Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Updated burn information

Burn Ban Update

Lincoln County is now on a LEVEL 2 BURN RESTRICTION. Meaning, you may burn household trash in an approved container that is 10 feet from any other flammable material. ANY other burns must be approved by the Sheriff and the Fire Chief. 

LEVEL 2 – RESTRICTIONS REQUIRED DUE TO SEVERE DRY CONDITIONS

The following acts are prohibited in unincorporated Lincoln County until further notice:
1. Building, maintaining, attending, or using any fire or campfire, except a fire within a permanent constructed fire grate in a developed campground.

EXEMPTIONS:

A. Persons with a VALID WRITTEN PERMIT from the Lincoln County Sheriff and Fire Chief that specifically authorizes the otherwise prohibited act.
B. Any federal, state, or local officer or member of an organized rescue or firefighting force in the performance of an official duty.
C. Any fires contained within a liquid fuel or gas stove, fireplaces within buildings, and charcoal or propane grill fires at private residences.
D. The burning of household trash when contained within a fireproof container sufficiently maintained to prevent escaping flame or burning material from the bottom or sides and screened sufficiently on top to prevent the release of burning material and located in the center of an area at least ten feet (10’) in diameter from which all flammable material has been removed.

NOTE: Declarations of “FIRE WEATHER WATCH” by the National Weather Service for Lincoln County will automatically place fire restrictions to LEVEL 2.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Commissioners approve Wind Ordinance

By Will Bublitz

Last week, the Lincoln County Commissioners  approved the county’s first-ever ordinance covering the construction and operation of wind energy facilities.

The new ordinance may appear to be a bit tardy because 472 wind turbines have already been erected in northern Lincoln County as part of four different projects over the past five years. Those wind turbines were approved under the county’s existing building permit process.

In approving the new ordinance last Wednesday, April 13, the commissioners said they were acting to deal with any future projects that wind energy developers may want to construct in the unincorporated portions of the county.

The stated purpose of the new ordinance, which amends the county’s zoning regulations, is to regulate “the construction and operation of Wind Energy Facilities in Lincoln County, subject to reasonable conditions that will protect the environment, and the public health, safety and welfare of Lincoln County residents.”

Under the ordinance, the owners and operators of medium and large wind energy facilities must first obtain a permit before construction can begin. Any new wind turbines to be added to an existing facility must also obtain a building permit.

The only exemption from this requirement is for “small” wind energy facilities which are defined as a single turbine/tower projects capable of generating 20 kilowatts or less that are used primarily for “on-site consumption.” No building permit is required for these small facilities.

Science Fair Winners

State Science Fair Award Winners

Nine students from Genoa-Hugo School represented East Central Regional Science Fair at the 2016 Colorado Science and Engineering Fair held earlier this month.

The students were recognized for excellence in science during an award ceremony held Friday evening, April 8 with awards exceeding $9,000 in value.

Tyler Higgins, a seventh grader, did a project involving the production of bio-diesel using spent vegetable oil from Gene’s Family Kitchen in Hugo. He placed fourth in the Junior Division Energy Category, taking home $25 and a certificate. 

Tarra Miller, a sixth grader, did a project titled Does Different Eye Color Affect the Way Someone Sees in the Dim Light.  Special thanks go to middle school students at Genoa-Hugo School who participated in this investigation. Tarra was recognized by SPIE, the International Society for Optics and Photonics, with a certificate and a $50 check. 

Michaela Ravenkamp, a sixth grader, made multiple trips to the stage with numerous awards. She was first recognized by the Colorado Division of Reclamation, Mining & Safety receiving the Outstanding Earth Science Award which included a certificate and $75. 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

SCAM ALERT

*** Scam Alert ***

Mountain View Electric Association would like to warn customers about a scam.
If someone calls you threatening a disconnect due to non payment, you should be aware that Mountain View will NEVER ask you to make a payment over the phone.
The best policy is to call Mountain View if you believe that you are behind on your bill.
Again, DO NOT pay over the phone if someone calls you.

Mountain View Electric Association web page. 

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Nearly 25 years of history

It is hard to believe that the Limon Heritage Museum & Railroad Park was started nearly 25 years ago. What started as the dream of dedicated locals has flourished into a community treasure that is enjoyed by thousands each year. In honor of the Museum’s silver anniversary, we will be taking a look back at several huge milestones throughout the years, including this week’s story of the Twilight Limited.

Originally started in 1989 by Museum co-founder Harold Lowe, Brenda Higgins (Limon Chamber of Commerce), and Jo Downey (Eastern Colorado Council of Governments), this exciting passenger train became an instant hit in the state, earning a salute from both Westword (Best Train Trip, 1989) and ABC’s Good Morning America. In addition to the two-hour sunset ride, passengers were treated to delicious homemade desserts and first class entertainment from local musicians. Volunteers for the Twilight Limited (which ran from 1989-1991) included Hub City Seniors, the Limon Young Mother’s club, various community members, and train enthusiasts.

In order to fund the memorable (albeit costly) trips, the Limon Heritage Society spearheaded a benefit auction, in which Twilight Limited supporters, community members, and local businesses came together for a day full of food, entertainment, and treasures on which to bid. Thanks to auctioneers Swede Emmerling and Floyd Foncannon, as well as organizers Bob and Nellegene Ashton, Dorothy Walker, and Pat Peterson, the auction was an incredible success and the largest community auction in the history of Lincoln County.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Fire Danger

By Sheriff Tom Nestor & Undersheriff Gordon Nall
Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office

The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that we are approaching fire season in Lincoln County. As many of us have tragically learned, fire is indiscriminate in its destruction. With afternoon thunderstorms causing dry lightning there are many ways Mother Nature can start a blaze without us contributing to the equation. However, too many times human error and misjudgment can cause unintended damage.

