NEWS: Thursday January 20, 2011

Jan 20th @ 7:02 am in News by Scott Staley

Possible plea deal upsets family. The family of a murdered infant girl in Montrose is distraught after learning that the man allegedly responsible for her death could receive a plea deal that would put him behind bars for 20 years. Fourteen-month-old Hailey Rocha died September 11, 2010 under the care of Daniel Ryan, the then-boyfriend of Pamela Barnes. Barnes’ family tells the Daily Press they learned of the possible plea deal last week. The 23-year-old is charged with first-degree murder and child abuse resulting in death. He is accused of inflicting blunt-force trauma on Hailey.  Ryan is schedule to show up in court February 2nd.
Source: Daily Press (Posted 5:48a)

In-state tuition for illegal immigrants proposed. Colorado Democrats are proposing legislation allowing illegal immigrant students to pay in-state college tuition. A similar bill was killed by the Colorado Senate two years ago.   It’s reported that Senator Angela Giron and Senator Michael Johnston are drafting legislation that would allow students who are in the country illegally and who have graduated from Colorado high schools to pay in-state tuition. They would not receive a state stipend that other in-state students receive though.
Source: Daily Sentinel/AP    (Posted 5:59a)

Back-in parking, reversed. Grand Junction City Council has voted to reverse all 79 back-in parking spaces near 7th and Main Streets. The decision comes after a string of complaints from people who are frustrated by the parking. Constructed in 2007, the spots were intended to make parking safe for kids, placing the trunk of the car away from traffic. But NBC 11 News says a city–wide survey found 71% of people didn’t think it was such a great idea because it forced drivers to back–up into traffic.
Source: NBC 11 News (Posted 5:59a)

Rams welcome McDaniels, QB coach retiring. After a dismal exit in Denver, Josh McDaniels never considered taking a break from coaching. The former NFL boy wonder, hired by the Broncos two years ago at age 32 and jobless the last four weeks of the season, wanted back in as soon as possible. McDaniels got a two-year contract as the St. Louis Rams’ offensive coordinator, and believes it’s a good place to relaunch his career.

“I love coaching football,” McDaniels said on a teleconference from Denver on Wednesday. “I’ve missed it for the last six weeks and I’m eager to get started with the players and coaches.

“I definitely wanted to get back in.”

Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo began a news conference in St. Louis on Wednesday by announcing the impending retirement of 70-year-old quarterbacks coach Dick Curl, who also had the title of assistant head coach. McDaniels’ brother, Ben, was quarterbacks coach in Denver this season, but Spagnuolo said that job had not been discussed.

“Josh and I are going to talk about that,” Spagnuolo said. “We really didn’t have that discussion because this is fairly new, but when he gets here we’ll talk about it.”

In a conference call from Denver, McDaniels deferred to the Rams.

“First of all, I don’t make any of those decisions,” he said. “Coach Spags, I’m sure he’ll do what’s best for the staff or the team. If that’s something he wants to look at, I”m sure we will.”

McDaniels said expected to be in St. Louis to start work “shortly.”

McDaniels replaces Pat Shurmur, hired as head coach of the Cleveland Browns last week after a year helping to develop rookie quarterback Sam Bradford. Despite lacking a deep passing game most of the year, the Rams improved by a touchdown per game and finished 7-9 overall, a six-win improvement.

McDaniels had little to say about his downfall with the Broncos, saying he was “very appreciative” of the chance and “learned a lot.” But he took one shot at Denver in describing the franchise he’s joining.

“I think it’s important to have a solid direction and a solid structure and really have all the people pulling in the same direction,” McDaniels said. “That’s what’s really so appealing to me about St. Louis, that the direction is clear.

“What’s expected of me initially was laid out clearly for me and I’m sure that’s the way the rest of the organization is running, too.”

During the search for a replacement, Spagnuolo said he kept rookie quarterback Sam Bradford informed “just to say ‘Trust me, I’ll make the right decision,’ and said Bradford told him he’d have no problem adapting to a new system.

“He said, ‘Well, you know what, I came in out of college and didn’t know anything and learned an offense, and didn’t do too bad,’” Spagnuolo said. “He wasn’t fazed at all. Sam can play in any offense.”

Spagnuolo said the first item of business in his search was recalling which coaches he’s had the most trouble defending throughout his NFL career. He said the schemes created by McDaniels and the 34-year-old’s success with Tom Brady and Matt Cassel made the hire an easy choice.

“I just did a little study of the toughest schemes, the people that gave us problems in defending, and it led me directly to Josh,” Spagnuolo said. “I think his record as an offensive coordinator speaks for itself, I think his work with quarterbacks is well documented and I think he’s going to be a great fit for the Rams going forward.”

Spagnuolo was Giants defensive coordinator when they upset the unbeaten Patriots, with McDaniels as offensive coordinator, in the Super Bowl after the 2007 season.

This season, the Rams won 36-33 at Denver.
Source: Daily Press/AP     (Posted 6:01a)