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A bill that challenges the governor's control of discretionary federal fund in the future passed a Colorado House Panel yesterday by a vote of 11-0. None of the governor's prior spending decisions would be impacted by the measure. Rep. Brad Young of Lamar, and Chairman of the Joint Budget Committee, said that he didn't see any way to undo what has already been done. Young amended the bill to say that only future discretionary federal funds will be subject to legislative appropriation - not the $146 million that has already been committed to programs in Colorado by Gov. Bill Owens. Owens has said that he will veto the watered-down bill saying that the real issue here is separation of power in Colorado. Colorado Attorney General Ken Salazar supports Gov. Bill Owens decision saying that the governor's authority to make decisions on these types of federal funds is founded in the Colorado Constitution.
Alamosa District Judge Pattie Swift yesterday sentenced Joe B. Davis, 65, to 15 years in prison on felony forgery and check fraud charges. The charges stem from phony faxes and bad checks that were issued by Davis while he was in business as Eastside Energy Corporation in Alamosa. Judge Swift referred to Davis as a con-man and said that she didn't think that he was going to change. She noted that Davis has a history of similar crimes in Garfield County and also in Arizona and that he was on parole while the offenses took place in Alamosa. Judge Swift sentenced Davis to three years in the Department of Corrections for felony check fraud and six years each on two felony forgery charges.
San Luis Residents are mourning the death of Joe Espinoza, who last served as San Luis' Mayor five years ago at the age of 87, the oldest mayor in the state's oldest town. Espinoza died last Tuesday of Diabetes at his home in San Luis. He was 92. Espinoza was born in Upton, Wyoming on December 8th, 1911. He moved to San Luis as a young boy after the death of his father. Espinoza first served as the Mayor of San Luis from 1978-1982. He also served as Mayor from 1986-1990 and from 1994-1998, making him the oldest town's oldest mayor. He is survived by his wife, Emma, by two sons, four daughters, 22 grandchildren, 31 great-grandchildren, and by one great-great-grandchild.
A total of 266 new confirmed flu cases were reported in Colorado last week, continuing the weekly decline of new flu cases that began in mid-December. The 266 new cases, compared to the 358 new flu cases reported the week before last, brought the total number of confirmed flu cases in Colorado to 12,051 for the 2003-2004 flu season, more cases than the last 4 flu seasons combined.
The Great Sand Dunes National Park Advisory Council will meet from 9am to 5pm today at the Blanca-Fort Garland Community Center. Natural and cultural resource values and visitor and resource opportunities will be discussed. The meeting is open to the public and a public comment period is scheduled from 4:15 to 5pm this afternoon.
A free public program will be given by Ruben Archuleta on his book entitled "Land of the Penitentes: Land of Tradition", beginning at 7pm on Thursday at the Sullivan Student Center on the Trinidad State Junior College Campus in Trinidad. Archuleta will also be present at a talk and book signing for his book at 4pm on January 24th at the Rio Grande County Museum in Del Norte. Everyone is welcome.