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Local teen dies in ATV accident

Posted: Wednesday, Jul 23rd, 2014
SAN LUIS -- Centennial student Thalia Valdez-Garcia, 16, died Tuesday night after the four-wheeler she was driving collided with a pickup truck driven by Jeremiah John Hostetter of Alamosa.
Colorado State Patrol (CSP) responded to the two-vehicle crash on County Road P.6 in Costilla County about three miles east of San Luis Tuesday evening, July 22, about 6 p.m.
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Celebrate dunes quarter on Sept. 4

Posted: Wednesday, Jul 23rd, 2014
MOSCA -- Great Sand Dunes National Park has been selected as the national site to represent the state of Colorado on the reverse side of the United States quarter-dollar coin. Great Sand Dunes National Park is the 24th coin-release in the United State Mint America the Beautiful Quarters Program, a multi-year initiative authorized by Public Law 110-456 (America's Beautiful National
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Counties unite on fishy topic

Posted: Wednesday, Jul 23rd, 2014
Courier editor
ALAMOSA -- With a recommendation due by the end of the month whether or not to list Rio Grande cutthroat trout as endangered, local officials are ramping up efforts to prove this species does not need to be listed.
The SLV County Commissioners Association, encompassing the six counties in the San Luis Valley, earlier this year joined four
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From beetle kill to biomass

Posted: Tuesday, Jul 22nd, 2014
Courier editor
ALAMOSA -- There's a different kind of "gold" in "them thar hills."
It's in the trees themselves.
Correctly harvested, the beetle kill timber that exists on public and private lands in the San Luis Valley could provide a gold mine for the biomass and other lumber industries while at the same time improving forest health.
Rio Grande National
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Dallas to decide Wolf Creek soon

Posted: Tuesday, Jul 22nd, 2014
ALAMOSA -- Rio Grande National Forest Supervisor Dan Dallas anticipates a decision on the proposed land exchange for the Village at Wolf Creek in about a month.
Dallas said on Monday although he will temporarily be working in Washington, D.C., for a few months to help fill a vacancy during an interim period, he will continue reviewing the environmental impact
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Judge: Late ballots do not count

Posted: Friday, Jul 18th, 2014
CONEJOS -- Late ballots will not be opened and counted in the June 24 Primary Election, 12th Judicial District Judge Martin Gonzales ruled late Friday.
Incumbent Sheriff Robert Gurule challenged the election and sought a court order commanding Conejos County Clerk Lawrence Gallegos to open and count the ballots which, the judge conceded, could have given him a mathematical edge
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Soil Health Tour is Tuesday

Posted: Friday, Jul 18th, 2014
Courier staff writer
CENTER, Valley farmers with a mission to protect the future of agriculture will showcase their sustainability trials and techniques Tuesday during the Fourth Annual SLV Soil Health Tour.
This year, MillerCoors is hosting the event at Coors Farms in Center, extending an invitation for all to visit its barley companion planting trials, which are in their first
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WildEarth asks feds to intervene on Rio Grande

Posted: Friday, Jul 18th, 2014
Courier editor
ALAMOSA -- WildEarth Guardians have not backed off from seeking more water from Colorado to keep fish afloat in New Mexico.
This week the environmental group wrote to U.S. Department of the Interior Deputy Secretary Mike Connor asking the department to become more actively involved in management of the Rio Grande to protect endangered species like the silvery
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City addresses the rumor mill

Posted: Friday, Jul 18th, 2014
Courier editor
ALAMOSA -- Alamosa city councilors and staff on Wednesday responded to negative rumors and Facebook posts.
None of the councilors owned up to demanding marijuana tax money from the county to make up for added stress marijuana is allegedly placing on the Alamosa Police Department. During the Alamosa County commissioners' meeting last week, Commissioner Marianne Dunne mentioned that
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Tennis courts to see resurfacing

Posted: Friday, Jul 18th, 2014
Courier editor
ALAMOSA -- Alamosa's tennis courts should be resurfaced and ready for play this fall.
The Alamosa city council Wednesday night unanimously approved a bid from All Seasons Tennis Courts, headquartered in Golden, for $43,090 to resurface the city's courts at Boyd and Carroll Parks. The project is scheduled to be completed by September 30.
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Amber Alert leads to Alamosa arrest

Posted: Thursday, Jul 17th, 2014
ALAMOSA -- A Colorado State Patrol (CSP) trooper located two children Tuesday night around 11:30 p.m. in Alamosa after New Mexico authorities issued an Amber Alert earlier in the day for James Wilkins, 6 months, and Michael Standingbear, 8 years old.
They had been abducted by their mother, Davina Wilkins, 25, Las Vegas, New Mexico, according to a CSP
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Flash flood alert given in burn area

Posted: Thursday, Jul 17th, 2014
WEST VALLEY -- The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for Mineral County and west central Rio Grande County, particularly for the West Fork Complex Fire burn scar area until early evening yesterday with a warning that continued rainfall in the burn area could result in flash flooding.
Doppler Radar indicated a thunderstorm producing heavy rain approaching
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Alamosa airport houses fire ‘helibase’

Posted: Thursday, Jul 17th, 2014
Courier staff writer
ALAMOSA -- One of three Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control (DFPC) emergency response helicopters is settling into its new digs at the San Luis Valley Regional Airport.
The arrival of the A-Star helicopter, its pilot and an initial attack fire fighting crew over the weekend is in conjunction with the state's creation of the DFPC and
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More water in requires more water out

