NEWS: Tuesday April 13, 2010

Apr 13th @ 5:55 am in News by Scott Staley

Training session at Grand Junction Regional Airport. The Grand Junction Police Bomb Squad, in partnership with the Grand Junction Regional Airport and the Transportation Security Administration will be conducting a joint training session today starting around 1:00pm and lasting into the evening hours.  The training is designed to help all three agencies handle situations involving potential explosive devices at the Grand Junction Regional Airport.  During the training there will be several vehicles and other pieces of equipment conducting exercises inside the secured area of the airport.  The public is not to be alarmed and asked to not call law enforcement or media regarding this training exercise.
Source: Press Release   (Posted 5:55a)

The Delta Police Department has completed the investigation into the cause of the fire on March 30, 2010. Investigation resulted in two juvenile males being charged with alleged Forth Degree Arson. Charges were filed with the Seventh Judicial District Attorney’s Office on April 7, 2010. Below is the original press release:

On March 30, 2010 just before 8:00 p.m. Delta Police and Fire Department personnel were dispatched to the 1400 block area of A Street for a report of a fire. The fire was located in the brush on the hill side just west of the 1400 block of A Street. Upon arrival police officers located eight residences in the area that would be in danger if the winds were to spread the embers of the fire. The residents of the eight homes were contacted and asked to evacuate for safety reasons. Delta Fire Chief, Adam Suppes, advised police personnel the evacuation would be temporary with an estimated time of about 20 to 30 minutes. Officers staged the residents in a safe location nearby while the fire was extinguished. Once the fire was extinguished the residents were allowed to return to their homes. No damages to the homes were reported and all persons were safe and accounted for with no injuries being reported. A fence and lawn did sustain damages estimated at about $1000. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Source: Press Release    (Posted 5:54a)

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced yesterday that Colorado will receive nearly $40 million to turn around its persistently lowest achieving schools through the School Improvement Grants (SIG) program. These funds are part of the $3.5 billion that will be made available to states this spring from money set aside in the 2009 budget and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

“When a school continues to perform in the bottom five percent of the state and isn’t showing signs of growth or has graduation rates below 60 percent, something dramatic needs to be done,” said Duncan. “Turning around our worst performing schools is difficult for everyone but it is critical that we show the courage to do the right thing by kids.”

The $39,731,239 made available to Colorado is being distributed by formula to the state and will then be competed out by the state to school districts. In order for a school district to apply for these funds, it must have a state-identified “persistently lowest achieving” or a Tier III school — a school that has failed to meet annual yearly progress for two years and is not identified as a persistently lowest achieving school.

However, Tier III schools can only receive funds once all of the state’s persistently lowest achieving schools have received funds. Colorado’s application, which includes its list of persistently lowest achieving schools, as defined by the state, can be found here: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/sif/summary/index.html.

School districts will apply to the state for the funds this spring. When school districts apply, they must indicate that they will implement one of the following four models in their persistently lowest achieving schools:
-TURNAROUND MODEL: Replace the principal, screen existing school staff, and rehire no more than half the teachers; adopt a new governance structure; and improve the school through curriculum reform, professional development, extending learning time, and other strategies.
-RESTART MODEL: Convert a school or close it and re-open it as a charter school or under an education management organization.
-SCHOOL CLOSURE: Close the school and send the students to higher-achieving schools in the district.
-TRANSFORMATION MODEL: Replace the principal and improve the school through comprehensive curriculum reform, professional development, extending learning time, and other strategies.

Once schools receive SIG funds, they will be able to begin to spend them immediately to turn around schools this fall. States may apply to the Education Department for a waiver to allow them to spend funds over a three-year period. An additional $545,633,000 has been provided for SIG in 2010 and will be awarded to states to fund additional schools in the 2011-12 school year. The department has also made a request for an additional $900 million for the program in the 2011 budget.
Source: Press Release    (Posted 5:52a)

A Fort Carson soldier from Aurora has died of wounds he suffered when a bomb exploded near his vehicle in Afghanistan. According to KJCT, military officials say 24-year-old Sgt. Sean M. Durkin’s vehicle was attacked near Forward Operating Base Wilson in Afghanistan on March 27. He died Friday at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington.
Source: KJCT/AP   (Posted 5:52a)