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Briefs for May 8, 2008

Mining Museum open all week 

WALSENBURG- With changing displays and new books, the Walsenburg Mining Museum is now open seven days a week.

    Alton Tirey, rancher and banker, was an important benefactor for the Huerfano County Historical Society, the parent group for the museum.  A current display features his life- saddles from his ranching days, a mounted bighorn sheep head, furniture and quilts and family photos.

    A recreated room from a coal miner′s house occupies another cell in the 1896 jail, which houses the museum.  The 1915 oak dresser, treadle sewing machine, old radio brings back life in the coal camps.  Not least is the baseball and  bat, symbols of the great baseball teams each coal camp fielded and which led to intense rivalry.  A national baseball commissioner, Ford Frick, left a Walsenburg teaching postion to become a sports writer and later baseball commissioner.  Reminders of the Coalannas, miners′ wives using rags to weave useful items, adds to the display.

    New to the gift shop is the book Blood Passion by Scott Martelle – a vivid description of the class war between the large corporations owning local coal mines and the coal miners and their unions.  Descriptions of the Walsenburg battles are recreated by the writer, a Los Angeles Times reporter.

    Hours for the museum are 10 to 4 Monday through Friday; 10 to 1 on Saturday; and 1 to 4 on Sunday.  Volunteers to guide visitors are always welcome or to help with filing and classifying documents. Margaret Gleisberg is chair of the board and Ben Ree is chair of volunteer docents.

Coal Mining Heritage Meeting

WALSENBURG- The first two open meetings were an enthusiastic success.

    There will be a follow up meeting for those interested in Huerfano County′s coal mining heritage on Tuesday May 13, 10 am at Walsenburg′s library to set some plans for the project′s promotion in our communities and in the Celtic Festival.  Everyone is welcome!

Republican women

LA VETA- Huerfano County Republican Women will meet  on Friday May 16th  at the Blue Rooster Restaurant in La Veta  for their regular meeting at 12:30 pm.   Please plan on attending and invite someone to join you.  Call  738-3582  for reservations by May 13.  

Heading north? Stay home!

PUEBLO COUNTY– The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is starting a 16-mile paving project on I-25 between Pueblo and Walsenburg. 

        Beginning in mid to late June, north and southbound I-25 will be reduced to a single lane at various locations from just north of the Huerfano/Pueblo county line (mile 69.5) to Cedarwood (mile 85.5) between 6 am and 7 pm, Monday through Friday.  The speed limit will be reduced to 45 mph, and vehicles wider than 14 feet also will be restricted from traveling through the area during project hours.

    No work will take place during the Memorial and Independence Day holidays and during the State Fair, August 22-25 and August 29- Sept. 1, which includes Labor Day weekend.

    Work is scheduled to be done by late November 2008.  Traffic information about this or other CDOT projects is available at or by calling 511.

Expanding SPACe

LA VETA- The Board of Directors of SPACe is excited about plans to expand the gallery building. A meeting will be held Thursday, May 15 at 7 pm at the SPACe Gallery, 132 W. Ryus, to form a Finance Committee. This is an opportunity to be involved in this significant addition to the community on the ground floor level. Any community member who feels that support of the arts is valuable should consider joining the gathering.

Photographers wanted

LA VETA- Area photographers are invited to enter the upcoming 2008 Photography Show sponsored by the Spanish Peaks Arts Council.  Cash awards will be presented to winners in three categories: Color Photography, Black and White Photography, and Digitally Enhanced Photography. The judge for the show is professional photographer, Paul Alhadef.  Entries must be hand delivered to the SPACe Gallery, 132 W. Ryus, on Sun. May 18 between noon and 2 pm.  All entered photographs must be framed with a wire on the back. Nothing over 36" wide (including the outside of the frame) will be accepted. For more information, visit and click on 2008 Schedule. Then click on Photography Show.  An entry form may be downloaded. Or call the gallery, 719 742-3074 Tues., Thurs., or Saturday, between 10 am – 3 pm.

