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Pueblo County OKs marijuana sales, shutdown stories and more 

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Pueblo County OKs marijuana

Last week, Pueblo County joined a handful of other government entities statewide when its commissioners unanimously passed regulations controlling and allowing for the sale of recreational marijuana in unincorporated areas.

According to the Pueblo Chieftain, commissioners capped the number of possible stores at 10, which includes the six medical-marijuana dispensaries currently operating and the four others currently in the application phase. The county also plans to institute a schedule that could charge businesses as much as $35,000 to be licensed, with indoor marijuana grows drawing fees of 50 cents per square foot.

Still, local entrepreneurs were pleased.

"I think commissioners Sal Pace, Buffie McFadyen and Terry Hart have done a great job listening to the community and the voters by implementing these regulations," the paper quoted center owner Hank Borunda as saying.

Stores cannot sell to the public until Jan. 1, 2014. Meanwhile, the board will consider zoning issues for the industry at its meeting Monday, Oct. 21. — BC

Food bank doing fine for now

You may have heard that the federal shutdown has kept the poor from getting food stamps. But Shannon Coker, spokesperson for Care and Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado, notes that Coloradans did receive October benefits. And while many federal workers aren't being paid, she said she's yet to see a big influx of hungry people seeking groceries.

"If this [shutdown] continues on from what it's been now ... we'll likely see an increase," she said.

Care and Share CEO Lynne Telford says she's surprised that she hasn't seen more need, since Colorado Springs has been trumpeted as the U.S. city most affected by the shutdown. She says she's heard that some other food banks across the country have seen upticks.

That it hasn't happened in Care and Share's service area so far is great news, she says, because, "We don't meet all the needs of the people who need food already, so there's not much we can do."

She adds that if the shutdown does bring increased need, Care and Share will ask the community for emergency help to ensure no one goes hungry. — JAS

Cancer study opens locally

The American Cancer Society's Cancer Prevention Study-3 (CPS-3) will be enrolling Colorado Springs residents at various locations through Friday, Oct. 18. Eligible participants are between the ages of 30 and 65 and have no personal history of cancer. The study will follow 300,000 individuals over 20 to 30 years.

"When we go into these studies, we're not going in to look for one particular thing," says Deanna Cordo, staff lead for CPS-3 enrollment in Colorado Springs. "We want to get a wide base and demographic of folks to figure out why some are diagnosed with cancer and some are not."

CPS-3 is the third major, longitudinal study done by the American Cancer Society. "The first cancer-related study found the link between tobacco and cancer, and the second found the link between obesity and cancer," explains Cordo. "The questions participants will be answering are based on their lifestyles and how active they are in their day-to-day world."

See cps3SoCo.org to make an appointment at one of four local sites. — GR

Stephens seeks Senate seat

Controversial former Colorado House Majority Leader Amy Stephens, a Republican, has announced plans to challenge incumbent Democrat Mark Udall for a U.S. Senate seat.

Stephens made her biggest waves after suffering backlash from her own party for supporting the state's health insurance exchange, created in response to the passage of the Affordable Care Act. Now in her seventh year at the state house, Stephens has most recently been in the news for her bipartisan work on legislation to halt elder abuse.

Stephens joins state Sens. Randy Baumgardner of Hot Sulphur Springs and Owen Hill of Colorado Springs, as well as Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck, in seeking the Republican nomination. — JAS

Dems name new leaders

Colorado Democrats may still be stinging from the recall of their last Senate president, John Morse, but they're still in charge. And the Colorado Senate has announced that Sen. Morgan Carroll will serve as president-elect, with Sen. Rollie Heath as Majority Leader.

"Our priority is to ensure that people have good-paying jobs, access to affordable, quality education, and all of the assistance needed to rebuild from floods and wildfires," states Carroll in a press release.

Republicans blasted the move, calling Carroll and Heath "extreme." — JAS

Gazette's building for sale

Hopefully, for Freedom Communications, you're in the market for 6.65 acres of parking lots, green space, and empty buildings featuring aged printing infrastructure. That's what will be left of the Gazette's former home on South Prospect Street after its new owner, Clarity Media Group — which did not buy the land or structures when it bought the newspaper last November — moves the operation downtown in December.

Now, $2.6 million gets you whatever's left, reported the Gazette last Friday. — BC

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