LA VETA — Although the La Veta Town Board had what appeared to be a light agenda, the board spent a full hour on one of two items under New Business. La Veta Fire Protection District Chief Mark Brunner, joined by Secretary Sue Pezze, approached the town board with a status update on the proposed fire station. Explaining construction costs were far higher than originally forecasted, Brunner told the board the district was trying to find various ways to cut costs. He then asked the board to waive the water and sewer tap fees for the new station. The request led to a lengthy discussion with several board members wanting know why the cost went up so much and what efforts was the district taking to make cuts. Brunner noted the district had reduced the size of their water tap from 4” to 2”, but noted that the district still needed a hydrant on the building’s Birch Street apron to fill the fire trucks. Trustee Chip Kraynyk, asked, “Why pass these costs from one governmental entity to another?” adding, “What if we say no?” Brunner said he understood Kraynyk’s
WALSENBURG — The Walsenburg City Council will most likely wait until spring of next year to stripe bike lanes on various streets around the community. The item came before the council Tuesday night and was discussed with no formal action taken. Administration reported they had been offered an aluminum template to make the bicyclist symbol in the lanes when they are eventually painted. David Johnston said the symbols are necessary for liability reasons and he had learned from city attorney Dan Hyatt, the template could be obtained from a Rocky Ford resident for under $200. Various options were discussed including allowing the contractor who did the street improvement project in the city this year do the lane markings; to remove the bike lane part of that contract and rebid it in 2015; or possibly to obtain the paint and have volunteers do the task. There was discussion regarding San Isabel Electric Association’s Capital Credits program. The power coop has told the city they will extend its deadline for a decision concerning the payback until the
WALSENBURG — Walsenburg homicide suspect Ralph Leroy Candelario, 51, waived extradition back to Colorado at a hearing in Humboldt County California on Friday, October 10th. Walsenburg Police Captain Vince Suarez attended the hearing in California and confirmed this week Candelario will be returned to Colorado to face charges he killed his wife Pamela Candelario, 48, on or about January 16, 2014. Huerfano County Sheriff Bruce Newman told the Huerfano World Journal on Tuesday he did not know when the transportation order would be forthcoming, but said his staff would be going to California to escort Candelario back to Huerfano County. The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office told the Huerfano World Journal Tuesday that Candelario has a confirmation of transportation hearing set in their jurisdiction at 2 pm Tuesday, October 21. It is expected the transportation order will be forwarded to Sheriff Bruce Newman soon thereafter. Candelario was picked up on an arrest warrant in Humboldt County by the California Highway Patrol on Tuesday, October 7. The warrant charges the 51-year old Walsenburg antique store owner with first degree homicide and tampering with evidence. The Walsenburg Police Department and Colorado Bureau of Investigation have worked
WALSENBURG — It was a dark and stormy night last Thursday in Walsenburg, but it didn’t scare off the concerned voters of Huerfano County. A standing room only crowd of over 75 people filled the community room of Spanish Peaks Library to listen to and compare the candidates running for each of the local contested races. The forum, sponsored by the Huerfano World Journal, began with presentations by David Johnston, Walsenburg City Administrator, and John Galusha, County Administrator. Johnston (and later in the evening, Mayor Jim Eccher) asked the voters of Walsenburg to vote YES on the Local Ballot question 2A, which will increase local sales taxes to offset shortfalls in the city’s general fund. Galusha explained that a YES vote on ballot question 1A will impose a 5% excise tax on commercial sales of marijuana which are transported out of the county for retail sale. This tax will help ensure that some revenue from commercial growing operations will go into the county coffers. The attendees then heard from Marcy Freeburg who is running for
WALSENBURG — At the October 7, 2014 meeting the Walsenburg City Council approved participation in an advertising promotion with Universal AdCom, (UAC) of Arlington, Texas, via a letter of endorsement/ distribution.
The letter is to serve as a ‘limited’ authorization for Universal AdCom to use the City of Walsenburg in the presentation of the upcoming edition of the ‘Community Guide’ magnet project for Huerfano County, Colorado.
The council passed the letter of endorsement/distribution agreement request on a 7-0 vote following the motion by council member Cathy Pineda and a second by council member Nick Vigil.
While the letter does not commit any city funds, it did present a tacit ‘endorsement’ of the ad project by the City of Walsenburg.
