Traveler-focused Maverik
coming in 2022

ALAMOSA – Motorists passing through Alamosa, and locals too, will find a new convenience store in 2022 when Maverik opens its first location in the San Luis Valley. The Salt Lake City-based chain is building a store off Highway 160 that has 2,533 square feet of retail space, according to architectural drawings submitted to the city.

Maverik bills itself as “Adventure’s first stop,” catering to tourists and highway motorists. To come into Alamosa, Maverik was looking for a certain highway traffic count to ensure the Valley could support a store and found its location at Highway 160 and Navajo Road. The location sees an average daily traffic count of 15,300 vehicles, with morning peak hourly traffic hitting 1,643 vehicles, and 2,249 vehicles per hour in the evening.

The convenience store chain has 350 locations in 11 states across the western part of the U.S. Like many of today’s convenience store brands, Maverik markets its own line of exclusive “premium BonFire food” products, touting its fresh-made gourmet burritos, sandwiches, pizzas, cookies, coffee blends among other food products.

Demolition Permit Issued
for JC Penney Building Renovation

The city of Alamosa has issued a demolition permit to Alcon Construction for the inside of the old JC Penney Building on Main Street. Alcon is beginning work on a new retail store for Diadora, an Italian sportswear and footwear manufacturing company, that purchased the building and is planning to open an Alamosa store in 2022.

Purple Heart Recipients
Gain Free Access to State Parks

The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission adopted an emergency regulation at its Sept. 1 meeting to provide Purple Heart recipients free access to state parks and state recreation areas with a Purple Heart license plate or Independence Parks Pass. The regulation implements a Colorado House Bill 21-1116.

Alamosa Public Library
Hosts Weekly Children’s Programming

ALAMOSA – Throughout September, Alamosa Public Library is hosting three weekly sessions of programming for children on the Story Room patio overlooking Cole Park.

On Tuesdays and Fridays at 10 a.m. children of all ages and their caregivers are invited to join Youth Services Librarian Holly Van Hoy for “Sunscreen & Storytime,” a 30- to 40-minute session of stories, songs, and silliness with a focus on early literacy development.

On Friday afternoons at 1:30 p.m., Holly will host “Kids Club,” a 45-minute storytime session for ages 5-10, including stories, music, activities, games, and crafts for the big kids.  Registration is not required. 

Masks are encouraged but not required inside the library, and the activities on the patio will be set up to allow for social distancing. For more information on children’s programming, call Alamosa Public Library at 719-589-6592 or visit



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Private trail sections
to Mount Lindsey closed

BLANCA – Climbers looking to reach the 14,048 summit of Mount Lindsey will find a “No Trespassing” sign posted by the Trinchera Blanca Ranch.

“Trinchera Blanca Ranch has posted ‘No Trespassing’ signs on the private trail sections on Mt. Lindsey as a result of a recent ruling out of the 10th circuit US Court of Appeals, which limited the scope of the Colorado Outdoor Recreation Act and increased landowner exposure,” said spokesman Cody Wertz.

The court case Nelson vs. United States raises liability concerns for private landowners on how the public accesses private lands for recreational purposes. A main question being raised is whether the Colorado Recreational Use Statute protects private landowners from liability in the event a person is injured while accessing public trails via private lands.

“The purpose of this article is to encourage owners of land within rural areas to make land and water areas available for recreational purposes by limiting their liability toward persons entering theron for such purposes,” reads the Colorado outdoor recreational statute. 

Read more on the topic from OutThereColorado.

Alamosa Downtown Arts Festival is Sept. 17-18

ALAMOSA – The city of Alamosa is hosting an Arts Festival event on Friday, Sept. 17 and Saturday, Sept. 18, in downtown Alamosa. Here’s how the schedule breaks down:

Friday, Sept. 17: The Festival opens with Artscape (rotation of outdoor sculptures) beginning at 7 a.m., Artwalk (regional artists showing/selling their artwork) beginning at 10 a.m., and a free chalk demonstration class (prior registration needed) in the SLV Federal Parking lot at 5:30 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 18: The Festival continues with performances from Salida Circus, a custom mural piece designed by Jennifer Chapparo with Amazing Street Painting, and ArtWalk downtown which displays entries from local artists for show and purchase from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Society Hall Raise the Roof: Society Hall will be host its annual Raise the Roof event which will feature live music, food and drinks from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 18. 

