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Prosecution rests Friday in murder trial

Posted: Saturday, Dec 20th, 2014
DEL NORTE -- The prosecution rested Friday morning after presenting an overview of the investigation in the double homicide case of Daniel Bessey, 43, accused of murdering two people at their Monte Vista home Feb 13, 2012.
Monte Vista Police Sgt. Jason Russell discussed how his department began to suspect that Bessey might have committed the homicides.
Bessey is accused
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Double murder to jury soon

Posted: Friday, Dec 19th, 2014
DEL NORTE -- With the jury expected to get the case soon, attorneys on both sides in the trial of Daniel Bessey, 43, have begun getting all their information on the record.
Experts have been on tap throughout the trial, which began earlier this month, presenting evidence surrounding the allegation that Bessey shot two persons to death on Feb. 13,
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County: It's too early to be alarmed

Posted: Friday, Dec 19th, 2014
Courier staff writer
ALAMOSA COUNTY -- False alarms continue to burden the Alamosa County Sheriff's Office (ACSO), and an ordinance nearly brought to vote has become unhinged.
The Alamosa County Commissioners (ACC) Wednesday called for a work session instead of a motion to revise Ordinance 18, the proposed Alamosa County False Alarm Code, after taking in comments from concerned parties during
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Truck repair, cell phone usage play a part in double homicide trial

Posted: Thursday, Dec 18th, 2014
DEL NORTE, Another motion seeking a mistrial and a request to excuse a witness began the day Wednesday at the trial for Daniel Bessey, 43, accused of killing two people in February 2012.
A comment made by a mechanic and a witness the defense allegedly hadn't been able to question brought comments from 12th District Judge Pattie Swift, who denied
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Christmas gifts last all year in 'makeover'

Posted: Thursday, Dec 18th, 2014
ALAMOSA -- Century Property Management opted not to perform a home makeover this year -- they transformed four families' lives instead.
The company, which has undertaken numerous home makeover projects over the years in time for Christmas, decided this year to provide gifts that would help local families all year long. With the support of their generous vendors, Century Property
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Input welcome on Mosca sewer

Posted: Thursday, Dec 18th, 2014
Courier staff writer
MOSCA -- Preliminary ideas to make sustainable repairs to Mosca's sewer system are up for discussion.
The Alamosa County Commissioners (ACC) Wednesday took their first glimpse at the Reynolds Engineering Company's draft Mosca Wastewater Infrastructure Improvement Project report and immediately decided to take the information to the citizens for their input before moving forward.
"We need to
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Annex is open for business

Posted: Wednesday, Dec 17th, 2014
ALAMOSA COUNTY -- Officials, staff and friends Tuesday afternoon celebrated the completion of the new Alamosa County Annex.
The building, which has officially been open for business since the beginning of November, is home to the Treasurer's Office, the Clerk and Recorder's Office, the Assessor's Office, the Land Use Department and the Veteran's Affairs Office.
"It was done on time and
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Murder trial features video, bullets

Posted: Wednesday, Dec 17th, 2014
DEL NORTE -- The jury was asked to disregard discussion on motions for a mistrial that were debated and denied Monday as the trial of Daniel Bessey continued Tuesday.
Presiding Judge Pattie Swift discussed the situation that emerged from comments made by a friend of Bessey's who was called as a prosecution witness and advised the jury to forget about
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Pitcher punished for no permit on RGNF

Posted: Wednesday, Dec 17th, 2014
DURANGO, Randall D. Pitcher, 52, of Pagosa Springs, who owns and operates the Wolf Creek Ski Area within the confines of the Rio Grande National Forest, was sentenced on Tuesday in Durango by U.S. Magistrate Judge David L. West to serve five years on supervised probation, including 500 hours of community service, to be performed 100 hours per year for
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Judge contemplates marijuana lawsuit

Posted: Wednesday, Dec 17th, 2014
Courier staff writer
ALAMOSA COUNTY -- Valley Meds, LLC will know after the New Year whether the court will hear their complaint against the Alamosa County Commissioners (ACC) for denying their special use permit application.
Valley Meds, LCC, represented by Arthur Espinosa, and the ACC Tuesday morning appeared before 12th Judicial District Judge Martin Gonzales, who decided he will take
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Mistrial denied in murder case

Posted: Tuesday, Dec 16th, 2014
DEL NORTE, Witness recollections and attorney reactions were the order of the day Monday in the double homicide trial of Daniel Bessey, 43.
Bessey is accused of killing Sarah Janay Beasley, 29, and John Salazar, 54, in the early morning hours of Feb. 13, 2012, at the home they shared in Monte Vista.
The jury is comprised of five
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Colorado sues over Gunnison sage-grouse

Posted: Tuesday, Dec 16th, 2014
VALLEY -- A GOP policy rider slipped into the $1.1 trillion federal spending bill passed this weekend will not change the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's (FWS) November decision to list the Gunnison sage-grouse as threatened, a choice that has the state claiming violations of the endangered species protection act.
An 88-word paragraph buried in the 1,600-plus page budget bill prohibits
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Valley teams cap off weekend at La Junta Shootout

Posted: Tuesday, Dec 16th, 2014
LA JUNTA--Four San Luis Valley schools took both their boys and girls teams down to La Junta for the La Junta Shootout over the weekend with each team playing three games. After all was done, two teams still remain unbeaten this season.

