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Valley pilots question UAS safety

Posted: Saturday, Sep 20th, 2014
Courier staff writer
MONTE VISTA -- John Huguely now has something to take back to the drawing board.
After months of meeting with government bodies to explore the future of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) in the Valley's sky, the UAS Colorado vice chairman Wednesday night presented to the SLV Pilots Association, the first local group to express hesitation over developing the
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Should bison remain?

Posted: Saturday, Sep 20th, 2014
Courier editor
ALAMOSA -- Should the Great Sand Dunes Park & Preserve incorporate bison, and what should the park do about its large elk population?
These are the main questions the National Park Service is trying to answer, with the help of local residents, in its pending ungulate management plan. With no preferred alternatives yet, the park service is seeking
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Friday crash kills one

Posted: Saturday, Sep 20th, 2014
VILLA GROVE -- A young Moffat woman died Friday morning in a two-car crash near Villa Grove.
Colorado State Patrol was withholding the woman's name at press time, pending official notification of next of kin. The 20-year-old victim was a passenger in a 1983 Audi station wagon that broke into two pieces after being struck by a 2005 Saturn Vue
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Mushroom farm reopens in Alamosa

Posted: Friday, Sep 19th, 2014
ALAMOSA, More than a year after closing, mushrooms are growing again at the former Rakhra Mushroom Farm located northeast of Alamosa.
Now called the Colorado Mushroom Farm, mushroom-growing operations began September 17 with the first crop expected the third week of November. Rakhra ceased operations at the farm in June 2013, after operating for more than 28 years.
Baljit
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Boyce filing water application soon

Posted: Friday, Sep 19th, 2014
Courier editor
ALAMOSA -- Saguache County rancher Gary Boyce's plans for a water export project are imminent.
"This is not a forever process," Boyce said during a recent interview. "This is something that needs to move expediently. We can't afford to suffer much more damage from depletions of the aquifer. We are in the process right now of pulling together
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Mosca sewer system problem stinks

Posted: Thursday, Sep 18th, 2014
Courier staff writer
MOSCA -- Getting the sewer system right in the unincorporated town of Mosca is easier said than done.
For almost 15 years, the failing sewer system, installed in 1980, has plagued the small community of about 600 people in northern Alamosa County. System components have been replaced over time in an attempt to mitigate the leaching problems,
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Trial set in deputy sex assault case

Posted: Thursday, Sep 18th, 2014
Courier staff writer
ALAMOSA --  Former Alamosa County Sheriff's Office (ACSO) deputy Dale Michael Jordan, 34, is set to face a jury in December for allegedly engaging in sexual conduct with an Alamosa County Detention Center inmate.
Jordan is charged with a felony count of criminal attempt to commit sexual assault, a felony count of criminal attempt to commit unlawful
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Luncheon raises eyebrows in water world

Posted: Thursday, Sep 18th, 2014
Courier editor
ALAMOSA -- Three water board members, a lawyer, a banker and a rancher walk into a restaurant …
… sounds like the beginning of a joke, but this particular lunch meeting was no laughing matter, particularly since the rancher was Gary Boyce whose water export proposal was rejected by the water board these three members represent.
In fact,
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La Garita Creek Ranch hosts annual fall fly in

Posted: Wednesday, Sep 17th, 2014
Courier staff writer
LA GARITA -- Vintage planes from across the Valley, the state and beyond will touch down this weekend at the La Garita Creek Ranch.
The Colorado Recreational Aviation Committee (CORAC), in collaboration with the ranch and other Valley businesses, will kick off the event Fri., Sept. 19, welcoming both pilots and the public throughout the weekend.
"CORAC is
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Valley schools adopt common safety protocol

Posted: Wednesday, Sep 17th, 2014
Courier staff writer
VALLEY -- Student safety is a top priority for all Valley school districts, and having a common standard emergency response protocol will ensure the welfare of all.
The Superintendents Advisory Council (SAC) decided last week during its monthly meeting that it would be in the best interest of all Valley students, families, educational staff and emergency responders if
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Center super under attack

Modified: Tuesday, Sep 16th, 2014
Courier staff writer
CENTER -- After nearly two decades of leading the district, Center Schools Superintendent George Welsh allegedly submitted his verbal resignation last week in response to Board of Education (BOE) Director James Sanchez' request to veer from an "underachieving path."
At the conclusion of the BOE's board meeting last Tuesday, Sanchez read a letter, one of two now circulating
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Alamosa County increases address fees

Posted: Tuesday, Sep 16th, 2014
Courier staff writer
ALAMOSA COUNTY -- After tabling the decision in August, the Alamosa County Commissioners (ACC) approved last week to increase address acquisition fees.
The Alamosa County Land Use Department (LU) last month proposed to the ACC raising the address acquisition fee from $30 to $50, an increase necessary to accommodate costs for a blue single or doubled sided, vertical
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Mogote appears to be prime SLV 'sun spot'

Posted: Saturday, Sep 13th, 2014
Courier staff writer
ROMEO -- A sunny Thursday morning made quite the case for developing solar energy on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) parcels west of Romeo.
During the agency's final tour the Valley's Solar Energy Zones (SEZ) this week, those curious about the pros and cons of an alternative energy project on public lands joined BLM staff for an experiential
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State water administration still evolving

Posted: Saturday, Sep 13th, 2014
Division Engineer
Colorado Division of
Water Resources
VALLEY -- For more than 140 years, Colorado has used a system of water allocation known as the prior appropriation system.
Prior appropriation refers to the concept that those that put water to use first are entitled to get their water first during periods of water shortage, or put
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Crowder to seek weed clean up $

