Fort Collins mosquitoes test positive for West Nile

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Jul 282010
Authors: Madeline Novey

It’s seems Choice City’s mosquitoes have passed: a West Nile test, that is.

Testing last week revealed that mosquitoes in southeastern Fort Collins were positive for West Nile virus, according to the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment.

Health department officials are labeling heat as the culprit behind the influx in Culex mosquitoes — those that carry the virus — and say the next six weeks will likely bring more.

A greater presence of the bloodsuckers means an increase in the likelihood of transmission of West Nile to a human.

Because of that, residents are encouraged to wear repellent between dusk and dawn, when the blood thirsty Culex are most active.

After a person is bitten by an infected mosquito, it often takes three to four weeks for the individual to show symptoms of the virus.

Up to 20 percent of the people who become infected have symptoms that include: – Fever, – headache, – body aches, – nausea, – vomiting, and, – sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back, according to the City of Fort Collins website.

About one in 150 people will develop severe illness, characterized by: high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis, according to the same site.

Through July 26, the health department has received notice of six human cases of West Nile virus in Larimer, Moffat, Prowers, Pueblo, Sedgwick and Weld Counties.

People 50 and over, solid organ transplant recipients and people with weakened immune systems are at an increased risk of serious illness, according to a health department press release. All people, regardless of physical condition, however, are at risk when not adequately protected when bitten by an infected mosquito.

Refer to the list of preventative steps issued by the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment published online with this story.

For more information about West Nile and how to protect yourself against it, visit these sites:

For more tips on what you can do to prevent West Nile virus, or on repellent use, visit: or call 970-498-6700. For general virus information:

For information on repellent use, go to Check out the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s West Nile virus info at

The surest way to prevent getting West Nile virus is to avoid mosquito bites. Preventive steps you can take include:

* Use a mosquito repellent that has been proven to be effective against West Nile virus-carrying mosquitoes. Ones that contain DEET, Picaridin, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (with active ingredient PMD, or p-menthane diol) or IR3535 are good choices.
* Use mosquito netting over baby carriers and strollers.
* Keep exposed skin covered or use a repellent when out at prime Culex mosquito-biting hours, between dusk and dawn.
* Use a powerful fan while sitting on your deck or patio to keep mosquitoes away.
* Drain standing water in your yard or in your garden.
* Add mosquito-eating minnows or mosquito “dunks” to ornamental ponds with still water.
* Keep window screens repaired.
(Courtesy of the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment)

 Posted by at 12:35 pm

Colorado a finalist for education grant

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Jul 272010
Authors: Collegian Staff Report

The US Department of Education Tuesday named Colorado as one of the 19 finalists in its ‘Race To The Top’ federal grant competition.

Of the 35 states and District of Columbia, Colorado made the cut for phase two. According to a press release from the Colorado Department of Higher Education, Race To The Top expects to dole out about $4.35 billion in grant dollars and will announce winners in December.

Colorado made the 15-state cut for phase one, in which Tennessee and Delaware walked away with grant money.

In this phase the state applied for $174 million, which would spread over four years.

The press release indicated that $90 million of that would directly affect participating school districts and the rest would supplement statewide educational efforts.

Race To The Top requires at least half the grant money go to local education agencies.

The application, according to the release, represents 112 school districts, the Charter School Institute and the Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind, equating to 740,000, or 90 percent of students in the state.

 Posted by at 5:36 pm

Aquatic Biotics Day Camp takes to the state’s Wetlands

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Jul 272010
Authors: Collegian Staff Report

CSU’s Environmental Learning Center is inviting anyone older than 10 years old to put on a pair of mud shoes and take to the wetlands.

The Aquatic Biotics Summer Day Camp, held at the ECL on East Drake Street, is designed to teach attendees about the chemical and biological makeup of the water in Northern Colorado.

The class will be held at 9 a.m. Monday. Class prices are $140 for ELC members and $170 for non-members. Those interested can register at

 Posted by at 5:35 pm

Movie review: Get ready for implausible plot twists, turns in ‘Salt’

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Jul 272010
Authors: Jason Berlinberg

Who is Salt? Well, I’m not quite sure. My guess is the makers of “Salt” don’t really know either, given the dysfunction of the final product.

Unfortunately, relaying too many plot details in a movie such as this gives way to major spoilers. The basics are that Angelina Jolie plays Evelyn Salt, a member of the CIA who has to interrogate a Russian defector that has turned himself in.

During the interrogation, the defector tells of an implausible history where an army of super-assassins was bred to bring honor to Russia by slaying dignitaries of the United States.

