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A disagreement over equipment in the weight pile started a fight that involved about 35 inmates on New Year‚€™s Eve at the minimum-restricted Trinidad Correctional Facility, leading to a prison wide lockdown. The fight was quickly broken up. One inmate received minor injuries, but no one else was hurt. The alleged perpetrators of the fight were removed that night and were transported to prisons in Canon City. The Trinidad facility was locked down and the prison‚€™s 480 inmates remained locked in their cells through the weekend. Normal operations resumed this past Monday.
Governor Bill Ritter, in his annual state of the state address to the legislature yesterday, said that Colorado must take a staged approach to get through the state‚€™s immediate economic problems and speed up its ultimate recovery. First, the governor says that Colorado needs to trim millions of dollars from the budget. Then, the state needs to consider fee increases and bonding mechanisms to pay for infrastructure improvements and to create jobs. And, finally, the state should address constitutional provisions that hamstring Colorado‚€™s ability to sustain a budget. Ritter said that in ‚€œthis session we must do everything we can for those who are struggling, to assist Coloradoans in their jobs and to keep families in their homes‚€Ě. The governor said, ‚€ĚOver the next 120 days, our collective focus must be on protecting businesses, creating jobs and managing the budget‚€Ě. Ritter said he would look at everything worked on during the current session through the lens of the economy, of what‚€™s responsible now and what‚€™s best for the long run.
Citizens for San Luis Valley Water, a San Luis Valley environmental group, and the federal government have reached an agreement in a lawsuit over access to public records filed on a proposed oil and gas project on the Baca National Wildlife Refuge. The settlement details how the federal government will fulfill past record requests made by the group under the Freedom of Information Act. The settlement also lays out terms for two more record requests the coalition made in November. The group filed its lawsuit in July, alleging that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the regional solicitor‚€™s office for the Department of the Interior failed to release public documents related to a proposal by Lexam Explorations of Toronto to drill two exploratory wells on the Baca. Since then, the group has received hundreds of pages of documents, including records that show the agency shared versions of a draft environmental assessment on the drilling proposal with Lexam before the document‚€™s release to the public.
The proposed new owners of the old Kmart building in Alamosa are requesting incentives from the city of Alamosa to help clinch the deal to rehabilitate the building for retail and office space. Developer A.G. Helton of Action Properties LLC, the potential new owner, told the city council Wednesday that even though the property has not yet been purchased, he has nearly finalized negotiations with two or three national companies interested in moving into the building once it is remodeled. None of those companies is currently operating in the area. Neither council nor the developer outlined specific incentives, but Action Properties has basically requested that the city use a portion of its new taxes to assist the project over time.
Governor Bill Ritter has named Mary Griffin, of Boulder, to the board of trustees for Adams State College. Griffin has spent the past 13 years in human resources in the high-tech sector along Colorado‚€™s front range. She is now operating her own human resources consulting firm. Griffin is a 5th generation Coloradoan and has long been active in state and local politics. She earned a B.A. in history from the University of Colorado in 1992 and a Jurist Doctorate from the University of Colorado School of Law in 1996. ASC President, Dr. David Svaldi, said Griffin ‚€œbrings an important perspective based on expertise in the field of human resources that will compliment the strengths of [Adam State‚€™s] other trustees.‚€Ě