• 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-ribbon-cutting
  • website-cowboys-sunset
  • website-cowboys-herding
  • Smokey-4-mile-canyon
    Emergency crews on the road of Four Mile Canyon in Blackhawk
  • website-tree-planting
  • house-fire-web
    An early Tuesday morning house fire at 520 Colorado in Walsenburg.
  • active-shooter-drill-in-La-Veta
    Law enforcement take part in an active shooter drill in La Veta schools on March 20, 2014

Commissioners sign grant application for assisted living center project

HUERFANO — The 20-bed assisted living center project known as Spanish Peaks Residences, spearheaded by Spanish Peaks Community Foundation, took another step forward this week as the Huerfano County Board of Commissioners signed a lengthy DOLA (Colorado Department of Local Affairs) grant application for $400,000. The county’s role as a pass through governmental agency for the grant was approved on a 2-0 vote, on a motion by Commissioner Max Vezzani and second by Commissioner Ray Garcia. Chairman of the BOCC, Art Bobian, abstained from the vote as he is also the Chairman of the SPCF. The primary source of funding for the project is anticipated to be a U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development low interest loan, as well as funding and in kind service from a number of stakeholders, including the SPCF. SPCF has already contributed 9.81 acres of land located between Spanish Peaks Regional Health Center and Chaé Organics, along with $50,000 in cash from its reserves. The proposed project timeline anticipates

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Walsenburg finds it’s expensive to tear down fire damaged homes

WALSENBURG — For a number of months city council members have asked for updates regarding the elimination of nuisance structures in the city that have been damaged by fires and condemned. City Attorney Dan Hyatt has briefed elected officials a number of times in the past few months on this issue, explaining it is expensive, it must be accomplished to legal standards in the area of asbestos identification, and where necessary, removal, and the fact that condemnation and notification will not result in the city immediately acquiring properties after the structures are demolished. Recently, Rick Dunn, the Walsenburg Building Inspector, received a letter from Advantage Environmental/Safety Resources Inc., of Pueblo, outlining potential costs for asbestos inspections for four properties in the city. Those properties are located at 718 W. 7th St.; a Tyler Street property, 303 Pennsylvania, 102 Indiana, and property at the corner of Colorado and Jackson. Walsenburg Administrator David Johnston told council members in

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Mysterious cattle deaths baffle local ranchers

HUERFANO — “Everybody out here has been very, very excited since this whole thing started. It’s all kinda creepy.” The “whole thing” that rancher Robert Wolf was referring to is the current rash of so-called cattle mutilations and other strange occurrences that have been reported at the Turkey Ridge sub-division about 13 miles northeast of Walsenburg. Between August 8th and August 17th, eight unexplained cattle deaths have been reported to the Huerfano County Sheriff’s Department. The total estimated loss for the animals’ owners is estimated to be about $14,000. The first hint of trouble in paradise was the discovery of two dead Black Angus steers at 6 am Friday morning, August 8th. Robert Wolf and his neighbor and fellow rancher Ty Edmundson were delivering water to Edmundson’s herd when they came across the grisly scene. The two 26-month-old steers were both lying on their right sides about 30 feet apart with

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Home destroyed in early Saturday morning blaze

WALSENBURG — A Walsenburg residence was destroyed by fire early Saturday morning and injured one man in the home. In the overnight hours on Saturday, August 23, 2014 at about 1:38 am, Huerfano County Fire Department was dispatched to a reported structure fire in the 100 block of Tyler in the City of Walsenburg. A Huerfano County Sheriff’s Deputy and Walsenburg Police Officers arrived on scene about four minutes after the initial call and reported a home heavily involved in fire. The resident, Julian Martinez, was able to make escape from the burning home, but did suffer some non-life threatening burn injuries. Approximately 16 firefighters fought the fire with three fire engines, one aerial ladder truck, along with one command vehicle from HCFPD, one fire engine and one support vehicle from La Veta Fire Protection District who responded to the scene on a mutual aid request. HCFPD Captain Fred Partee said no firefighter injuries were reported during the suppression efforts. A litter of small kittens was discovered during the incident and were

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Two hurt in high speed one car crash in city

WALSENBURG — Two people were injured Tuesday evening in a high speed crash that sent both through the windshield of the car when it slammed into the ditch along Colorado Avenue. The single vehicle crash happened before 7 pm and witnesses told police the car was west bound at a high rate of speed when it hit the dip in the road sending the vehicle airborne before it rolled at least one time and ended in the ditch. The vehicle tore through trees and bushes and impacted the ditch landing right side up. The crash victims were tentatively identified at the scene as Jason Thompson and Mia Manzanares. Both were taken initially to Spanish Peaks Regional Health Center. Thompson was flown to Parkview Medical Center in Pueblo with critical injuries. Manzanares was flown to Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs with serious injuries. At 4:30 am Wednesday, Thompson’s condition was listed as critical and unstable. Manzanares was listed by hospital officials to be in serious but stable condition. Huerfano County Sheriff’s Deputy Cory Daniels and WPD