He ends the interrogation by saying that one of these Russian spies is named Evelyn Salt. That is when things start to get a little crazy.

The narrative that ensues is a hollow display of countless chase scenes and plot twists that both confuse and bore the viewer. No, I do not want to see another scene of Angelina Jolie running around, thank you very much.

With the exception of a few cool action sequences, the movie lacked originality and mainly settled for the norm.

My biggest complaint with the film is not how lifeless it is, but rather its ridiculously unbelievable story. The whole Russian super-soldier thing does not work, and regrettably that’s the major foundation of the movie.

Jolie is forgettable in a role that was originally supposed to be for Tom Cruise before he chose to go off and star in that other subpar action flick, “Knight and Day.” Cruise would have fit the part much better, but “Salt” needs more fixing than a believable protagonist.

So who is Salt, really? It doesn’t matter, just as long as we don’t get a sequel. For those of you who intend to see this film, save your time and money and meander in to see “Inception” again.
Movie reviewer Jason Berlinberg can be reached at

 Posted by at 5:35 pm

CSU’s Marching Band to hold Visual Ensemble auditions

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Jul 272010
Authors: Collegian Staff Report

Are you proud to be a CSU Ram? Do you want to do more for school spirit than cheer from the crowd?

If so, the CSU Marching Band is hosting auditions for its Visual Ensemble/Color Guard from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday in the University Center for the Arts’ Instrumental Rehearsal Hall.

Auditions are open to all CSU students with a passion for music and experience in cheer, dance or color guard. A major in music or the arts is not required.

Tryouts will require a performance of flag twirling, dance and movement skills and a comprehension of a choreographed routine.

 Posted by at 5:35 pm

Off Campus life, your CSU roommate matchmaker

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Jul 272010
Authors: Kirsten Silveira

Dawit Assefa from Off Campus Life said having a good roommate makes the transition to living outside the residence halls smoother because students have less to worry about outside of classes and work.

For that reason, Off Campus Life has put on its Roommate Round Up program at the beginning of every semester for the last 20 years and will host sessions on Aug. 3 and 4 at 5 p.m. in Lory Student Center rooms 214, 215 and 216.

“The idea came from student staff working in the office many years back who saw a need for students to connect with each other for roommating purposes,” said Off Campus Life Director Jeannie Ortega.

Assefa, who works in the office as a student staff member, said the program usually brings out anywhere from 10 to 60 participants depending on the time of year.

“Over the years we have had great turnout at events, and we periodically conduct surveys as to how helpful the sessions have been for students,” Ortega said, adding that the majority of students said they would recommend a friend or use the program again.

The upcoming sessions, she said, are good for students who are moving into a new living space in mid-August or had a roommate back out of the commitment.

Assistant News Editor Kirsten Silveira can be reached at

 Posted by at 5:34 pm

Local bar celebrates 15 years of business

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Jul 272010
Authors: Collegian Staff Report

Lucky Joe’s Sidewalk Saloon has been serving beer and food to Choice City and its many visitors for 15 years, and this Saturday the business will kick off a three-day Old Town celebration.

The acoustic music festival, according to a press release, features some of the “alumni musicians” from the hotspot’s history.

Lucky Joe’s, located at 25 Old Town Square, was purchased on July 31, 1995 after owners Dan Kerig and Joe Vader left behind their bartending at Vail’s Red Lion. The establishment opened three days later.

To celebrate a past of great music, food, beer and company, the Lucky Joe’s crowd will host specials through Tuesday.

For more information and event calendar, visit

 Posted by at 5:34 pm

Non-profit offers relief for Haitians

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Jul 272010

In an attempt to reach out to earthquake-devastated Haiti, a Fort Collins non-profit is planning to raise enough money to send more than 1,000 fuel-efficient stoves to families trying to rebuild their lives.

To achieve this goal, Trees, Water & People, TWP, is participating in The Green Open Challenge, which ends Friday. The challenge is hosted by GlobalGiving, an online marketplace dedicated to making connections between non-profits with vision and individuals who can support an initiative, according to GlobalGiving’s website.

Out of the 38 competing charities, TWP is currently in 6th place and is pushing to break into one of the top three spots. The incentive for ranking in the top bracket, according to the release, is an extra $14,000 bonus.

TWP hopes to send 1,344 Rocket stoves, which are fuel-efficient and economic, to temporary Internally Displaced Persons camps in Haiti, and, according to GlobalGiving, has raised $5,205.
Assistant News Editor Kirsten Silveira can be reached at

 Posted by at 5:32 pm

Football has big recruiting weekend

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Jul 272010
Authors: Matt L. Stephens

College football teams may not be allowed to officially practice right now, but recruiting is a different story, especially for CSU. The Rams picked up three verbal commitments over the weekend, bringing the school’s total number of pledges for the class of 2011 to six.

