• aerial-silk
    Aerial silk performers rang in the New Year at the Fox Theatre
  • train-derailment
    Icy conditions caused these rail cars to derail right by the courthouse in Walsenburg
  • truck-on-fire
    High winds flipped over this 18-wheeler north of Walsenburg on Monday, Jan. 5
  • santa-photo-template
    Santa rides in to La Veta with the help of the LVFPD
  • sugar-plums-photo-template
    Sugar plum fairies perform the Nutcracker at Washington school this holiday season
  • website-muertos-2
    El Fandango dancer performing for Dia de los Muertos
  • website-WH-bull
    Western Heritage Days parade in Walsenburg
  • website-muertos-1
    El Fandango dancers performing La Bruha for Dia de los Muertos
  • website-bra-bombing
    Main St. in Walsenburg was 'bra bombed' to raise awareness of October being Breast Cancer month.
  • website-breast-cancer-bra
    Main St. in Walsenburg was 'bra bombed' to raise awareness of October being Breast Cancer month.
  • website-slide-rule-salute
    Former math teacher Don Kynion gets a 'slide rule salute' as comes up to the podium to receive his Spanish Peaks Legends award.
  • website-Don-Kynion-group
    Don Kynion and part of his fan club at the Black Tie Gala on Saturday, Oct. 18
  • website-celtic-players
    The Colorado Celtic Connection, a one-night-only band at the Spanish Peaks International Celtic Music Festival
  • website-celtic-concert
    Celtic concert with a latin flair at the Fox Theater during the Celtic Music Festival
  • website-Barb-Tonya
    Barbara Yule and Tonya Perkins at the end of Yule's one-woman play, "For tomorrow we may die" , performed by Perkins at the end of the Celtic Music Festival.
  • website-artocade-dragon-2013
    Spike, the Big Red Dragon, from Trinidad's ArtoCade
  • website-artocade-rolly
    Another cool conveyance at the Artocade in Trinidad
  • website-suspect-arrest
  • website-carlos-nunez
    Carlos Nunez performing at Uptop
  • website-cowboys-riding-hard
  • website-Annie-Sporleder
    2014 Senior 4-H Queen Annie Sporleder in the arena
  • website-cowboys-sunset
  • website-cowboys-herding
  • Smokey-4-mile-canyon
    Emergency crews on the road of Four Mile Canyon in Blackhawk
  • house-fire-web
    An early Tuesday morning house fire at 520 Colorado in Walsenburg.

Panthers send 5 to state, Miners send 1

RYE, FLORENCE — It was a weekend of tough competition in the 2A and 3A Regional Tournaments. Across the state there were several upsets and surprises for some teams as the 2015 state wrestling brackets were set. Sixteen young men and young women will look for glory and a championship in their respective weight classes, spread among the 2A-5A ranks. The five John Mall wrestlers and one Trinidad Miner who qualified for state are four wins away from claiming a state championship. At the 2A–CHSAA Region 2 tournament in Rye, Jonathan Andreatta, at 113 pounds, Adam Bobian at 145 and Andrew Vigil at 220 were crowned as Regional Champions. Two other Panthers, Jason Murphy at 195 and Dylan Crump at 285 placed third and earned their spot at state. In the 3A tournament, Justin Maldonado, who wrestled at 113 pounds, placed third and will represent his school at state as the lone Trinidad Miner. The Panthers also had three other wrestlers place at the Regional Tournament. None of these wrestlers had a chance of a wrestle back in the brackets because they had a previous loss to the fourth place finisher, thus eliminating any chance of a state placement for them. The only chance of a fifth place finisher going to state would be if one of the top four drop out for any reason, which is not a likely scenario. The following three Panthers all placed fifth. Tim Pacheco, at 126, Trystan Estrada at 132 and Zane Barber at 170 competed well but fell short in advancing. According to Coach Vialpando, “It would of been nice to get a few more guys into the state tournament but, overall, I feel everyone wrestled well. Our region is tough this year and will be represented well at the state tournament.  Most of our draws at state are pretty decent. However, it’s the state tournament so you have to expect tough matches. That’s what makes it exciting and fun to compete in.” The Trinidad Miners had three placers in their region: Brandon Lucero placed 6th at 106 pounds, Jared Smith placed 6th at 126 and Chase Cortez, 6th at 195. For more details about the day’s action, see related stories.