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Solution in the works for Malachite water woes

WALSENBURG– “It’s a heartbreak I’m out of. I’m done. I opened that Spring for the community,” Kent Mace told the Huerfano County Water Conservancy District at its August 25 meeting. Mace said his family filed on the Spring so that the Gardner area would have a legal source of water. Unfortunately, owning the spring has led to a tangle of water needs versus state augmentation requirements. Malachite Spring reported to the district zero use for July 2014. The Spring owes the district $11,000 for the estimated augmentation water for the whole year. The spring has been a source of water to Gardner residents and people out of the area for decades. Without augmentation water, the use of the spring is illegal under Colorado water law. The state engineer’s office has the obligation to shut down the spring if the augmentation water is not paid for. “If you haul water away from the source, it’s considered 100% consumed,” said water commissioner Doug Brgoch. In order to offer residents an alternative, the Huerfano County commissioners have devised a strategy to

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One arrested in early August pot bust in Las Animas County

LAS ANIMAS COUNTY — While serving civil papers at a location in the Blackhawk Ranch subdivision in early August, Las Animas County Sheriff’s deputies came upon a large marijuana growing operation. According to a press release from the LACSO, Greg Fellows, 31, of Henderson, NV was arrested on charges relating to marijuana and marijuana concentrate offenses. Sheriff James Casias said in the press release, “Initially 329 plants were observed in plain sight growing inside a large greenhouse on the premises.” After the discovery, deputies obtained a search warrant and began the investigation which turned up an additional 220 live plants and 35.17 pounds of processed marijuana. The marijuana was removed from the property and destroyed after deputies obtained a court order authorizing destruction signed by District Court Judge Leslie Gerbracht. The case remains under investigation and the sheriff’s office are working to secure arrest warrants for additional suspects.

This week in History for August 28, 2014

Walsenburg 1876: Mr. J.G. Morton, well and favorably known in Walsenburg and Pueblo, is now located in Gardner where he is in the mercantile business. 1882: General Walsen laid out his new town between here and the coal banks and has commenced selling lots. The deeds specify that liquor will never be sold on the premises. 1888: The railroad reached the new mining camp of Rouse Aug. 26 and will when done have seven tracks. Rouse will soon be the largest coal camp in Colorado. 1894: Mr. and Mrs. Alexander “Sandy” Allison have leased the Home Restaurant. 1900: The regular democratic pow wow and circus is being pulled off today in Mazzone Hall. 1906: The town will give up its claims to the lots from Gen. Walsen’s will, also willed to Fred G. Walsen, if the latter will pay $1,500. 1912: Fred Roof of Walsenburg was elected president of the State Bankers association. 1919: A 74-year-old man was killed when his auto left the hogback crossing and fell 20 feet into the town

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La Veta decision on Grandote green postponed

 LA VETA– Before the La Veta Town Board meeting on August 19, a public hearing was held on the commercial development permit application by Grandote Green LLC at 1 Grandote Drive. Mayor Doug Brgoch said that the application deficiencies have been addressed by the applicant, Dr. Randy Briggs, and the application seeks to establish retail businesses for medical and recreational marijuana. Brgoch summarized the comments from the public hearing, including concerns about the location, potential harm to the pristine nature of area, traffic control, proximity to a planned residential community, and concerns about proper notification of residents of the area. Trustee Dale Davis moved to “delay the decision on this application with Grandote Green LLC until our first meeting in September.” Davis added that he wants to see a CDOT study on turning lanes from Cherry Street to the Cuchara River crossing, citing increased traffic over the weekends, particularly the Feedstore Church traffic on Sundays. Davis said he would also like to see

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Tiny homes will be allowed under variance

WALSENBURG — In a 5 to 1 vote Tuesday night, Walsenburg City Council approved Ordinance 1045 which will allow tiny homes to be built in R-1 and R-2 zoned residential areas with a variance approved by Planning and Zoning. The ordinance passed this week on first reading, and amends Article XIII of the Zoning Ordinance by adding a section (6.2F) ‘to vary the minimum floor area for single family detached dwellings within R-1 and R-22 Districts’. The amendment says the tiny homes, which are normally 150 to 450 square feet, must be placed permanently on a footer or foundation, and tapped into the city’s water and sewer system separately from any other structure or use on the property. Sprout Tiny Homes, LLC President Rod Stambaugh attended the council meeting and said the company will also be going before the Huerfano County Commissioners seeking similar regulation changes. Council members Rick Jennings, Silvana Lind, Nick Vigil, Clint Boehler and Mayor James Eccher voted in favor of the ordinance. Councilman Charlie

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