Several parking spaces throughout the downtown area will be blocked off on Sept. 17 between 6 am and 2 p.m. to allow crews and artists to safely install new pieces. Those spaces will reopen as soon as the pieces have been installed.

The Arts Festival is sponsored in part by Alamosa County Local Marketing District, El Pomar Foundation and the Alamosa Live Music Association. For more information or to register for the chalk class, please contact Jasmine Husmann at 719-587-2024 or

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Day 1 of “Gutted,” the reality competition show that pits YouTube and Instagram van life influencers against each other to restore three gutted vehicles, got underway Wednesday. Organizers were so jazzed with what they were seeing with the competition and the backdrop for the competition that they said they are already planning Season 2 and they want to keep filming the reality series in Alamosa County. The taping of the pilot season will continue through Sunday on Highway 50 and Mile Mark 5. Here is a ticket information if you want to go watch.

Alamosa County home healthcare workers
fall under state vaccination order

Home health care workers in Alamosa County will follow a state order to be vaccinated for COVID-19, but no other county health department workers will fall under the requirement. The Alamosa County Public Health Department came forward with a recommendation to the county commissioners that they adopt a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for county health department employees. The three county commissioners, Mike Yohn, Lori Laske and Vern Heersink, rejected the recommendation. The discussion was the result of a rule the Colorado Board of Health, Department of Health and Environment (CDPHE) adopted in August that requires licensed healthcare staff in the state to be vaccinated for COVID-19. Immediately following the state board of health’s order on Aug. 30, SLV Health, the regional hospital system for the San Luis Valley, announced that it will require all of its employees, providers, volunteers, and partners to be vaccinated by Oct. 31. Alamosa County Commissioners were against any vaccine requirement for county health employees as a whole when presented with the recommendation. The county’s home health care workers fall under the state health order, but no other county public health department employees do.

Job Fair on Monday, Sept. 13

The City of Alamosa, Alamosa County, Visit Alamosa, and Workforce Centers-Alamosa & Monte Vista have combined efforts to host an Alamosa-Wide Job Fair on Monday, Sept. 13. The job fair will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Alamosa Multi-Use Pavilion/Ice Rink- 2225 Old Sanford Road. It is open to employers across all industries, and open to job seekers of all experience and skill levels. The event is free for both employers and job seekers. Employers currently committed include SLV Health, Wal-Mart, Blue Peaks Development Center, City Market, Valley-Wide Health Systems, Rio Grande Inn, Alamosa Building Supply, Alamosa State Bank, SLV Housing Coalition, Alamosa County Sheriff’s Office, DaVita, A&K’s Construction, and Southwest Conservation Corps. For more information or to register as an employer email


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Trinidad State can now officially retire “junior” from its name. The school was given the green light by the Colorado Legislature to remove “junior” from its name through a legislative bill that went into effect on Tuesday, Sept. 7. Now it’s Trinidad State College thanks to the legislation sponsored by state Sen. Cleave Simpson and state Rep. Don Valdez. Trinidad State, with its main campus in Trinidad and a satellite campus in Alamosa, argued that having “junior” in its name made it challenging to market itself to potential students. Otero Junior College in La Junta made the same request and it too is now Otero College. Will dropping “junior” result in more students? Time will tell. A complete list of new state laws that went into effect since July is here.


Coni Grant Art Exhibit At Adams State

The Adams State University Art Department presents “Big Marks and Small Marks,” a show of new work by Alamosa artist Coni Grant. The public is invited to an artist reception from 5-7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 10, in the Cloyde Snook Gallery, located in the Adams State Visual Arts Building. Grant, an award-winning local artist, earned an MA in painting from Adams State, runs the PleinView painting studio, and has taught painting in Alamosa for more than 15 years. Grant became a full-time painter after a career as an art director/graphic designer in San Francisco and Los Angeles. The exhibit continues through September 2021. Gallery hours are 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information visit or the PleinView Studio, 6800 Hwy. 17, Alamosa, Colo.


