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News Minute: Here is the latest Colorado news from The Associated Press at 5:40 p.m. MST

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) - Pentagon data show that sexual assault reports have more than doubled since 2013 at Fort Carson, Colorado. The Colorado Springs Gazette reports 116 sexual assault reports were made at Fort Carson in 2016, up from 43 reports in 2013. The Pentagon says reports are categorized by the base where a service member reported an assault but it may have happened elsewhere.

DENVER (AP) - University of Colorado officials are backing the creation of online programs that could let students earn college degrees for $15,000. Colorado Public Radio reports that the Board of Regents backed the plan this week and approved $20 million to let the university begin creating the programs. Officials say the program will launch in 2022 and will focus on students who live in rural areas or work full time and can't easily access the university.

DURANGO, Colo. (AP) - Officials in southwest Colorado say they have seized more than 100 animals after an investigation of animal cruelty. The La Plata County Sheriff's Office and the La Plata County Humane Society haven't identified the person cited for animal cruelty. The Cortez Journal reports that the humane society seized dogs, a cat, pigs, goats, sheep, horses, chickens, cattle and a burro and a duck from the property this week.

ASPEN, Colo. (AP) - Crews have closed Independence Pass near Aspen for the winter season. The Colorado Department of Transportation, which shut the Aspen and Twin Lakes gates Friday morning, says drivers can get to Aspen this winter on State Highway 82 from Glenwood Springs. The scenic pass, which reaches an elevation of 12,095 feet, usually reopens the Thursday before Memorial Day weekend, weather permitting.

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