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Governor John Hickenlooper yesterday signed a bill in to law sponsored by State Representative Wes McKinley of Cokedale and State Senator Kevin Grantham of Canon City that increases transparency and access to records at nonprofit cemeteries. The new law gives owners of a grave space, niche or crypt access to an annual report that shows the number of interments and entombments from a previous year or any other facts that show the actual financial condition of a nonprofit cemetery. Bylaws, board meeting minutes, balance sheets and income statements of nonprofit cemeteries are also subject to disclosure within 7 days under the law. Owners also have the right to attend board meetings. The measure has been pushed along by members of Concerned Citizens for Roselawn Cemetery in Pueblo along with others concerned with the conditions at Trinidad Catholic Cemetery in Trinidad.

Jesse Peterson, 28, of Alma, a trainee with Outward Bound, is presumed dead following a boating accident at Willow Lake in the Sangre De Cristo Mountains near Crestone. Peterson was reportedly canoeing with another trainee last Friday when the boat the two were in overturned in high winds about 10 to 15 feet from the shore. Natalie Brechtel, 28, was in the boat with Peterson at the time of the accident. She told authorities that Peterson said that he did not know how to swim, although he did have experience with canoes. Search efforts by other trainees on Friday and Saguache County Search and Rescue on Saturday and Sunday were not successful. The search was called off with the agreement of Peterson’s family. Brechtel said that she swam to a rock ledge near the shore after the boat overturned and could still see Peterson hanging on to the boat, however, when she reached the shore, he was gone.

The Rio Grande National Forest is seeking input on a proposal to charge $25/night rental fees for public use of the restored historic cabins Off Cow Camp and Fitton Guard Station. At least 95% of the rental fees collected come back to the forest to be used for the continued operation of maintenance of the cabins. Fitton Guard Station and Off Cow Camp are located on the Divide Ranger District about ¼ mile away from each other at an elevation of 10,500 feet. Both cabins sleep up to 4 people and sit in a beautiful subalpine meadow below majestic Bennett Peak, fourteen miles south of Del Norte. The cabins are accessed by way of the Burro Creek ATV Trail, which is connected to both County Road 14 and Forest Service Road 329. Written comments concerning the rental fee proposal should be received by September 15th. Comments can be mailed to the Divide Ranger District, Attn: Steve Brigham, 13308 U.S. Highway 160, Del Norte, 81132. For more information, call 719-657-6014.

The City of Walsenburg would like residents to know that city ordinance 995 requires that weeds, brush and rubbish be removed from your residence and your yard. The annual leaf and limb pick-up service will begin on June 18th. Schedule your service now. Two options are available… you may pay a monthly fee of $3.33 with your utility bill and receive 2 pick-ups during the year, or you may pay a one-time fee of $20 for one pick-up. Also, Walsenburg residents should note that mosquito spraying will begin on June 5th and will take place every Tuesday and Thursday beginning at dawn.

Habitat for Humanity is planning a fundraising sale in order to sell donated building materials and home furnishings at discounted prices. All proceeds will help Habitat build houses in the San Luis Valley. The sale will be held this Saturday, June 2nd, from 9am until noon at Apple Tree Storage in the 1800 block of State Avenue in Alamosa. Look for signs by the road. Habitat also continues to accept donations of new and gently used building materials. Call the Habitat office at 719-589-8678 or check out for more information.