Remember! Lock it on: KSPK-FM 103.5 & KSPK-TV Channel 34 in Trinidad
U.S. Rep. John Salazar said yesterday that lawmakers may try to attach funding to a supplemental budget bill in congress to provide funding to the USDA‚€™s Livestock Compensation Program, in an effort to find a way to finance disaster aid for ranchers on Colorado‚€™s eastern plains. The USDA created a disaster program for ranchers in 2002 to help pay for losses caused by the severe drought that summer, however, the program doesn‚€™t have any funding currently. Salazar said that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has indicated that the democratic leadership will allow lawmakers to attach disaster funds to a Defense Department supplemental bill that is coming to the house this month. Whether there is enough support to pass aid for farmers and ranchers that were affected by this winter‚€™s blizzards is still unknown.
A water main break in Walsenburg early yesterday spilled as much as 500,000 gallons of water and left Walsenburg with little or no water pressure throughout the town and about an acre of land and part of Huerfano County Road 599 submerged in the floodwater. A collar joint reportedly broke on a 14-inch concrete line, causing the problem. Valves on each end of the line, which was installed in 1946, were closed to help isolate any contamination. The collar was replaced by 5pm last night. City officials issued a boil order last night for all municipal water users because of the break in the line. The boil order will most likely remain in place until the end of the week, and until the city completes the necessary water quality tests and flushes the water system.
Cotton Creek Circles, one of the three opponents to Colorado‚€™s confined aquifer rules, has filed a notice of appeal to Alamosa District Judge O. John Kuenhold‚€™s November, 2006, decision, and December, 2006, amended findings to the Colorado State Supreme Court. The other protestors to the state‚€™s rules, the Colorado Association of Home Builders and the San Luis Valley Water Company, are not appealing Kuenhold‚€™s decision. Cotton Creek Circles can only raise legal issues before the Supreme Court. Kuenhold did not rule their way on the legal questions they raised, so now they will ask the Supreme Court to tell Kuenhold whether or not he ruled correctly on those legal issues. Cotton Creek Circles filed its appeal on the February 12th deadline.
Vincent Montez, 51, of Gardner, pled not guilty yesterday in Huerfano County District Court. Montez was ordered to stand trial for vehicular homicide last month in the death of 37-year-old Stephanie Ortiz and for driving under the influence of alcohol. Montez maintains that he was not driving and had not been drinking even though officers at the scene smelled alcohol on his breath and the Colorado Bureau of Investigations determined that Ortiz was not driving. Montez remains in custody at the Huerfano County Jail in lieu of $40,000 bail. His trial has been set for May 22.
Colleen Hudson, 41, of Alamosa, was arrested on Friday on charges of theft and embezzlement dating to her tenure as manager of Splashland Hot Springs last summer. Hudson is facing one count of felony theft and one count of felony embezzlement. She is alleged to have taken approximately $25,000 from Splashland over the course of the last summer. Hudson was arrested on Friday and bonded out shortly afterwards. She is free currently on bail of $10,000.