Four Corners joins Clean
La Plata County is getting on board a
regional and national push to safeguard future air quality. A
Western Colorado Clean Cities Coalition is coming together with a
mission of improving air quality throughout the region.
The joint effort would
include representation from counties throughout the Western Slope.
According to Katrina Davis, Clean Cities advocate, all of the
counties face the same problem growth.
"Our region is beginning
to see the onset of community sprawl and with this comes increased
vehicle miles traveled, and thus vehicle emissions," Davis said.
"It is critical that we act now to minimize future air pollution in
our fast growing communities."
Created by the U.S.
Department of Energy, the Clean Cities Program's purpose is to
promote the use of alternative transportation fuels and decrease
reliance on petroleum fuels. The net effect would be a reduction in
vehicular emissions and an improvement in regional air
"Becoming Clean Cities
designated would affirm our region's commitment toimproving our
community's air quality and developing regional economic
opportunities to support the use of domestically produced
alternative fuels," Davis said.
The Clean Cities
designation would also make the region eligible to apply for $2.7
million in federal grants for infrastructure, fuel and vehicle
purchases. Davis said that the push could be particularly
meaningful to people who own, operate or manage vehicle fleets as
well as businesses or individuals supporting the
Two public information
sessions are scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 15, at 2 and 7 p.m. at
the La Plata County Fairgrounds. People interested in attending
should RSVP by calling the Region 9 offices at 247-9621.
FLC students reach out to
Fort Lewis College is working to bring
relief to a village in Nepal. The FLC chapter of Engineers Without
Borders is working on a project in Humla, a remote district in the
northwest region of Nepal.
facilities, many Humla villages face high infant mortality, low
life expectancy and a low standard of living. The goal of the FLC
project is to construct water, sanitation and electric systems for
the village of Dhadhaphaya.
The national Engineers
Without Borders organization was established in 2000 to help
developing areas worldwide with their engineering needs. At the
same time, the project seeks to involve and train internationally
To initiate its work on
the project, the FLC chapter of Engineers Without Borders hosts
Alex Zahnd for a week of workshops and presentations beginning
Thursday, Sept. 9. Zahnd is a mechanical engineer working with the
Research and Development Consultancy at Kathmandu University. He
has been living and working in rural Nepal since the mid-1980s and
is the FLC project partner.
Zahnd will make a
presentation to the general public on the history, culture and his
work in Nepal at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 9 in 130 Chemistry Hall.
For more information or if you are interested in working on the
Nepal project, contact Professor of Engineering Don May at
Five new West Nile cases
West Nile Virus is continuing its
march through La Plata County. In the past week, five new human
cases of the disease have been diagnosed, bringing the local count
The new cases were found
in: a Durango man in his late 30s; a woman in her early 40s from
southeastern La Plata County; a man in his early 40s from eastern
La Plata County; a man in his 40s from southeastern La Plata
County; and a woman in her late 70s from southern La Plata
While the cases have
been isolated to southern La Plata County and the City of Durango,
the San Juan Basin Health Department urged people to be on guard
throughout the region.
"Although West Nile
virus has been identified in specific parts of the county, we want
to emphasize that you could come into contact with West Nile
infected mosquitoes in any part of Southwest Colorado and in the
Four Corners area," said Joe Fowler, regional epidemiologist. "We
urge all residents and visitors to exercise precautions and protect
themselves from mosquito bites, wherever they may
All five of the recent
infections were the milder West Nile fever. Typical symptoms of
West Nile fever include: fever, headache, malaise and muscle
weakness. These symptoms persist for about two to seven days, but
some people may experience lingering effects for several
months.While West Nile fever is a milder version of the disease,
Fowler stressed that it is still severe. "These individuals had a
milder' form of West Nile infection, but this is a very significant
illness," he said.
The San Juan Basin
Health Department again encourages people to limit exposure to
mosquito bites to avoid infection. Their recommendations include
limiting outdoor activities during dawn and dusk hours, using
insect repellent containing DEET and wearing long sleeves and long
pants when outdoors.
Missionary road nearly
Missionary Ridge Road, a popular
recreation corridor, is nearly rehabilitated. The final phase of
work to restore the road to its pre-wildfire state began Sept. 8.
Over the course of the next month, about 22,000 tons of gravel will
be spread on the road.
Crews hope to haul 1,000
tons of gravel per day with eight belly dumps or five trips per day
for each truck.While the road will remain open to public
traffic, delays of up to 15 minutes should be expected on weekdays.
In addition, the trucks will need to use the whole road on
switchbacks and in narrow spots, and road users are asked to yield
the right of way.
The road, which had been
closed since the Missionary Ridge fire in 2002, reopened July 31
after efforts to make the road safer.Previous projects included
the replacement of more than 30 culverts and the removal of hazard
trees along the road. The gravel work is scheduled to be completed
by Oct. 8.
DHS student reported as
Durango Police are searching for Jason
Clark, a 17-year-old Durango High School junior who has been
missing from his home since Monday.
Clark was reported
missing by his parents after he failed to return to his home on
Bennett Avenue after a walk. Clark is an asthmatic, and police are
concerned about his welfare because it is believed that he does not
have his medication with him.
He is described as 6
feet tall, 160 pounds, blond hair, blue eyes, last seen wearing a
blue short-sleeve, collared shirt with white stripes across the
back, black windbreaker-type pants, and black and white
If you know his location
or have seen him this week, call Detective Rita Warfield at
compiled by Will