George Tomsco, an original Fireball

RATON — George Tomsco grew up in Raton, New Mexico and became world famous with his band, The Fireballs. He was born and raised in Raton and has one sister, Alberta. His father ran a Conoco service station and he worked there part time when he was a teenager. Tomsco was always interested in music and in 1957, while still in high school, he started a rock and roll band. They never had music lessons; all the band members learned by ear. The Fireballs had a unique, popular sound, and they performed in the Raton High School to standing ovations. After high school, Tomsco attended the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in Socorro. He really wasn’t interested in school because he had always wanted to be a musician but didn’t know how to get into the business. The Fireballs continued to play on weekends in local clubs. One day someone heard him playing a home recorded acetate and remarked that the band should record their music. They auditioned for Norman Petty who owned a famous recording studio in Clovis, New Mexico. Petty liked their style and this started their career. In 1959 the Fireballs recorded their first release, Petty negotiated a contract for the group and they never looked back. In 1960 the Fireballs appeared on the Dick Clark Show and American Bandstand. Tomsco said that meeting Dick Clark was a great experience and this really helped their career. They recorded many albums in the next several years. In 1963 they brought singer Jimmy Gilmer

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Candelario pleads not guilty in wife’s murder

Summer 2015 trial date set

WALSENBURG — Defense attorney Dariel Weaver entered a not guilty plea for her client Ralph Candelario Tuesday in a formal arraignment hearing in district court. The defendant remained silent during the short hearing, appearing in a yellow Huerfano County Jail jump suit flanked by his counsel, Weaver and Patrick McCarville, both of the state public defender’s office. Special prosecutors for the 3rd Judicial District Attorney’s Office Ryan Brackley and Matthew Durkin appeared for the people before District Judge Claude Appel. Judge Appel set a two week jury trial to begin July 27 and continue through August 7, 2015. In addition to setting the trail date, pretrial motions hearings were set for May 18 and June 22, both expected to last a full day. Written motions for the May 18th date must be in to the court by April 9, 2015. McCarville asked the court to consider lowering Candelario’s bond to $100,000 and saying the defense would not object to any release conditions the court would impose, such as house arrest, electronic monitoring or a weekly in person appearance by the defendant to the clerk of courts. Durkin said the people would object to any change in the current $1,000,000 cash or surety bond citing the gravity of the first degree murder charge against the defendant. McCarville had argued Candelario has deep ties to the Walsenburg community and said in the defendant’s absence, his antiques business was failing. Candelario has been in custody since his arrest in northern California Continue reading

La Veta facing legal action

LA VETA — An otherwise short town board meeting was increased by an extra 35 minutes due to an executive session proposed by Mayor Doug Brgoch. Brgoch explained the executive session was needed, because there is litigation related to technicalities in a case regarding a La Veta resident investigated one year ago by then Town Marshal Loren Youngers. After coming out of executive session, the board unanimously voted to give the town’s attorney the authority to seek a resolution to this case. Much of the regular meeting was spent making appointments to various boards and committees. DeEtta Lessar was approved to serve another two year term on the Ft. Francisco Board. La Veta resident, Jim Taft, submitted a letter to the board asking to serve an additional two year term on the La Veta Tree Board, which was approved unanimously. Current area State Forester Mark Loveall submitted a letter resigning as a member of the La Veta Park and Tree Board, noting his two year term had ended. Additionally, with State District Forester C.K. Morey, who had served as the tree board’s advisor, retiring – Loveall will similarly now serve as an

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Effort made to stave off possible Spring sewer rate increase

 WALSENBURG — While a Spring 2015 sewer rate increase isn’t yet written in stone, the annual survey of sewer rates will be done next month, but an amendment to a resolution passed Tuesday night by the Walsenburg City Council, might at least, lower the impact to rate payers. Walsenburg Mayor Pro Tem Craig Lessar offered the amendment to Resolution 2015-R-04, that would double the time set for the pay back of a $270,000 loan from the city’s Capital Improvement Fund to the city’s Sewer Fund from three to six years. The resolution says the sewer fund requires additional operating capital and the loan to the sewer fund will not adversely affect the operation of the gas fund. Administration indicated after the loan is completed there will still be an estimated $500,000 in the Capital Improvement Fund. The funds are necessary for the sewer lagoon project. Lessar’s amendment to the resolution passed unanimously 7-0 as did passage of the resolution itself. The move was done in the hope the longer pay back schedule would help decrease Continue reading

Four year community correction sentence in fatal traffic crash

WALSENBURG — Emotions ran high on both sides as a young Pueblo man was sentenced to community corrections for a fatal traffic accident on Highway 12 just after the 2014 Cuchara County Music Festival. District Judge Claude Appel sentenced Tyler Spinuzzi, 25, to four years at the Alamosa Community Corrections facility during a hearing Monday in district court in Walsenburg. The accident happened on June 14, 2014, when the 2005 Chevy Silverado, driven by Spinuzzi left the highway and struck a tree. The initial Colorado State Patrol report said the driver failed to negotiate a curve and struck a tree. Ambre Cassio, 25, died at the scene, while Spinuzzi fled the location and turned himself in to authorities the next day. It was not possible to obtain a blood alcohol content reading from the defendant due to the one-day delay. Spinuzzi had entered a plea of guilty to vehicular homicide-reckless and the probation department had recommended the four year community corrections sentence. District Attorney Frank Ruybalid asked the court to impose the maximum community correction sentence of six years. Defense attorney Joseph Koncilja of Pueblo had sought probation for his client. Information presented at

