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Those in attendance yesterday at the Las Animas County Commissioner meeting gave commissioners a standing ovation when they unanimously approved a new resolution that takes an even harder line in the county‚€™s efforts to oppose the army‚€™s effort to acquire 100,000 more acres at the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site northeast of Trinidad. In Washington yesterday, Senator Mark Udall pressed Defense Secretary Robert Gates about the expansion asking if the Pentagon would guarantee that the army would fully answer all of Udall‚€™s questions about its need for more land at Pinon Canyon and promise not to condemn any rancher‚€™s land if there is expansion. While Udall got the assurances he was asking for, those aren‚€™t the answers that ranchers are seeking. Instead they want Udall and other Colorado lawmakers to stop the army, once and for all. Udall, a freshman senator, supported the funding ban while in the house, but wouldn‚€™t go that far yesterday.
U.S. Representative Doug Lamborn, a republican from the 5th Congressional District, said yesterday that he is making efforts to keep Guantanamo Bay detainees out of Colorado. Representative John Salazar, a democrat representing the 3rd Congressional District, also said he feels it is appropriate that the detainees go elsewhere. Word came late last week that the administrative-maximum security penitentiary at Florence, also known as Supermax, could be selected to receive some Guantanamo detainees. A total of 245 suspected terrorists are being held currently at the Cuba-based U.S. Naval Detention Center which President Barack Obama has ordered closed within a year. Lamborn said the detainees would pose a danger to the prison staff and expose the community to unsuspected threats. He said they might also propagate their views among other inmates. Salazar said that while nothing is for sure right now, the attorney general‚€™s office has set up an interagency committee to review each of the detainees cases to decide what the right thing to do is. Lamborn said he is contemplating proposing legislation that would bar the Guantanamo detainees from coming to Colorado.
Convenience and grocery store owners across Colorado have submitted petitions signed by more than 66,000 of their customers to end a state law that limits the establishments to selling 3.2 beer, and allow them to stock full-strength beer instead. A measure that would do that could be introduced as early as today by Representative Buffie McFadyen of Pueblo West and Senator Jennifer Viega of Denver. The signatures were collected at Loaf ‚€˜N Jug, 7-Eleven and Safeway stores around Colorado. The storeowners say that when the state ended the Sunday ban last summer, their beer-selling business dropped by nearly two-thirds.
Adams State College is looking at up to $557,000 in cuts for the current budget year. School officials may decide to meet the current cuts through a hiring freeze, the adjustment of funding sources for some offices and savings from unspent operating budgets. No staff or faculty cuts are expected from the initial round of cuts. An additional $800,000 in cuts are expected for the next academic and fiscal year. School officials met with employees last week to explain the cuts, and are also looking for ways to boost or develop new revenue streams.
Colorado State Patrol veteran Lawrence Martin has been promoted to major of the 17-County Colorado State Patrol District that includes troop 5B, the San Luis Valley. Martin was born in Alamosa and was raised in Monte Vista, graduating from Monte Vista High School in 1985. He is married to Janelle Booth Martin and the couple has two daughters, Kaitlynn and Kelcey, and a son, Kendrick. The family remains in the San Luis Valley and Major Martin splits his time between Alamosa and Durango.