Colorado at 5:15 p.m.

Thomas Peipert is on the desk and can be reached at 800-332-6917 or 303-825-0123. For access to AP Exchange and other technical issues, contact AP Customer Support at apcustomersupport@ap.org or 877-836-9477.

TOP STORIES:

NUCLEAR WEAPONS PLANT-REFUGE

DENVER — A U.S. official harshly criticized a Colorado health officer who questioned the safety of a former nuclear weapons plant that was converted into a wildlife refuge and expressed doubt about whether the government's assurances about the site could be trusted. The dispute is part of a decadeslong public battle over the operation and cleanup of the site on a grassy plateau outside Denver. The government plans to open hiking trails and visitor facilities this year on the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge, where a plant made plutonium triggers for nuclear weapons for decades. By Dan Elliott. SENT: 490 words, photos.

COLORADO WILDFIRES

DURANGO — Authorities in southwest Colorado ordered the evacuations of another 300 homes Friday to allow firefighters to attack an advancing flank of a wildfire that burned miles of rugged terrain, but had yet to damage or destroy any structures. La Plata County's latest order follows the evacuation of more than 1,000 homes earlier along U.S. Highway 550, a key artery connecting the cities of Durango and Silverton, roughly 135 miles (217 kilometers) northwest of the Four Corners Monument that connects Colorado with Utah, Arizona and New Mexico. SENT: 340 words, photos and video.

With: COLORADO WILDFIRES-THE LATEST

TRUMP-MARIJUANA

LOS ANGELES — President Donald Trump said Friday that he was inclined to support a bipartisan effort in Congress to ease the U.S. ban on marijuana, a proposal that would dramatically reshape the nation's legal landscape for pot users and businesses. The federal ban that puts marijuana on the same level as LSD and heroin has created a conflict with more than two dozen states that have legalized pot in some form, creating a two-tiered enforcement system where cannabis can be both legal and not. By Michael R. Blood. SENT: 700 words, photos.

IN BRIEF:

— WORKER KILLED-TOXIC FUMES — Federal regulators are proposing nearly $65,000 in penalties for a Colorado company where a worker died after inhaling toxic fumes while cleaning the inside of a rail car.

— BOOGIE BOARDING-DROWNING — A man who apparently drowned off the Oregon Coast while attempting to rescue his son, who remains missing, was a teacher at Fossil Ridge High School in Fort Collins.

— MASTER GUIDE-HUNTING VIOLATIONS — A Colorado man who worked as an Alaska master hunting guide has been sentenced to 30 days in jail and fined $35,000 for hunting violations.

— COLORADO CREDIT RATING — Colorado's credit-worthiness has stabilized after state lawmakers passed a pension rescue package.

— ROBBED BY PROSTITUTE — A Colorado man who was robbed by a prostitute he met online has been convicted of misdemeanor solicitation of prostitution.

— OFFICER-INVOLVED SHOOTING — An investigation is underway after police shot a suspect during a confrontation at a shopping center in northern Colorado.

— FATAL BUS-PEDESTRIAN CRASH — Authorities have released the name of a man who died after he was hit by a bus and dragged about five blocks in suburban Denver.

— SPACE COMMAND-JOB CUTS — The Air Force is cutting 72 jobs from its base in Colorado Springs as the service's computer warfare efforts will no longer be overseen by the Air Force Space Command.

— HOUSTON-DEMOCRAT CONVENTION — Houston has joined at least seven other cities seeking the 2020 Democratic National Convention with the City Council overwhelmingly backing a resolution that offers logistic services like office space and parking to the Democrats if the city is selected for the event.

— RIG COUNT — The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. increased by two this week to 1,062. At this time a year ago there were 927 active rigs.

— FINANCIAL MARKETS-BOARD OF TRADE — Wheat for Jul fell 6.75 cents at 5.20 a bushel; Jul corn was up 1.50 cents at 3.7775 a bushel; Jul oats rose 1.75 cents at $2.4075 a bushel; while Jul soybeans lost 5 cents at $9.6925 a bushel.

SPORTS:

DIAMONDBACKS-ROCKIES

DENVER — The Rockies return home to start a series against first-place Arizona. German Marquez (4-5) is 0-3 in his career against the Diamondbacks with a 3.79 ERA. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos. (Game starts at 6:40 p.m. MT)

ON BASKETBALL-THE LEBRON FACTOR

LeBron James gets to the NBA Finals every year, masking the East's mediocrity. Lately, he's been the underdog and the finals' outcome has been predictable. That doesn't seem like the best thing for a championship series, though James representing the East is a better finals option for the NBA than a Kyrie Irving-less Celtics squad or the uninspiring Raptors. By Brian Mahoney. SENT: 940 words, photo.

___

If you have stories of regional or statewide interest, please email them to apdenver@ap.org. If you have photos of regional or statewide interest, please send them to the AP state photo center in New York, 888-273-6867. For access to AP Exchange and other technical issues, contact AP Customer Support at apcustomersupport@ap.org or 877-836-9477.

MARKETPLACE: Calling your attention to the Marketplace in AP Exchange, where you can find member-contributed content from Colorado and other states. The Marketplace is accessible on the left navigational pane of the AP Exchange home page, near the bottom. For both national and state, you can click "All" or search for content by topics such as education, politics and business.