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Briefs from the San Luis Valley

Brief by Marcia Darnell

San Luis Valley – April 2007 – Colorado Central Magazine

Saving $$$

Alamosa will consolidate its library with the parks & rec department. The two will be run by Heinz Bergann, who’s been the library director since 2003. Emily Johnson will become the go-to person for everyday stuff at the library. The move will save $10K-$20K a year in salary and hopefully revive the rec center, which suffers from a negative public image.

The city will also begin a serious water conservation plan in its parks and sports fields. Underground irrigation is the first step, then using untreated water. The city may also begin rewarding residents for conservation efforts, but will probably raise water rates soon.

Adams State College is beginning an irrigation project of its own, aimed at reducing use and cost of water.

Good Deed, Good Grade

Five students at Centauri High School in La Jara earned credit and good karma with a welding project. Under the instruction of teacher Scott McCarroll, the kids built a hitch carrier for Kody Medina’s motorized wheelchair. The carrier enables Medina’s family to travel with his chair, and makes Kody’s world a little larger.

Pike Party Goes On

The Pike bicentennial continued with the dedication of the restored Pike’s Stockade in Conejos County. The Fort Garland Museum is marking the anniversary of Zebulon Pike’s expedition into the Valley with a large exhibit until February 2008 asking whether Pike was an explorer or spy.

The relocated, restored, and renovated San Luis Valley Museum was dedicated in Alamosa.

Sad Time for the Cop Shop

Alamosa Police Chief Ron Lindsey announced his retirement, effective this month. He’s been with the department since 1969.

Another member of the force, Officer Manuel Banderas, was arrested for domestic violence in his home. He’s been with the department less than a year, and is on administrative leave.

Brief Briefs

The Valley suffered its third loss in the war. Marine Sgt. Clinton Ahlquist, who attended high school in Creede, was killed in action Feb. 20.

In a remarkable occurrence, a man pulled his Sunnyside subdivision application after hearing his neighbors’ concerns.

The Rio Grande Railroad Depot in Antonito is now on a list of the state’s most endangered places. The depot, built in 1890, is slated for renovations.

Alamosa’s finance director, Bonnie Moinet, has resigned to take a job in Frisco.

Adams State now offers two new master’s degrees, in humanities and in human performance and physical education.

Colleen Hudson, the manager of Splashland Hot Springs, was arrested for embezzlement.

The Alamosa municipal deer hunt bagged 11 animals. No word yet on whether it’ll be repeated.

K-Zee Manufacturing Co. in Center burned. The company makes flatbeds for trucks.

Former state Sen. Lewis Entz was honored with the Wayne Aspinall Colorado Leadership Award from the Colorado Water Congress. Ann Edstrom-Watters was recognized by the Alamosa City Council for her work establishing the community Christmas dinner.

Alamosa County Commissioners approved the construction of a solar farm north of Mosca. SunEdison plans to build on 83 acres before April 2008.

Erich Schwiesow is the new Alamosa city attorney. Dr. Cliff Robbins has begun practicing at the San Luis Valley Regional Medical Center — the hospital where he was born.

The San Luis Valley Brewing Company celebrated its first anniversary in Alamosa, as did Eagle Air, a flight ambulance in Alamosa.

San Luis Valley icon Gordon Rowe Jr. died at 87. Former attorney, judge, and community volunteer, the judge also wowed folks with his skilled senior skiing.

Cyril Carragher was named Youth of the Year by the SLV Boys and Girls Clubs. Former state Sen. Lewis Entz will receive an honorary degree at ASC’s commencement.

Stephanie Hensley earned the Kay Mervar Outstanding Reading Educator Award. She teaches at Evans Elementary in Alamosa.