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Week of 1/04/17 Of Special Interest
Photo courtesy: U.S. Department of Education Facebook

By La Voz Staff

Brothers Redevelopment unveils renovations

Brothers Redevelopment President, Jeff Martinez, gave key officials an appreciation tour this week of the newly refurbished Federal View Apartments. Arson nearly destroyed the complex in March, but Brothers has restored the affordable-housing units with the help of the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The agencies supported Brothers in its efforts to rehabilitate the complex, which burned the night of Easter Sunday. The fire injured 11 people and displaced 22 households, which Brothers relocated to alternative or temporary housing until their Federal View residences could be renovated.

VA study on PTSD

A recent VA study points to a possible breakthrough in differentiating between post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and mild traumatic brain injury (TBI), otherwise known as a concussion. The two disorders often carry similar symptoms, such as irritability, restlessness, hypersensitivity to stimulation, memory loss, fatigue and dizziness. Scientists have tried to distinguish between TBI and PTSD in hopes of improving treatment options for Veterans, but many symptom-based studies have been inconclusive because the chronic effects of the two conditions are so similar. If someone is rating high on a TBI scale, for example, that person may also rate high for PTSD symptoms.

Education Department releases student aid data

The U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid (FSA) office posted a series of updates to its data center, a collection of key performance data about the federal student aid portfolio. The updates, which continue the Department’s commitment to greater transparency on the federal student loan portfolio and other key financial aid metrics, include three new federally managed portfolio reports by loan status, repayment plan, and delinquency status, and a report about the Teacher Loan Forgiveness program. Further reflecting the Department’s commitment to transparency and to serving students and borrowers, the department released a preliminary report about the FSA feedback system.

Business advertising scam

The Colorado Springs Fire Department is alerting the public that Firehouse Promotions, INC. claims to be working with the local fire department through selling business advertising space on magnetic “community contact boards.” The company further claims that “the Fire Department will be distributing these contact boards.” The Fire Department does not endorse this company. Colorado Springs Fire Department at (719) 385-5950.

New judges appointed to Aurora Municipal Court

The Aurora Municipal Court will soon have several new faces behind the bench with the appointment of three new associate judges and four new relief judges. The new associate judges – Robert FitzGerald, Dan Kopper and Cynthia Mares – were appointed to fill vacancies following the retirement of Judges Greg Hopkins, Loretta Huffine and Al Stine. They will serve four-year terms. The new relief judges – Dion Arguelles, Andrea Koppenhofer, Peter Frigo and Billy Stiggers – will serve two-year terms. Relief judges sit as trial judges when associate judges are on leave. Retiring Associate Judges Huffine and Stine also were appointed to serve as relief judges.

Joshua Epel resigns from Public Utilities Commission

Joshua Epel resigned from his role as Chairman of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC), part of the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) on Jan. 1. Epel was first appointed as Chairman of the PUC in January 2011 and was reappointed in 2014. As a commissioner, he participated in a wide range of matters involving transportation, energy and telecommunications. Most notably, he oversaw the entry of transportation network companies (TNCs) like Uber and Lyft into the Colorado marketplace. Colorado became the first state in the country to pass legislation on TNCs that protected consumers and public safety. Epel was also involved in transforming telecommunications, providing basic protections for 911 services while transferring funds from subsidized companies to underserved areas in need of broadband.

Colorado receives federal grant

Colorado has received a $949,664 grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration for a home visiting program that will support parents and children in Alamosa, Saguache and Costilla counties. The Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program Innovation Grant will create Working Together, a two-generation approach to integrating education and employment into home visiting. Working Together will be housed within the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS), Office of Early Childhood. The premise behind the program is that two-generation programming, which creates opportunities for and addresses the needs of vulnerable children and their parents together, is the best way to help children thrive.





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