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2011 in Review- June through December

JUNE

Petroglyph passes muster with EPA

WALSENBURG- The Environmental Protection Agency has issued a final permit allowing Petroglyph to  inject treated groundwater pumped from the Vermejo Formation, into the Poison Canyon Formation.  This process is designed to  contain coal bed methane that has been leeching into private wells according to an EPA document dated May 26, 2010. 

    The final permit reflects the changes made by the EPA after taking public comments beginning July 9, 2009 and continuing through August 14, 2009.

Citizens grill city council

WALSENBURG- All eight city council persons and Mayor Quintana fielded questions from a room full of concerned citizens last Wednesday at Spanish Peaks Library.  The committee “Citizens for a Better Walsenburg” brought a list of issues for the council to address and the council answered other questions of concern from the crowd.

Cordova wind farm application complete

WALSENBURG- E-ON Climate and Renewables is moving forward on the Cordova wind farm in far eastern Huerfano County with the submission of a completed SB-1041 application to the county.

    The wind farm when completed will generate about 200 megawatts of electricity from 125 1.6Mw wind turbines located on the Cordova Ranch across the top of the Cordova Mesa.  The project spans across both Huerfano and Las Animas counties.

Population in Walsenburg, County, dwindling

HUERFANO- According to the 2009 draft from the State Demography Office of the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, the City of Walsenburg and Huerfano County continue to lose population. The estimates, once finalized, will be the basis for the distribution of Conservation Trust Fund lottery funds. Local governments will have 30 days to review figures and make any challenges.

    According to the figures the City of Walsenburg is down to 3,199 residents and the County is standing at 6,912.  These are drops from around 4,000 for the city and near 8,000 for the county from 2000.

Gardner Water District has new water pump

GARDNER- Working quickly to push forward repairs on a decaying Gardner water system, Huerfano County Commissioners had crews install a new water pump on Tuesday, June 7.  After the new pump and valves were installed it took about 48 hours for crews to bring water levels up and pressurize the lines.

    Since taking over the Gardner Water and Sanitation District last month, the commissioners have ensured that proper chlorination and necessary testing is being done to bring Gardner’s water quality in line with state specifications.

WB City Administrator’s contract buyout on the table

WALSENBURG-  The city’s budget woes continue, and the measures taken to alleviate the pressure have reduced the city workforce. Twelve city employees, including two police officers, along with the former police chief, have been laid off in the last half year.   As a result, anger has risen focused on the city’s administration.

    When Alan Hein began as City Administrator, he worked on restoring the city’s budget to a reality-based modified accrual system, something that former administrations had failed to do.  This failure contributed in part to the current budget crisis.  The current situation highlights the necessity of having at least one professional on the city’s staff experienced in the establishing realistic budgets.

Vigil resigns as Finance Director

WALSENBURG- The often beleagured Finance Director for the city of Walsenburg has resigned.  Krystel Vigil announced she was stepping down last Wednesday, making Thursday her last day.  She had enough vacation and sick time available to leave immediately.

DA presents probable cause in Gross prelim

WALSENBURG- Assistant District Attorney Geoff Watson made his pitch to 3rd District Court Judge, Claude Appel, convincing Appel on Thursday, June 17, that the state has enough evidence to show probable cause in charging Boyd Gross with the attempted murder of his wife Donna Gross last April.

District Attorney’s office burglarized

WALSENBURG- The District Attorney’s new offices in Walsenburg were broken into twice last week, on Tuesday and Wednesday.  A person or persons entered at night, possibly using a key, as there was no sign of forced entry.

Domestic Violence leads to shots fired

NAVAJO- John Nathan Pino of Navajo is under arrest after allegedly beating his wife and firing shots at his father-in-law’s house.

    On Wednesday, June 16, Pino is alleged to have beaten his wife, who fled their home to an undisclosed location.  The police were alerted, and an arrest warrant for Pino was issued.  On Sunday, June 20, Pino, who had gone underground, returned to their home and waited for his wife to return. After several hours, he decided to go see if she was at her father’s home, also in Navajo.