Alamosa Hosts Job Fair On Sept. 13

Area businesses can promote openings during a job fair to be held on Monday, Sept. 13. The city of Alamosa and county of Alamosa are hosting the job fair at the Alamosa Multi-Use Pavilion, 2242 Old Sanford Road. Businesses that want to participate should email to request more information and to register.


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SAN LUIS VALLEY – The National Weather Service in Pueblo is now integrating weather data from the Alamosa Airport Radar to help with short-term forecasting for the San Luis Valley, including water supply forecasting.

“Now that we have access to the Alamosa Radar we can better see things,” meteorologist Michael Garberoglio told The Citizen. “It will improve our short range forecasting.”

The radar has been operational for more than a year, but delays at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration prevented the radar’s data from being integrated into the NWS forecasting system.

Congresswoman Lauren Boebert, who represents the San Luis Valley, worked with state Sen. Cleave Simpson, who has been involved in developing the SLV radar system, to get NOAA to move forward with the integration.

“Ensuring the San Luis Valley’s Radar data is fully integrated into National Weather Service systems will improve weather forecasting and warnings across southern Colorado for the benefit of farmers, ranchers, tourists, first responders, water district managers, and the general population,” Boebert said. “I am grateful to community leaders for bringing this issue to my attention and am thrilled that the system is finally up and running.”

Two years ago the Rio Grande Water Conservation District, San Luis Valley Water Conservancy, and the Conejos Water Conservancy District partnered with Alamosa County to raise $1.8 million to establish the San Luis Valley Radar system. The effort was to improve weather data to help local ag and farming operations receive better forecasting and improve weather forecasting for the Valley as a whole. Streamflow forecasting is a centerpiece of the information for SLV water users.

“It’s a huge help,” said meteorologist Garberoglio. “What that radar does is it gives us a better view of the current conditions.”


SLV Schools Contend With COVID-19

SAN LUIS VALLEY — San Luis Valley school districts are continuing to have to contend with COVID-19. South Conejos School District became the first SLV School District to shift its K-12 students to remote learning due to high rates of the Delta variant in Antonito and positive COVID-19 cases, and Center and Alamosa have had to quarantine some classes. In Center, high school principal Kevin Jones said ​​all 9th grade (1st year of high school) unvaccinated students have been placed on mandatory quarantine by the Saguache County Nurse, and in Alamosa two first-grade classes had to quarantine this past week, and five students tested positive over a 7-day period since school began, school district superintendent Diana Jones told the school board Thursday night. The South Conejos School District began transitioning fully vaccinated students in the 7th through 12 grades back to in-person learning on Sept. 1, and others in those grades who have had at least one COVID-19 vaccination shot will follow on Sept. 7.


ALAMOSA, CO – SLV Health announced Tuesday it will require all employees, providers, volunteers, and partners to be vaccinated for COVID-19 by Oct. 31. The vaccine mandate will increase safety for all patients, visitors, and care team members, helping protect them from COVID-19, SLV Health said.

“Vaccines are essential in the fight against COVID-19,” Carmelo Hernandez, chief medical officer at San Luis Valley Health, said in a statement. “With safe and effective vaccines widely available, the decision for all of our staff to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 affirms our commitment to the safety and care for our team members and for those we serve.” 

SLV Health, which has 765 employees, joins Adams State University as San Luis Valley employers who require COVID-19 vaccines for their staff. A growing number of employers across Colorado and the nation are also requiring COVID-19 vaccines for their staff.

On Monday, Aug. 30, the Colorado Board of Health, Department of Health and Environment (CDPHE), announced a statewide COVID-19 vaccination mandate of all employees, direct contractors, and support staff at 3,800 licensed health care facilities. 

“We know that vaccinations will also improve the health and safety with the communities that SLVH serves, and we want to set an example and help bring an end to this pandemic. SLV Health will continue to maintain all measures to maximize the safety of our staff and protection of our patients,” stated Hernandez.

CPW begins to stock pure Rio Grande
cutthroat trout into Sand Creek Lakes

MOSCA, CO. – Colorado Parks and Wildlife successfully stocked a small number of pure Rio Grande cutthroat trout into Upper and Lower Sand Creek Lakes via helicopter on Aug. 24. The fish used to stock the lakes came from the nearby Medano Creek drainage, which is located in the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve in the San Luis Valley. That drainage was previously restored with Rio Grande cutthroat trout in the 1980s.

