View Full Version : September 23, 2003

09-24-2003, 05:45 AM
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Two more deaths from West Nile Virus were reported yesterday in Colorado. The first was a 71-year-old man from Denver who was suffering from Meningitis. He died last Tuesday and is the seventh West Nile Virus death in Denver. And, the second was a 71-year-old woman from Mesa County who was suffering from West Nile Fever. She died on September 15th. She was the second West Nile death in Mesa County and in Colorado's Western Slope. The two deaths bring Colorado's west Nile Virus death toll to 38. That number is more than 3 times the deaths in any other state this year from West Nile Virus. Currently, Nebraska is second in West Nile Deaths this year at 11, then South Dakota at 8, Texas and Wyoming at 7 each, New York State at 5 and New Mexico at 4. The now 38 deaths in Colorado are among 1,817 human cases of West Nile Virus in Colorado reported as of yesterday when 51 new cases were added to the list.

Alamosa County Commissioners in a vote yesterday decided not to support referendum a which will appear on statewide ballots in November. Referendum a would create $2 billion in revenue bonding authority for water projects, however, commissioners said that the referendum would allow for $20 million for water purchases. If the referendum was passed, commissioners said it would give authority to the Colorado Water Conservation Board which would take away legislative oversight of water projects, and could in turn take any say about water out of areas such as the San Luis Valley. Commissioners agreed that more water storage is needed in Colorado, but, commissioners also said that if referendum a passes, and if the users of a storage project cannot pay the bonds, taxpayers could have to bail out the project.

Earl Thomas Ready, 50, and Debra Lynn Ready, 52, both of San Luis, were killed in a head-on collision Saturday on U.S. 160 West of Walsenburg. According to the Colorado State Patrol, Mun Sang Cheong, 57, of Singapore, was Eastbound on U.S. 160, driving a Ford Expedition, when he lost control of the vehicle. The vehicle veered off to the side of the road and then overcorrected, crossing into the oncoming lane where it struck the Ford Explorer being driven by Rarl Ready. The Ford Explorer then went off the road and rolled 1-1/2 times. The Ready's and Doreen Cheong, 58, were all pronounced dead at the scene. Caleb Cheong, 28, was seriously injured and was flown to Penrose Hospital in Colorado Springs. The accident remains under investigation, and Mun Sang Cheong may face criminal charges.

Edgar Garcia, 20, and his brother, Eduardo, 22, were reportedly on their way back to Mexico yesterday. The brothers, from Sanford, were reportedly in the United States illegally, and had been since they were 4 and 6 when their family entered the U.S. illegally in 1998. The two were detained Friday by the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Service (formerly the INS) after a traffic stop in Alamosa. In spite of efforts to keep the brothers in the U.S. yesterday, the two were reportedly being transported back to Mexico by the BCIS.

Saying that voluntary water restrictions in Alamosa didn't work, Alamosa City Manager Michael Hackett told the Alamosa City Council last Wednesday that the water usage last month dropped by only 1%. He said that water usage so far this year has totaled more than 621 million gallons. Hackett said that while the voluntary cut-back worked for a couple of months people began watering again in July. The city had hoped for as much as a 20% reduction.