Medano Fire spreads into Huerfano County

    Last Thursday, many Huerfano County residents noticed an enormous plume of smoke appearing to come from the Sangres.  It was from a wildfire in the Medano Pass area inside the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve.  Thursday′s high winds propelled the smoke cloud and debris, making it difficult to locate its source visually.  However the fire is 25 miles northeast of Alamosa and 15 miles west of Westcliffe.

Congressman Salazar announces $215,842 in funding for affordable housing in Walsenburg

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Congressman John Salazar has announced that $215,842 has been allocated for the Walsenburg Housing Authority. The funding will be used to maintain and upgrade 129 public housing units in Huerfano County.

 

JULY

La Veta recycle bins torched

LA VETA- Vandals struck again in La Veta last Saturday morning.  At approximately 2:30am, the recycling bins on Ryus Ave were attacked.  The newspaper bins were all set on fire, and the glass recycle bin was knocked over, with the bottles smashed on the parking lot of the Post Office next door.

Petkoff exonerated- Walsenburg Police officer will not face charges stemming from fatal shooting of Armando Gallegos

District Attorney Frank Ruybalid submitted his final report on the Armando Gallegos shooting.

My review compels the conclusion that Ofc. Petkoff was justified in the use of force which resulted in Mr. Gallegos’ death, and that a lesser degree of force was not immediately available to the officer at the moment.

Old Blind Dogs rock the Fox

WALSENBURG- Last Thursday evening Walsenburg’s Fox Theatre was practically filled with fans of the “Old Blind Dogs,” one of Scotland’s most highly touted traditional folk bands.  The concert was to benefit the upcoming Celtic Music Festival, a tradition in this area.

    The Old Blind Dogs offered their special blend of traditional Celtic, Scottish, and contemporary music.  Many of the songs were original, and the crowd responded with applause, clapping, foot-stomping, cheering and even autograph seeking.

City councilman berated

over loan

WALSENBURG- The Walsenburg City Council voted in a special meeting last Wednesday to discontinue the practice of allowing employees the opportunity to borrow money against future paychecks.  The long time practice was initially set up to allow new employees the opportunity to purchase things necessary in doing their job.  It evolved into loans for personal needs, but the City has never lost any money because the amount borrowed would always be covered in a last check should an employee quit or be let go.  It was not a widespread practice but was available if employees wanted it.

James England resigns

from City Council

WALSENBURG- In the end, it was almost anti-climatic.  Walsenburg City Councilman and Mayor Pro-Tem James England, after a long executive session, announced he was resigning from the Council as of midnight August 18.  He is giving up his seat as Finance Chairman immediately.

Cuchara Dog Trot

a runaway success

CUCHARA—A beautiful, crisp July 3rd morning greeted approximately 200 combined runners for the 19th annual 1.1 mile Cuchara Valley Recreation Program and the inaugural Dog Trot 5K race. Proceeds for both events went to the benefit of the Cuchara Valley Recreation Program. Due to a scheduling conflict, the two races were merged and it seemed everyone had a good time, runners and dogs alike.

    The two races began at the Cuchara Community Center, which was also the end point for the Fun Runners. For the 50 people and their dogs running the 5K dog trot, the course continued another two miles along Highway 12 and finished in front of the Dog Bar.

4th of July Rodeo

LA VETA- Ill tempered bulls, skittish sheep, feisty wild broncs, non-country music, and injuries were the highlights of the July 3 rodeo at the fairgrounds in La Veta.  Several gasps came from the audience as bulls and broncs tried to climb out of chutes, and riders took hard falls.

Petroglyph set to move

on reinjection

WALSENBURG— With approval from the state’s Division of Water Resources on Tuesday, July 13, Petroglyph Operating Company, Inc. is set to begin re-injecting up to 42,000 gallons of water per day into the Poison Canyon Formation to recharge the aquifers there.

Aguilar Board taps Wiggins

to be new Town Marshal

AGUILAR- Aguilar’s Town Board has named Walsenburg native, John Wiggins to serve as the new Town Marshal.  Sources at Aguilar’s Town Hall said the Board interviewed three candidates for the position several weeks ago.  They originally netted four applicants (1 from Farmington, 2 from Walsenburg, and 1 from Pueblo), but only three interviewed.  Aguilar officials chose John Wiggins over the other candidates due to his experience, certification in Law Enforcement, and his genuine desire to be a part of their promising community.

