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DA fights more crime with less staff

Posted: Saturday, Feb 25th, 2017
Courier editor
ALAMOSA -- New 12th Judicial District Attorney Crista Newmyer-Olsen may now have a new role but is very familiar with the job and the dedication it takes to do it.
Serving in her new post since January, Newmyer-Olsen previously served as chief deputy DA for several years. Faced with a triple homicide less than a week after being
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Valley schools to receive state recognition

Posted: Saturday, Feb 25th, 2017
VALLEY --?The Colorado Department of Education will celebrate 2016 district and school performance results in an awards ceremony on Wednesday, March 1, in the Colorado Department of Education lobby in Denver.
Several San Luis Valley schools are among those to be honored.
The event will recognize the recipients of the 2016 Centers of Excellence, Governor's Distinguished Improvement and John Irwin
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Charges filed in Lucero fatal

Posted: Friday, Feb 24th, 2017
Courier editor
COSTILLA COUNTY -- District Attorney Crista Newmyer-Olsen filed charges this week against Robert Greenlee, 75, of Lafayette, for causing the death of Patricia Lucero, 70, of Alamosa, in a December 28, 2016, crash on La Veta Pass.
Among the charges is a felony vehicular homicide charge. The case was filed with the court in Costilla County where the
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Judge: Gray's crime 'heinous'

Posted: Friday, Feb 24th, 2017
Courier editor
ALAMOSA -- District Judge Michael Gonzales on Thursday sentenced Matthew Gray, 43, to 16 years in prison in three cases including one involving the assault of a Community Corrections staff member.
On that case Gray pleaded guilty to felony escape, reduced from the original first-degree attempted murder charge. Assistant District Attorney Ashley McCuaig told the judge the DA's
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Ordinance change accommodates cats

Posted: Thursday, Feb 23rd, 2017
MOSA -- Alamosa city council is considering an ordinance with one or two "claws."
Responding to some concerns in the community over feral cats, the council plans to amend its existing animal ordinance to provide for feral cat colonies, which would be permitted as long as they are registered -- with the cats spayed or neutered -- and do not
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School approves security contractor

Posted: Thursday, Feb 23rd, 2017
AMOSA--After reviewing a statement written by architect James Murray of CSHQA, the Alamosa School District Board of Education has selected Alcon Construction to be the contractor for Ortega Middle School's security project. Three different bids were considered at Tuesday's meeting and Alcon's was the lowest.
"Murray was instrumental in getting the OMS roofing grant and the high school roofing grant
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Standoff ends peacefully in Antonito

Posted: Thursday, Feb 23rd, 2017
ANTONITO -- Thanks to the negotiating skills and patience of multiple local law enforcement agencies, a standoff with a suspect ended peacefully Tuesday evening in Antonito.
On February 21 at 7:18 p.m. the Colorado State Patrol initiated a traffic stop near the intersection of Eight Street and Front Street in Antonito.
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County supports syringe exchange

Posted: Thursday, Feb 23rd, 2017
Courier staff writer
ALAMOSA--Alamosa County commissioners took a first step to helping fight the opioid epidemic at their Wednesday meeting. Officials approved a resolution that partners them with the San Luis Valley Area Health Education Center for a countywide syringe exchange program.
"It's a hybrid collaboration," said Alamosa County Public Health Department Director Della Vieira. "We hope that once this
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Former Bronco gives tourism pep talk

Posted: Wednesday, Feb 22nd, 2017
Courier Staff Writer
ALAMOSA--San Luis Valley residents know why the Valley is a great place to be, but sometimes it takes effort to convince others to visit. That's why The San Luis Valley Tourism Association held their annual conference yesterday so that those in the tourism industry could network and discuss strategies.
In the morning representatives for the Valley's six
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Judge sets murder conspiracy trial

Posted: Wednesday, Feb 22nd, 2017
Courier Editor
ALAMOSA -- District Judge Michael Gonzales on Tuesday set a weeklong trial to begin July 31 for Devin Cooper, one of the codefendants in the 2016 murder of Floyd Dale McBride, 52.
Cooper is the son of Lonnie Cooper, 43, who is charged with the shooting that led to McBride's death. However, his son Devin and several others
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ASU improving its financial position

Posted: Wednesday, Feb 22nd, 2017
Asst. to the President for Communications
ALAMOSA -- Adams State University officials said they agree with recommendations from an independent audit and have already made progress toward improving the university's financial position. Commissioned by the State Auditor's Office, the performance audit was presented to the Legislative Audit Committee February 21.
"We ended fiscal year 2016 with noticeable improvement
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Hotz murder case continued

Posted: Wednesday, Feb 22nd, 2017
Courier Editor
ALAMOSA -- Perry Hotz, 20, did not enter a plea during his first appearance in district court on Tuesday to face a first-degree murder charge for the October 2016 death of his 5 1/2-month-old daughter.
The child died a few days after suffering head trauma injuries the morning of October 8 at the family's home in Hooper.
Public
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Legislators, locals talk healthcare

Posted: Tuesday, Feb 21st, 2017
Courier staff writer
ALAMOSA--Commissioners, city councilors, medical industry employees and concerned citizens attended a town hall meeting at Valley-Wide Health Systems on Saturday to hear about the state of healthcare in Colorado.
State Representative Donald Valdez and State Senator Larry Crowder kicked off the discussion by talking about their legislative plans.
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Woman identified as Marisa Wilson

Posted: Tuesday, Feb 21st, 2017
Courier staff writer
ALAMOSA--The 19-year-old local woman who died last Wednesday has been identified as Marisa Wilson.
Preliminary autopsy reports have ruled out homicide as the cause of death. However, Alamosa County Coroner Kevin Rogers is still waiting on the official cause of death from the autopsy. According to Rogers the final results could take anywhere between six and
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City accepts comp plan, reviews participation