Remove Russian Olives and get a free parks pass

WALSENBURG-  Volunteers are welcome to participate in an invasive tree removal project this Saturday, May 10, from 8 am-12pm at Lathrop State Park.  Help is needed by volunteers to use chainsaws to cut Russian Olive trees or haul branches from the work site.  Meet at the Visitor Center at 8:00 am.   Lunch and beverages will be provided.  Participants are encouraged to wear long sleeves, sturdy shoes, and bring their own gloves if they have them. 

    Lathrop will host ongoing Russian Olive removal projects the second Saturday of every month through September to continue to eradicate this invasive tree from the park and to open more shoreline access for fishing.  Volunteers who would like to participate can sign up by calling Stacey Lewis at 738-2376 ext. 101 or e-mail  Volunteers who work 48 hours or more at state parks are eligible to receive a free annual state parks pass. 

Boat safety 

WALSENBURG-  Fourteen and fifteen year-olds can operate a motorboat in Colorado only if they have completed a boat safety course, such as the course offered by Colorado State Parks.  A boating safety course will be held at Lathrop State Park’s Visitor Center this Thursday, May 8th from 6-8 pm.  Adults who wish to brush up on boat operating skills or safety tips are also welcome to attend this class.    

    Students can register  course by calling 303-791-1954 or sending e-mail to Include your name, address, contact phone number, date of birth, mailing address, number of manuals needed, and the location and date of the course you are interested in attending. 

    Boat operator cards will be issued to students who attend the course and pass the final exam with a score of 70 percent or more.   Students must bring a $15 registration fee and a 1-by-1-inch photo, which will be laminated onto their operator card.

    Directions to Lathrop State Park: From I-25, go west 3 miles on Highway 160 from Walsenburg. 

Banners for Main 

LA VETA- The La Veta School of the Arts is looking for new art for Main Street in La Veta.  Anyone who would like to design and  paint a banner is welcome to submit a design.  A small fee of $40 will cover all costs for paint and a blank banner.  Group painting will be held the last week of May at the art school.  If you’re interested, please call 719-742-3421 or e-mail

Pesticide Training

PUEBLO- CSU Extension in Pueblo is offering Private Pesticide Applicator Training on Fri. May 16 from 9 am – 4 pm.  The fee is $50 and includes materials.  Pre-registration by May 14 is encouraged but walk-ins are welcome.  More information can be obtained by contacting Colorado State University Extension– Pueblo County at 583-6566. 

Conservation board to meet

WALSENBURG- The Board of Supervisors of the Upper Huerfano Conservation District will meet at 5:30 pm on Thurs. May 15, 2008 at  711 Walsen Ave. Suite A,  Walsenburg. The meeting is open to the public.

Gardner Fun Days

GARDNER- The second annual Gardner Fun Days will be held Memorial Day weekend, May 24 and 25. The event is hosted by Grandpa Joe’s General Store and Sacred Heart Catholic Church.  Music will be provided by the Silver Eagle Band from 1 -5 both days, and Papa Joe’s will be cooking up barbeque.   Booth space is for rent on the church parking lot for $15, or free for non-profits.  To rent space, contact Paul Selle at 746-0180 at Papa Joe’s General Store. 

    Sacred Heart will host a yard and bake sale on Saturday the 24th. Donations of items for the sale may be brought to the church any Sunday before or after 8 am Mass, or at 8 am on sale day.  You  may also call Gloria Payne at 746-2013 to arrange pick up for both yard and bake sale items.

    On Sunday May 25, Sacred Heart Church is hosting a FREE commuity breakfast with Mass to follow at noon.  Everyone is welcome.  Volunteers are needed- call Payne or Selle to sign up.

Deadline for 4-H royalty contest

WALSENBURG- The Huerfano County Fair Board will be sponsoring a contest to choose the royalty for the 2008 fair.  The contest will be held on Wed. June 11, 5 pm at the Huerfano County fairgrounds in La Veta.  The deadline to enter will be May 15, and applications may be picked up at the CSU Extension office in Walsenburg, or call Terri Smart at 738-1969.  Full contest rules are posted in Extra! on


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