By pulling trout from Medano Creek, CPW aims to accelerate the restoration project in the Sand Creek drainage by stocking a small number of adult trout capable of producing a spawn as early as 2022. After capturing Rio Grande cutthroat trout from Medano Creek, CPW coordinated with the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control to stock Upper and Lower Sand Creek Lakes from a helicopter, using the same bucket a firefighting helicopter would use to dump water onto a fire.

CPW will stock another 500 fingerling Rio Grande cutthroat trout spawned at the Monte Vista Hatchery later this year. That stocking will be completed via airplane.

“This is a challenging project, but it will provide ideal and protected habitat for these fish,” said CPW Senior Aquatic Biologist John Alves. “We are on our way to rebuilding a conservation population of the Rio Grande cutthroat trout.”

Last year, CPW treated the Upper Sand Creek drainage to successfully remove non-native fish. CPW, the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and Native American tribes have been working to re-establish Rio Grande cutthroats across their native range for more than 20 years. Currently, Rio Grande cutthroat can only be found in about 12 percent of its historic habitat. Mining, water development, intensive land-use, stocking of non-native fish and over-fishing have caused the trout’s populations to decline significantly during the last 150 years.

The Rio Grande cutthroat is one of three native trout indigenous to Colorado. The Colorado River cutthroat is found on Colorado’s Western Slope, and the Greenback cutthroat is found in the South Platte drainage. CPW is working on projects to restore those populations. For more information on Rio Grande cutthroat trout, go to

COVID-19 testing and vaccination information

SAN LUIS VALLEY – Free COVID-19 testing is available to the public through mobile clinics on the dates and locations listed below. Register when you arrive, or register online in advance at

  • Mondays, 11am-2pm at Monte Vista Safeway Store, 1200 2nd Ave, Monte Vista
  • Tuesdays, 10am-2pm at Rio Grande County Social Services, 1015 6th St in Del Norte
  • Wednesdays, 3pm-7pm at the Community Center in Saguache
  • Thursdays, 10am-2pm at La Jara Town Hall, 210 Broadway St in La Jara
  • Friday 9/3/2021, 10am-2pm at Antonito Town Hall

To be screened for testing for COVID-19 through local testing providers call:

  • Rio Grande Hospital 719-657-4990
  • SLVHealth Respiratory Clinic 719-589-3000 ext. 9 
  • Valley-Wide Health Systems 719-589-3658 ext. 4 (M-F), 719-589-2562 (Sa/Su)

To find local vaccine providers, please see or call 719-480-8719. Most local providers offer confidential appointments, and some may accommodate walk-ins. 

 Walmart gift card Incentives are being offered while supplies last at the upcoming CDPHE-sponsored vaccine clinics listed below, which offer Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. You can register in advance at Walk-ups will also be accommodated. 

  • La Jara Family Dollar Parking Lot, Wednesday September 1st, 11am-7pm 
  • Hooper Junction Store Parking Lot in Hooper, Thursday, September 2nd, 9am-noon
  • Boyd Park Parking Lot in Alamosa, Thursday, September 2nd, 2pm-7pm
  • Centauri High School, Friday, September 3rd, Noon-2pm
  • Antonito – Parking Lot at 310 Main St, Friday, September 3rd, 10am-6pm

More mobile vaccine clinics will be held at: 

  • Antonito Town Hall, Saturday September 4, 9am-5pm
  • Centennial School in San Luis, Wednesday September 8, 9am-noon

Shop with a Cop fundraiser raises $1,500

ALAMOSA – The 2021 Alamosa Shop with a Cop Fundraiser and Raffle was able to raise over $1,500 to go towards this year’s Shop with a Cop program. The Shop with a Cop program is dedicated to fostering relationships between youth and officers throughout the community. This program takes place every end of the year holiday season to help children purchase gifts for their family members. Laytons Towing also helped by providing a demolition derby car that was used in the Alamosa Round-Up Demolition Derby. This year’s car was driven by Sgt. Brian Cooper.

