GET ready for another warming trend as we head into the weekend and the final days of February. The Daily Report will get you caught up on Gov. Polis’ appointment to the 12th Judicial District Court bench … Registration for Saturday’s State of the Rio Grande Symposium … And a new face in the Rio Grande National Forest office. Read on:

Polis appoints Kimberly D. Cortez
as 12th Judicial District Court judge

Kimberly Cortez
Kimberly Cortez

Kimberly D. Cortez has been selected to replace Martin A. Gonzales as the 12th Judicial District Court judge, with her appointment effective April 1 when Gonzales officially retires. Gov. Jared Polis made the appointment announcement this week.

Judge Cortez has presided over both civil and criminal matters as a Conejos County Court judge and a 12th Judicial District advisements magistrate, positions she has held since 2017 and August 2021, respectively. Previously, she served as a self-represented litigant coordinator in the 12th Judicial District; an associate attorney with Lester Sigmond Rooney & Schwiesow; and paralegal/temporary staff attorney with Colorado Legal Services. Cortez earned her B.S. from Colorado State University in 2006 and her J.D. from the University of Colorado Law School in 2009.

Gonzales was on a recent episode of The Valley Pod, talking about his career and his plans in retirement. Take a listen to the podcast episode, which you’ll find here.

State of Rio Grande Symposium is Saturday

Rio de la Vista, director of the Salazar Rio Grande del Norte Center at Adams State, said this year’s Rio Grande State of Basin Symposium will address the triple threat facing the Upper Rio Grande Basin. The symposium will be held virtually beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday. To register go here.

Inspired by the words “In Scarcity, Opportunity for Community” by the late Colorado Supreme Justice Greg Hobbs, the symposium will address the causes of water scarcity here in the San Luis Valley, and the ways the Valley is coming together to address the complex issues. The public is invited to attend this free virtual event.

To learn more about the work of the Salazar Center and Rio de la Vista, listen to this recent episode of The Valley Pod.

Rio Grande National Forest announces
new deputy forest supervisor 

Andrew Kelher
Andrew Kelher

MONTE VISTA – The Rio Grande National Forest (RGNF) announced today that Andrew Kelher has been appointed to serve as the next deputy forest supervisor. Kelher comes to the RGNF from Arizona’s Kaibab National Forest in the Southwest Region where he has served in both district ranger and seputy sistrict ranger positions. Andrew holds degrees in Rangeland Management and Crop and Soil Science from Oregon State University (La Grande).

“I am very excited to have Andrew join the Rio Grande National Forest in his new leadership role,” said Dan Dallas, forest supervisor for the Rio Grande National Forest. “Andrew’s work experience at several levels of the agency and across multiple resource areas will be a great asset to the Forest and our communities.”

Kelher began serving in his new role on the RGNF on February 14 and will be stationed out of the Monte Vista office until the Forest headquarters moves to De Norte later this year.

“I have wanted to work on the Rio Grande for a long time,” said Kelher, who has roots in Colorado. “This will be a great opportunity for me to engage with the local communities while providing leadership on an incredibly diverse forest with a dedicated workforce.”

In his spare time, Andy likes to spend time outdoors and hopes to find many places to fish. When not fishing, Andrew spends time with his wife at home, tending vegetable gardens and reading science fiction.

Alamosa opens applications
for concrete replacement program 

ALAMOSA – The city of Alamosa Public Works Department is accepting applications for the 2022 Concrete Replacement Program through May 6, 2022. The program is intended to assist home and business owners within the city of Alamosa in replacing curb, gutter and sidewalk in order to improve pedestrian safety and correct drainage problems.

 This is a cost shared program in which the city and the property owner share the cost of the contractor 50-50. Old concrete will be removed by the city at no cost to the property owners. 

 Requests will be honored on a first-come, first-served basis. To participate go to and click on the Public Works Department tab and on the right side, click “Concrete Replacement Program.”  Return completed form to the Public Works Office, 300 Hunt Avenue, or email it to Call 719-589-6631 with questions.

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