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Former Trinidad State Junior College President Thomas Sullivan died last Wednesday at his home in Paseo, Washington. Sullivan was president of the college from 1972 to 1991 and was the longest serving president in TSJC history. He was instrumental in brining the college into the computer age, constructing new facilities and expanding educational programs. The Massari Performing Arts Building and the mining technology and heavy equipment building were built during his 19-year tenure. Sullivan was named president emeritus and the student center was renamed in his honor following his retirement. Sullivan would have been 81 in March.
A head-on collision west of Walsenburg yesterday brought traffic to a standstill for more than three hours on U.S. 160 and claimed the life of a Walsenburg woman. Mary MacIntyre, 86, of Walsenburg, was traveling westbound on U.S. 160 about 4:30pm when her 2000 Ford Focus crossed into the eastbound lane and into the path of a semi. According to the state patrol report, the car sideswiped the semi before coming to rest in the middle of both lanes of traffic. Macintyre was not wearing a seatbelt and was pronounced dead at the scene. The semi came to a controlled stop in the eastbound lane. The semi driver, John M. Sullivan, of Almond, Wisconsin, was not hurt in the accident. Traffic was backed up for several miles in either direction while an investigation of the accident was conducted and while the accident was cleaned up. U.S. 160 was reopened shortly after 8pm last night.
About 24 children used their day off of school yesterday to do some lobbying at the state capitol in Denver. The students wanted to make lawmakers aware of SB57, a measure introduced by Senator Ken Kester of Las Animas, that calls on insurance companies to finance hearing aids for children, something that most plans currently don‚€™t include. The measure includes a legislative declaration stating that by helping young children obtain hearing aids, the state and its residents could save money in the long run. Students who learn better are more likely to succeed in life, costing the state less in other types of aid, according to Kester. To help get their message across, the children were handing out informational brochures on the subject along with stuffed animal otters wearing hearing aids.
A three-phase plan by Petroglyph Energy received approval by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission last week to remove methane gas that has migrated in a shallow aquifer in the River Ridge Ranch subdivision near Walsenburg. Petroglyph voluntarily shut down all 56 of its methane wells in Huerfano County last June after a gas explosion blew the roof off a well house in the subdivision. As part of the first phase of the plan, Petroglyph plans to begin drilling a monitoring well as early as next week to collect data that should show where the methane is entering the aquifer. The plan is to remove significant amounts of methane by pumping water out and then returning it to the aquifer. The company told commissioners, however, that it could be several months before it begins that part of the process.
Alamosa firefighters responded to a fire at about 3am on Saturday morning in the 1000 block of Alamosa Avenue. Firefighters had to fight the blaze in extreme temperatures of 24 degrees below zero with a wind chill of 38 degrees below zero. The fire reportedly began in the chimney area and fireplace and quickly spread to the walls and roof. The residents of the house were asleep when the fire broke out, however, they all made it out of the house safely and no one was injured in the blaze. The two-story house was severely damaged in the blaze. The Alamosa Fire Department has been busy the past few weeks with chimney fires turning into structure fires. The department is encouraging area residents to make sure their chimneys are clean to prevent such fires.