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Las Animas County Sheriff James Casias remained hospitalized in a Denver hospital yesterday in stable condition. Casias was airlifted to Denver for an unknown illness on Wednesday morning. Which hospital Casias was taken to was not disclosed. Las Animas County Undersheriff Derek Navarette said yesterday that Casias‚€™ family didn‚€™t want to release a statement until family members are positive what caused the illness. Navarette said that the family wants the people of Las Animas County to know that their sheriff is in stable condition, but that‚€™s all. Casias was airlifted from Mt. San Rafael Hospital in Trinidad on Wednesday morning.
President Barack Obama yesterday signed an executive order saying that the U.S. Army Field Manual will guide the future interrogations of prisoners and detainees. President Obama also singed an executive order saying that the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center for terror suspects would be closed within a year. The move was welcomed by both Colorado Senator Mark Udall and Representative John Salazar. Salazar said that Obama was following through on his pledge of closing Guantanamo. He said he supports ‚€œthe president‚€™s decision to establish the army field manual as the guideline for conducting interrogations‚€Ě. Senator Mark Udall said yesterday, ‚€œThere has been a growing consensus among national security experts that the Bush administration‚€™s policies on torture and interrogation made the job of keeping America safe more difficult, not easier.‚€Ě Udall said the nation needs to reclaim its ‚€œmoral authority‚€Ě in combating terrorism. He said ‚€œthat‚€™s what President Obama is trying to accomplish‚€¶‚€Ě
The San Luis Valley Regional Airport will receive a $123,000 grant from the Federal Aviation Administration to improve signs, striping and lighting along its runways and taxiways. The grant is part of a regular funding cycle from the FAA. Alamosa County Administrator Barry Shio****a said that airport authorities are in the process of obtaining prices for the new signs. He said that should there be any leftover funding after the sign replacement, striping and lighting have been handled, crack sealing may be added to the list of upgrades. The moves will bring the airport into compliance with FAA regulations. The airport also recently purchased a fire truck from the Colorado Department of Transportation to help comply with federal rules. U.S. Representative John Salazar, who often flies in and out of the airport, praised the award and the upgrades.
The Alamosa Education Association this week has approached the Alamosa Board of Education with a possible conflict of interest issue regarding school board member Mark Hensley, who is also an employee of Valley Electric. The AEA says that Valley Electric has been the contract electric company for Alamosa Public Schools as long as anyone can remember, and that Hensley has actively voted regarding bids with Valley Electric, which the AEA believes is a conflict of interest. The district has paid nearly $500,000 for services performed by Valley Electric since 2005. Board President Patty Newman said that the school board has already reviewed the issue and decided it was not a conflict of interest because Hensley is not the owner of the company. The AEA now plans to contact the Colorado Education Association legal offices in an effort to pursue the issue.
Colorado State University will host the Alliance College Access Program from 5 to 7:30pm on Tuesday, January 27th, at John Mall Junior/Senior High School in Walsenburg. The program will take place in the school cafeteria. Information will be provided to Walsenburg students and their families as they consider educational plans after high school graduation. All members of the community ‚€“ families, students and teachers ‚€“ are welcome to attend.