Posted: Tuesday, Feb 21st, 2017
Courier editor
ALAMOSA -- Officially adopted by the Alamosa planning commission, the city's new comprehensive plan has also received unanimous endorsement by the city council.
For the first time since 1997 the city has developed a new comp plan, which will provide direction and guidance for Alamosa in coming years.
Alamosa City Manager Heather Brooks told the council that it
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Woman's death is not homicide

Posted: Saturday, Feb 18th, 2017
Courier staff writer
ALAMOSA--Preliminary autopsy reports have ruled out homicide as the cause of death for the 19-year-old local woman found Wednesday. However, the cause of death has yet to be confirmed.
Jessie Salazar, resident of 202 Ponderosa Drive, called the authorities around 7:30 a.m. when he discovered a women's body underneath the front of his truck. The Colorado Bureau
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Alamosa caps water financing

Posted: Saturday, Feb 18th, 2017
Courier editor
ALAMOSA -- Alamosa city council this week set boundaries on how much it will spend on its efforts to comply with new water rules from the state.
The council approved on first reading and scheduled for a March 1st public hearing an ordinance setting $3.7 million as the upper limit of what the city will finance to
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CBI reviewing officer involved shooting

Posted: Friday, Feb 17th, 2017
SAGUACHE--A Moffat man was shot and faces charges after threatening law enforcement with a firearm just after 9 a.m. on February 12.
Saguache County Sheriff's Office (SCSO) deputies, with assistance from a Colorado State Patrol (CSP) trooper, were called to 62301 County Road EE outside of Moffat on a report involving a man with a gun on Sunday morning.
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Body found was 19-year-old local female

Posted: Friday, Feb 17th, 2017
Courier staff writer
ALAMOSA--The woman found Wednesday at 202 Ponderosa Drive in Alamosa has been tentatively identified as a 19-year-old local resident. Alamosa County Sheriff's Office is waiting on a fingerprint confirmation from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI.)
The autopsy started on Thursday and more information will be available when it is completed.
Officials are in the process
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Alamosa back to pot topic

Posted: Friday, Feb 17th, 2017
Courier editor
ALAMOSA -- Marijuana may be on the table again for Alamosa.
Alamosa City Manager Heather Brooks told city councilors on Wednesday that petitions are again underway to place marijuana issues on the ballot.
She said Shanna Hobbs, who unsuccessfully petitioned to get marijuana questions on the ballot last year, is working on three different petitions this year.
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Missing park visitor located

Modified: Friday, Feb 17th, 2017
SAND DUNES -- The search initiated Thursday for a missing visitor at the Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve ended near sunset when search and rescue members successfully located Bryan Skilinski approximately one and a half miles south of the park visitor center.
Skiliniski was found in relatively good health considering he had spent five nights out in
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Search underway for missing park visitor

Posted: Thursday, Feb 16th, 2017
SAND DUNES -- A search and rescue effort was initiated on Thursday at Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. An unattended vehicle located in the park's horse trailer parking lot along Medano Road since this past weekend alerted park staff to further investigate the location of the visitor. Further investigation has identified the driver of the car as Bryan
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Body found in East Alamosa

Posted: Thursday, Feb 16th, 2017
Courier staff writer
ALAMOSA--Jessie Salazar, resident of 202 Ponderosa Drive, called the authorities around 7:30 a.m. Wednesday when he discovered a women's body underneath the front of his truck.
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation arrived later that morning to assist the Alamosa County Sheriff's Office in figuring out what happened and who the victim is. The incident is being called
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City accepts first public art

Posted: Thursday, Feb 16th, 2017
Courier editor
ALAMOSA -- Alamosa city councilors Wednesday night accepted the first 15 pieces of artwork that will be displayed in the city's inaugural public art on loan program.
Ranging from sculptures and bronzes to marble and steel, and even an interactive musical piece, the artwork will be erected in Alamosa's downtown area on June 2, coinciding with SummerFest on
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Two arrested for burglaries

Posted: Wednesday, Feb 15th, 2017
ALAMOSA -- The Alamosa Sheriff's Office has been investigating reports of daytime burglaries that have been occurring over the last several weeks. On February 10th with the assistance of the Alamosa Police Department, the sheriff's office arrested 21-year-old John Gardner, and 36-year-old Jesus Ibarra at 86 Sierra Ave in Alamosa, in connection with at least five burglaries and one attempted
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Courier to receive non-profits ‘Excellence in Media’ award

Posted: Wednesday, Feb 15th, 2017
ALAMOSA, With more than 400 non-profit organizations in the San Luis Valley, the apparent need for those services has been recognized and promoted by the region's only daily newspaper.
Colorado Non-Profit Association is saluting the efforts of the Valley Courier and publisher Keith R. Cerny and his staff with the Excellence in Media Award, which will be presented in Denver
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County searches for Lane 6 money

Posted: Wednesday, Feb 15th, 2017
Courier staff writer
ALAMOSA--A bitter budgetary pill becomes slightly less bitter to swallow. As reported on in January, Alamosa County officials believed they would be receiving a $3.4 million grant to repair Lane 6 North but found out that the grant would be for $12 million. A larger grant means the county would need to match more funds. However, a
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Basin's water outlook is mixed blessing

Modified: Wednesday, Feb 15th, 2017
ALAMOSA -- A higher water year in the San Luis Valley means a greater obligation to downstream states.
Colorado Division of Water Resources Division 3 Engineer Craig Cotten explained that both the Rio Grande and Conejos River systems, which are under Rio Grande Compact obligations to New Mexico and Texas, are forecasted for above average flows. The snowpack in the
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