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 …

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News from the San Luis Valley

Adams State Under Heat

The most affordable university in Colorado is under heat, facing pressure from news sources that have labeled it one of the least effective colleges in the United States. Payscale.com listed Adams State as one of the colleges with the worst ROI, or return on investment. The ROI is meant to represent whether the amount of tuition spent on the degree will likely be worth the amount of money made with the degree. After Payscale’s list went public, Adams State has been featured on various blogs and articles questioning the worth of higher education and citing how low the college is on the list. Not all, however, are comfortable with the way the study was conducted, with objectors noting the extremely small sample sizes, the basing of rates on out-of-state tuition and failing to take into account the graduate student population. 

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News from the San Luis Valley

Plane Crash at the Sand Dunes Takes Two Lives

A Piper PA-28 piloted by Monte Vista resident Richard Cutter, 69, crashed in a remote area on Medano Pass at the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve on June 8. Cutter died in the crash. A passenger, Sandra Fitzgerald, 51, of Alamosa, died June 18 in a Denver hospital, where she had been transported following the crash. The cause of the crash is still being investigated.

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News from the San Luis Valley

By Patty LaTaille

Saguache County Protests Property Reassessment

The reassessment of properties by the Saguache County Assessor’s office, under the direction of the Department of Local Affairs, Division of Property Taxation, has been protested by a large number of Crestone, Baca and Villa Grove residents. State Sen. Larry Crowder, Rep. Ed Vigil and representatives of the State Division of Taxation attended a meeting in late July to address the issues.

Many residents, especially in the town of Crestone, felt that the new values placed on their properties are excessive and not representative of the true market value. Several protested that the town economy and wages are not strong enough to allow residents to pay the taxes that would result from the new assessments.

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News from the San Luis Valley

by Patty LaTaille

“Cancer Gene” Common in SLV

Cancer rates are abnormally high among young men and women in the SLV, and now an explanation is at hand. With recent breakthroughs in science, historical anecdotes and good timing, there may be an answer to the many deaths due to breast and other cancers each year. According to The Denver Post, “Many of the descendants of the devoutly Catholic families who settled this valley hundreds of years ago carry an inherited genetic mutation that is linked to cancer. That gene mutation is found, primarily, among Jewish families.”

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News from the San Luis Valley

By Patty LaTaille

Wind Warning!

Alamosa Elementary students and staff were advised to relocate to the gym if winds are sustained or gust at over 50 mile per hour. Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc., of Lakewood, discovered that both school buildings, excluding the gyms, need reinforcement to withstand wind and earthquake forces. In a letter addressed to Alamosa School District Superintendent Rob Alejo from Neenan Co. project executive Mark Christensen, winds above 50 mph or greater could potentially cause damage to the building in the form of cracking of finishes, but not structural failure or any form of building collapse. With the mighty winds whipping through the SLV in the spring, this could be an issue.

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News from the San Luis Valley

by Patty LaTaille

Murderers Nabbed In Alamosa

On May 6, 2011, Jerry Roberts of Arlington County, Texas, was reported missing.

According to The Valley Courier, “Investigators found a bloody chair at Roberts’ home, and his refrigerator and truck were missing.”

On July 4, “a man and his son were out in a rural part of Ellis County, Texas, with metal detectors when they came across a taped up refrigerator. They removed the tape, opened the door and found a body, which has now been identified as Jerry Roberts.”

On June 7, a man driving the missing Roberts’ truck flagged down an Alamosa patrolman and asked for the location of the local parole office.

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News from the San Luis Valley

Saguache Elections Update

The 2010 general election was conducted following all state and federal statues and rules. The mail-in ballots that were recounted for the clerks and commissioners races produced in the exact same results as the Nov. 5 re-tabulation. The results have been examined and signed off by the Colorado Secretary of State’s office and the Saguache Canvass Board as true and accurate.

The Saguache County Clerk invited a technician from Election Systems & Solutions along with two representatives from the Colorado Secretary of State’s office who reviewed the election processes, reconciled the ballots and researched the data error in the software.

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News from the San Luis Valley

by Patty LaTaille

Potential Tragedy Not Quite Averted

The “San Juan Express #216” passenger train westbound from Antonito collided with an Antonito track “tie crew” motor car, injuring two Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad on Aug. 31. The crash occurred at mile post 311. Both men are expected to fully recover. The railroad is continuing to deal with the change to operating out of Chama due to the fire that damaged the Lobato Trestle, a few miles from the depot in late June. Chama passengers are currently being transported by motor coach to Cumbres Station, at the high point of the 64-mile line, for the rest of the trip to Osier or Antonito, both in Colorado.

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News from the San Luis Valley

By Marcia Darnell

Election News

Alamosa voters said “yes” to a new city hall/library complex at Cole Park. The special election resulted in a 942-828 decision to fund a new building. Residents have yet to hear about a grant application that could kick in $2 million for the project.

In Rio Grande County, Karla Shriver won the Republican primary for county commissioner. In Alamosa County, incumbent Sheriff Dave Stong won over challenger David Osborn.

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News from the San Luis Valley

by Marcia Darnell

Hot Dog Crisis

Cities face a lot of difficult issues: water, crime, finance, natural disasters. Alamosa, however, faces a struggle over a hot dog cart. Linda Pardue wants to sell her Hebrew National dogs in parks and at public events. The city council is unsure how to handle the request, and has asked for more time to research this complex dilemma.

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News from the San Luis Valley

by Marcia Darnell

Sad but True

One of the Valley’s greatest mysteries has been solved. The whereabouts of Danice Day, missing since January 2002, have been resolved. Remains uncovered in Arizona were confirmed to be the 19-year-old waitress from Monte Vista. Her romantic partner, Victor Braun, 33, who directed authorities to the remains, has been charged with manslaughter.

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