Archive for: August 2015

First responders have a busy day to remember

Walsenburg has a bad 24 hours—police, EMTs race from scene to scene 

by Eric Mullens
WJ  250x55WALSENBURG —  While it may not have been a date that would live in infamy;  Wednesday, July 22, 2015 was a day Huerfano and Walsenburg emergency service first responders won’t likely forget for some time.
A troubling timeline
The aberrant day for emergency service calls in Walsenburg began at approximately 3 am when WPD Officer Mario Solano was dispatched to a residence on the  city’s northwest side on an attempted suicide.  Although there were two other individuals in the home, they were unable to get the victim down when he attempted to hang himself with an electrical cord.  Solano acted quickly and cut the man down and got him breathing.  Huerfano Ambulance Service responded to the scene and transported the individual to Spanish Peaks Regional Health Center.  Officer Solano will likely be recognized by the City of Walsenburg for his life saving effort.
As the day progressed, police began receiving calls concerning a number of tires that had been slashed/ flattened on East Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Streets, and Kansas Avenue.  Police continued to follow-up on this rash of vandalism though this past weekend.
As of Monday, July 27, police were working on at least 11 cases of tire damage vandalism.  An additional phone report of a similar incident came in Monday night but details were not available at press time.
At 1:16 pm, city and county law enforcement and emergency medical responders were called to a location approximately 75 yards west of the Main Street railroad crossing when 59-year old Gary Lee Roberts threw himself in front of an eastbound Burlington-Northern Santa Fe train.  The train did not run over the victim but did knock him back off of the tracks and he was reported to have suffered broken bones.  The train was halted due to the incident and the Seventh Street and Hendren Street crossings were blocked until shortly before 3 pm, causing a massive traffic jam in the community.
At 2:19 pm, law enforcement and EMTs were called to a location in the 300 block of East Seventh Street on an attempted suicide by prescription drugs.
At 2:41 pm, city and county law enforcement were called to a scene in the 800 block of West Eighth Street on a report of a disturbance involving a large number of people, with some possibly armed with knives.  A number of individuals were detained at the scene but there were no reported arrests or injuries.
Just six minutes later, at 2:47 pm, WPD Chief Tommie McLallen, Huerfano County Sheriff’s Lt. Milan Rapo and Huerfano County Sheriff Bruce Newman left the Eighth Street scene on a dispatch of another disturbance in progress with a knife involved back at the 300 East Seventh St. address where the attempted suicide call had originated earlier in the day.  One individual was detained for a short time, a knife confiscated, and the suspect released at the scene.  No arrests and no injuries were reported.
At 3:28 pm, police and EMTs were called to the scene of a two vehicle traffic accident at Walsen Avenue and Cedar Street. 
At 4:34 pm, Chief McLallen and WPD Captain Vince Suarez were dispatched to a location in the 500 block of West Eleventh Street on a report of a disturbance.  A press release issued by the police department said, “Upon arrival officers found a female victim, a half a block away from the residence, who reported she was assaulted by her son.  When officers drove up to the residence, the alleged assault suspect fired one shot at the officers with a rifle.  The officers were able to get the suspect to drop his weapon and attempted to take the suspect into custody.  The suspect began to struggle with the officers and resist arrest.”
Russell Timothy Bellah, 45, fought with both officers, with their tasers having little effect on him.   The suspect at one point reportedly pulled the taser darts from his body and continue to advance on the officers.  He continued to struggle, according to Chief McLallen, even after he was handcuffed.  
Bellah was supposed to be advised on his initial charges last Thursday in district court, but he was still reportedly incoherent, possibly from the effects of drug use, and was unable to attend the proceedings.  Bellah refused all medical treatment according to police.
Bellah has been initially charged with a number of criminal counts including; two counts of attempted first degree murder, one count of attempted first degree assault, two counts of attempted second degree assault, third degree assault of an at-risk adult, possession of a weapon by a prior offender, prohibited use of a weapon, violation of a protection order, criminal mischief, harassment and reckless endangerment.
Bellah is being held at the Huerfano County Jail in lieu of a $100,000 cash or surety bond.
MAN VS. TRAIN- Huerfano emergency service first responders come to the aid of a man who thrw himself in front of a train Wednesday, July 22.  The man is recovering from his failed suicide attempt, according to officials this week.  Photo by Eric Mullens.

