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Briefs from the San Luis Valley

Brief by Marcia Darnell

San Luis Valley – February 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine

Generations of Good

The Coleman family, which has been ranching in Saguache County for over 100 years, was named Conservationists of the Year for Ranching for 2001 by the state association of soil conservation districts. The family owns 11,000 acres near Saguache.

Grinches Nabbed

Christmas season in the Valley was marked by a string of burglaries in which homes in three counties were robbed of the usual resalable goods plus Christmas gifts under their trees. The three baddies were nailed by cops in New Mexico and Rio Grande County. No roast beast for them!

Senior Wins H.S. Award

Lonnie Rogers of Creede was inducted into the Colorado High School Activities Association’s hall of fame. Rogers was a star athlete in the ’50s, then went on to coach the same basketball team to an impressive record. He also held several key positions in education.

From PR to Prison?

Wendy McAuliffe, former manager of the Monte Vista Chamber of Commerce, was arrested for embezzling extra paychecks from her office. McAuliffe allegedly paid herself an extra $9,000 over a three-year period.

And in Crestone, town trustee Dan Gray is the target of removal procedures initiated by Mayor Kizzen Laki, who also publishes the Crestone Eagle. Gray is accused of being a disruptive influence to the board and of using his position to harass a resident.

Water Woes

Maybe Mother Nature will stop development herself. Dennis Felmlee, manager of the SLV Water Conservancy District, told the Alamosa County Commissioners that there is insufficient wet stuff to support development in some parts of the county. The county is considering removing its requirement that new developments have outside water.


Sargent school superintendent Tim Snyder’s plan to boost revenue by paying homeschoolers to attend school during the state’s count may have blown up. The Colorado Dept. Of Education is disallowing $21,000 that would have flowed into Sargent as a result of the tweaked count. That loss, added to the $600 per kid the school paid to parent-teachers to send their kids to school for a few days, means the school could be worse off than if Snyder hadn’t had that bit of inspiration.

Government Cesspool

Some call it a tragedy, some snicker and call it something else. The Costilla County offices were closed due to a sewage spill into the courthouse just after Christmas.

Raw sewage began spewing out of every faucet, drain and toilet in the building.