News from the San Luis Valley

“Patriot” Arrested
A man who claimed to be the founder of the Operation Patriot Rally Point militia was arrested in October by the Colorado State Patrol and Alamosa police, according to The Denver Post.
Rodger Marsh, 48, also known as Colt Severs, was arrested in Alamosa without incident on warrants from Texas for probation violation on a theft charge.
Authorities speculate that Marsh may have been in the San Luis Valley to support members of the Costilla County off-grid community, where controversy has arisen over efforts to tighten land-use codes to minimize long-term camping by newcomers to the county.

Potato Plant Settles Lawsuit
Operators of the MountainKing Potatoes plant in Monte Vista have agreed to pay nearly half a million dollars to settle a sexual harassment suit filed by female workers at the plant over the past decade.
Smokin’ Spuds, Inc. and Farming Technology Inc., both affiliated with Houston-based Syndex Corp., are the plant’s operators and have also agreed to terminate the supervisor, send apology letters to the women involved, post a notice of workers’ rights to be free of harassment and provide training on discrimination laws.
The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission will distribute $415,000 among 13 women who said they were subjected to inappropriate comments, touching and propositioning by a male supervisor since at least 2001, according to The Denver Post.

Look, Up in the Sky!
The Federal Aviation Administration has approved two certificates of authorization, which designate two types of drones to operate under county authority as well as creating restrictions on their use. The rulings will allow Alamosa County to offer airspace to drone manufacturers.
Alamosa Boy Suffers Rare Ailment
A 10-year-old Alamosa boy has been diagnosed with a rare skin disease which causes hard, thick skin which can hinder joint movement.
Jaiden Rogers suffers from Stiff Skin Syndrome and is only the 41st child worldwide known to have the disease. Wheelchair-bound, Jaiden takes eight prescription medicines daily to help cope with disease-related ailments such as depression and leg pain.
The disease is said to be incurable but his adopted parents, Natalie and Tim Rogers, are considering a trip to Europe, where there is greater availability of experimental medicines. A fundraising website for Jaiden has been set up at:

Cattle Perish in Wreck
A dozen cows died and two people were seriously injured when a cattle truck crashed on U.S. Hwy. 285 near Saguache on Oct. 8.
The Peterbilt semi was traveling from Arizona to Greeley with 60 head of cattle when the one-vehicle accident occurred. The driver, Seth Smith, lost control of the truck at a curve and rolled the truck.

• Colorado Division of Water Resources State Engineer Dick Wolfe filed well rules for the San Luis Valley with the water court in Alamosa on Sept. 23.
• Saguache has a brand new movie theater. Cozy Castle Cinema opened its doors this past summer and offers first-run movies every weekend as well as foreign films the first Thursday of every month.