While city administration and council dealt with the issue as a routine matter, Spanish
WALSENBURG — Following over nine months of behind the scenes investigation, 51-year old Ralph Candelario of Walsenburg was arrested Tuesday night in Humboldt County, California on a warrant charging first degree homicide and tampering with evidence. The arrest warrant, prepared by Walsenburg Police and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation was signed Tuesday afternoon and charges the suspect with intentional homicide of his wife, Pamela Candelario, 48, in January 2014. Candelario was arrested without incident in northern California by CHP following a traffic stop at 6:55 pm Pacific Daylight Time, on the warrant. Candelario remains in custody on the no-bond warrant in California. Walsenburg Police Chief Tommie McLallen said he had no information Wednesday when an extradition hearing to return Candelario to Colorado would be held. Six CBI agents, along with McLallen, Captain Vince Suarez and Sgt. John Salazar of the WPD went to Candelario’s 7th St. antique store at about 3:30 pm Tuesday to execute the arrest warrant. Employees at the business told investigators Candelario was on vacation in California and he was driving his Saab automobile. Shortly after 7 am on Jan. 16, 2014, police were called to the Candelario
WALSENBURG — The Walsenburg City Council Tuesday night voted 7-0 to approve a resolution authorizing legal council to take all necessary actions to begin condemnation proceedings to acquire an easement on private property by eminent domain, if negotiations for a purchase agreement fall through. The property in question is owned by John C. and Patricia J. Davis, Donna L. Martin, and Donald and Danelle D. Martinez and has been the subject of negotiations and executive sessions with the city council for months. Resolution 2014 R-10, says in part, “ It is necessary for the public health, safety and welfare for the City to obtain the Property in order to complete the Project and it is necessary for the public health, safety and welfare for the City to exercise the power of eminent domain to acquire the Property if the Property cannot be acquired through purchase.” Council member Cathy Pineda made the motion to approve the resolution, with Rick Jennings seconding and members Nick Vigil, Charles Montoya, Jennings, Pineda, Silvana Lind,
LA VETA — Prior to the regularly scheduled town board meeting on Tuesday night, several public hearings were held. Two of the hearings pertained to the redevelopment of the former Main Street Diner at 701 South Main (now called the Corners Diner), another focused on a fence variance request by the new Big R store. The Big R hearing, to expand their outside storage yard fenced area, revealed no concerns by adjacent neighbors or the town board. The same could not be said for the Corners project. Arguments between the developer and board members, which became heated at times, showed that several board members were concerned about building stability after cutting two corners off of the building so that it would no longer extend onto town property. Some board members felt strongly that the structure might need an engineer to sign off on the stability of the building once the corners were removed. Mayor Doug Brgoch summed up the Corners setback hearing by saying, “We had a lively hearing tonight,” as he deftly strived to
WALSENBURG — The preliminary hearing in the case of a 26-year old Walsenburg woman accused in the child abuse death of her live-in boyfriend’s daughter, four-year old Alani Tatiana Reyes-Cueva, has been reset for November. Marissa Jackson had been scheduled to appear in court for the preliminary hearing on the charge of child abuse resulting in death, on Tuesday, September 30, 2014, but the matter has been rescheduled for 9 am Wednesday, November 19 at the county courthouse in Walsenburg. While the case was sealed by Third Judicial District Judge Leslie Gerbracht following Jackson’s initial court appearance, it is believed the District Attorney’s Office asked for the most recent continuance due to results of a neurological pathologist’s autopsy findings not yet being completed and available to the prosecution. A first autopsy on the victim was conducted August 4 at the El Paso County Medical Examiner’s Office. Police and EMTs were called to the home at 227 E. Eighth St. that Jackson and Donavan Cueva, 25, shared at about 10 pm
WALSENBURG / DENVER — On Friday, September 19, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper announced $3.7 million in grants to reduce wildfire risk in communities across Colorado. The grants will be directed to 37 projects in 18 counties to treat areas where human development and forested landscapes overlap, often called the wildland-urban interface. The Spanish Peaks region of Huerfano and Las Animas Counties were recipients of grant funds; $34,650 for Black Hawk Ranch in southern Huerfano County, and an overall Huerfano County grant of $300,000. In Las Animas County, officials were notified of the award of a Colorado Parks and Wildlife grant in the amount of $328,860. Huerfano County Administrator John Galusha said this week the $300,000 in state grant funds will be used for five wildland-urban interface mitigation programs in the Cuchara area, including scheduled work in the Little Kansas area. He said the county has also applied for a FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) grant for $300,000 for the same project area.