News from the San Luis Valley

New Courthouse in the Works?
County commissioners in Alamosa are expected to send a proposal to voters for a one-cent sales tax increase to fund a new courthouse and jail renovations, according to The Pueblo Chieftain.
The proposed three-story courthouse, expansion of the existing jail and overhaul of the existing courthouse, built in the 1930s, is expected to run $21.4 million.

Healthy Living Park Gains Title
The Rio Grande Healthy Living Park has reached its funding goal to complete the acquisition of 38 acres along the banks of the Rio Grande River in Alamosa, according to Westword.
The land, which was slated to become a high-end RV park, was the center of controversy for several years. It was recently purchased from the developer, Dan Russell, the county’s elected land surveyor, for $900,000 after he purchased it from the Alamosa school board for $500,000.
The park received a $700,000 grant from the Wyoming-based LOR Foundation and a $254,000 grant from Great Outdoors Colorado lottery proceeds to pay off a bridge loan, officially shifting the land title to the Trust for Public Land and the San Luis Valley Local Foods Coalition.

Guard to Go to Jail
On July 20, a former guard at the Alamosa County jail was sentenced to 60 days in jail plus four years of probation for making sexual advances towards an inmate.
Dale Jordan, 35, was found guilty of making sexual advances toward a 19-year-old woman who was being held at the jail in 2013. She has since filed a lawsuit against him in U.S. District Court in Denver, claiming her constitutional rights were violated.

Water Levels Going Up
After three years of decline, groundwater levels in the north-central San Luis Valley have rebounded after water levels in the unconfined aquifer dropped by 700,000 acre-feet through 2013. Of the valley’s two major aquifers, the shallower has added over 100,000 acre-feet this spring and summer, according to The Pueblo Chieftain.


No Money for Coroner
After he raised prices on his services to the county, the Rio Grande County board of county commissioners decided not to pay County Coroner Rusty Strohmayer for services rendered recently.
One of the issues has to do with his lack of response to the scene of a fatal accident in Summitville. Strohmayer claims he was out of town at the time.

How Do You Spell That?
The town of Saguache recently made a top ten list, but not for the reasons you might think.
Based on a recent survey by King Digital Entertainment, Saguache is the third hardest town name to spell in the U.S., with 68 percent of respondents unable to spell it correctly. Other commonly misspelled cities include Meeteetse, Wyoming, Kaumalapau, Hawaii and Skaneateles, New York.

Shorts
• Former Adams State University student and runner Boris Berian recorded the fastest time in the 800 meters by an American in more than two years while competing in Morocco in July.
• Former ASU president Dr. David Svaldi will be honored Aug. 22 by One Colorado, the state’s largest advocacy organization for gay and transgender rights. While at ASU, he initiated the adoption of a new institutional mission statement that formalized the university’s commitment to inclusive excellence.
• The Alamosa police department recently placed a large order for in-car video systems and body cameras from Digital Ally, based in Lenexa, Kansas.
• A 39-year-old female climber was taken by helicopter to a regional hospital on July 11 after sustaining serious injuries from a fall on Crestone Peak.