Groundbreaking for new

wastewater treatment plant

WALSENBURG- The groundbreaking for the new wastewater treatment plant for Walsenburg is being held today at 1 pm.  The long awaited project will be built near the CCA prison and waste transfer station.

    The 5.3 million dollar project has been in the works for a number of years. 

Huerfanos raise $27,000

in fight against cancer

LA VETA- The annual Huerfano County Relay for Life walkathon honors Huerfano residents who have survived or passed away from cancer.  Eighteen teams comprised of approxiately 245 walkers took part last Friday night through Saturday morning at the La Veta High School football field.

    It′s a solemn walk for the most part.  But to break up the monotony, fun laps such as walking backward along with costume contests made the early morning hours more bearable.

John Nathan Pino

released on $10,500 bond

WALSENBURG- After making his appearance on Monday, July 12, the man accused of  attempted first degree murder was able to post a $10,500 bond but still must comply with a protection order that keeps him away from Elizabeth Mercier-Pino and Jason Mercier, the two victims in the case.

Cuchara Hermosa Art Show

a traditional treat!

CUCHARA- For over 40 years, the Cuchara Hermosa Art Show has been an annual event.  This year, the show exhibited original fine art paintings, photographs, mixed media, pottery, sculpture, and jewelry.

Huerfano County Trail

Master Plan on track

HUERFANO- The preliminary report  and demonstration of the interactive GIS  web site of proposed Huerfano County trails was presented Monday to the trails committee.  The National Park Service GIS division digitized the proposed trails drawn on paper by the Huerfano County Trails committee in April.

AUGUST

Hippie Days a success

GARDNER- “Hippie Days” was an unqualified success.  Just wanted to make sure this particular point  was presented without a trace of doubt.  The weather wasn′t too extreme and the rain that fell really just added a fun “Woodstock” twist to the festivities. Far from extinguishing the celebratory spark, the rain became an enticement for many to dance in the deluge as others made new friends while huddling under the many sheltering umbrellas and booths.  No, I′d be hard pressed to pick metaphorical nits from this event’s wooly tresses.

Bovine TB decimates

local dairy

HUERFANO- Corsentino suffered a blow several weeks ago when one of his head of cattle was tested positive for TB at a slaughter house.  When something like that happens, USDA and the State Veterinarian come into the facility and test all animals.  If TB is discovered, the facility has two options:  Option 1 is to get rid of all responders (the cows that “responded” to the TB test) and test every 6 months until there are no responders.

City Council doom and gloom

WALSENBURG- The Walsenburg Finance Meeting was full of doom and gloom that poured over into the city council meeting on Tuesday night.

    The city’s financial situation and reports were questioned, as were cost overruns on the Martin Lake Valve project, costs for the turn lane and building of a retaining wall for the new grocery store.  Few answers were available.

Alan Hein resigns as Walsenburg City Administrator

WALSENBURG- As of Mon. Aug. 9, Alan Hein is no longer working for the city of Walsenburg as City Administrator.  He resigned because of health issues he has been dealing with over the past several months.  The City Council accepted Hein’s resignation on a 6-0 vote during a special meeting on Mon. Aug. 9.

City going back to

five day work week

WALSENBURG- The Walsenburg City Council has voted 7-2 to return to a 5-day work week later this month.  Employees were divided about 50-50 on whether they preferred staying with the 4-day week at 10 hours per day or the 5-day week of eight hours

Gardner’s annual

Chuckwagon draws a crowd, reunites families

GARDNER- Parked cars, trucks and SUVs filled every nook and cranny in Gardner and foot traffic made driving a game of looking everywhere at once as vehicles crawled through the northwest Huerfano County town on Sat. Aug. 7.  The grounds were packed with hungry visitors in the area of the Gardner Methodist Church.  “…we’ve served about 550 to 600 people today so far,” said Sherry Freese a Chuckwagon board member.

