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Even though the hospital’s CEO and Chief Medical Officer both said Friday that the risk of transmission was low, the San Luis Valley Regional Medical Center in Alamosa is testing patients who underwent a colonoscopy in the past month to determine if unclean instruments exposed them to HIV, or Hepatitis B or C. 64 patients reportedly underwent the procedure since July 17th. The hospital had tested 40 patients who had undergone a colonoscopy as of Friday. Dr. Gregory McAuliffe, the hospital’s chief medical officer said Friday that there is no evidence of anyone being infected. Hospital staff discovered last Monday that the process used to clean the hospital’s three colonoscopies was not working properly. The hospital is investigating the steps in the cleaning process that include hand cleaning, dipping the scopes in a solution and running them through an automated machine designed specifically to clean them. The hospital plans to resume offering colonoscopies today following a review last week by a clinical specialist on the use of the automated washer.
Alamosa Chief District/Water Judge Pattie Swift denied a motion earlier this month to find the first water management sub-district’s annual replacement plan invalid and order the state engineer to curtail pumping of the wells covered by the sub-district. Objectors to the sub-district plan filed the motion in May, and Judge Swift said she would rule on the issue before the end of the irrigation season. Swift said she did not agree with objectors that the state engineer should exercise authority in shutting down wells in the sub-district. The sub-district is designed to allow individual farmers to continue irrigating their crops as long as the sub-district as a while replaces injurious depletions caused by well pumping to senior surface water users. Swift has scheduled a trial for October to deal with issues the objectors still have with the annual replacement plan.
The Colorado Army National Guard on Friday morning broke ground for the Alamosa Readiness Center to be constructed north of the Alamosa Recreation Center on a 22-acre parcel off of old Sanford Road. Military and legislative dignitaries, along with local elected officials, were on hand for the groundbreaking for the 27,000-square-foot facility. Major General H. Michael Edwards said that when the National Guard decided to return to the valley with a physical presence in Alamosa, the valley welcomed the guardsmen with open arms. Edwards said that the National Guard is truly a community-based group, and he commended local recruiting efforts for success in signing area residents up to join the National Guard.
The City of Trinidad is currently holding a cheerleading registration for 3rd through 6th graders at the Trinidad Community Center, 1309 Beshoar Avenue in Trinidad. Registration is underway now and will continue through August 28th. Registration fee is $35 plus a uniform fee of $10, cash only. Scholarships are available, and sponsors and cheer moms and dads are also needed. There are no tryouts and everyone is welcome. For more information, call the Trinidad Community Center at 719-846-4454.
The Rio Grande National Forest is seeking comments on the Village at Wolf Creek Access project draft environmental impact statement during a 45-day public comment period which began on Friday. The analysis was initiated as a result of a land exchange application submitted by Leavell-McCombs joint venture. The forest service will hold three open house meetings to provide the public with an opportunity to learn more about the analysis and to provide comments. The first meeting will take place on Tuesday, August 28th, from 5:30 to 7:30pm at the Creede Community Center in Creede. The second meeting will take place on Wednesday, August 29th, from 5:30 to 7:30pm at the Aragon Recreation Center in Pagosa Springs. The third meeting will take place on Thursday, August 30th, from 5:30 to 7:30pm at the Rio Grande County Annex in Del Norte. For more information, go to www.fs.usda.gov/riogrande.