain banned tobacco everywhere, from its parking lots to the top of the mountain, at the beginning of last season. Marketing manager Craig Zurhorst said the resort wanted to address Maine’s problems of obesity and asthma.Mount Hood Meadows ski resort in Oregon has prohibited smoking in lift lines the last six years, said Dave Tragethon, director of marketing.”I think the no-smoking trend is a definitive trend and you’ll see it continue more and more and more,” said Michael Berry, president of the Lakewood-based trade group National Ski Areas Association. “Whether it’s ski towns or states that pass the legislation, it’s just the way of the future.” (Vail Daily)

GRAND JUNCTION (AP) – The Federal Elections Commission plans no action on a complaint Democrats filed against former Rep. Scott McInnis, R-Colo., concerning pay to his wife.The state Democratic Party filed a complaint in 2004 alleging that McInnis’ campaign committee was still paying Lori McInnis a monthly salary and allowing her to use a committee-owned car more than a year after her husband announced he was retiring.It is not illegal for candidates to pay spouses for campaign work. McInnis has said that after he announced he wouldn’t seek re-election, his wife worked to close down the campaign and sort through his files and mail.Records show Lori McInnis has received more than $145,000 in salary, plus reimbursements, since 2001.The FEC general counsel’s office called it a low-priority complaint and recommended dismissal.McInnis on Saturday called the complaint “an old political trick” and an “insult” to his wife.McInnis said his campaign committee spent more than $100,000 on auditors, lawyers and other expenses to defend the case.


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