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Saturday, November 22, 2014

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Walsenburg council contemplates utility rate increases for residents in 2015

By Cathy Mullens Published: November 13, 2014

Just one week after voters denied a one percent sales tax increase, Walsenburg City Council wants a ten percent increase for utilities for 2015. “We’re trying to keep funds whole,” City Administrator Dave Johnston said at Tuesday’s Finance Committee meeting. Council is considering increases in water, sewer and gas rates to increase revenue next year. Council Member Craig Lessar asked if there is a limit to how much the city can raise gas rates. “Municipalities are exempt from oversight by the PUC (Pubic Utilities Commission),” Johnston replied. This was discussed despite the positive performance of the city in 2014. In …continue reading

Crime victims claim they are suffering because of District Attorney’s actions

By Cathy Mullens Published: November 13, 2014

As District Attorney Frank Ruybalid, who is facing disciplinary charges for incompetence, continues to fumble through his duties as a prosecutor, crime victims say they are suffering. Even though the state Office of Regulation Counsel has filed over 30 allegations of misconduct against Ruybalid, he is still in charge of prosecuting criminal cases in Las Animas and Huerfano counties and still collecting his $110,000 salary. One thing he is not doing, crime victims say, is fulfilling his duties as top prosecuting attorney in both counties. “He’s not doing his job,” Cpl. Ray Walsh, of the Huerfano County Sheriff’s Office says. …continue reading

La Veta School receives “Accreditation with Distinction” honor this week

By Cathy Mullens Published: November 13, 2014

Supt. Bree Lessar put pencil to paper after La Veta missed making the cut for being one of the top schools in the state despite scores that reflect outstanding achievement. On Tuesday the school received a letter from Robert Hammond, the Colorado Commissioner of Education, saying La Veta is awarded the “Accreditation with Distinction” rating they sought. That puts La Veta in the top 10 percent of all schools in Colorado – over 1,600 school districts. Lessar wrote to the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) in October after reviewing the decision that La Veta failed to make the top category …continue reading

Democrats sweep county contests

By Renee Rinehart Published: November 6, 2014

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Huerfano County is true blue after Tuesday’s election, with Democrats retaining seats in county offices and keeping their seat on the County Commission. Voter turnout in the November 4 mail ballot election was 87 percent in Huerfano County. Democrat Gerald Cisneros was victorious over three opponents for the County Commission seat in District 3, defeating Republican Keith Varner by a count of 1,261 to 1,024. Unaffiliated candidates Fred Rodriguez and Oress DeHerrera earned 917 votes combined. Commissioner-Elect Gerald Cisneros told The Signature, “I’m ready to go to work for all the people of Huerfano County. I will do a good …continue reading

Candelario advised of murder charges

By Cathy Mullens and Renee Rinehart Published: November 6, 2014

Walsenburg native Ralph Candelario, 51, was advised of First Degree Murder charges last Friday and his attorneys immediately filed a fistfull of motions. Candelario is suspected of killing his wife Pamela Candelario, 40 on Jan. 16. He was stoic as he heard the charges against him, which include a felony charge of Tampering with Physical Evidence. The murder charge alleges Candelario caused the death of his wife, “unlawfully, feloniously, after deliberation”. The only other count alleges Candelario “destroyed, mutilated, concealed, removed or altered physical evidence” in the crime, which occurred over two days in January. Two attorneys from the Public …continue reading

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