4-H in Huerfano County

LA VETA- The Huerfano County Fairgrounds is a happening place this weekend.  The annual exhibits of 4-H projects are on display through Sunday at the 4-H building at Moore Ave. and Walnut in La Veta.  They include foods, hand crafted items, hobby sports, and educational story boards which the students have worked on since last fall. 

    “The kids we are helping here today – that’s the future,” said auctioneer John Campbell as he started things off at Sunday’s 4-H Market Livestock Sale in La Veta.  Bidding was lively and the crowd was respectably large, as the community turned out to support the efforts of Huerfano County’s 4-H youth.

Four-Season Resort 

coming to Cuchara

CUCHARA- With the stroke of a pen, events have been set in motion that will transform the aging and dilapidated Cuchara Mountain Resort into a four seasons recreational venue.  It will include a new hotel and conference center, a new restaurant, and a large lake at the base area, along with a mountain coaster, a zip lines course, a tubing hill and other year round recreational programs and outdoor educational opportunities for kids and adults.

    And for the first time since the resort was created in the late 1970′s, the property will be completely in the hands of local citizens and a local governing board.

    It has been over ten years since the resort was operational.  It closed abruptly on July 5, 2000.  Since then, the property has sat vacant and buildings have deteriorated from the effects of weather and vandalism.

City Council seeks emergency management help

WALSENBURG- The Walsenburg City Council invited Lee Merkle of the Department of Local Affairs to their finance meeting Monday night to assist them with some of their challenges.  Currently, they are without an administrator and finance director and they don’t know where they stand financially.

City hires new

finance director

WALSENBURG- The City of Walsenburg hired a new finance director to replace Krystel Vigil who resigned two months ago.  David G. Johnston was hired over seven applicants for the position.  Johnston and his wife currently live in Pueblo but are planning to relocate to Walsenburg.

Another city official resigns

WALSENBURG- Another city official is jumping ship and more could follow.  City Clerk Lori Sheldon tendered her resignation and will be leaving in the near future.  Sheldon was voted in by the city council as city clerk in January and also did other work for the city in the utility department.  She has been employed with the City of Walsenburg for about four years.

Stonewall Century Ride

is huge success

LA Veta – The 2010 Stonewall Century Ride is in the books with 370 registered riders competing against their personal best in the event last Saturday.

    This is the eighth year for the ride, which takes cyclists from the La Veta Town Park, up the scenic Highway of Legends over Cucharas Pass to the town of Segundo 51 miles away in Las Animas County.  Riders enjoy a lunch break before returning over the same route back to La Veta.

County Jailers’ anger

can’t be contained

WALSENBURG- In a confrontation with Huerfano County detention officers over pay and compensation county commissioners brought up the possibility of either spending money on upgrades to the current jail or closing it down.

    “Conditions in the jail have been surveyed and it will cost the county $1.6 million to bring it up to par and that’s money the county doesn’t have.  Or we can close the jail,” County Commission Chairman Art Bobian said.

SEPTEMBER

Mock disaster proves community ready for most anything

WALSENBURG- “What happened!” several people exclaimed as they came across the road blocks, smoke and apparently injured people lying under a leaking tanker truck last Thursday morning.  The realistic scene fooled a lot of people and got high marks for accuracy from the emergency responders at the scene.  Huerfano County stages a mock disaster each year as part of a continuing effort to improve emergency services in the area. 

All-Class reunion a great success

WALSENBURG-  Last Saturday’s second annual All School, All Class Reunion was a big success.  Over 250 people participated, coming from all over the United States and Colorado to catch up with old friends, dine, dance and visit their hometown of Walsenburg.

    The evening included a silent auction, organized by Toni (Garbizo) Wallace, WHS 1965.  Proceeds from the auction are awarded to local individuals or organizations for their community service efforts that have positively impacted Walsenburg.  This year, the award went to Gaye Davis, grant writer for Huerfano Re-1 School District. 

Cuchara Valley Recreational Foundation releases business plan

CUCHARA- Organizers of the Cuchara Mountain Resort Project have released the details of their business plan and additional documents for the public to review.  The business plan and other documents can be found at the project′s website at www.cucharavalley.org/ cucharamtnresort.html.