Posted: Thursday, Jul 17th, 2014
Courier editor
ALAMOSA -- After years of drought, more water in the San Luis Valley's rivers is a welcome change, but it comes with a price.
With higher stream levels comes a higher obligation that must be paid to downstream states.
Colorado Division of Water Resources Division Engineer for Division 3 Craig Cotten reminded Valley residents of that fact during
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New Polston owners share plans

Posted: Wednesday, Jul 16th, 2014
Courier staff writer
ALAMOSA -- With the Polston lawsuit settled and after another signing of the deeds, the Trust for Public Lands (TPL) and the San Luis Valley Local Foods Coalition (LFC) are beginning to make their vision for the Rio Grande Healthy Living Park (RGHLP) a reality.
Last week, Alamosa Avocet, LLC, the company Daniel Russell signed the property over
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Water district prepares for Boyce battle

Posted: Wednesday, Jul 16th, 2014
Courier editor
ALAMOSA -- San Luis Valley water leaders are bracing themselves -- and enlisting the support of Colorado's congressional delegation -- against the latest water export proposal.
Saguache County rancher Gary Boyce's proposal through Sustainable Water Resources to export water from the San Luis Valley to Front Range buyers has raised concern with the Rio Grande Water Conservation District
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Judge reviews election challenge

Posted: Monday, Jul 14th, 2014
CONEJOS -- Briefs are due Wednesday in the election challenge filed by Conejos County Sheriff Robert Gurule, and 12th Judicial District Judge Martin Gonzales will issue a ruling Friday on 64 ballots that arrived too late to be counted as part of the Primary Election.
Following nearly three hours of attorney statements and testimony by both Gurule and Conejos County
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Initiative 75 out of the running in 2014

Posted: Monday, Jul 14th, 2014
VALLEY -- Only one of three potentially threatening ballot initiatives for San Luis Valley water users remains in play.
Supporters withdrew Initiative 75 (Right to Local Self-Government), the initiative that would have allowed local governments to override state authority and ban corporate activity within their borders, withdrew it from signature gathering on Monday for a lack of support.
This means
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Polston lawsuit dismissed Friday

Posted: Friday, Jul 11th, 2014
ALAMOSA -- After over a year of litigation, the Alamosa District Court Friday dismissed the Polston lawsuit, which resulted in the buyout of the property for the proposed Rio Grande Healthy Living Park (RGHLP).
Visiting District Judge Scott Epstein dismissed without prejudice yesterday the lawsuit against Dan Russell and the Alamosa Board of Education (ABOE), according to Alamosa District Court documents
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Tax that weed!

Posted: Friday, Jul 11th, 2014
Courier staff writer
ALAMOSA COUNTY, Taxation on future Alamosa County medical marijuana plantations is a possible ballot measure this November.
The Alamosa County Land Use Department (LU) Wednesday proposed the Alamosa County Commissioners (ACC) consider implementing an excise tax on all Medical Marijuana-Infused Product Manufacturers and Optional Premise Cultivation Operations, none of which exist in the county at this time.
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Brother of slain MV man arrested

Posted: Friday, Jul 11th, 2014
MONTE VISTA -- Monte Vista Police Department SWAT officers on Tuesday arrested Adelmo DuPont, 23 of Monte Vista, who was wanted for attempted first-degree murder in connection with a May 8 incident allegedly involving retribution for the death of his older brother Edward.
Mark Gutierrez, 47, Monte Vista faces murder and other charges in connection with the May 8 death
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For county, it's just one weed after another

Posted: Friday, Jul 11th, 2014
Courier staff writer
ALAMOSA COUNTY , Marijuana isn't the only "weed" Alamosa County Commissioners (ACC) are dealing with these days, although they, too, might consider it noxious.
Unwanted vegetation sweeping across the county's rural roads, alleyways and fallowed lands are a top priority for several Alamosa County departments this summer because, in some cases, the noxious weeds are beginning to
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County canines to require extra ID

Posted: Friday, Jul 11th, 2014
Courier staff writer
ALAMOSA COUNTY, A new dog tag is soon-to-be-required for Alamosa County canines.
The Alamosa County Commissioners (ACC) Wednesday heard the first reading of the Alamosa County Sheriff's Office (ACSO) proposed amendments to Alamosa County Ordinance No. 13 regarding animal control practices, procedures and penalties.
The proposed amendment changes affect dog licensing and penalties for violations, according to
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Lost hiker found alive at dunes

Posted: Thursday, Jul 10th, 2014
SAND DUNES -- A night hike at Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve turned into a 30-hour survival ordeal for a hiker from Oregon.
Max McCleskey, 20, was hiking with a friend late into the night on Monday on the dunes.  Around 2 a.m. Tuesday morning, the hikers became separated. The friend made it to the parking area, but
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Brother, sister are in recovery

Modified: Thursday, Jul 10th, 2014
SANFORD -- "Little miracles" are happening regularly as two Sanford children recover from severe burns suffered in a camper fire July 1.
Tamlen "Tams" Mortensen, 5, and her brother, Dane, 2 1/2 are being treated in Children's Hospital, Aurora.
Apparently, the two were playing in an old camper, found some matches and lit them.
Jan Mortensen, mother of the children,
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Saguache County offers friendly skies to UAS

Posted: Thursday, Jul 10th, 2014
Courier staff writer
CENTER -- So far, the sky is the limit for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in the Valley.
The Saguache County Commissioners (SCC) more than favored the $100 billion dollar industry in a work session held Tuesday at the Center School District, which was to include representatives from the Town of Center that were unable to attend because of
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