In brief

Gas Gauge returns as higher prices persist

Pueblo gas prices remained among the highest in the state as of early Monday, according to travel group AAA's daily gas price survey.

The local average price of $2.42 was sharply higher than the average price in Denver ($2.09), Colorado Springs ($2.13) and Fort Collins-Loveland ($2.18.)

Neither the fuel industry nor government regulators have given a public explanation for Pueblo's higher prices. Until last year, Pueblo's average price typically matched or fell below the average prices elsewhere on the Front Range.

To assist motorists, The Chieftain is resuming its periodic Gas Gauge feature that seeks to identify stations offering among the lowest gas prices in the area.

The list is not comprehensive. It is based on reports from Chieftain staff and gasbuddy.com's online gas price tracking website. Prices can change from initial reports.

Among the lowest prices reported as of early Monday: $2.21, MAKS, 2535 Lake Ave. (gasbuddy.com); and $2.23 at the South Side King Soopers and the Walmart Neighborhood Market at 2730 Pueblo Blvd. (gasbuddy.com.)

Judge rejects state's bid to block baker

DENVER — A judge says the latest legal challenge by a Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple can continue.

In a ruling Friday, U.S. District Judge Wiley Daniel rejected Colorado's arguments that the federal court should stay out of the dispute over whether the state is treating Jack Phillips unfairly by prosecuting him for refusing to make a cake celebrating a gender transition.

The Supreme Court ruled in June that Colorado civil rights commissioners showed anti-religious bias when it sanctioned Phillips, a Christian, for refusing to make the wedding cake in 2012. Daniel said the commission's decision to prosecute Phillips in the new case after the Supreme Court criticized it supports Phillips' claim that it is acting in bad faith against him.

Williams to run for Springs city council

COLORADO SPRINGS — Colorado's outgoing secretary of state, Wayne Williams, said he will seek an at-large seat on Colorado Springs City Council.

Williams, a resident of Colorado Springs who generally received high marks from the business community, lost to Democrat Jena Griswold in the November midterms. Prior to his 2014 election as secretary of state, Williams served as county clerk and two-term county commissioner in El Paso County.

Business briefs are compiled from staff reports and Chieftain wire services.