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Colorado lawmakers speak out about bill aimed at saving lives, opens discussion around mental health

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Colorado lawmakers speak out about bill aimed at saving lives, opens discussion around mental health


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) -11News is speaking with the legislators behind a new law that’s aimed at regulating the sale of a dangerous chemical that some people use to complete suicide. The bill was signed into law by Colorado Governor Jared Polis on Wednesday.

“The world is full of these kinds of things that are happening and we are not aware of them until it affects us as a individual,” said Representative Marc Catlin of District 58.

Representative Marc Catlin and Representative Judy Amabile worked together across party lines to bring attention to an extremely lethal chemical that can be bought online with little to no restrictions.

“It was brought to me by a constituent who lost his son. His son bought this product online, it was promoted through a suicide enabling website,” said Representative Judy Amabile of District 49.

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The chemical, which we are purposely not naming, is typically used for preserving food like meats. According to the law’s text, from 2018 to 2023, more than 25 Coloradans died from ingesting it.

“It was disturbing to find. It just seemed like today is the day to do it and we did,” Representative Catlin.

The law puts restrictions on who can buy it. It also ensures it is properly labeled.

“It can only be sold to somebody, or an entity, who has a legitimate business purpose for it,” said Amabile.

“If it saves, just one person, it has been worth the effort,” said Catlin.

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Both lawmakers tell 11News it’s just one small part of the broader conversation surrounding mental health.

“Families really just have to be looking out for one another. We have to try to get at the root causes of why people are turning to suicide and work on those things in a broader and deeper way,” said Amabile.

If found guilty of violating the law, a civil penalty of $10,000 will be issued and the amount can go up to no more than a $1,000,000 for every violation afterwards.

If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis or in need of support, help is available right now. You can call 988 for free confidential support at any time.

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Colorado Springs senior baseball all-star game | KRDO

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Colorado Springs senior baseball all-star game | KRDO


Colorado Springs senior baseball all-stars took the field for the final time in their high school careers.

The Pikes Peak All-Stars knocked off the Gold Camp All-Stars, 10-4.

Manitou Springs slugger Canon Feist had a 2-run triple, and a 2-run home run in the win.

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Colorado rancher becomes country’s first victim to lightning strikes in 2024

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Colorado rancher becomes country’s first victim to lightning strikes in 2024


WALDEN, Colo. – A thunderstorm that moved through rural Jackson County, Colorado, on Saturday is believed to have produced the first deadly lightning strike of the year, claiming the life of a local rancher.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office reported that the 51-year-old man was attending to his cattle when the strike occurred.

In addition to the rancher, several cows were also reported to have been killed during the storm; however, no other humans were thought to have been directly impacted.

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Every year, hundreds of millions of lightning bolts are detected across the U.S., but only a handful become deadly.

According to NOAA statistics, lightning kills about 23 people each year in the U.S. and injures hundreds more.

LIGHTNING FATALITIES WERE SECOND-LOWEST ON RECORD IN 2023, SAFETY COUNCIL SAYS

Data compiled by the National Lightning Safety Council showed ranching is one of a dozen activities that lead to the most deaths around the country.

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The Jackson County death is reported to be the first in Centennial State since 2020 when a woman was struck and killed in the southwestern portion of the state.

Despite the recent death, fatalities related to lightning strikes have been on a steady decline.

In 2023, 14 people were killed by lightning, which was a 65% decrease from just seven years ago.

According to the NWS, a bolt can travel 10-12 miles outside of a thunderstorm and can contain 300 million volts of electricity.

242,101,157 LIGHTNING BOLTS SPOTTED OVER US IN 2023 WITH WIND FARMS, MIAMI TARGETS

The North Park Stockgrowers Association, a group that helps promote the local beef industry, offered its thoughts and prayers to the family of the man who was killed. 

“Our western ranching community will feel this for a long time. We all know what we do has a high degree of risk. We do it anyway. We do it for the livestock. We do it for the landscape. We do it for food security. We do it for our family – past, present and future. We do it because it feels right. We do it because it is right,” a nearby ranch posted on Facebook.

A food and donation site was set up for the family, which has already reported to have raised nearly $10,000 in the first days after the incident.



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Man and His 34 Cows Are Latest Victims of Deadly Weekend Weather

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Man and His 34 Cows Are Latest Victims of Deadly Weekend Weather


A 51-year-old rancher and 34 of his cattle became the latest victims of a spate of severe weather over the weekend.

According to press accounts in Jackson County, Colorado, rancher Mike Morgan was feeding his cattle with hay from his trailer on Saturday when a bolt of lightning killed him and knocked over 100 of the animals, roughly a third of which died.

“As best I can tell, it hit him on the trailer. The cattle were bunched up around the trailer and it hit them all,” county coroner George Crocket said, as reported by the Colorado Sun.

The outlet noted that Morgan’s father-in-law and wife were both in the vicinity and survived. They had spent the early part of the day branding cattle. By early afternoon storm clouds engulfed the sky as they were feeding the herd.

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Crocket described the incident as unusually deadly. “I’ve seen horses get killed, but it’s usually one at a time,” he said, according to the Sun. He added that his grandfather once lost seven cattle to a lightning strike.

The outlet described Morgan as an outspoken rancher who was vocal about issues stemming from the reintroduction of wolves in the area.

“We need to get our way of life out to the people because they don’t understand our livelihood, the emotional impact and the financial impact,” he said in 2022.

Elsewhere in the country over the weekend, more than two dozen tornadoes touched down in five states, killing at least 20 people and injuring scores more.

Texas was especially impacted, with more than 100 injuries reported and disasters declared in 106 counties, the Associated Press noted. In Cooke County, two young children from the same family were fatally wounded.

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Deaths were also reported in Oklahoma and Arkansas, with additional twisters sighted in Missouri and Kansas. Arkansas also suffered from a landslide over the weekend that off traffic on some sections of a highway in both directions.



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