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Ashleigh Haag, 18, of Trinidad was killed about 5:30pm last Thursday as she attempted to make a left hand turn onto Colorado 12 from Las Animas County Road 18.3 and was struck by a dump truck. The accident occurred when Haag proceeded from a stop sign into the path of a dump truck owned by Purgatoire Valley Construction Company. The driver of the dump truck tried to avoid the 1996 Mercury Cougar Haag was driving, but collided with the front left side of the car and pushed it off of the road. The dump truck rotated counter-clockwise off the north side of the road and rolled onto its side. The driver of the dump truck received minor injuries. Ashleigh Haag‚€™s brother Eric, 8, and her sister Kayla, 15, were both in critical condition and were transported to Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs. Both Haag and her brother and sister were all wearing seat belts when the accident occurred.
U.S. Attorney for the District of Colorado Troy Eid visited with law enforcement officials in the San Luis Valley on Thursday. Eid said that the federal court needs a permanent presence in southern Colorado to handle the growing number of cases in the region. Eid said that nearly 40% of the cases handled by his office come from the southern Colorado area, including Colorado Springs, Pueblo, the southern foothills, and the San Luis Valley. Eid said that with a federal judge located in Colorado Springs or Pueblo, his office could do more for the area. Colorado is one of five states that have only one federal court. The others are Utah, Delaware, Rhode Island and New Hampshire. Eid said that establishing a court outside of Denver is a contentious issue with the chief judge, who has reportedly said that the court‚€™s workload and expense do not justify and full-time judge or court in southern Colorado.
The source of high levels of methane gas in water wells in Huerfano County has not yet been determined, however, several possibilities have been eliminated. The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission began testing water wells in the River Ridge Ranch and La Veta Pines subdivisions in June after a gas explosion blew the roof off a well house. Petroglyph, a coal bed methane gas company that operates wells in the area, shut off all 52 of its wells last month to allow for monitoring. Two abandoned gas wells in the area, the Lively and Dick Realty wells, were possible suspects, however, tests for possible leaks showed the two wells were not the cause of the problem. The commission now suspects that the methane may be coming from dike formations in the area. Just how long it will take to find the problem and fix it is not known.
The 12 Judicial District Nominating Commission on Friday forwarded its candidates for vacant judgeships in Alamosa and Conejos Counties to Gov. Bill Ritter. In Alamosa County, candidates for the county court bench are Gordon Bosa, Michael Gonzales and Daniel Walzl, all of Alamosa. In Conejos County, candidates for the county court bench are Mary Garcia of Manassa, David Mahonee of Antonito, and Raymond Valdez of La Jara. Governor Ritter had 15 days from Friday to select the two appointments.
More than 50 people gathered at the farm of Ernie and Paul New near Mosca on Friday to dedicate the new $90,000 solar system that sits in one of their field corners. The New‚€™s are part of a group of farms in the valley that hope their vacant field corners will provide good homes for solar panels. The system at the new farm is expected to generate $2,500 in electricity annually, which will help cut down the farm‚€™s $7,000 to $10,000 annual electric bill. Rep. John Salazar, who was at Friday‚€™s gathering, said that congress will continue to put money into renewable energy. He cited the 2007 Farm Bill, which passed through the House of Representatives, and would boost spending on renewable energy by $4.5 billion.