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Governor Bill Ritter announced yesterday that southern Colorado would receive approximately $2 million out of nearly $21 million in grants for Colorado from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The money is designed to help states deal with man-made and natural disasters. Law enforcement and other first responders in the San Luis valley will receive $588,000; southern Colorado will receive $747,000; and southeastern Colorado will receive $712,000. The grants come on the heels of state and federal criticism about how Colorado ran the grant program before Ritter took office. That criticism led Governor Ritter to consolidate homeland security efforts in Colorado under a new state office, which rewrote the way state and local agencies can qualify for them. Details of exactly what the grants will be used for by specific state and local agencies was not released for security reasons.
Governor Bill Ritter will be the featured speaker this Friday evening at the Action 22 Fall Conference Dinner that will take place at the Pueblo Convention Center. Action 22 is a political coalition of the 22 counties in southeastern Colorado and hosts a regular election conference so that members can hear political candidates and debates over ballot issues. This year‚€™s meeting begins at 4pm tomorrow with discussion about broadband technology and regional health care. Friday, former State Senator Mark Hillman and republican candidate for U.S. Senate Bob Schaffer will speak. Speakers on Saturday include republican 3rd Congressional District Candidate Wayne Wolf and State Senator Abel Tapia.
The Costilla County Sheriff‚€™s Office is investigating a possible accidental shooting that occurred sometime after 7pm last night in San Luis. According to the Costilla County Sheriff‚€™s Office, the victim was a 20-year-old male who was taken to the San Luis Valley Regional Medical Center in Alamosa by ambulance last night. Details of the victim‚€™s identity, condition or the circumstances surrounding the incident were not available. The matter remains under investigation.
The Pueblo City/County Health Department will offer free flu shots to all school-aged children in Crowley and Custer Counties this fall. The free flu shots are part of a study to determine whether vaccinating most school-age children will affect the rate of flu infection among all residents of both counties. 1,465 children will be vaccinated in all sometime in October or early November. Vaccination dates have not been set as of yet because students are still returning permission forms that were passed out at the beginning of the school year. Participation in the program is voluntary. Study organizers will keep close tabs on absentee rates at all of the schools in both counties as well as the symptoms reported by students who stay home sick throughout the school year.
The La Jara Downtown Revitalization Committee invites the community to join in supporting the final Market and Family Fun Fair of 2008. The market, located by the Catholic Church, just off of Highway 285 in La Jara, will be open from 4 to 7pm this Friday and will offer live music and a variety of items for sale. There will be produce, artwork, crafts and entertainment by Eric Shiveley and Lori Kester. Food will be offered for sale as a fundraiser for Centauri High School. For more information about the market, call Claire at 298-1139.