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News from the San Luis Valley

By Anthony Guerrero

Marijuana Defeated
Alamosa and Monte Vista voters soundly rejected ballot measures regarding the allowing of recreational marijuana sales within city limits. The ballot questions also asked about medical sales, cultivation and associated products. Taxing pot was approved by voters in the event that stores had been approved. In the last two years ballot questions seeking to allow recreational facilities have been defeated throughout the San Luis Valley. In 2016 a similar measure was defeated in Del Norte.

Rio Grande Hospital to Expand
The Rio Grande Hospital in Del Norte has broken ground on its expansion. The project is expected to take about a year to complete and has a price tag of close to $21 million.

The additions will include a connecting building between the hospital and clinic that will house a physical therapy department, an expanded emergency department, services for law enforcement who have had to bring inmates or others to the hospital in recent years, a wound care department with a hyperbaric chamber, and specialty services consisting of orthopedics, cardiology, ENT and urology.


New Schools to be Built
Students in Del Norte and Saguache will soon have new school buildings. On election day, voters approved bond measures to accompany BEST grants awarded Del Norte and Mountain Valley School Districts will now begin the process of building their new facilities. In Del Norte, $45 million was awarded by BEST to go towards a new school to replace the current buildings that are in such dire conditions they could have soon been condemned. The bond approved by voters is $18 million and will last about 20 years. Del Norte School District intends to have public input meetings to discuss the designing and appearance of the new building.

Chapel at Homelake Restored, Rededicated
The Paden-Meyer Memorial Chapel at the Colorado State’s Veterans Community Living Center was rededicated on Veterans Day. The chapel was built in 1898 and had fallen into disrepair over the last few years, but was restored through grants and hard work, according to the Monte Vista Journal. The chapel served as an assembly hall in 1911 and had a movie theater and an apartment upstairs. The chapel suffered damages after the apartment suffered a fire. The building is used for baptisms, weddings, funerals and worship.

GPS Systems Stolen from Multiple Farms
The Alamosa Sheriff’s Office is investigating a theft case that occurred between November 8 and November 9, 2017. Multiple farms in Alamosa County and Rio Grande County had GPS farm tractor guidance systems stolen. The value of the items taken is well over $1 million. All of the GPS units are registered to the specific farms they were stolen from, and will only work in farm equipment. The serial numbers for all the units have been supplied and registered as stolen with the tracking company. If anyone attempts to install, register or update these units it will notify law enforcement they are stolen and give a GPS location of the unit.

Once these units are powered on they can be tracked by GPS. Video surveillance of the suspects and suspect vehicle were collected from several scenes, along with tire impressions and other evidence. The Sheriff’s Office is seeking additional information on suspects and location of these GPS devices.

Call Crimestoppers at 719-589-4111 if you have any information. You can remain anonymous and may be entitled to a cash reward for your information.

Warshauer Mansion will Host Town Government
According to the Valley Courier, the town government of Antonito will soon be housed at Warshauer Mansion. It is reported that the town acquired the structure and grounds for $175,000, but the mansion originally was listed for $1.4 million. The mansion is 105 years old and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Town hall, police department, public works department, and municipal court are expected to be in the mansion in early 2018, according to Town Administrator Rossi D. Duran.