First pledged Darius Johnson, a 6-foot-5-inch, 257-pound offensive tackle from Orlando, Fla.’s Dr. Phillips High School. Johnson becomes the fifth player from Dr. Phillips to commit to CSU in the past three years, joining a list that includes current quarterback Nico Ranieri.

And while central Florida had been a recruiting hot bed for the Rams and offensive coordinator Pat Meyer during the past three seasons, the second and third commitments of the weekend came from a previously untapped field, the Chicago area.

Pat Meehan is a 2-star recruit from Lincoln Way East High School in Frankfort, Ill. The 6-foot-2-inch, 192-pound inside linebacker was timed having a 4.7-second 40-yard dash at an official event, but his father, Mike Meehan, told Monday that his current 40 time is now under 4.6 seconds.

Lastly, running back Kapri Bibbs, a 3-star prospect from North High School in Plainfield, Ill., pledged this weekend. As a junior in 2009, Bibbs rushed for 1,556 yards and 23 touchdowns in only 10 games, averaging 7.2 yards per carry.

He’s listed at running a 4.4-second 40-yard dash and had offers from Illinois State and Toledo.

Sports Editor Matt L. Stephens is a Senior Analyst at, part of the network. He can be reached at

 Posted by at 5:30 pm

Local group makes an international impact

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Jul 272010
Authors: Emily Johnson

When it comes to getting things done, collaborations are an effective strategy. And a local non-profit organization said it’s doing just that.

Trees, Water & People, TWP, has teamed up with Montana-based Pura Stainless to promote environmental sustainability.

“If everyone recycled, many of our environmental problems would be solved,” said Heather Herrell, TWP development director. “But that’s not the case, so we are implementing other ideas.”

Pura contacted TWP earlier this year inviting the organization to be part of its Green15 program, which helps organizations and corporations contribute to the sustainability movement.

Pura designs eco-friendly stainless-steel water bottles displaying both the brand names of Pura and its partnering organization then donates 15 percent of each sale to an environmentally friendly organization of the partner’s choosing.

“For every bottle sold, we receive a donation,” Herrell said. “We decided to step it up a notch and use the proceeds to benefit yet another cause.”

TWP has promised to plant a tree for every one of its water bottles sold. The trees will be planted in one of its 15 community nurseries in South America. Since 1998, TWP has planted more than 3.5 million trees.

When asked why residents in Fort Collins, or any American citizen, should care about trees planted in Central America, Herrell said that tropical deforestation affects climate change, which affects everyone in the world.

“Removing trees from the forest contributes to global warming, as does the burning of wood,” Herrell said, referring to the carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere. “Less trees means less oxygen in the air around us.”

Planting trees is only part of the solution.

TWP fosters environmental health in many ways and has been instrumental in developing fuel-efficient stoves for South American countries, building supplemental solar heating systems on American Indian reservations and implementing programs to protect the Rocky Mountain headwaters.

The non-profit hosts more than 165 volunteer events and planted more than 5,000 new trees in Northern Colorado. TWP has formed partnerships with other groups to create global sustainable communities.

Kelsi Ottenbacher, a former TWP International Development intern, believes in the programs that TWP implements.

“Their community-based approach fosters project sustainability and beneficiaries are encouraged to have a say in the future of their communities,” Ottenbacher said.
“Personal relationships are very important to TWP’s management style, making their programs relevant, direct and wholesome. Without this, their mission of fostering environmental sustainability would be impossible.”

Ottenbacher graduated from CSU with a degree in sociology and a certificate in international development in May.

Lindsey Middendorf, another TWP intern from CSU, said TWP’s projects are founded on firm beliefs in environmental sustainability –– something she too believes in.

“I hope to someday work for an environmental non-profit organization, and working at TWP illustrated to me how I can utilize the writing, planning, organization and communication skills that I am developing through my graduate studies in the non-profit world,” she said.

Not only is TWP positively impacting the world through its sustainability projects, CSU interns are being transformed as well.

“Working with TWP taught me a lot about myself and what I ultimately want to do with my life, which is to help improve people’s lives by helping the communities in which they live,” said Kalyn Clemens, an alumna of CSU’s Journalism and Technical Communications Program.

“It was incredible to witness the impact we had on the world,” Clemens said. “Working at TWP as it was growing was really valuable to me because it’s important for me to work with an organization that is passionate about their work.”

Staff writer Emily Johnson can be reached at

 Posted by at 5:29 pm