LA VETA- After a special session of the La Veta town board was called on Thursday, February 20th by Trustee Dale Davis, the decision was made to fire Marshal Loren Youngers. Youngers, who had left on a five-day break on the 19th, was not present for the board action. Trustees Davis, Dave Molyneux, Shane Clouse and Logan Taggart voted to fire Youngers, while Trustee Bill Stark and Mayor Jerry Fitzgerald voted against the action. No official reason was given for the action, but Youngers has been under pressure recently over the actions of his deputy marshal Brian Holland, who was fired by Youngers on December 17. Youngers had worked for the town since August, 2012 and served on-call 24-hours a day since December, when Holland was arrested in a domestic violence incident. With Younger’s firing, the town is left with no law officers. Until such time as the town hires Younger’s replacement, patrolling and responses to emergency calls will be handled by the Huerfano County Sheriff’s Department. The position of marshal and the salary for that position will need to be voted on at the next board meeting, and then the position will be advertised.
WALSENBURG- The Walsenburg Police Department has made an arrest of a 16-year-old student who attended John Mall High School for alleged threats made against fellow students. New allegations were identified in recent days resulting in the arrest. Based on interviews and additional investigative work, an arrest warrant was issued to the student on February 20, 2014. He has since appeared in court, has been released and is wearing an ankle monitoring bracelet. Because a juvenile suspect is involved, details about the teen and the incident cannot be released.
DENVER- The Huerfano World Journal took second place in two categories at the Colorado Press Association’s annual news contest.
The first award was for our online coverage of breaking news for the East Peak Fire last June. Many of you relied on our continual facebook posts at the height of the fire, letting our community know about evacuations, closures and official information.
Our second award was for best black and white ad design, for our work with the Spanish Peaks International Celtic Music Festival.
WALSENBURG — John Chadil, the owner of the Main Event in Walsenburg, walked out of district court on Monday with a clean criminal record and a slightly lighter bank account. District Judge Claude Appel granted the settlement agreement proposed by the defendant and the district attorney’s office in December 2013, with restitution payments to be made to the victims of the May 31, 2013 Main Event fire, and to various agencies that sought compensation related to their response to the conflagration that destroyed a number of occupied mobile homes located just south of the business. Chadil had faced a number of felony and misdemeanor charges related to the fire (case number 2013CR39) and felony and misdemeanor criminal charges in an unrelated case (2013CR31). That case did dovetail into the fire case as Chadil had been charged with five counts of violation of bond conditions from 2013CR31, when he was charged in connection with the May 31 fire. A condition of the bond in 2013CR31 was the defendant have no other criminal charges filed
WALSENBURG— Walsenburg Police Captain Vince Suarez has conducted up towards 20 interviews associated with a reported school shooting threat reported by a parent to police on Wednesday, February 5. Suarez began working the threat case Wednesday night and the final interviews were concluded on Tuesday, February 11. There was an increased police and sheriff’s presence at the Walsenburg schools on Monday. Police are not releasing many details of the investigation, but did say their interviews with teachers and students showed a teacher and student reported the threat to JMHS Principal George Purnell during the last hour of the school day Wednesday, February 5. Police were first notified of the threat by a parent who came to the police department at about 5:30 that night. Suarez said he was immediately in contact with Re-1 Superintendent of Schools Dawn Olson, who remained in frequent contact with police throughout the investigation. The male student who is alleged
WALSENBURG — Huerfano County Fire Protection District firefighters faced bitter cold conditions in two early morning fires last week in Walsenburg. Both structure fires were reported before 4 am on Thursday and Friday. The first fire was reported at approximately 3:35 am on Thursday, February 6 from 303 Pennsylvania. A Walsenburg police officer reported heavy smoke coming from the two-story single family home prior to the arrival of firefighters. The officer, Josh Berzanji, and personnel from Huerfano County EMS reportedly assisted the occupant of the home, Charlie Robinson, in escaping from the second floor. In addition to ten firefighters and three fire vehicles from HCFPD, La Veta Fire Protection District sent three fire units and eight firefighters to assist.
The HCFPD report says there was fire damage throughout the residence in walls, floor and contents. The preliminary investigation appears to be an issue with the stovepipe/chimney, HCFPD Chief Gerald Jerant told the Huerfano World Journal Monday afternoon. The report says the point of origin of the blaze was on the south side of the dwelling. No injuries were reported. At 3:57 am on Friday, February 7, firefighters responded to a structure fire at 718 W. 7th St., in Walsenburg. La Veta volunteer firefighters were also requested to assist in this incident which heavily damaged one of the duplex units. The report says the interior team was able to extinguish most of the fire from the front door area, and once they came out, a second interior team was sent in through the rear door to fully put out what remained of the fire. A check of the attic area was made to ensure no sparks had eluded the firefighting efforts.
The exact cause of this fire has not been determined. Jerant said the building owner has contacted his insurance agency and expect a private fire investigator to work on finding the cause of the fire this week. No injuries were reported in this fire. Jerant said residents should always have their chimneys, stovepipes and wood burning stoves cleaned and checked and those using space heaters should always ensure they are in good working order and not located near any flammable debris or items such as curtains and that all extension cords are in good, safe working order and are not located under rugs.
Walsenburg- Police and Colorado Bureau of Investigation agents continue to investigate the death of 48-year old Pam Candelario of Walsenburg, but authorities remain tight lipped about details. Candelario was found dead in her West Third Street home on January 16. A neighbor found her husband Ralph, injured on the sidewalk outside. Walsenburg investigators met in a lengthly round-table discussion with state investigators on Thursday, Jan. 30 in Pueblo and CBI agents were back in Walsenburg on Monday, February 3. It is believed authorities executed additional search warrants at the Candelario home and business in Walsenburg on Monday, but that fact would not be confirmed by WPD Chief Tommie McLallen or District Attorney Frank Ruybalid. “It is very difficult for me to even
LA VETA- Three proposed ordinances on medical and retail marijuana were considered by the La Veta Town Board at its February 4 meeting. One would prohibit the operation of any marijuana business in town. Another would only allow and regulate medical marijuana dispensaries. And the one that found favor with the board would adopt regulations on medical and retail marijuana and control the licensing of cultivation, manufacture, distribution, testing and/or sale of medical marijuana, retail marijuana and marijuana-infused products. The vote was 4-2, with Trustees Shane Clouse, Dave Molyneux, Dale Davis and Mayor Jerry Fitzgerald voting yes; and Trustees Bill Stark and Logan Taggart voting no. Stark expressed concern, “There won’t be enough revenue generated to offset the
WALSENBURG — During the citizens’ forum portion of the city council meeting Tuesday night, Walsenburg resident Henry G. Quintana III, gave council members and administration an earful concerning an out-of-the-ordinary water bill. Quintana said for about two months his city water bill has shown usage of approximately 26,000 gallons, far above his family’s average use of about 7,000 gallons. He said he had received no satisfaction from city front desk utility clerks or city administrator David Johnston. He said he has no leaks in his home and that kind of excessive flow on his property would show
WALSENBURG — Horizon Building Systems (HBS) officials are putting on an optimistic face, but the reality of layoffs at the modular home plant in Walsenburg remains. It has been confirmed that the local plant manager, the corporate operations manger, and the leads/floor supervisors who had been hired to start up operations have all been laid off. Mark Ennis, the Horizon Building Systems Operations Manager told the Huerfano World Journal this week he is no longer employed by the firm and has no idea of their current situation. “They’re not communicating with me,” he said on Tuesday. Asked if he felt the Continue reading