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Trinidad City Councilman Al Pando was recalled from office yesterday by a wide margin. According to the Trinidad City Clerk’s Office, 1,210 votes were cast to recall Pando and 587 votes were cast to retain him. The result is that Pando is off of city council effective immediately. Voters chose Anthony Mattie to replace Pando in yesterday’s election. Mattie will be sworn in at the next council meeting, which will take place on August 7th. In the vote to replace Pando on the city council, Mattie received 1,113 votes; Carmen Sandoval received 335 votes; and Charles Gagliardi received 220 votes. Approximately 5,000 people were eligible to vote in the recall election. The recall election follows council’s decision in April to fire former City Manager Ed Gil De Rubio. Al Pando said last night that he was disappointed by the outcome but called it inevitable given the campaign against him. Another recall campaign is underway targeting Trinidad Mayor John Rino.
An accident that included 6 vehicles on Colorado 69 about two miles south of Westcliffe yesterday claimed two lives about 1:30pm. According to the Colorado State Patrol, the accident occurred when a northbound semitrailer failed to observe that traffic was stopped for road construction and plowed into the rear of a vehicle, causing a chain reaction of collisions. The semi swerved off the roadway and then back onto the highway, hitting and killing Jeffrey Mosher, 20, of Coal Creek, a construction worker, before running off the left side of the highway and overturning onto its top. Robert White, 57, of Temple, Texas, the driver of the semi, was also killed in the accident. Three others were injured in the accident. Two people from the rear vehicle were flown to St. Anthony’s in Denver, while another passenger from the crash was transported via ambulance to Parkview Medical Center in Pueblo. The extent of all of the injuries was not released. Authorities closed the highway yesterday afternoon for the investigation.
Johnny Madrill, 31, of center, was arrested early yesterday on suspicion of arson and other crimes in connection with a fire that took place early on Monday in the 700 block of Clay Street in Monte Vista. Madrill and two other men were reportedly spotted by police about 1:30am yesterday near the intersection of First Avenue and South Broadway Street in Monte Vista. While two men surrendered without incident, Madrill told officers that he was armed and threatened to shoot them. After a short standoff, Madrill was shot with a beanbag round, prompting his surrender. Madrill was taken to the Del Norte hospital for treatment. Authorities also suspect Madrill of harassment, intimidation of a victim or witness, menacing and domestic violence.
Larry Carnes, the man selected to fill a vacant school board seat in Trinidad, says that he will keep his mind open while he navigates the ongoing controversy about Trinidad Schools Superintendent Manuel Rodriguez. School board president Charlene Bertolino said that she picked Carnes for the vacancy, which opened up when Linda Vigil resigned on may 30th, because “of his experience in working with boards and conflicts”. Superintendent Rodriguez has been the target of a group called Concerned Parents and Community. Group spokeswoman Kelley Ferdula says she disagrees with Carnes’ selection because Carnes has already spoken up several times in support of Rodriguez and has put a negative image on the district by saying that it is broken.
Rainfall in El Paso County over the past two days briefly closed U.S. 24 near the Waldo Canyon Fire burn area and briefly raised levels in Fountain Creek yesterday. Rainfall over the burn area measured between 1-1/2 to 3 inches and mud flows were up to 5 feet in some areas near Manitou Springs. Some hail was also reported. U.S. 24 was shut down early yesterday, but reopened later in the morning. More than 3 inches of rain fell south of fountain according to weather spotters. The rainfall caused flows in Fountain Creek to rise 3-4 feet for several hours. Flows peaked in pueblo at about 1,200 cubic feet per second yesterday morning, up from just 10 cubic feet per second at midnight, but then quickly fell.