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Colorado Springs City Council yesterday gave initial approval to regulations concerning oil and gas drilling within city limits. The plan passed 6-3 with Councilors Val Snider, Scott Hente, and Jan Martin opposed. The Gazette reports city codes previously prevented most drilling, and that denying the regulations left the city open to potential lawsuits, according to City Attorney Chris Melcher. About two dozen protesters rallied outside city hall during the council meeting, while others spoke at the public hearing inside the meeting. Supporters say drilling will bring jobs and tax revenue to Colorado Springs.

Council also voted in favor of a ban on panhandling in the downtown area.

Fort Carson is hosting nearly 300 soldiers and 30 helicopters from Fort Riley in Kansas for high altitude training.

Firefighters battling the Fern Lake Fire in Rocky Mountain National Park have ordered more resources to help contain the blaze. The nearly 1400 acre fire started in early October, and fighting it has been hampered by steep rugged terrain. Recent conditions include strong wind gusts and low humidity. The fire is listed as 40% contained. The park is open, but trails near the blaze are closed. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.


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