Posted: Saturday, Sep 13th, 2014
Courier staff writer
ALAMOSA COUNTY, Noxious weeds, water, veterans and healthcare are top priorities for GOP Sen. Larry Crowder.
In a surprise update Wednesday to the Alamosa County Commissioners (ACC), Crowder said he would press the federal government to create a line item in the national budget for noxious weed control on public lands after realizing the current condition of
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Soil health = water health

Posted: Friday, Sep 12th, 2014
Courier editor
SAGUACHE -- Water sustainability in the San Luis Valley may be crucially connected to soil health.
To gather more information about that relationship and find ways to help local farmers improve soil health -- and reduce water usage -- the Rio Grande Roundtable this week unanimously approved a $98,200 request from local basin-allocated funds for a three-year "Increasing
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Svaldi delivers 'Last Lecture'

Posted: Friday, Sep 12th, 2014
ALAMOSA -- Dr. David Svaldi, president of Adams State University, spoke Wednesday evening to a roomful of faculty, staff, family and friends.
The lecture was part of the university's annual "Last Lecture Series," where speakers are asked, "If this were your last opportunity to speak to students, what would you tell them?" Wednesday night's presentation was especially poignant because of
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Hot springs is in hot water

Posted: Friday, Sep 12th, 2014
SAGUACHE COUNTY -- A former director of the Orient Land Trust (OLT) filed suit in Saguache District Court last month, alleging that the trust wrongfully fired her for prohibiting alleged sexual abuse and drug dealing/use among employees and members.
Denver attorney Jay Jester, representing Gunnison County resident Suzanne Ewy as plaintiff, named owner/operators Neil and Theresa (Terry) Seitz as
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ACC ordinance 'alarming'

Posted: Friday, Sep 12th, 2014
Courier staff writer
ALAMOSA COUNTY, A solution to a long time problem with false alarms in Alamosa County Wednesday morning made its way to a work session with elected officials.
It's been over three years since the Alamosa County Sheriff's Office (ACSO) responded to an authentic alarm system call, and with around 20 or more coming in monthly, deputies are
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Wildlife refuge plan up for comment

Posted: Thursday, Sep 11th, 2014
Courier staff writer
VALLEY -- Plans for the future of the Valley's National Wildlife Refuge Complex are unfolding, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is gearing up for another round of public input.
The refuge complex draft comprehensive conservation plan and environmental impact statement, published August 26 and presented to the Alamosa County Commissioners (ACC) Wednesday, is out for
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BLM will put solar where the sun DOES shine

Posted: Thursday, Sep 11th, 2014
Courier editor
ALAMOSA -- San Luis Valley is the prime spot for solar development in Colorado, but before any solar panels go up on public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the agency wants to prepare for and minimize negative consequences they might create.
As part of that process, BLM is hosting open houses and field trips
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Schools support CHAMP, COG programs

Posted: Wednesday, Sep 10th, 2014
Courier staff writer
VALLEY -- Student health services and improved broadband access both received letters of support Tuesday morning from the Valley's Superintendents Advisory Council (SAC).
The supers signed off on a letter in support of the National Institutes of Health's research project called "Collective community to improve child health in rural Colorado," which would aid the highly valued Coordinated Health
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Valley escapes post-fire floods — so far

Posted: Wednesday, Sep 10th, 2014
Courier editor
SAGUACHE -- Upper Rio Grande residents have "dodged the bullet" of post-fire flooding, Rio Grande Watershed Emergency Action Coordination Team (RWEACT) Executive Director Tom Spezze told Rio Grande Roundtable members during their meeting yesterday in Saguache.
"We are continuing to be concerned from a public safety standpoint," he said. "We are monitoring rainfall and drainages."
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Local migrant program receives super support

Posted: Wednesday, Sep 10th, 2014
Courier staff writer
VALLEY -- Migrant Education Program (MEP) Director Esmeralda Martinez is one board vote away from increasing salaries for her staff, a budgeting decision aiming to entice and retain qualified employees.
"This is to provide the best support to meet the needs of our students, your students," said Martinez to the Valley's Superintendents Advisory Council (SAC) Tuesday during their
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Sanchez donation is largest of its kind

Posted: Wednesday, Sep 10th, 2014
Courier editor
ALAMOSA -- Thirty gallons of lemonade -- and a boy's big heart -- generated more than $5,000 this summer for Children's Hospital programs and a local anti-bullying program.
Peyton Sanchez, who has spent more than his share of time at Children's, came up with the idea all on his own to set up a lemonade stand at Summerfest
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Valley ACT scores flat

Posted: Tuesday, Sep 9th, 2014
Courier staff writer
VALLEY -- ACT scores across the Valley remain flat in 2014, barely keeping pace with the rest of the state.
Sargent was the only Valley school district to post ACT numbers matching or exceeding the Colorado 2014 average composite score of 20.3 out of a possible 36, but its averages for the four exams - English, math,
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RR neighbors: Don't cut corners, cut weeds

Posted: Tuesday, Sep 9th, 2014
Courier editor
ALAMOSA -- Asserting the railroad should not be held to a different standard than other property owners in town, Seventh Street residents Linda and Joe Ortega asked the Alamosa city council to enforce city weed regulations on the railroad.
The city issued a warning followed by a citation to San Luis and Rio Grande Scenic Railroad General Manager
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