Hb1160, the school voucher bill, passed the colorado senate yesterday with a vote of 18 to 17. The house now needs to agree with the amendments added by the senate and then the bill will go to gov. Bill owens for his signature. The 18-17 margin was not a surprise. As expected, sen. Lewis entz, of hooper, cast the lone "no" vote out of 18 republicans. Sen. Bob hagedorn of aurora counter balanced entz "no" vote by being the one democratic "yes" vote. Hagedorn committed early to a pilot program giving poor children a chance to transfer out of a failing public school. In doing so, he went against the grain of his democratic caucus. Attorney general ken salazar has also endorsed the concept of a pilot program for disadvantaged children, especially targeting the denver area.
Three more people have been arrested by trinidad police in connection with the drug sting operation that took place in trinidad last month. Joni mae marquez, 34, was arrested last week and has been charged with possession of cocaine, methamphetamines and "black tar heroine". She is currently being held in the las animas county jail in lieu of $100,000 bail. Alan angelo atencio, 35, was arrested on march 14th in alamosa on suspected dui. He was later transported to the las animas county jail and charged with possession of a dangerous drug. He is currently free on $5,000 bond. And, kenneth edward miera, 51, was arrested and charged with unlawful distribution, manufacture, dispensing, sale or possession of a controlled substance. He is also free on $5,000 bond. The arrests bring to 15 the number of trinidad-area residents charged with drug trafficking.
The preliminary hearing for joe brooks davis, 64, a former adams state college environmental science instructor, has been continued again. Davis is facing charges from three separate cases. The first involves davis writing fraudulent checks to his employees. The second involves alleged forgery relating to his eastside energy company. The third case involves an alleged forged bank document to purchase a piece of farm equipment from schall iron works in monte vista. Davis is currently being held in the alamosa county jail without chance of bail on a warrant from the colorado department of corrections on an alleged parole violation. Davis has a police record that dates back to 1979 including a federal conviction in arizona for bank fraud in 1980.
Thomas r. Lucas has resigned as a las animas county deputy sheriff. No reason was given for the resignation. Lucas had been with the department for 12 years, having previously been a trinidad police officer for 8 years. He is also a longtime criminal justice instructor at trinidad state junior college. Lucas lost to sheriff james casias in last november's election to replace sheriff lou girodo by a margin of 55 to 45 percent.
You are invited to show your support of our troops in iraq tomorrow by joining in a march down main street in alamosa. The march will begin at 10am begining at the safeway parking lot. The march will then proceed east on main street and then will return to the safeway lot. Remember to wear your red, white and blue colors and bring your flags. Posters are also welcome, but please be respectful. Donations of cash and goods for our troops will also be accepted at era werner realty at 1208 main in alamosa. Call 587-2400 for more information.
Trinidad state junior college president, dr. Frank armijo, has announced that the college will take actions to best meet the challenges of progressing as a college and meeting further state budget cuts. The college has seen an 11% budget cut this year and is expected to face a 15% cut in next year's fiscal budget which begins july 1st. Armijo says that the college has no control of state budget cuts, but can balance its budget by attracting more students by offering a quality education at a resonable price.