AUGUST 25, 2021

List of candidates for City Council finalized 

Alamosa Mayor Ty Coleman will run unopposed for re-election in November. Below are all of Alamosa’s official candidates for City Council. The deadline for anyone to file an affidavit for a write-in candidate is Aug. 30th. The Citizen will work to interview each candidate running for office and will present candidate positions on issues. The local election is Nov. 2, 2021. Voter registration information is here:

Candidates for Mayor:
  • Ty Coleman
Candidates for At Large Councilor:
  • Jan Vigil
  • Donnie H. Bautista
Candidates for Ward 2 Councilor:
  • Darrell L. Cooper
  • Lori Smith
  • Kyle Woodward
Candidates for Ward 4 Councilor:
  • Michael Carson


Alamosa commissioners recognize
Vietnam vet Frank Muniz

Alamosa County Commissioners on Wednesday recognized Frank Muniz, a retired Veteran’s Service Officer for Alamosa County. Muniz, a Vietnam War veteran, was a member of the 5th Cavalry, 2nd Battalion, Company D, and a survivor of the Battle of the Ia Drang Valley. A reunion of veterans of the Battle of la Drang will be held in Alamosa on Sept. 15-19.

A resolution adopted by the county commissioners read:

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the Board of Commissioners for Alamosa County does hereby proclaim September 16, 2021 as the Welcome Home the 5th and 7th Cavalry, Battle of Ia Drang Valley, Vietnam, Day; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Board of Commissioners for Alamosa County officially ‘Welcome Home’ the brave men and women who served our country during the Vietnam War.”


SLV Public Health partnership
promotes COVID vaccines

COVID vaccination clinics are scheduled for Aug. 25 through Aug. 27 across the San Luis Valley. The San Luis Valley Public Health Partnership issued updated figures this week that show 20,621 San Luis Valley residents fully vaccinated, and another 1,982 have had their first dose of a two-dose vaccine. The schedule for upcoming clinics is below: For more information on where to get your vaccine, see or call 719-480-8719.

Vaccine clinics coming up: 

  • SAN LUIS – Centennial School, August 25, 3pm-7pm, gift cards for participants
  • BLANCA – Sierra Grande School, August 26, 3pm-7pm, gift cards for participants
  • DEL NORTE – Simple Foods, August 26, 2021, 10am – 6pm
  • MONTE VISTA – Farmers Market, August 27, 2021, 9am-12pm
  • CENTER – Tierra de Nueva Apartments parking lot, August 27, 2021, 1pm-5pm
  • SAGUACHE – Otto Mears Park, August 28, 10am-5pm
  • ALAMOSA – ASU Richardson Hall, August 29, 1pm-7pm
  • ANTONITO – Antonito Town Hall, September 4, 9am-5pm

Free COVID-19 testing is available to the public through mobile clinics on the dates and locations listed below. Register when you arrive, or register online in advance at 

  • Mondays, 11am-2pm at Monte Vista Safeway Store, 1200 2nd Ave, Monte Vista
  • Tuesdays, 10am-2pm at Rio Grande County Social Services, 1015 6th St in Del Norte
  • Wednesdays, 3pm-7pm at the Community Center in Saguache
  • Thursdays, 10am-2pm at La Jara Town Hall, 210 Broadway St in La Jara
  • Friday, 8/27/2021, 11am-2pm at La Jara Town Hall  

As of this morning there are currently 81 known active cases of COVID-19 in the San Luis Valley.

  • Alamosa County – 17
  • Conejos County – 9
  • Costilla County – 3
  • Mineral County – 3
  • Rio Grande County – 42
  • Saguache County – 7


AUG 24, 2021

For third consecutive school year
COVID-19 impacts Valley students 

ALAMOSA, CO — The full approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine triggers a vaccine requirement for students, staff and faculty at Adams State.

The school’s Board of Trustees back in June approved a policy that required all members of the campus to be vaccinated once the FDA gave full approval to one of the COVID-19 vaccines. Full approval came Monday for the Pfizer vaccine, and now Adams State employees and students have six weeks to receive the vaccine if they haven’t received the shot already or request an exemption.

