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In brief: Heavy snows hit Colorado, Great Plains

Sun., March 24, 2013

Kansas City, Mo. – An early spring snowstorm forced the cancellation of more than 100 flights at Denver International Airport and closed several roads Saturday as it moved eastward, dumping more than a foot of snow in some places.

The snow started falling around midnight in northeast Colorado and then moved into northwest Kansas and southwest Nebraska.

Ten to 15 inches of snow had fallen by Saturday afternoon north of Interstate 70 in northwest Kansas and northeast Colorado, said Ryan Husted, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Goodland, Kan., where 15 inches of snow had fallen.

The storm also dropped up to 7 inches of snow in southwestern Nebraska before tapering off Saturday afternoon, said David Pearson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service near Omaha, Neb.

Husted said winds gusting at speeds of up to 45 mph were creating snow drifts of 2 to 3 feet in parts of Kansas, Colorado and Nebraska.

I-70 was shut down Saturday from Denver to Colby, Kan., because of poor visibility. The northbound lanes of Interstate 25 also were closed south of Fort Collins, Colo., because of multiple accidents.

N.C. drops pink stripe from licenses

Durham, N.C. – Transportation officials in North Carolina have backed down from a plan to issue driver’s licenses with a prominent pink stripe to single out young immigrants who were brought into the U.S. illegally.

After protests from immigration and civil rights groups, the North Carolina Department of Transportation has quietly removed the pink stripe from the proposed special licenses, which it will begin issuing Monday.

The licenses would be for young immigrants who qualified for the federal Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals program, announced in June. It offers work permits and a two-year deferral from deportation to certain young immigrants brought to the U.S. as children.

Opponents of the North Carolina proposal have said the pink stripe and the phrase “NO LAWFUL STATUS” on the licenses would stigmatize young immigrants who have earned temporary lawful status.

The new version, posted on the agency’s website, features the same dark blue background as the state’s standard license. It still contains the phrase “NO LAWFUL STATUS,” but adds the words “LEGAL PRESENCE.”

Escapee a suspect in prison chief’s death

Denver – Colorado investigators on Saturday said for the first time that a former prison inmate who was killed in a gunfight with Texas authorities is a suspect in the death of Colorado’s state prison system chief.

The evidence gathered in Texas after the death of Evan Spencer Ebel provided a “strong, strong lead” in the fatal shooting of Colorado Department of Corrections director Tom Clements, who was killed at his front door, El Paso County sheriff’s spokesman Lt. Jeff Kramer said Saturday.

Kramer also confirmed Ebel had been a member of the 211s, a white supremacist prison gang in Colorado. It was not known if Ebel knew who Clements was and that he was the state’s top prison official, Kramer said.


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