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Colorado became the second state after Washington to allow pot use without a doctor’s recommendation. Both states prohibit public use of the drug, and commercial sales in Colorado and Washington won’t be permitted until after regulations are written next year.

TRAFFIC

Bike, large truck deaths soar across nation, bucking trend

Deaths of bicyclists and occupants of large trucks rose sharply last year even as total traffic fatalities dropped to their lowest level since 1949, federal safety officials said Monday.

Bicyclist deaths jumped 8.7 percent and deaths of occupants of large trucks increased 20 percent, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in an analysis of 2011 traffic deaths.

Overall traffic fatalities dropped 1.9 percent, to 32,367.

The increase in bicycle deaths probably reflects more people riding bicycles to work and for pleasure, said Jonathan Adkins, deputy executive director of the Governors Highway Safety Association, which represents state highway safety agencies.

ILLINOIS

Daley nephew pleads not guilty in 2004 death

CHICAGO — The nephew of former Chicago Mayor Richard Daley has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the 2004 death of a suburban Chicago man whose family suggested there was a police cover-up in the initial investigation into the fatal fight.

Richard Vanecko, 38, was arraigned during a brief court appearance Monday morning.

Last week, Mr. Vanecko was indicted by a Cook County special grand jury in the death of David Koschman of Mount Prospect. Koschman died days after he fell and struck his head during a fight with Mr. Vanecko outside a bar in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood.

From wire dispatches and staff reports.