The vaccination policy among public and private universities has been a growing trend, with up to 753 schools now requiring students to be vaccinated for COVID-19, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Mask Requirements

Adams State also requires masks to be worn in public indoor spaces on campus, including its Student Union Building, large classrooms and other buildings.

No K-12 school district in the San Luis Valley adopted a mask requirement. Alamosa, the largest of the Valley’s school district’s by 1,200 students, came closest when its proposed reopening plan recommended masks at the elementary school level. The Alamosa School Board voted down that reopening plan proposed by new school superintendent Diana Jones and stuck with an earlier adopted plan that had masks as optional at all levels.

Even without a local school board requirement to wear masks while indoors, students across the San Luis Valley will face daily situations when masks are required, regardless of vaccination status:

When students are on school buses, no matter the school district, they are required to wear masks due to federal transportation regulations. In this case, boarding a school bus is no different than boarding a commercial airplane: masks are a requirement to board and ride. If a school district bucks the requirement it risks losing the money that pays for its bus drivers, bus fuel, bus maintenance, and overall bus operations.

When students step off the school bus, masks then become optional at all the schools. Except when they get to Adams State for those students who take concurrent enrollment courses or participate in an Adams State program.

A year ago 255 students from across the San Luis Valley took courses at Adams State, and that number is expected to continue to grow as concurrent enrollment becomes a normal progression for students as early as their sophomore year in high school.

CPW Outdoor Equity Grant Program Board member application deadline extended

DENVER – Colorado Parks and Wildlife is accepting applications for Board members responsible for the governance of the Outdoor Equity Grant Program created by bill HB21-1318. The deadline for the application was originally set for Aug. 23 but was extended to Aug. 31 to make sure we provide prospective Board members with enough time to submit their application.

The Board Member Application and additional application materials are posted on the CPW website

The purpose of the Outdoor Equity Grant Program is to increase access and opportunity for underserved youth and their families to experience Colorado’s state parks and outdoor spaces. The board is responsible for overseeing the grant program and awarding grants to applicants that will directly use the funding to engage eligible youth and their families by reducing barriers to Colorado’s great outdoors.

For more information, visit

Alamosa Downtown Design Discussion

ALAMOSA — Due to the comments and questions related to the new design of Main Street, City Council has placed an item on their next agenda, September 1st, to hear public comments and to provide information on the design. People interested in the new Main Street design are highly encouraged to attend either in person or via zoom.  The meeting is Wednesday, September 1st at 7:00 p.m. at City Hall, 300 Hunt Avenue, and via zoom at The City is also working on the reflectivity issue of the old lanes and says it is actively pursuing options to correct the issue. 

Read The Citizen’s Coverage on the Downtown Design:

AUG 18, 2021

Opioid settlements will bring money to Alamosa

ALAMOSA, CO — Alamosa is among 3,000 communities nationwide that is party to a $26 billion global settlement agreement with the “Big Three” opioid drug distributors AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson.

The money Alamosa and other communities in the San Luis Valley receive will be restricted to abatement of opioid issues, including treatment, direct services, and facilities.

Alamosa County Attorney Jason Kelly said the amount of money Alamosa and the San Luis Valley receive will be based on population. Colorado is expected to receive around $300 million through the settlement.

Alamosa County is also party to agreements with pharmaceutical giants Purdue Pharma and Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals. Both filed for bankruptcy after being sued for their alleged role in the opioid crisis.

Kelly said payouts from the settlements will happen over a period of years.


A database maintained by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and published in 2020 by The Washington Post shows the devastating number of pills distributed in Alamosa County and other counties in the Valley.

In Alamosa County, 88.6 pills per person, per year were distributed from 2006 to 2014, according to the DEA database. In Conejos County, 34.4 pills per person were distributed in each of those years, and in Rio Grande County the database shows that 33.1 pills per person were distributed in each of the years.

In 2015, Alamosa County had the ninth highest opioid-related death rate in Colorado, according to its lawsuit filed against Purdue Pharma; Conejos County, which also sued, had the six-highest rate for drug overdoses.

The lawsuits brought against the pharmaceutical giants and the major distributors have had the effect of drastically reducing the amount of opioid prescriptions and access people have to pills like OxyContin. In Alamosa the challenge now has become the use of heroin as a substitute for opioids.

