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Later this month, Colorado Agriculture Commissioner John Salazar and Governor John Hickenlooper plan to travel to Mexico on a trade mission that they hope will open up a $30 million-a-year market for Colorado potatoes, the lion’s share of which would be grown in the San Luis Valley. Salazar said that the pair hope to meet with Mexican President Felipe Calderon and remind him of his promise that he would work towards opening the market in the interior portion of Mexico to potatoes if congress helped him resolve the Mexican trucking issue. The Mexican trucking issue has now been resolved, yet there has been no movement on the U.S. making imports to Mexico. Salazar sees Mexico’s appetite for Colorado potatoes as a potential gravy train for the San Luis Valley. Currently, U.S. fresh-market potatoes can only be sold to the border regions of Mexico. Colorado provides about half of the potatoes to that market. Salazar said Mexican food distributors’ appetites for American potatoes equals the desire in the U.S. to provide them.

The State House Appropriations Committee on Friday passed a measure that would increase the transparency of cemetery boards. The bill, HB1068, requires the board of directors of a nonprofit cemetery to include at least one owner of a lot, grave space, niche or crypt. It also gives owners and designees the right to inspect a cemetery’s financial records and to attend board meetings. The bill was introduced by Representative Wes McKinley, of Coakdale, following allegations of faulty ground maintenance at the Trinidad Catholic Cemetery and problems with the board of directors at Pueblo’s Roselawn Cemetery. It is not known when the full house will again take up the bill, but opposition to the bill from the state attorney general’s office continues. If the bill makes it out of the Colorado House, McKinley is optimistic about its chances in the state senate.

Travis Timm, 22, of Crestone, was killed early yesterday morning in a one-vehicle rollover that occurred on Camino Del Rey Road, approximately three miles south of Crestone in Saguache County. According to the Colorado State Patrol, Zachary Paul Lemasters, 24, of Crestone, was driving a 2003 Saturn 4-door eastbound on Camino Del Rey at a very high rate of speed. The vehicle traveled off of the south side of the road and rolled one time. There were four passengers in the vehicle at the time of the accident. Timm was ejected from the vehicle and was pronounced dead at the scene. Max Friedrichs, 23, of Moffat, and a 17-year-old male and 17-year-old female were also passengers in the vehicle. Lemasters, Friedrichs and the two juveniles were transported to the SLV Regional Medical Center in Alamosa. The 17-year-old male was taken to St. Mary Corwin Medical Center in Pueblo. The crash remains under investigation. Speed, alcohol and drugs are believed to be factors in the accident. Seatbelts were not in use at the time of the crash.

Legislation to change the name of Adams State College to Adams State University continues on its path through the Colorado State Legislature. State Senator Gail Schwartz and State Representative Ed Vigil sponsored a bill in the current legislative session to make the change official after the Adams State Board of Trustees voted 8 to 1 to pursue the name change on August 26th of last year. The bill is currently in the House Education Committee, which has legislative oversight responsibility for the departments of education and higher education. State Representative Ed Vigil will speak to the House Education Committee regarding the name change on Wednesday. Adams State began in 1925 as Adams State Normal School. In 1929 it became Adams State Teachers College of Southern Colorado. In 1938 it became just Adams State Teachers College. The name Adams State College, although listed on the original legislation establishing the college, wasn’t adopted until 1946. The earliest the name could be changed from “college” to “university” would be the fall of this year.

The Spanish Peaks Public Library in Walsenburg will celebrate Youth Art Month with a student art show through March 24th. Youth Art Month is an annual observance each march to emphasize the value of art education for all children and to encourage support for quality art programs. Students from Peakview School have created art work in the style of different artists, and these art pieces will be featured in the show. The show also features work by home schooled students. Visit the library and enjoy the great art during Youth Art Month.