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Ex-coach recommended to take over at New Life

Brady Boyd coached a high school basketball team to the Louisiana state semifinals. He spent three seasons as part-time radio play-by-play announcer for Shreveport's minor-league baseball team. His Web site lists his favorite upscale restaurants, from steak to seafood and sushi.

Those might not sound like typical credentials to become New Life Church's new senior pastor, but Boyd, 40-year-old associate senior pastor at Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas, has been recommended by New Life's pastoral selection committee to replace Ted Haggard overseeing the huge local congregation.

"(Boyd) has strong leadership gifts, significant experience and training in senior pastoral ministry, and a passion for teaching the Scriptures," selection chairman Lance Coles said in a letter to the New Life congregation.

Boyd will spend three weeks at New Life (including the Sundays of Aug. 12, 19 and 26) before the membership votes Aug. 27 on whether to accept him. RR

Vet health-care overhaul in the works

It took several years of troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, some to paltry, even deadly, medical care at the militarys premier Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

But finally, last week, on the advice of a presidential commission co-chaired by former Sen. Bob Dole and former Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala, President Bush seemed to acknowledge the need for change in troop care.

While exercising on the White Houses South Lawn with two wounded veterans, he said festering problems identified in the report on wounded warriors must be fixed.

In that report, there are a lot of things that the executive branch of government can do, [Veterans Affairs], Department of Defense, Bush said. And I've instructed Secretary Gates and Secretary Nicholson to look at every one of these recommendations, to take them seriously, and to implement them, so that we can say with certainty that any soldier who has been hurt will get the best possible care and treatment that this government can offer.

The Dole and Shalala commission agreed the U.S. should:

immediately create comprehensive recovery plans to provide the right care and support at the right time in the right place;

completely restructure the disability determination and compensation systems;

aggressively prevent and treat post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury;

significantly strengthen support for families;

rapidly transfer patient information between the military and Veterans Affairs;

and strongly support Walter Reed hospital by recruiting and retaining first-rate professionals through 2011.

Colorados U.S. senators, Wayne Allard and Ken Salazar, announced Monday that the Government Accountability Office would study VA treatment of veterans with mild traumatic brain injuries; the militarys implementation of screenings for brain injuries and mental health; and policies regarding the discharge of soldiers for personality disorder.

The first results are expected in September. MdY

Focus helping sponsor S-CAP event

Focus on the Family will help sponsor a bicycle ride fundraiser for the Southern Colorado AIDS Project, a move that "goes a long way toward smashing stereotypes, opening dialogue and creating a community," according to event organizer Andy Finn.

The Pikes Peak Classic sponsorship came about through an S-CAP volunteer, Gary Archuleta, developing a working relationship with Focus on the Family assistant to the president Devin Knuckles.

"Instead of focusing on our differences, I focused on what we had in common," says Archuleta, "and that's an interest in human health." Archuleta, along with S-CAP, wants to squash the notion HIV is primarily a gay disease. [The sponsorship] is a wonderful first step in putting the faith-based organizations together with organizations like ours, he says.

S-CAP executive director Linda Boedeker hopes the funding leads to other collaboration, saying, "This is a sign to the entire community that we are able to play nicely with each other, even if we differ on other issues. "We're doing a lot of prevention work here in the community, and we want churches to be involved with that, too."

The financial support has had its drawbacks. Boedeker acknowledges there has been some anger at S-CAP for accepting the money, but says, "We need money other than government funding. We need to reach every part of the community, including the faith-based part."

She adds that Focus took the bigger risk of the two organizations by agreeing to the sponsorship.

Devin Knuckles could not be reached for comment.

The fundraising bike ride, with 35-, 65- and 100-mile versions, will take place on Aug. 12. For more information, call 578-9092 or go online to s-cap.org. AL

$3 million grant will help Cottonwood Creek

The Federal Emergency Management Act includes a $3 million pre-disaster mitigation grant to fix a section of eroded banks on Cottonwood Creek. The grant will be used to repair the creek's banks that border Qwest Communications and Current Inc. in north Colorado Springs.

The two companies and the city's Stormwater Enterprise together contributed $1.32 million to the project in order to secure the grant, bringing the total funds to $4.32 million. The project, set to begin later this year, is expected to take six months to complete.

The city's Stormwater Enterprise will also examine other sections of Cottonwood Creek. It plans to repair the most-damaged sections of the creek banks with other Stormwater funds. JAS

Space Command general tapped for StratCom

Defense Secretary Robert Gates last week announced that President Bush has nominated the chief of Air Force Space Command, Gen. Kevin Chilton, to head U.S. Strategic Command.

Chilton would replace Marine Gen. James Cartwright as the top officer for StratCom, located at Offutt Air Force Base near Omaha, Neb., according to the Defense Department. Cartwright has been nominated to serve as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Space Command, headquartered at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, is responsible for defending North America through space and intercontinental ballistic missile operations.

During his tenure at the command, Chilton, a former NASA space-shuttle astronaut, has pushed in recent months to move space control operations out of Cheyenne Mountain and to an office building on Vandenberg Air Force Base one piece of a controversial move that sources familiar with the mountain have questioned.

At StratCom, Chilton would oversee a command that seeks to combat weapons of mass destruction worldwide.

His replacement at Peterson is likely to be Lt. Gen. Robert Kehler, a career missile and space officer and deputy commander of StratCom, according to press accounts, and would likely also be promoted if made Space Commands chief. MdY

Compiled by Amanda Lundgren, Ralph Routon, J. Adrian Stanley and Michael de Yoanna.

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