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Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints apologized again yesterday to members of the San Luis Town Board for the three missionaries who were allegedly depicted in pictures found on the internet last week mocking the Catholic faith and defacing a local holy shrine. The 7 leaders of the church found a community offended and angry over the pictures that were allegedly taken in 2006 at the Stations of the Cross, the All Saints Chapel and the Shrine of the Mexican Martyrs, all located on a mesa above the town of San Luis. Colorado Springs mission president Robert Fotheringham told the town board, ‚€œWe‚€™re apologetic, we‚€™re ashamed, we‚€™re disappointed‚€Ě. The Costilla County Sheriff‚€™s Office has opened an investigation of the incident. Possible charges against the three men involved include felony criminal mischief, felony conspiracy, and misdemeanors for desecration of a venerated object, criminal trespass, defacing property and bias-motivated crime. More information on the status of the investigation is expected to be released today.
Colorado Department of Corrections Executive Director Ari Zavaras said yesterday that despite aggressive efforts to reduce recidivism, an increase in parolees and any changes in sentencing requirements the legislature might approve, Colorado will still need more prison beds as soon as it can get them. Zavaras outlined a massive 5-year, $800 million plan yesterday that would add state prisons, including expanding the Trinidad prison, and building a mega-facility somewhere else in the state. DOC projects that its inmate population will leave it 900 beds short by 2010, and nearly 5,000 short by 2013. Under the plan, the 480-bed Trinidad prison would expand to 2,537 beds, making it larger than the only other mega-prison in the state, the Sterling Correctional Facility. The plan also calls for expanding correctional facilities in Pueblo and Crowley County by more than 630 beds.
Alamosa County Emergency Preparedness Manager Pete Magee is cautioning area residents of potential flooding this year. Magee, speaking to Rio Grande Roundtable members yesterday, said that residents need to be prepared. He said, ‚€œIf you think the county or the city is going to help you, you are not living in reality‚€Ě. Magee suggested that if people think they need flood insurance, they should buy it. He also said people should set aside emergency provisions such as food and water and should have a location that they can go to if they need to evacuate. The city and county are taking measures to be prepared to warn and assist residents in case of flooding this year, Magee said, but he encouraged residents to also make preparations.
Alamosa Municipal Court defendants will be able to pay their fines with debit and credit cards soon. The Alamosa City Council adopted a resolution on March 5th that includes and increase in court costs of $5, from $20 to $25, to cover the costs associated with accepting debit and credit card payments. Alamosa City Clerk Judy Egbert told councilors, ‚€œMost people don‚€™t carry checks or cash‚€Ě. She said with the ability to take debit and credit cards, the city will reduce the time fines and fees are paid because people can pay for their court fines and fees in one transaction. The city is currently taking proposals to provide the credit card processing service and will accept those proposals until March 31st.
Business owners in Walsenburg looking for ways to reduce their energy bills are invited to attend a business roundtable dinner from 5:30 to 7pm on Thursday, March 27th, at the Huerfano County Community Center at 928 Russell Avenue in Walsenburg. Hosted by the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade and several local organizations, the event will provide information on programs and processes available to businesses that will cut energy costs. For reservations, call the Huerfano County Commissioners office at 738-2370.