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Bars busted for smoking

Colorado Springs police have slapped four bars with at least 55 counts of "willfully" disregarding the state's new smoking ban in most public places "as an act of protest."

When the scofflaws publicized their intent, police took note and cracked down late last week, says Sgt. Creighton Brandt.

"Wherever we observe a violation, we will take enforcement action," the police spokesman says.

Those cited were D.J.'s Bar and Grill, 1110 E. Fillmore St.; Hilltop Lounge, 4829 Barnes Road; Murray Street Darts, 609 N. Murray Blvd.; and Joe's Bar, 4763 Flintridge Drive.

Ban violators face a $200 fine for their first offense. Fines rise after one conviction within a calendar year.

State lawmakers passed the law last year, citing concern for public health. Some bar owners protested, arguing the ban was bad for business. MdY

Water damage temporarily closes Metropolitain

Either tenant negligence or a burst pipe above the Metropolitain has forced the basement-level restaurant to shut its doors for renovation.

Owner Kimball Bayles says he aims to have the establishment at 101 N. Tejon St., back up and running by March 20. He's hired a mitigation company and a industrial hygienist, who must replace all the drywall and carpet, among other projects.

Staff noticed watermarks overhead late Saturday, March 3, and by the early morning hours, as the bar was closing, ceiling tiles began crashing down and water "came sheeting down the kitchen and dining room walls," according to Bayles, who also lost thousands of dollars in damaged food supplies.

As of late last week, no source had been proven in the incident, and no one in the building had stepped forward to claim responsibility. Tejon Tan, a tanning salon located directly above the Metropolitain, also was damaged. Bayles says the building's owner will absorb most of the cost.

On a positive note, Bayles said the misfortune is "allowing us time to revamp the menu we're going to add a lot more items and work on some aesthetic features," such as adding more privacy to some of the dining booths. That, and the Metropolitain's staff has been enjoying a nice paid vacation. MS

Girl scouts honor local women

Marcy Morrison, former state representative and mayor of Manitou Springs who now is the state insurance commissioner, won the Mary Jean Larson Community Service Award at the Girls Scouts Wagon Wheel Council Women of Distinction luncheon Monday. Other honorees at the Cheyenne Mountain Conference Resort event included Laura Muir, business sector; Paulette Greenberg, community sector and Alicia McConnell, service sector. RR

The Haggard massage table: $1,250 and climbing

He said he was planning to sell the purple place where it all "happened," and sure enough, by Wednesday morning the price for Mike Jones' massage table was at $1,275 and steadily climbing on eBay.

The board is listed as the Ted Haggard Massage Table. Jones, the male escort who brought down the former pastor of New Life Church with claims of a three-year sex-for-cash relationship, says he plans to donate the table proceeds to Project Angel Heart, which provides home-delivered meals to people with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. The table is 10 years old and has a couple of tears, but is described as "totaly [sic] usable." Jones has offered to autograph the table upon request.

Jones, who lives in Denver, is currently writing a tell-all about his alleged relationship with Haggard. The book is titled I Had To Say Something , and has a current publication date of June.

In a recent interview, Jones said he plans to include many sordid details in the book. "Ted was a smart man, but he got sloppy," Jones said.

eBay bidding on the massage table started at $400 and, as of Wednesday, 42 people had anonymously placed offers. The auction closes March 18. CD

Anti-global warming group endorses four for Council

Within a month of forming, the Climate Change Coalition of the Pikes Peak Region has endorsed two incumbents and two newcomers in race for City Council.

The coalition supports councilmen Randy Purvis and Larry Small, as well as Tom Harold, a consultant to small businesses seeking government contracts, and Jan Martin, a small business owner.

The four collectively recognize the "effect humanity is having on the global climate" and have shown "willingness to explore solutions at the local level," according to a coalition statement. MdY

Compiled by Cara DeGette, Ralph Routon, Matthew Schniper and Michael de Yoanna. More news briefs available at csindy.com.

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