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Briefs from the San Luis Valley

Brief by Marcia Darnell

San Luis Valley – January 2008 – Colorado Central Magazine

Forbes Sells Out

The “Capitalist Tool” won’t be seen swooping into the Alamosa airport much anymore. The Forbes Trinchera Ranch has been sold for $175 million. Louis Moore Bacon, chairman of Moore Capital Management, is the new owner of the 171,400-acre parcel near Fort Garland. Moore’s spokesman describes him as an environmentalist and conservationist.

Cleaning Up

The Colorado Association of Conservation Districts named Danny and Denise Temple and Roberta Harris of Center and Clarence and Jolene Robinson of Hooper as Conservationists of the Year. The Rio Grande Watershed earned the Conservation Education Program of the Year award, and the Center Conservation District won Outstanding Conservation District of the Year. Judy Lopez won the Outstanding Conservation Teacher of the Year award.

Water, Well

Several dissenters have filed legal objections to the approval of water sub-districts. Users are primarily concerned about protecting surface users’ rights, with others angry about statutory violations. Hearings have yet to be scheduled.

Alamosa insurance agent Ric Cline announced he represents an unnamed investment group that would like to purchase about half the Valley’s land, with water rights. The proposed operation, New Generation Farm, would lease the resources back to farmers and ranchers. Valley representatives are wary.

Training Wheels

A train derailed on La Veta Pass, causing seven cars loaded with grain to go off track. No one was hurt, and the Federal Railroad Administration sees no need for an investigation.

Honoring Vets

There’s a new memorial at Rito Alto cemetery in Moffat. Built with donations and volunteer labor, the marble slab lists the names of every military veteran buried in the cemetery since the Civil War.

Brief Briefs

Drilling by Lexam Energy Exploration is blocked on the Baca Refuge until the company complies with federal environmental laws.

Confessed embezzler Colleen Hudson received 120 days in jail for stealing $25,000 from Splashland.

The San Luis Valley History museum is open in Alamosa. The new Creede Visitors Center is slated to open Jan. 31.

Alamosa may recycle its old parks & rec headquarters. The police department wants to use the building for a training center.

The Rio Grande Scenic Railroad bought two steam engines and five dome cars for its trains. The train expects to haul 30,000 passengers next summer.

Evelyn Gant was appointed to the Creede Town Board. Marty Heaton is the new head coach of the Adams State College Grizzlies.

Russ Johnson, CEO of the San Luis Valley Regional Medical Center, won a leadership award from the American Hospital Association.

The Colorado School Counselor Association gave awards to Celina Espinoza of Centauri High and Peggy Haslar of Marsh Elementary for their work.

Creede Repertory Theatre won the Outstanding Theatre award from the National Theatre Conference. It also garnered a $7,500 award from the El Pomar Foundation.

Frank Nance donated a 500-pound grinding stone to Adams State College.

A student at Sangre de Cristo High School called in a bomb threat to his school, was caught and got a disciplinary vacation.

The SLV Comprehensive Community Mental Health Center received the Reintegration award from the Eli Lilly drug company.

Monte Vista resident Helen Beiriger celebrated her 100th birthday.

Creede’s community Thanksgiving dinner fed almost 300 people.

The Windsor Hotel in Del Norte opened its first floor, after years of renovations, for the town’s parade of lights. Funding is still lacking for finishing the historic building.

Costilla County now has a hazmat resolution, a FEMA hazard mitigation plan. No other county in Colorado has adopted the plan.

Alamosan Raleigh Burt was honored by the city council after cleaning up the Cottonwood Wilderness Area for his Eagle Scout project.