Launching a pilot program of school vouchers for poor children in a dozen urban districts moved closer to reality yesterday. House bill 1160, this session's main voucher bill, was given preliminary approval by the colorado senate yesterday. The bill is sponored by rep. Nancy spence of aurora and senate majority leader norma anderson of lakewood. A final senate vote may come as early as today which would send the bill back to the house for consideration of amendments. If the amended bill passes the house, it would then move on to gov. Bill owens for his signature. If passed, a child must be poor enough to qualify for the free lunch program to be eligible. A child also must have received an "unsatisfactory" failing score on at least one colorado student assessment program test and be living in a district with at least eight schools rated unsatisfactory or low-performing on csap's.
Cpl. Randal kent rosacker, 21, who was killed monday in iraq, is a native of alamosa. Rosacker was one of 10 marines killed in fighting near an nasiriyan about 230 miles southwest of baghdad. His body is expected to be returned to the u.s. Today and then to the san lusi valley where funeral services will be held. No date for the funearl has been set as of yet. Burial will take place at the colorado state veterans' center at homelake near monte vista. Rosacker was killed monday as he and other marines were accepting the surrender of some iraqi troops when the iraqis opened fire. His grandparents are doug and pat rosacker and john and joan cavaliere. He is also survived by two paternal great- grandmothers, harriet parker and nova cavaliere, both of alamosa.
Gov. Bill owens yesterday signed hb 1093 into law which will revise the governance of the colorado state college system. Adams state college, mesa state and western state will now be governed by their own independent boards beginning july 1st. The colleges will each now work directly with the colorado commission on higher education and the general assembly. The trustees of the state colleges, which currently oversees the three institutions, will be dissolved as well as the office of state colleges in denver. The new board of adams state will be appointed by the governor with eleven members. The board will be made up of at least two members from the counties of alamosa, conejos, costilla, huerfano, mineral, rio grande and saguache.
Steve chaney, the superintendent of the great sand dunes national monument and preserve, told alamosa county commissioners yesterday that the closing date on the baca ranch has been extended to as late as august 31st, but also could be as early as may. However, chaney did say that the closing date has been moved beyond april 30th due to the lingering legal issues that have to be remedied. The only remaining issue remaining for american water development's claim against the ranch is surrendering the title. Just how much money businessman peter hornick will receive from the sale is also to be determined.
The trinidad city council has been asked to recognize those who helped accommodate about 250 motorists who were stranded overnight during the height of the blizzard last week. Trinidad parks and recreation superintendent rusty guzzo said that the volunteers who helped out would like the city and fire departments to help establish a fund to purchase additional blankets, cots and pillows for future weather-related emergencies.
The monte vista city council will hold a work session beginning at 5:30 tonight with the planning and zoning committee and the urban renewal authority. There will then be a regular council meeting beginning tonight at 7pm to consider a resolution on water meters for nonresidents, liquor license renewals and contracts.