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Resolutions passed in special council session

WALSENBURG — The Walsenburg City Council met in special session last Thursday and passed two resolutions concerning interim financing for the Northlands Sanitary Sewer Project. Walsenburg City Clerk Wanda Britt said Resolutions 2015 R-2 and 2015 R-3 both passed unanimously, R02 passing on a 7-0 vote and R-3 passing 8-0 with one member of council a bit late to the meeting and missing the first vote. There had been a procedural error when the items were passed during the regular meeting on Feb. 3, but Britt said those were corrected in the special session Feb. 5. The resolutions allow the City of Walsenburg Water and Sewer Activity Enterprise to borrow $4,625,936 from NBH Bank, NH in Greenwood, Colo., (the same amount as the USDA loan) to be used for interim financing to get the project moving forward. The resolution says in part, “providing for the repayment of the note from the proceeds of long-term financing provided by the USDA (Rural Utilities Services).” “The interim financing agreements have been completed and the city is accumulating the necessary documentation to obtain reimbursement for its previous investment in this project,” City Administrator David Johnston said in his weekly email report to city council. According to Johnston, the city has fronted approximately $170,000 towards the project, and the engineering firm (GMS, Inc.) is owed substantial funds (estimated at over $300,000) for work already accomplished. The interim financing will allow for those payments to be made to both entities.

El Pomar talks money

WALSENBURG — On February 6, leaders of local non-profits met with representatives of El Pomar in an informal gathering facilitated by the Spanish Peaks Community Foundation, at Huerfano Ambulance Building in Walsenburg. The purpose of the gathering was to determine how El Pomar can better provide for the needs of Huerfano County, one of the poorest yet least grant-supported in the state. The Honorable Dennis Maes, favorite son and member of El Pomar’s SE Regional Council pointed out that El Pomar has granted $540,000 to Huerfano County organizaions since 1983. El Pomar President Peter Maiurro suggested increasing collaborations among local entities to stretch resources and better utilize both funds and the most scarce of resources, grantwriters. Maiurro was anxious to learn of the needs of the organizations present, eliciting “wish list” items from each. Of great interest was talk of using Washington School as a community recreation center. El Pomar recently funded a recreation center project in Bent County, and the listening

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World Journal to partner with KRTN for news

WALSENBURG/TRINIDAD/RATON– The Huerfano World Journal will be partnering with Raton radio station KRTN, the dominant news source in Las Animas and Colfax counties, to bring readers along the I-25 corridor the best in local news. “By combining these news powerhouses, we are offering the best marketing and coverage along the I-25 corridor,” said Alan Kenny, assistant manager/sales manager for KRTN. Kenny’s sales and management experience in Las Animas and Colfax counties goes back decades, where he managed the Trinidad Chronicle for eight years before briefly managing the Huerfano County World under Lisa Kellogg (welcome back!). Kenny is known for leading businesses throughout southern Colorado and northeastern New Mexico to their full profit potential. The World Journal is looking for personnel to assist in this new operation. For more info, call 719-738-1415.

Candelario bound over on first degree murder

WALSENBURG — After hearing over seven and a half hours of testimony from seven witnesses, Chief 3rd Judicial District Judge Claude Appel last Friday bound over Walsenburg businessman Ralph Candelario on first degree murder charges stemming from the death of his wife, Pamela, in January 2014. An arraignment return date of Tuesday, February 17 was set, and Judge Appel set a $1,000,000 cash or surety bond for the defendant. Special prosecutors Matthew Durkin and Ryan Brackley called six witnesses to the stand, ranging from a paramedic, to state bureau of investigation forensic experts, during the day-long preliminary hearing January 30. The defense team of Dariel Weaver and Patrick McCarville called only one witness, Walsenburg Police Captain Vince Suarez. Third Judicial District Attorney Frank Ruybalid sat in the courtroom’s gallery as a spectator. Prosecution witnesses included Huerfano Ambulance Service Paramedic Bradley Mullins, Colorado Bureau of Investigation Agents Greg Sadar, Pat Crouch, Jodi Wright, Kevin Torres, and former Huerfano County Coroner Della Duran. It was Torres, the prosecution’s last witness of the day, who led the court through the Candelario home on W. Third Street, providing a narrative of the forensic photographs he made at the crime

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