Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wednesday January 16, 2013

A Garfield County District Court Judge has issued a summary judgement in the case of a former county sheriff's employee who sued Sheriff Lou Vallario and her jail supervisor Scott Dawson.  Lisa Martin said she was wrongfully terminated in 2007. The judge yesterday ruled in favor of Vallario and Dawson, saying both followed procedure when Martin was fired.

Grand Junction State Senator Steve King has been appointed vice chairman of the Legislative Audit Committee which reviews audits and recommends special studies regarding various State agencies.  King says he looks forward to helping safeguard the money and trust the people of Colorado have given their state government.

Some schools in rural Colorado are splitting $13 million through the Secure Rural Schools program and Community Self Determination Act.  Senators Michael Bennet and Mark Udall say the funding comes from the U-S Forest Service to develop and maintain rural schools and roads. The Senators say the money will create good-paying jobs and bring much-needed repairs to schools in rural communities.

The Colorado Department of Health is reporting high levels of flu, 674 cases from 36 counties hospitalized with the flu.  Two additional pediatric deaths from the flu have also been reported, bring the number of pediatric deaths this season to four. The Centers for Disease Control says this year's vaccine is estimated to prevent 62% of flu cases requiring a doctor visit, making it still the best prevention measure.

Hospitalizations from flu are increasing across the state. So far more than 600 of those cases have been reported, including 17 hospitalizations in Mesa County.  Health officials say it's not too late to get a flu shot and there doesn't seem to be any shortage of vaccine.  You can contact the health department or your health care provider.

Some good news about pine beetles.  This from researchers at CU in Boulder.  A new study shows small trees and other vegetation near waterways that survive beetle infestations increase their uptake of nitrate from streams. Logging or storms can drive up stream nitrate levels. According to the Boulder Daily Camera the study shows beetles don't disturb watersheds the same way as logging or storms.

Who oversees Colorado's Avalanche Information Center? It's been headed up by several agencies, most recently the Department of Natural Resources. A bill passed last year would move the center to the School of Mines, but now a new representative from Steamboat Springs says that doesn't make sense.  Mitsch Bush says the CAIC is important to public safety and quality of life, and is not research driven.  Her bill to move it back to DNR has already passed out of committee.

Former Colorado Senator and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says he's leaving that post with the Obama administration and returning to Colorado.  The Denver Post says Salazar will return to Colorado where he and his wife are primary caretakers of their 5 year old autistic granddaughter who is enrolled in a special school.

The wife of one of the victims of the Aurora theater shootings has filed suit against the CU psychiatrist who was treating alleged killer James Holmes.  Chantel Blunk is suing Dr. Lynne Fenton and five unnamed defendants.  According to the Denver Post Blunk claims the shooting would not have occurred had the doctor ordered a psychiatric hold.

A gun bill expected to be introduced today would require business owners to allow concealed carry holders to have a gun in the business or face increased liability.  Republican Kent Lambert of Colorado Springs tells the Denver Post businesses that don't allow concealed carriers would be required to provide security for their customers.

A 60 year old hunter has been rescued after falling through the ice on the Colorado River near I-70 at mile marker 24.  It happened yesterday around noon. Teams of ice rescuers from lower Valley, and Grand Junction fire Departments made their way to the man who had gone out on the ice to retrieve a goose. He was being treated for hypothermia.