By cvlopez |

That time of year: CPW hunting license draw

FORT GARLAND, CO — Colorado Parks & Wildlife will hold a draw on Aug. 11 to hunt big game on the Trinchera Ranch. The drawing will take place at 1 p.m. at the Fort Garland-Blanca Community Center.

Only Colorado residents are eligible for the drawing to hunt doe deer or cow elk on the 170,000-acre private ranch. Six doe licenses and 15 cow licenses will be drawn. CPW said about 350 to 400 people typically apply for these licenses.

For information call the CPW Monte Vista office 719-587-6900.

Homeless encampments cleared from Devil’s Triangle area

ALAMOSA, CO – During a ride-a-long with Alamosa County Sheriff Robert Jackson, The Citizen toured recently vacated homeless encampments just east of downtown in an area some call the “Devil’s Triangle.” The county of Alamosa hired Absmeier Landscaping and Construction to clean up the area, and the city of Alamosa paid for the cleanup which came to $7,000 and 23.4 tons of trash hauled away.

The encampments were abandoned earlier in July after the county worked with the private landowner to access the property and began telling individuals they were on private property and had to move. The city of Alamosa established an area behind the Alamosa Parks and Recreation ballfields south of town for homeless to shelter. The city calls it the St. Benedict Campsite and has rules posted on use of the camp. A rundown of the $38,563 it cost the city to create the campsite is below.


Sheriff Jackson attributed the uptick in homeless encampments this summer to the bankruptcy of the San Luis & Rio Grande Railroad and Heritage Rail Leasing, which are principal subsidiaries of Iowa Pacific Holdings. San Luis & Rio Grande Railroad and Heritage Rail leasing were involuntary placed into Chapter 11 bankruptcy and their assets are being sold.

The railroad generally would patrol its private property surrounding the railroad tracks east of Alamosa. That stopped once the railroad went into bankruptcy, and Sheriff Jackson believes homeless individuals saw opportunity and moved in. He said there were anywhere from 20 to 30 people living in five different encampments.


Now that the county sheriff has access to the private property, Sheriff Jackson said his deputies will routinely patrol the area and issue trespassing tickets if necessary. Alamosa Community Service Officers also patrol the area since the backwoods intersect between county and city boundaries.

The city, meanwhile, works the St. Benedict Campsite to provide a public area for homeless to shelter. On the public property are mini-housing units and areas for tents. Costs were met by a variety of funding sources, including federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) dollars and a $10,000 grant for fencing from El Pomar Foundation in Colorado Springs. La Puente funding helped pay for a prototype of the mini-units.

By cvlopez |

Zapata Homeowners Subdivision Experiences Flash Floods

ALAMOSA, CO – In the morning hours of August 3, heavy rains on the Blanca Massif brought flash flooding to the Zapata Subdivision that tore through the properties of many homeowners. No homes were damaged in the flooding.

The primary area affected was the Lake of the Falls Parkway, which runs downhill from east to west. Heavy sections along the side of the dirt road were washed away. The roaring water sped through backyards and areas heavy with pine and ponderosa. 

On Hampton Run Road, the flooding washed away a 100-yard section of road and made it virtually impassable. A lone man with mud boots was out in the middle of it, attempting to divert the water as he best he could. Even hours after the rain fell, water was rushing by. 

Reports were made by and to Alamosa County Deputies of heavy tree fall in the middle of the night. 

Colorado has been experiencing record flash floods and mudslides in the past few weeks, especially along Interstate 70. The I-70 flash floods have occurred from burn scars from the Cameron Peak fire of last year. These flash floods come from unprecedented rainfall. National Weather Service hydrologist Treste Huse attributes the monsoon conditions from warm air above the oceans near Mexico that collect massive amounts of moisture and moves it way up through the southwest, into the four corners region. 

Also, along Highway 150, about two miles south of the Zapata Falls turnoff, there was a 200 yard mudslide that occurred in the middle of the night. According to the Alamosa County Sheriff’s Office, CDOT was informed of this and moved most of the debris from the highway in the early morning hours. 

Events of this nature are on the horizon for our state as the fire season becomes a more annual event and monsoons become more and more predictable. These kinds of climate anomalies are going to become more commonplace. 

by Owen Woods |

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