MAN VS. TRAIN- Huerfano emergency service first responders come to the aid of a man who thrw himself in front of a train Wednesday, July 22. The man is recovering from his failed suicide attempt, according to officials this week. Photo by Eric Mullens.

Walsenburg: Setting a Baseline

by Bill Knowles
WJ  250x55WALSENBURG — At a crossroad in its development and growth, the city of Walsenburg needs to look ahead and embrace its future
According to City Administrator Dave Johnston, “Until we can get together and decide how we are to spend the money, we arenʼt going anywhere.” With the cityʼs general fund showing a $200,000 deficit just to keep the city operational, the city is looking for ways to increase its revenue.
“There are two projects on the board right now. Loves is looking at building a truck stop at the south exit (exit 49 off of I-25).  They are hoping to break ground in 2015 or 2016. The second project is the Northlands,” said Johnston.
The site plan for the Northlands project has been approved through the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).  Currently the city has to take soil samples so it is understood what kind of ground they will be working in.  When that is done, the CDPHE should give final approval to their part of the plan.
Then the Water Quality Control Division will approve their part of the plan along with USDA. When all that is finished, the City of Walsenburg is set to follow an aggressive schedule and receive bids by September or October.  The cityʼs inline schedule is to have the pipe transmitting sewage by May 2016.
In the Northlands, the Acorn Travel Plaza has been purchased by Transport America.  The business was closed and inventory taken last week with hardly a loss in sales.  “With these businesses and others coming in, we are hoping to see the deficit shrink, but it wonʼt be quickly.  I hope we can get that taken care of in about three years,” said Johnston.
One of the more controversial new businesses is the Martra marijuana business that will be located on soon to be annexed land east of the city on Highway 10.  About 300 acres will be used to grow both commercial and medical grade marijuana.  The city doesnʼt have a tax on the sales of marijuana, but they do have water the grow operation will purchase from the city. How much water the operation will use hasnʼt been estimated yet.
However, according to Johnston, the income from the dispensary sales and the water sales to Martra should a be positive  for the budget.
The biggest resource Walsenburg has is water. Currently water treatment for both sewage and raw water is under-used.  With agreements going back a couple of decades, Walsenburg has the opportunity to step up the use of its treatment facilities which could benefit the area regionally.
La Veta is under mandate to build a sewage treatment facility which would cost it several million dollars the town doesnʼt have.  Walsenburg will use less then half its capacity for treatment when the Northlands comes online.  La Veta could send its sewage down to Walsenburg treatment and save money.  The same situation exists with water treatment. Walsenburg is producing about 500,000 gallons of water per day but it can treat up to six million gallons of production a day.
“Walsenburg has capacity on its water and sewage treatment and thereʼs land it can use to locate an industrial park on.  Itʼs just finding the money to bring them to fruition,” Johnston said.  “I think the one thing Iʼd like to see is the community coming together and attracting new businesses.”

World Journal file photo.

World Journal file photo.

Flags lining I-25 north of Walsenburg celebrate America

by David Tesitor
WJ  250x55HUERFANO COUNTY — Many people have asked about the flags which appeared seemingly overnight along a stretch of I-25 north of Walsenburg. They start just north of mile marker 60 and extend several miles slightly into Pueblo County. 
This work is the vision of local resident Lindsey Case, owner of Crown Valley Ranch, where the poles are placed.  Case told the World Journal, “I felt like I wanted to put them up to celebrate the Spirit of America.”  He would like to put up 50 poles for each of the states and backlight each with solar panels to illuminate the flags.  
Case also owns the Masonic Lodge building in Walsenburg and has some grand plans for the county.  We haven’t heard the last from this great American Patriot. 

In Loving Memory of Ray Schuppan

Ray Schuppan passed away quietly at his home in Raton, NM on July 29, 2015. He was 85. Ray was born in Scottsbluff, Nebraska to Floyd R. and Elma Schuppan on March 21, 1930. He grew up in Banner County, NE and Goshen County, WY. 

Ray was a farrier, brand inspector and later a mail carrier in Goshen County. He later became an inspector and zone manager for Oppenheimer Industries where he helped with cattle operations on ranches in Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Nebraska and Kansas.