Lady Tigers improve to 5-0, down Grizzlies
The La Junta Shootout saw the Del Norte Tigers down
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Jury to visit murder scene today

Posted: Friday, Dec 12th, 2014
DEL NORTE -- Law enforcement techniques were the main bill of fare as the first week of the trial of Daniel Bessey, 43, drew to a close.
Friday, the jury will tour the location where Bessey allegedly shot Sarah Beasley, 29, and John Salazar, 54, to death at around 4 a.m. Feb. 13, 2012.
While the house has been redone
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Stadium taxes will not increase in 2015

Posted: Friday, Dec 12th, 2014
Courier staff writer
ALAMOSA -- Taxes supporting the Alamosa High School (AHS) athletic complex and agriculture facility will not increase in 2015, a promise made when the matter was brought to vote two years ago.
A jump in area property values has decreased the 2015 mill levy collection, said AHS Principal Andy Lavier, who was a driving force behind the stadium
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Sun's nice, but mountains need snow

Posted: Friday, Dec 12th, 2014
Courier editor
ALAMOSA -- An unusually warm and dry autumn is not without its price.
The Rio Grande Basin is sitting at the bottom of the state with a snowpack of 57 percent of normal, Colorado Division of Water Resources Division 3 Engineer Craig Cotten reported this week.
As of Tuesday, the Rio Grande Basin (San Luis Valley) sat at
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SLV conservation poster goes national

Posted: Thursday, Dec 11th, 2014
Courier staff writer
VALLEY -- Brie Valdez dug a little deeper, and now her conservation poster is up against winners from across the country for national honors.
The Monte Vista Middle School sixth grader is the first Valley conservation poster contest contestant to go all the way to the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) competition in nine years, and she
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Tensions boil over water proposals

Posted: Thursday, Dec 11th, 2014
Courier editor
ALAMOSA -- Veering from its generally congenial atmosphere, the Rio Grande Roundtable meeting on Tuesday resulted in tense -- and intense -- discussions over proposals to study how water reductions are affecting the San Luis Valley's economy.
The roundtable, which seldom denies funding for proposals brought before it, tabled a $30,314 request from the SLV Council of Governments
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Experts testify in MV murder trial

Posted: Wednesday, Dec 10th, 2014
DEL NORTE -- Much of the information conveyed in Rio Grande District Court Tuesday was given to set the stage for the weeks-long trial of Daniel Bessey, 43, accused of murdering two persons on Feb. 13, 2012 at a Monte Vista home.
The autopsy reports were clear on both Sarah Janay Beasley and John Salazar, who were shot to
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Alamosa closes problematic roadway

Posted: Wednesday, Dec 10th, 2014
Courier editor
ALAMOSA -- Alamosa will be closing off the road up to no good.
The Alamosa city council this month unanimously approving closing off both ends of the unimproved portion of Cottonwood Drive by the Cattails Golf Course, with vehicular access only allowed for city maintenance operations.
The city will likely place poles with chains between them to physically
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Double homicide trial underway

Posted: Tuesday, Dec 9th, 2014
DEL NORTE -- Following two days of jury selection involving some 300 persons and some preliminary motions, the long-awaited trial of Daniel Bessey began in earnest Friday and continues this week.
Bessey is accused of killing Sarah Janay Beasley, 29, and John Salazar, 54, in the early morning hours of Feb. 13, 2012, at the home they shared in Monte
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Weather continues to baffle

Posted: Tuesday, Dec 9th, 2014
Courier staff writer
VALLEY -- Warm weather continues to shock the Valley and Coloradans across the state.
Over the weekend, Valley temperatures hit 50 plus degrees and lows were in the teens and single digits, according to U.S. Climate Data records. The average Alamosa December high is 35 degrees, the low is 1 degree and the average precipitation is .35
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Antonito board, staff at impasse

Posted: Tuesday, Dec 9th, 2014
Courier editor
ANTONITO -- An agreement that has been in place for more than three decades between the South Conejos school board and school employees may end this month.
The school board is expected to vote tonight on whether it will renew, renegotiate or let lapse a master agreement that followed a 59-day strike in the district in 1980. The
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