La Veta ‘skins’ Bobcats

in homecoming game

LA VETA- The La Veta Redskins came alive to dismantle the Manzanola Bobcats, 64-19 in last Friday’s homecoming game in La Veta.

Major drug bust in county

HUERFANO- This time of the year the trees are turning from green to gold and the grasses from green to brown.  However, the Cannabis, better known as marijuana,  turns an almost fluorescent green before it goes to brown, making it highly visible.  With this in mind, Huerfano County Sheriff Bruce Newman and his deputies take to the air every fall expecting to locate stashes and crops in various parts of the county.

    For several weeks before September 14, deputies specially trained in aerial marijuana spotting were flying areas of Huerfano County looking for the illegal crops.  Their work came to fruition just days before September 14.  Deputy Sergeant Milan Rapo located a large crop of suspected marijuana at a rural location not far outside of Gardner.

Two Rivers Water

offers to buy city land

WALSENBURG- Local rancher and realtor John Stroh approached the Finance Committee of the city of Walsenburg on Monday night on behalf of one of his companies, Two Rivers Water, about purchasing the ranch property the city owns east of Walsenburg.  The city purchased the property, often referred to as the Corsentino ranch, earlier this decade for the water rights.

Water Conservancy District

augmentation plans

finally approved

HUERFANO- The Huerfano County Water Conservancy District Water Activity Enterprise was notified on September 7 that its Substitute Water Supply Plan (SWSP) was approved by the Division of Water Resources, State Engineer’s Office.  The Enterprise submitted the application for the Plan on June 2, 2009, and has been operating the Plan “as though it were approved,” while it made its way from desk to desk through the approval bureaucracy.

Cordova Wind Farm final

app approved

WALSENBURG- E.ON Climate and Renewables received final approval on their application from the Huerfano County Board of County Commissioners on Wednesday that will allow them to proceed on the development of a proposed wind farm to be built on the Cordova Mesa.

OCTOBER

Oktoberfest a success

LA VETA- The La Veta Oktoberfest was rocking with their traditional Oompah band, serenading the crowds as they streamed back and forth on Main St. from the beer garden to the auto show.  Beautiful weather and large crowds made the day a great success.

City sets date for Town Hall meeting on $500,000 shuffle

WALSENBURG- The Walsenburg City Council voted 8-0 approving a second reading of Ordinance 996.  This decision will allow the city of Walsenburg to put a question on the November 2 ballot asking voters to decide whether the city can use the final $500,000 dollars from the Power  trust fund in order to pay an unfunded portion of the Waste Water Treatment Facility (WWTF) construction costs.

SPACe Gallery expansion

groundbreaking ceremony

LA VETA- Back in 2005 the SPACe Board began planning and raising funds for building improvements and expansion. Since that time, we’ve lost 3 key people—Pat Newell and Nancy Culbreath moved away and Diane Buchanan succumbed to cancer. The reason we pursued expanding the building was because we desperately needed more storage area. The Building also needed to be re-stuccoed and the trim painted. Before we could start any expansion plans though, we had to renew the lease with the Town and clarify ownership of the building. The Town required a survey be done to match the terms of the past lease. The result of the survey was that we learned we had more land available for expansion than we knew.

    Now, after 4 years of planning, fundraising, and obtaining required permits and documents, SPACe has broken ground on its building expansion. In addition to the much needed storage space, there will be an ADA acceptable restroom, a separate kitchen area, and upgraded electrical wiring and plumbing in this first phase of construction. The construction will be completed for the Gift of Art Show, with the least amount of disruption in the gallery operation.

Eccher gains

experience at State

EATON, CO- John Mall Panther, Justin Eccher (Junior) competed at the 2010 State high school golf tournament this past Monday and Tuesday held at the Eaton Country club. Eccher competed against 84 other golfers from the 2-3A ranks shooting a 13 over par 84 on the first day and a 7 over par 78 for a two day combined score of 162 to tie for 49th place in this competitive tournament. Eccher′s putting game was off as he could not drop his putts which placed him in the middle of the pack after day one and out of contention.  This was Eccher′s first state tournament.  Congratulations to Justin and his representation of John Mall High School.

