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The Colorado Department of Transportation has announced that Nevada Avenue in Trinidad will be closed temporarily today between College Street and Pine Street. Nevada Avenue will be closed to through traffic, but all businesses will be open as usual. The closure will be in effect from 8am until about 5pm today and detours will be in place to direct traffic around the work site. The detour will allow Lawrence Construction Company to install deck panels on the overhead bridge girders for the new alignment of I-25. CDOT thanks you for your patience during the construction.
Trinidad Fire Chief Leroy Perea said Tuesday that arson has been ruled out in connection with the fire that destroyed the second floor of the Franch Block Building last Saturday. An electrical short is believed to be the cause although the Colorado Bureau of Investigation still needs to issue a final report. The fire broke out about 1pm Saturday in one of the six apartments on the second floor of the building, also known as the Lone Star Building, in the 200 block of West Main Street in Trinidad. The building, which was built in 1887, also contained a vacant restaurant, a pawnshop and other small businesses on the first floor. Fire officials said the second floor was completely destroyed in the blaze and there was water and smoke damage to the businesses on the ground level.
HB1167, a measure that was introduced by Representative Wes McKinley, of Walsh, would have protected oil and gas wells in Colorado from being shut down after they complied with new regulations approved by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, however, the bill was killed by a house committee on Tuesday. The measure died on a nearly partisan 7-6 vote, with McKinley being the only democrat joining the house agriculture committee‚€™s five republicans in voting for the measure. The bill was designed to prevent wells from being declared out of compliance with new wildlife regulations if habitat or wildlife migration conditions changed after a well is in operation.
Alamosa District Attorney David Mahonee told SLV County Commissioners this week that there is no way he can work within the budget that was submitted to commissioners by former District Attorney Peter Comar for the 2009 fiscal year. Commissioners had complained about not receiving requested information from Comar with some counties going as far as withholding monthly payments to the office until they felt their money was being well spent and Comar‚€™s office could prove it. After looking at the budget, both Mahonee and commissioners were unsure where some of the numbers were coming from and a compromise was made in December. At the final budget hearing for 2009, the DA‚€™s office requested $770,563. Commissioners agreed to $662,283. Mahonee is now requesting an even $800,000, which he was warned would not happen back in December when the topic was first brought up in regards to staffing requests. No further funding beyond the original $400,000 will be approved until a new budget is submitted to county commissioners.
The Colorado State Patrol arrested Oscar Jaime Rascon, 53, of Fort Garland, on Tuesday night in connection with a January hit-and-run accident that sent two children to the hospital. Rascon was booked on suspicion of failing to remain at the scene of an accident involving serious injury, four counts of careless driving causing injury, and unsafe tires. Investigators suspect that Rascon was driving a 1994 Toyota Tacoma pickup eastbound on U.S. 160, five miles west of Blanca on the night of January 4th, when the truck crossed over into the opposite lane and collided with a 1992 Saturn driven by Cassandra Wilson of Monte Vista. Wilson, a passenger and Wilson‚€™s two daughters were in the car at the time. The children were taken to the hospital with head injuries. Rascon is being held in the Costilla County Jail on a $10,000 bond.