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News from the San Luis Valley

By Marcia Darnell

Water Woes West

Now it’s Monte Vista with a water weakness. The town had to perform a chlorine flush after tests showed coliform bacteria in the system. Monte Vista is asking residents to reduce outdoor watering during the Big Flush. It seems more water in the system means a more effective cleansing.

In the big water picture, river flows in the Valley peaked early, but frequent summer rains mean plenty of irrigation.

Crimes & Consequences

Attorney Alex Gallegos was charged with felony theft for allegedly taking nearly $500,000 from a fund for Rio Grande Hospital. Gallegos’ law license was suspended in April due to another matter.

And convicted embezzler Irene Taylor was sentenced to four years in Community Corrections for swiping almost $200,000 from the pharmacy where she worked as a bookkeeper.


• Pike’s Stockade is still not open for the summer due to wet weather.

• Adams State opened the renovated Plachy Hall.

• The Rio Grande Scenic Railroad began weekend service between Alamosa and Antonito, with stops in La Jara and Romeo.

• Alamosa is still mulling over the fate of Splashland. The pool’s board is ready to put the half-century-old site up for sale, and it’s closed again this year.

• The city also unveiled preliminary drawings for a new library/city hall complex. The building will be in approximately the same location, but bigger.

• The state patrol broke ground for a new headquarters in Alamosa. The 8,000-square-foot facility on First Street is scheduled to be completed in January 2010.

• Alamosa business owners voted to resurrect the city’s Urban Renewal Authority to revamp and market the area.

Brief Briefs

• The board of Adams State College is considering a name change to Adams State University. Experts say the “U” word will attract more students, but not require the school to change anything in its curriculum, finance programs or accreditation.

• Environmental groups are challenging the Handkerchief Mesa Timber Project in the Rio Grande National Forest. An appeal has been filed on the basis that the timber project will have an impact on the lynx population there.

• A hearing has been slated for an appeal over exploratory drilling in the Baca National Wildlife Refuge.

• Del Norte opened its newest jewel, High Valley Community Center. The facility includes play areas, computers and a garden.

• The Valley may benefit from federal stimulus money to bring broadband to rural areas.

• The Colorado Army National Guard is leasing a building in Alamosa for an armory. The Delta One Weapons Company plans to build a permanent facility.

• Alamosa Mayor Farris Bervig announced he will not seek re-election. Bervig, 73, has been mayor since 1985.

• Jamie Greeman is the new director of the Alamosa Marketing District. The entity is at odds with the San Luis Valley Museum, which says it’s owed money by the district, and has asked the city council to mediate.

• The Del Norte airport will get $250,000 in upgrades, thanks to the state aeronautical board. The facility plans to improve access for medical transport. Monte Vista’s airport will also get $250,000 for new runway lights.

• Thomas Henton of Monte Vista was named to the state Healthcare Affordability Oversight Board for a two-year term.

• Dr. Dale Berkbigler of Del Norte is a new fellow of the American College of Physicians.

• Henry Herrera retired after 28 years in Alamosa schools.

• Town & Country Auto Mall in Alamosa survived the closure of Chrysler dealerships.

• The 2009 Women’s Conference at Adams State College named its Women of The Year: Sylvia Evans, Julie Geiser, Sue Getz, Debra Goodman, Barbara Hillin, Ann Holmes, Kay Laws, Jan Oen, Kathy Rogers, Marian Seegrist and Donna Wehe.