Regional News

Voters Kind to Kids

Several area school districts hit the jackpot this November when voters passed ballot measures supporting school replacements and improvements.

In Salida, the 3A bond passed, allowing the school district to qualify for a B.E.S.T. (Building Excellent Schools Today) grant to replace the Longfellow Elementary School.

Voters in Buena Vista passed ballot measure 3C which will replace a wing of the Avery Parsons Elementary School by the summer of 2014. They also passed a mill levy to help with book purchases and technology upgrades.

Lake County voters approved a bond issue that will help towards the renovation of the Lake County School District, also with the help of a BEST grant on $15 million.

Bobcats in the ’Hood

There has been an increase in sightings of bobcats in the Gunnison Valley in recent months according to the Gunnison Country Times. Residents from Crested Butte to visitors to Hartman Rocks Recreation Area have been reporting sighting of bobcats, possibly due to an upswing in response to an increase in available prey, such as snowshoe hares and cottontails, according to CPW biologist Brandon Diamond.

From Tennis Balls to Ice Skates

Salida’s Centennial Park will soon be the site of a new outdoor skating rink when the worn-out tennis courts will be flooded with about 80,000 gallons of water.. The rink was the brainchild of the Chaffee County Ice Coalition, who hope to spark interest in ice skating with the locals, according to The Mountain Mail.

Pot Grower Sentenced

A man has pled guilty to marijuana cultivation in a remote area of Pueblo County on Greenhorn Mountain near Lake San Isabel. Luis Leon-Tobar is facing two to four years in prison, according to the Wet Mountain Tribune. Thought to be the work of a Mexican cartel, the arrest netted nearly 9,000 plants at the remote growing operation. A second man is scheduled for a court appearance in early December.

And the Winner Is …

Kindergartners in Gunnison held their own election on Nov. 6 for both president and “cartoon” president. As for the results, President Barack Obama beat challenger Mitt Romney 53 to 21 and Sponge Bob walloped the Cookie Monster 79 to 24.

Shorts …

• Chief Ranger Jim Bowman of the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve retired on Oct. 31 after 35 years with the National Park Service. The Monte Vista resident worked at the Sand Dunes for the past 12 years.

• Agnes Thornton of Howard, who was featured in our Dec. 2001 Central Profile, celebrated her 106th birthday on November 19. She was honored with a cake at the United Methodist Church in Salida.

• Letha Latham, a homesteader from Cotopaxi, turned 101 years old on Nov. 1 at the Columbine Manor Care Center in Salida.

• Dr. Farrell Coy, who has been conducting the Alpine Orchestra since 1999, will be conducting his last performances in the upcoming Dec. 7-9 concerts. He and his wife hope to travel the country in their new motor home.

• Salida artist Joshua Been is featured in the December 2012 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Way to go, Josh!

Notable Quotes:

“What an animal, he’s a tree removing machine.” – Colorado Trail Foundation volunteer, Steve Combs, referring to retired Forest Service ranger Mike Lloyd, who was heavily involved in the removal of downed trees throughout the forest this past year. – The Chaffee County Times, Nov. 1, 2012.

“During the hunting season, a lot of people get a little more excited than they’re supposed to when they see a herd of elk.” – CPW spokesman Joe Lewandowski, referring to an incident involving three hunters from Crested Butte, including a former deputy county attorney, Tom Dill, who were shooting at a large herd of elk near a residential subdivision. – Gunnison Country Times, Nov. 1, 2012.

“Nobody knew it was there.” – Tom Eve, owner of Butala Sand and Gravel near Salida who discovered 15 sticks of dynamite in a company shed. The sheriff’s office and the Regional Bomb Squad were brought in and the dynamite was detonated. The multiple explosions were heard all over town. – The Mountain Mail, Oct. 26, 2012.

On the Passage of Amendment 64:

“This is a game changer.” – Outgoing Colo. Dist. 60 Rep., Tom Massey.

“Don’t break out the Cheetos or goldfish too quickly.” – Colorado Governor, John Hickenlooper.

“I don’t want to see anyone out on East Main Street smoking a doobie.” – Buena Vista Police Chief, Jimmy Tidwell.