TODAY: State of the State, more ‘knockout’ assaults, Lamar manhunt

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1. Hickenlooper to emphasize bipartisanship, recovery in annual address

In his fourth annual State of the State address Thursday, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is expected to speak about the state’s ongoing recovery from last fall’s devastating floods and economic downturn. With Hickenlooper heading into a reelection year, this speech will be an attempt at political recovery a year after his approval ratings plummeted.

2. Legislation introduced to protect kids from synthetic drug ‘spice’

A representative introduced legislation on the first day of the Colorado legislative session to crack down on synthetic drugs such as “spice.” The drugs are sold over-the-counter-at places like convenience stores. But it’s been too hard for police to do anything about it.

3. GOP blasts Udall for ‘bullying’ Dept. of Insurance over Obamacare cancellations

Colorado’s Department of Insurance revised its estimate that nearly 250,000 Coloradans had their health insurance policies cancelled as a result of Obamacare. And state Republicans say Sen. Mark Udall is behind that revision.

4. Families of murder victims rallying against death penalty

The family of three murder victims spent their day Wednesday furthering a protesting against an issue many wouldn’t expect. They’re standing a district attorney’s decision to pursue the death penalty against the killer of a Limon prison guard 11 years ago.

5. More possible vicims of random attacks in downtown Denver come forward

Police issued a crime warning this week about the violent, random attacks taking place in downtown Denver. Since we first heard about a series of possible “knockout game” attacks on New Year’s Eve in LoDo, more potential victims of attacks have come forward.

6. Lamar officer injured in shooting, manhunt on for suspect

Though details about the incident were still sketchy, a manhunt was still ongoing Thursday morning for a suspect accused of injuring a police officer during a shooting in the southeast Colorado town of Lamar on Wednesday night.

7. Feds follow Colorado’s lead on school ‘zero tolerance’ policies

Colorado’s zero tolerance policies, which were designed to protect schools from shootings and gang violence, came under fire for unfairly targeting minorities for strict punishments. Two years after they were established, the federal government is now getting involved in the debate

8. Swearing Nebraska toddler in ‘thug’ video taken into protective custody

In a video that was released by Nebraska police this week, a toddler was seen flipping off the camera & exchanging over 35 swear words with adults. Since then, the child has been taken into protective custody and the Omaha Police Officers Association has come under fire for releasing the video.

9. Christie blames aides for engineering traffic jams to punish his political rival

N.J. Gov. Chris Christie said he was “embarrassed” by the conduct of “some people on my team” and fired a senior aide at the center of a scandal that political commentators suggest could mean bigger problems for the potential Republican presidential candidate in 2016.

10. NFL sued for consumer fraud, accused of withholding Super Bowl tickets

Buying Super Bowl tickets for the average fan is a painful, extensive process. So painful, in fact, that a New Jersey businessman is now suing the NFL for his pain and suffering — and because he believes the NFL is violating a state law against consumer fraud.

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