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Mark Anthony Whatley, 21, has been extradited to Colorado in connection with the stabbing death of Jeremy ‚€œAlex‚€Ě Popoff. Whatley was arrested on August 21st in Farmington, NM. He waived an extradition hearing and was transported to the Trinidad jail last week. Whatley is scheduled to appear in court on Friday where he may be formally charged with first-degree murder in the alleged homicide. Popoff, 33, was found dead on May 15th from multiple stab wounds.
U.S. Senators Wayne Allard and Ken Salazar broke an impasse at the 11th hour, making it much more likely that the short-handed U.S. District Court in Denver will get two more judges after all. The two senators over the weekend decided to mutually support Christine Arguello and Philip Brimmer. Both Arguello and Brimmer will be considered at a hearing today of the Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington. Both senators had originally agreed on nominating Gregory Goldberg to fill the third vacancy on the court, but decided to sacrifice his nomination in lieu of supporting the other two. Before the deal was negotiated over the weekend, Salazar was blocking Brimmer‚€™s confirmation and Allard temporarily blocked Arguello‚€™s confirmation as a bargaining tool. An explanation as to why Goldberg was not included in the agreement was not given by either senator.
A case before the Colorado State Supreme Court today could affect San Luis Valley counties‚€™ control over mining operations. The case before the court involves a 2004 lawsuit by the Colorado Mining Association against Summit County regarding that county‚€™s open pit cyanide mining ban but its outcome could affect similar bans in effect in Conejos and Costilla counties as well as future actions regarding mining proposals in the valley. The Colorado Mining Association will argue today that the state government should have sole authority over the placement of open-pit cyanide gold mines. Summit County will argue that local governments should retain control. The Colorado Court of Appeals earlier sided with Summit County.
A man was injured at the U.S. post office in Alamosa yesterday morning when a sport utility vehicle plowed through a front window of the post office building. The man and two older females who were in the SUV were taken to the hospital, however the status of their injuries is not known. The accident also knocked a section of post office boxes off of their mounts and cut off access to another bank of boxes. The accident caused an estimated $10,000 in damage to the post office. Crews worked yesterday to secure the mail in the damaged boxes and to block off the hole in the front window. Two police investigators and an investigator from the Colorado State Patrol are scheduled to examine the SUV today for mechanical problems and to review the report and accident diagrams to determine if a citation should be issued to the driver.
The Colorado National Guard announced to a meeting of all-valley county commissioners yesterday that it might bring an armory back to the San Luis Valley if it can find a reliable pool of recruits to staff it. The guard said yesterday that it is looking at the area as a possible site for an armory to house a weapons unit with 75 to 100 troops and 20 pieces of equipment. The guard previously had an armory in Monte Vista that housed military police and ambulance personnel before it closed in 2005. The current proposal is on the table because of $84 million in federal funding to build new guard facilities across Colorado.