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Governor Bill Owens says a statewide school report shows the number of unsatisfactory schools in Colorado are continuing to drop plus there is an 81% drop in the number of students who are scoring unsatisfactorily in mandated tests. The Governor says accountability does work in making our schools better. Some educators however still contend that too much time is spent on accountability and passing the annual test than is spent on teaching children the things they should know. The Alamosa Open School and the Youth and Family Academy Charter were the only two schools in the area to receive unsatisfactory marks this year.
A battle to keep Mt. San Rafael Hospital open in Trinidad has begun. A group is seeking a state review of finances by the legislature. The hospital showed a 1 ½ million dollar loss last year after 13 years of being in the black. The committee seeking the audit has no name but involves former city council members, and some just elected to the council. Hospital CEO, Carolyn Riley says the group will likely do more harm than good by generating negative publicity. Riley feels the group needs to let experienced administrators handle the situation.
Matias Jesus Tafoya, 18 of Antonito lost control of his car in Alamosa on Monday resulting in an accident that killed a 70-year-old woman. Aurelia Ljuan of Antonito was killed in the accident that ended up involving three vehicles. 4-year-old Rebecca Ortiz was a passenger in one of the vehicles and sustained serious injuries too. The Tafoya vehicle rear-ended the car driven by Rosann Ortiz 23 of Alamosa. A charge of misdemeanor careless driving was issued against Tafoya.
State Agricultural Commissioner, Don Ament is asking the legislature for a supplemental appropriation of $800,000 to help solve cash flow problems for the State Fair in Pueblo. Ament also suggested selling the naming rights to the State Fair Events Center to erase the 1.7 million still owed on it. State officials were positive toward some of Aments suggestions though no action has yet been taken.
The Colorado Department of Public Health says the number of flu cases in Colorado is now over 6,000 and the death toll continues to rise from it. Already 5 children ranging in age from 21 months to 15 years old have been reported so far. The number of flu cases this year is higher already than the numbers reported the past 4 years and the flu season is still just underway in Colorado. Numerous school districts have been hard hit by absences due to children coming down with the flu. Some have closed for short periods of time while others are considering it.
Custer County officials have ruled that a 20-year-old woman found dead at the Horncreek Christian Conference Center last Friday was not a victim of homicide. Natalie Drissell of Wildwood, Missouri was visiting her boyfriend for the holidays after having worked at the center this past summer. Officials are checking possibilities that she was Bulimic. No drugs or alcohol were present in the body and there were no signs leading to any injuries from the autopsy according to law enforcement officials.
Former Monte Vista Chamber of Commerce President and Business Woman, Terri Tonso, 40, is missing. She has not been heard from since Nov. 21st. Her car, personal effects and clothing were not at her home when her former husband tried to return their children back on their regular visitations. Police have not ruled out foul play but have no reason to suspect it at this time. Anyone with information about her whereabouts is asked to contact the Monte Vista Police Department.
City revenues in Trinidad are down 3-4 per cent over last year. The city council gave tentative approval to a 25 million dollar budget this week citing the sale tax revenues are down. The Chamber of Commerce has begun a campaign urging residents to shop locally this Christmas to help offset the loss of revenue in the city and county.