Recall petition for Dawn Blanken misfires

LA VETA- Last Wednesday, a group of five people filed a petition with the La Veta Town Clerk Nancy Culbreath to begin recall proceedings against Town Trustee Dawn Blanken.

    Kelly Popejoy, Mac McAnally, Don Lowell and Jim and Jeanne Keffeler are the committee that filed the paperwork.

    Blanken was elected in 2008 to a four-year term, and so was not up for re-election in the last turbulent cycle where both Lowell and McAnally lost.

    The petition accuses Blanken of gross misconduct in office and failing to uphold the duties of a Trustee.

    The recall group however, did not dot their i’s and cross their t’s, so to speak.  Their petition was filled out incorrectly, and needed to be re-submited to the Town Clerk for the process to be legitimate.  The recall group resubmitted this Tuesday morning, and it was officially received.

Panthers off to best start in over a decade

ROCKY FORD- The eighth-ranked John Mall Panthers soundly defeated the Rocky Ford Meloneers last Friday, 28-7, to secure first place in the Santa Fe League, staying a game ahead of Rye.  They will meet Rye the last game of the season, likely to determine the league championship.

Tannahill Weavers transport Walsenburg audience to the Scottish Highlands for one night

WALSENBURG- A chilly Wednesday the 13th brought the Tannahill Weavers to the La Plaza Inn in Walsenburg for what will likely be the last Celtic concert of the year.  The room just off the lobby, was filled to capacity by show time as the band kicked off a spirited show.

More Bovine TB in Huerfano herds

HUERFANO-Apparently there have been other cattle in Huerfano County that tested positive for bovine tuberculosis (BTB) in 2010.  According to Dr. Keith Roehr with the State Veterinarian’s Office, one other small local herd tested positive and has been depopulated.  The owner of the herd had purchased a calf from the Corsentino dairy.  Roehr said the State Vet’s Office is, as a process of “due diligence,” conducting assurance testing for BTB on several herds in Huerfano County which took in Corsentino calves.  He added, “Right now there are no other cases in Huerfano County that have been confirmed.

La Veta Town Board  opposes LATN and ballot questions

LA VETA– At its meeting on October 18, the La Veta Town Board discussed the low altitude tactical navigation (LATN) training area which has been proposed for Southern Colorado. 

Gary Sporcich fills Walsenburg council seat

WALSENBURG- Gary Sporcich was selected as the new Ward 2 council member by the Walsenburg City Council on a 6-2 vote with council members Sylvana Lind and James Moore voting no.

Fire hydrant inspection fails half of the hydrants checked

WALSENBURG— Two inspections conducted by the Huerfano County Fire Department on 45 fire hydrants around the city shows that half, or 23, of the fire hydrants have moderate to severe problems.  Of the 23 needing attention 11 failed testing and are considered unsuitable for emergency operations.  And one hydrant was missing from its location at 8th and Main streets.

Panthers dominate Trojans at Homecoming

WALSENBURG- The John Mall Panthers crushed the visiting Las Animas Trojans 41-7 before the largest crowd of the season to maintain their place atop the Santa Fe League, tied with the Rye Thunderbolts.  A victory Saturday sets up the showdown with the Bolts to determine the league champion.

Redskins claim football league title

LA VETA- The La Veta Redskins defeated the Sanford Indians 46 to 26, but the score was not truly indicative of how the game was played.  Before the action took place, the Redskin players and cheerleaders gave special recognition to their parents.

 

Cool Water:  HCWCD to protest Petroglyph water right purchase application

WALSENBURG- ”This all looks like a grab for Huerfano County’s water,”  Huerfano County Water Conservancy District board member Kent Mace said during the regular monthly meeting of the county’s water conservancy board on Monday, Oct 25. 

LaVeta Inn and Francisco′s Restaurant under new ownership

LA VETA-  The LaVeta Inn and Francisco′s Restaurant on West Ryus Avenue in La Veta is under new ownership and management as of this week.