In later years Ray started collecting bits, spurs and cowboy memorabilia. He later served as the President of the National Bit, Spur and Saddle Collectors Association.

Ray is survived by his wife Charlotte Hennigan, son Punch Hennigan and his wife Rose, daughter Debbie Floyd and her husband Wes, daughter Sharla Kirkman and her husband Steve. All from the Raton, NM area. Son Brad Schuppan and his wife Darla from Angel Fire, NM, daughter Beckie Havely and husband Pat from Torrington, WY, and daughter Robyn Schuppan from Cheyenne, WY. Brother Ralph Schuppan and wife Darlene of Torrington, WY. Nephew Rod Schuppan and wife Cathy of Morrill, NE, and neice, DeDe Buckhaults and husband Ross of Yoder, WY. Grandchildren Tara Jeanne Schuppan, Katie Toxclair, John “J.J.” Floyd, Brian Hennigan and Alisa Levandoski.

Great grandchildren Triston, Justin and Jack.

Ray is preceded in death by his parents Floyd and Elma and nephew Ed Schuppan.

Services will be held at 2:00pm, Thursday August 6th, 2015 at the Yaksich-Long Funeral Home in Raton, NM.

A gathering of friends and family for the celebration of Ray’s life will be held in the Torrington, WY area at a later date. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the National Bit, Spur and Saddle Collectors Association (NBSSCA) Scholarship Fund at P.O. Box 1969, Addison, TX 75001.

He will be remembered and missed by many.

In Loving Memory Ruben N. Lopez

Ruben N. Lopez age 82 passed away August 1, 2015 in Raton, NM.

He was born March 21, 1933 the son of Santos and Phoebe Lopez.

He was a long time resident of Raton and former owner Flowerland where he worked as a florist.

He is preceded in death by his wife Eleanor Lopez.

He is survived by his daughter Anna Valdez of Denver, CO and a host of friends.

At Ruben’s request cremation has taken place and no services will be held.

The arrangements for Ruben N. Lopez are under the direction of the Alderette-Pomeroy Funeral Home of Raton.

In Loving Memory of Mary K. Ortega

Mary K. Ortega age 77 passed away August 1, 2015 in Raton, NM. She was born February 18, 1938 in Raton, NM to John and Clara Ford Ortega.

She was preceded in death by her father John Ortega, step-mother Mela Ortega, brothers Albert (Hippo) Ortega, Nicci Ortega and sister Gloria Ortega.

She is survived by her daughters Jackie Linderman of Golden, CO, Frances Ortega of Aurora, CO, Lisa Ortega of Denver, CO, sons Robert Ortega of Raton, NM, Arthur Ortega of Raton, NM, Donald Ortega of Raton, NM, Michael Ortega of Raton, NM, Jack Ortega, Jr., Carlsbad, NM. Sisters Diane Ortega of Compton, CA, Ruby Maes of Santa Fe, NM, brothers Michael Ortega of Albuquerque, NM, Leonard Ortega of Las Vegas, NV, 11 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild also survive.

Mary was a resident of Raton and a member of St. Patrick-St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. She lovingly volunteered her time to the food pantry and the Alternatives to Violence Thrift Store.

Recitation of the Most Holy Rosary will take place Thursday August 6, 2015 at 9:30 a.m. at St. Patrick-St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. Mass of the Resurrection will be held at 10:00 a.m. with Father John Trambley as the celebrant. Rite of committal and interment will follow at Mt. Calvary Cemetery. Funeral arrangements for Mary K. Ortega are under the direction of the Alderette-Pomeroy Funeral Home of Raton.

Raton School board Meeting Agenda August 10, 2015


 **RHS Krivokapich Media Center**

1535 Tiger Circle,  Raton, New Mexico

Monday, August 10, 2015  6:00 PM




I.        Call to Order and Roll Call

II.       Pledge of Allegiance

III.      Recognition of Students, Staff and Visitors                                

IV.       Approval of Agenda-

V.       Approval of Minutes – 6/15/2015- Regular Meeting                                                                                                                                                                                          

VI.      Action Items

                      a. * Financial Report-

                      b.* Budget Adjustments/ Transfers-

VII.     Executive Session-Pursuant to the State “Open Meetings Act” Section 10-15-1 (H) for

                     Superintendent evaluation. No action will be taken.

