Saturday, April 4, 2009

Navy SEAL Dietz Honored by General Assembly

A Littleton man who died in Afghanistan while serving as a U.S. Navy SEAL will have a stretch of South Santa Fe Drive named in his honor.

Petty Officer Danny Dietz, who graduated from Heritage High School, died in combat in 2005. He was killed in action while his unit was engaged in a battle with elements of the Taliban.

Dietz, who was a communications specialist, was part of a SEAL team assigned to capture a Taliban leader in the Hindu-Kush mountains on June 28, 2005.

According to a U.S. Navy press release issued after Dietz' death, the members of the SEAL team "were spotted by anti-coalition sympathizers, who immediately reported their position to Taliban fighters. A fierce gun-battle ensued between the four SEALs and a much larger enemy force with superior tactical position."

A Chinook helicopter called in to assist Dietz and three other SEALs was shot down, resulting in the death of eight other SEAL members and eight Army soldiers.

Dietz' hometown erected a statue in his honor in 2007. Dietz was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross in 2006.

The Navy Cross, which along with its counterparts in the Army and Air Force is a medal awarded for "extreme gallantry" in combat with an armed enemy, ranks second in significance to the Congressional Medal of Honor.

The naming of the section of Santa Fe Drive between C-470 and I-25 was authorized by means of a joint resolution. That stretch of the road will be known as Petty Officer Danny Dietz Memorial Highway.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Tuition Bill Clears Appropriations Committee

The controversial bill that would allow some children who unlawfully emigrated to the United States with their parents to pay in-state tuition at Colorado universities and colleges cleared a key procedural hurdle this morning.

SB 170 was approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee and will now go to the floor.

The measure had been expected to run into trouble before the ten-member panel, as one of the six Democrats among the committee members said she would oppose it. But Sen. Ted Harvey, R-Highlands Ranch, was absent from the committee's meeting today and so the bill was cleared on a 5-4 vote. Democrat Moe Keller, D-Wheat Ridge, joined the Republicans on the panel in opposition.