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AP-CO--Colorado News Digest, CO

December 1, 2018

Colorado at 5:15 p.m.

The desk 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:

COAL COMPANY BANKRUPTCY

BILLINGS, Mont. — A major coal mine expansion in southeastern Montana received a preliminary green light from state and federal officials on Friday even as the mine’s owner remains tied up in bankruptcy proceedings with plans to sell the property. Officials released an 800-page environmental study of Westmoreland Coal Co.’s expansion of the Rosebud Mine expansion that clears the way for a final decision in coming months. By Matthew Brown. SENT: 490 words, photo.

DRY SOUTHWEST

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — National climate experts have been watching and waiting but El Nino has only been teasing, leaving the American Southwest to hang on longer until the weather pattern develops and brings more moisture to the drought-stricken region. Experts with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center and the National Weather Service on Thursday said the epicenter of the nation’s drought has been centered for months now over the region where Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah meet. By Susan Montoya Bryan. SENT: 440 words, photos.

INDUSTRIAL HEMP-NEW MEXICO

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Farmers in New Mexico will be allowed to grow hemp beginning next year, setting the stage for a new industry that agricultural officials and others say could boost economic development in the state. The rules were crafted over the course of a few months. The state agriculture department held a series of public meetings and the New Mexico State University Board of Regents signed off on the final draft during a special meeting Thursday. By Susan Montoya Bryan. SENT: 490 words.

IN BRIEF:

— HOMELESS KILLED-DENVER — A man accused of killing three homeless people in a Denver parking lot over a drug debt is due in court. (Upcoming)

— INFANT DEATH — A Colorado woman whose infant son died while investigators say she was passed out from drug use for 18 hours on her birthday has been sentenced to 12 years in prison.

— DRILLING EQUIPMENT-DEATH — Authorities have released the name of a Colorado man who was killed in an accident involving a large tilling machine.

— SENIOR COMMUNITY-EXPLOSION — Documents show firefighters were called to assist with four gas leaks at an Aurora senior living community in the days before an explosion at the community killed a woman and injured others.

— COLORADO SPRINGS-OFFICER SHOT — An Iraqi refugee accused of critically wounding a Colorado police officer has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder.

— RAIL LINE COMPLIANCE ISSUES — Federal safety regulators who oversee the Regional Transportation District’s A Line to Denver International Airport say they may shut it down if the transportation district does not develop a plan to fix ongoing issues within a year.

— AIRCRAFT RETURN-VEGAS — Authorities say a commercial passenger jet bound for Tampa, Florida returned safely to Las Vegas with engine cover damage just minutes after takeoff.

— FINANCIAL MARKETS-BOARD OF TRADE — Wheat for Dec. advanced 19.25 cents at 5.1575 a bushel; Dec. corn rose 6.25 cents at 3.6650 a bushel; Dec. oats gained 9.75 cents at $2.8825 a bushel; while Jan. soybeans was up 7.50 cents at $8.9475 a bushel.

SPORTS:

VONN’S RETIREMENT

Lindsey Vonn can’t bring herself to say goodbye to ski racing without one final run at her favorite course. So she intends to extend her farewell tour into next season. The all-time winningest women’s World Cup racer announced on her new YouTube channel Friday that she plans to come back for one more series of speed races at Lake Louise, Alberta, during the 2019-20 season. By Pat Graham. SENT: 740 words, photos.

SKI-WCUP-MEN’S DOWNHILL

BEAVER CREEK — Swiss racer Beat Feuz has no doubt why he wound up on top — the downhill race was moved from the top. Given the weather conditions, organizers elected to start the race from a reserve spot lower on the hill. Advantage: Feuz. Feuz found the ideal line through difficult conditions to win a World Cup downhill race Friday. He finished in a time of 1 minute, 13.59 seconds to hold off teammate Mauro Caviezel by 0.07 seconds. By Pat Graham. SENT: 780 words, photos.

BRONCOS-HOLLAND

ENGLEWOOD — Jeff Holland takes his inspiration from Von Miller on the practice field and Phillip Lindsay in the locker room. The former Auburn star met Miller while preparing for the NFL draft. When his name wasn’t called, he quickly signed with Denver so he could learn from the best — with lessons thrown in from two other first-rounders, rookie Bradley Chubb and Shane Ray, along with Shaq Barrett and pass rush consultant DeMarcus Ware. By Arnie Stapleton. SENT: 790 words, photos.

BLUES-AVALANCHE

DENVER — Nathan MacKinnon and the Colorado Avalanche have won six straight heading into their game Friday night against the St. Louis Blues. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos. (Game starts at 7 p.m. MT)

NUGGETS-TRAIL BLAZERS

DENVER — The Denver Nuggets take on the Portland Trail Blazer. (Game starts at 8:30 p.m MT)

SPORTS IN BRIEF:

— FBC-NORTH CAROLINA-STAFF — New North Carolina coach Mack Brown is adding former Tar Heels and NFL cornerback Dre’ Bly, Tim Brewster and Tim Cross to his staff.

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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.

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