VIII.   Adjournment –



“New Mexico True” Tour/Workshop is headed to Raton

“New Mexico True” Tour is headed to Raton. Free Workshop with NM Tourism Secretary Rebecca Latham and the NM Tourism Department on Thursday, August 6th from 9 am until 11 am at the Isabel Castillo Performing Arts Center (next door to the Shuler Theater). 

NM True visit to Raton

New Mexico Tourism Department


Isabel Castillo Performing Arts Center
Raton, NM 87740

In Loving Memory of John Gilbert Baca

John Gilbert Baca, 77 years old, passed away peacefully with his family by his side on July 28,2015.

He is survived by his loving wife of 45 years Eppie Baca, twin sons Dwayne (Tami) Baca, Wayne (Gail) Baca, daughters Diana (Steve) Goodhand, and Melissa Baca. Wonderful grandchildren, Lleandra Baca, Adrianna Vasquez, Brittany Baca, Steven Baca, Liesa Baca, Marcus Arnold, Gunner Prim, Jaycie Prim, Dmitri Vigil, Danielle Vigil and Joshua Goodhand. One great grandchild. His loving sister Lorraine Duran, nieces, nephews and a host of longtime friends. He was the last one of a great generation.

Proceeded in death by his parents Samuel and Isabel Baca, brothers Sam, Benito and Manuel. Sisters Josephine, Ida, Isabel and Virginia.

He was born on March 15, 1938 in Cokedale, Colorado. He served in the Navy April 20, 1955 to March 2, 1959 aboard the USS Orca (AVP-49) and was also fortunate to serve aboard the USS Hillsborough County (LST-827) with his brother Benito.

On May 15, 1970 he was united in marriage to Eppie Martinez in Pueblo, Colorado. He loved walking with his wife daily and was an avid fisher, hunter and dog whisperer that shared his love of the mountains with family and friends. The last day of his life was spent sharing life stories and jokes with family and friends. He also made it clear to each and every one with handing out advice of what we are to do. Be happy, not sad and stay together.

To honor the comfort provided by the therapy dogs during his last days, in lieu of flowers donations can be made to: Animals for Therapy 17130 W. 53rd Ave. Golden, CO 80403 in honor of John Gilbert Baca.

Rosary, Monday August 3rd at 7pm, Service Tuesday August 4th at 10am.

Both Rosary and Service will be held at Immaculate Heart of Mary 11385 Grant Dr., Northglenn, CO.

Burial is full Military Honors at Fort Logan at 12:15.

A gathering will be held immediately after Burial at the Fraternal Order of Eagles #4019, 8800 Federal Blvd. Westminster, CO.

Obituary courtesy of Comi Funeral Home.

In Loving Memory of Laura B. Castillo

Laura B. Castillo, 76, lifelong resident of Raton, passed away peacefully at her home on Friday, July 31, 2015. She was born in Wagon Mound, NM to Martin Borquez and Isabel Garcia. She was preceded in death by her husband, Emilio R. Castillo, infant daughter, Louisa Mae, granddaughter, Krista Rae, and sister Henrietta.

She is survived by son Ernest (Mary), daughter, JoAnn (Warren), granddaughters Kristin and Sara, and great grandchildren Davyon and Skyler, special nieces, Mary Louise and Helen, sister Delma, brother Toribio, several other nieces, nephews, and cousins, special friend Julie and numerous other friends.

The family would like to express gratitude to Ambercare Hospice staff, Dr. Zmily, Father John, Chaplain Connie, and all who helped care for Laura, calls, visits, prayers, food, and cards.

Rosary will be Saturday, August 8, 2015 at 9:30 a.m. with Mass following at 10:00 a.m. at St. Patrick-St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. Rite of committal and interment will follow at Mt. Calvary Cemetery. Donations and contributions can be made in Laura’s name to Ambercare Hospice 186 Hospital Drive Raton, NM 87740. Funeral arrangements for Laura B. Castillo are under the direction of the Alderette-Pomeroy Funeral Home of Raton.