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Waller leaves AG race, mental health fair opens, more 

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Waller leaves AG race

State Rep. Mark Waller, R-Colorado Springs, has dropped out of the race for Colorado attorney general.

Waller, who had hoped to replace the term-limited John Suthers, barely received enough delegate votes in the Republican assembly to force a primary against Chief Deputy Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, who got 69 percent of delegates' votes. Waller is throwing his support behind Coffman.

"I am now confident that Cynthia, as the last line of defense against an overreaching Federal government, is committed to promoting our conservative values and protecting our Western Way of Life," he stated in a press release.

Coffman will face Democrat Don Quick, a former district attorney from Adams and Broomfield counties, in November. — JAS

UCCS boom continues

The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs has begun construction on dorm space for 515 more students.

The $74.5 million project, dubbed the Village at Alpine Valley, is a response to UCCS' rapid growth. The school had 9,321 students in September 2011; that had jumped to 10,598 by September 2013. Spokesperson Tom Hutton said the university is expecting more than 11,000 students this fall.

Chancellor Pam Shockley-Zalabak has said some parents have chosen not to send their freshmen to UCCS in recent years due to a shortage of dorm rooms. Once this project is complete, there will be room in campus housing for 1,640 students, which Hutton says will meet the university's goal of offering dorm rooms to 10 to 15 percent of students.

The project will be unveiled in two phases. The first will open in August 2015 and will include room for 292 students, a dining hall, and learning areas. The second, due to open August 2016, will provide housing for 223 more students.

UCCS is also currently building a new faculty office building and a combination 1,234-space parking garage and recreation field. Those projects will be completed this summer. A Recreation and Wellness Center expansion will break ground in September. — JAS

SDS lawsuit dies

The Colorado Supreme Court has denied an appeal by the Pueblo County District Attorney that sought to derail Colorado Springs Utilities' Southern Delivery System. The decision clears the last major potential roadblock for the $898 million pipeline from Pueblo Reservoir to Colorado Springs, whose construction is already well underway.

Pueblo County alleged that the state's approval of permits for the project didn't adequately consider water-quality issues. Pueblo has long fought SDS, claiming that the return flow from the pipeline along Fountain Creek will exacerbate problems related to stormwater.

In a press release, John Fredell, SDS program director, said he was pleased with the decision: "Colorado Springs Utilities believed all along in the state's approval of the SDS water quality certification and are pleased that [the April 28th] Supreme Court decision finally brings this issue to closure." — JAS

'Revenge porn' bill moves

A Colorado bill aimed at criminalizing "revenge porn" has passed the House and moved on to the Senate.

HB 1378 — with bipartisan sponsorship including Rep. Amy Stephens, R-Monument — would make it a misdemeanor, with fines up to $10,000, for adults 18 and older to post lewd photos online that cause a victim distress.

The bill is a response to an online trend of posting nude photos of former lovers in an effort to embarrass them or make it difficult for them to find jobs ("The face of revenge," cover story, Jan. 9, 2013).

Colorado is reportedly one of 27 states considering legislation to address the problem. — JAS

Mental health fair opens

The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance of Colorado Springs will hold its third annual FoR the Mind Community Mental Health Fair from 1 to 4 p.m., Saturday, May 3, in the cafeteria at Coronado High School, 1590 W. Fillmore St. The free event features exhibits from close to 40 local mental health care providers and experts.

According to Colorado Springs branch president Larry Ritterband, the goal is to educate people about these disorders and to make people more aware of local mental health care. The event addresses PTSD and anxiety as well as depression and bipolar disorder. For more information, call 477-1515, or go to dbsacoloradosprings.org. — GS

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