    The historic hotel features 18 rooms and suites, a lounge and bar, and an intimate courtyard for summertime dining.  New owner Kurt Ruess has announced that Alys Romer will be the new Chef, in charge of Franciso′s Restaurant beginning this week. Romer formerly owned Alys′ Fireside Restaurant for many years in Walsenburg.

NOVEMBER

Election results

WALSENBURG– After a long, mean, ugly and expensive election, we can finally look up, scrape the mud off and see who won what.  Starting at the local level: County Commissioner Art Bobian, Assessor Louise ‘Chuky’ Sandoval, Clerk Judy Benine, Treasurer Debra Reynolds, Sheriff Bruce Newman and Coroner Della Duran all ran unopposed, and were re-elected.

Blanken recall effort loses eight more names

LA VETA- As of presstime Wednesday, eight more names were removed from the Dawn Blanken recall effort for being improperly gathered, leaving just 82 names officially on the list- nine short of the required number to begin the recall and new elections.  The recall committe still has until Nov. 8 to come up with the extra nine names.

City opposes Petroglyph application for Coler Ditch water

WALSENBURG– The city council voted 9-0 to oppose an application by Petroglyph filed at Division Two Water Court in September to purchase 1/60th water right in the Coler Ditch. 

    “We have senior water rights in the ditch and any change of water rights there could affect ours, so the city council voted to oppose the application by Petroglyph because of the concern we have for our decree,”  Interim City Administrator Donald Saling explained.

New grocery store owners concerned with delays

WALSENBURG-  The owners of the new grocery store being built in Walsenburg, Hugh and Denise Brown, have expressed concerns about city delays in getting some of the necessary work done so that they can open in mid-December of this year.

Walsenburg prison may reopen in 2012

WALSENBURG- It’s not a sure thing, but the CCA prison based in  Walsenburg could be reopened in 2012. Late last week, CCA circulated a letter to employees across the country telling about the latest developments going on with their facilities.

Two Walsenburg residents  found dead in their home

WALSENBURG- Police performed a welfare check on a house on Pinon street Monday evening Nov. 8, and found the occupants dead in separate rooms.  Apparantly, they had been dead three to four weeks.  It initially appears that there was no foul play involved, but the Walsenburg PD has called in the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.

    The only clue as to what might have happened was that the residence had been ‘red-tagged’ the prior month, and their utilities had been shut off.

Lady Redskins are state bound

LA VETA– Pueblo County high school was a battleground.  The roads to the state volleyball tournament left from there.  Only two teams would emerge from this battle as victors and be awarded a trip to the State 2A Volleyball Tournament in Denver tomorrow.  The La Veta lady Redskins proved to be worthy of the challenge, and they earned a state qualifier berth.  As they have all season, the Redskins showed determination, character, and great pride in this tightly contested tournament.

Aguilar Marshal John Wiggins found dead

AGUILAR- Aguilar’s new Town Marshal, John Wiggins (31) passed away this weekend at his home in Aguilar.  Wiggins, a Southern Colorado native was tapped by the Town Board to serve as marshal last July and was doing a wonderful job by all accounts.  According to sources at Aguilar Town Hall, Wiggins “would help anybody in need of anything,” and “he was always up on things.”

Blanken recall fails

LA VETA– La Veta Town Clerk Nancy Culbreath informed the parties involved in the recall effort for Town Trustee Dawn Blanken, that the recall effort has been deemed insufficient.

    In a letter released to the press, Culbreath states: “This is to notify you that the recall petition re-filed in my office on November 5, 2010 is found to be insufficient.  Ninety-one (91) registered electors are required for this recall petition.

Redskins lose in Final Four

DENVER- The La Veta Redskins represented their school, town and Huerfano County with charm, physical athleticism and courage at the 2010 State Volleyball Tournament and walked away after they marched into the final four.

    La Veta’s last visit to the state tournament was in 2007 when current seniors, Christina Koutnik and Sami Willhoite were freshman.  Betsy Trenckmann and Cara Campbell served as statisticians that year.  La Veta made the final four then, but lost their first match to finish third at state.  The four seniors are now team leaders who helped the team to an undefeated