As many of us know, this summer is shaping up to be a fire season for the history books, but with a little vigilance we can impact the story significantly. We have already had multiple fires across Lincoln County in the
past few weeks.

Although atypical for that time of year, in February the Punkin Center fire caused thousands of charred acres and many scares. The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office determined that the Punkin Center fire was caused by a careless smoker throwing a lit cigarette out of a passing vehicle.
On April 1,  Our local fire department responded to another grass fire in the same area that threaten structures within the first few minutes. The origin of that fire was ultimately ruled to be accidental due to power lines sparking. But, the fear it caused landowners and neighbors was very real.

On April 2, a landowner west of Hugo lost a barn and thousands of dollars of hay in an accidental fire. This particular fire also cause many structures in that vicinity to be threatened that afternoon.
Sadly, during the early morning hours of April 4, 2016 Jeff and Tammy Thornton of Karval, Colo. lost their house and all of their belongings to an electrical fire that started inside their home. The Thornton’s awoke to heavy smoke and flames already consuming their home. Thankfully, they were able to escape the danger through a window as the fire had already blocked the paths to their doorways. All of us at the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office extend the Thornton Family our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. We would also like to mention that the Blue Cliff Community Church is accepting donations for the Thornton Family as they rebuild their home.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Sexual Assault Awarness Month

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). This year’s campaign focuses on ways that individuals, communities, and the private sector can help prevent sexual violence. Nearly one in five women and one in 71 men are victims of sexual assault (Black et al., 2011), but all of us are impacted by sexual violence.

Everyone understands that sexual violence impacts victims and their families, but the effects of this violent crime on communities and society are less obvious. Sexual violence creates a climate of fear, anger and/or disbelief in the workplaces, campuses and communities that it occurs in. Additionally, sexual violence generates criminal justice, medical, and crisis and mental health service expenses.
Perhaps most damaging are the lost contributions of survivors.

Preventing such a far-reaching and prevalent social issue as sexual violence may seem overwhelming or even impossible. This mentality implies that there isn’t a solution — or if there is,   we can’t achieve it. But we can and we are. There are many practical steps that are currently being taken in our homes, neighborhoods, schools, faith communities, and workplaces. But there are many more things we can do to promote safety, respect, and   accountability.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Recognition of service




Wanda Brent, Arrriba, was recognized Sunday, March 27, 2016 for serving as church organist for over 60 years at Bethel Church of the Brethren, 9 miles north of Arriba. 

An "In Appreciation" framed picture of the church's stained glass window was presented to her.  Wanda continues as organist each Sunday when good health and weather permit.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Letter to Editor

Dear Editor

Local ground water management districts protect the underground water rights of farmers and other residents of rural Colorado.  House Bill 1337, now under consideration at the State Capitol, will ensure that water speculators cannot play deceptive games in court in order to exhaust the limited legal budgets of these districts.

HB 1337 will clarify a recent court decision which found that state law was unclear regarding whether new evidence could be introduced when decisions of the Ground Water Commission are appealed in district court.  Essentially, the court said that entirely new evidence can be presented in court – evidence that was never considered by the commission or local ground water district.

HB 1337 is an easy fix.  It simply requires parties in contested applications to present all their evidence at the administrative hearing level.  This is in line with how things are done in Water Court where the applicants must prove they are not injuring existing water rights and show all their evidence at that time.  HB 1337 ensures applicants only get one bite of the apple and aren’t able to put on multiple cases on the same contested application in order to run up the costs to the detriment of our communities, farms and towns.  

Thursday, April 7, 2016

BQA to illustrate low-stress cattle handling


Bent-Prowers Cattle & Horse Growers will continue its educational series to aid its members by hosting a Beef Quality Assurance Training.

Registration starts at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, April 9 for the free program. The classroom portion of BQA will start at 9 a.m. at Inspiration Field in La Junta. Libby Bigler of Colorado State University will update producers on the latest industry practices.

Mid-morning, the group will caravan to Best Bet Beeflot, southwest of Swink, where Jim Keyes of Utah State University, will provide hands-on training. He will show both chute-side and horseback tips to illustrate low-stress cattle handling.

When Keyes was a boy, he learned the handling principles from his father, a working cowboy.  From that time until now his fascination with horses and cattle has encouraged him to study and observe all he could about handling livestock the most effective way.  As a faculty member of Utah State University, Keyes gave his first workshop on cattle handling in 2007.

Whether on foot or on horseback, Keys believes cattle can be handled effectively with a minimum amount of stress to livestock and handlers.  Most ranchers already know how to handle livestock, they just need to think about it in a different light, he said.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Limon woman arrested on charges of Child Pornography

By Will Bublitz

A young woman from Limon was recently arrested and charged by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) with producing child pornography that involved an infant victim at the request of an older man.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado, 18-year-old Brandi Leonard was arrested earlier this month on the child pornography charges. Also arrested and charged was Richard Hennis, 40, of Colorado Springs.

“The arrest warrants were issued Friday, March 18 and they were arrested that weekend by agents of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI),” said Jeff Dorschner, Public Affair Officer for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Denver. “Their first court appearance was on Monday, March 21. They are in the custody of U.S. Marshals and will be held without bond until the resolution of their cases.”
Dorschner said “an unrelated investigation by HSI” first led its agents to Hennis. Evidence obtained from Hennis’s cellphone then implicated Leonard. The Colorado Springs Police Department’s Internet Crimes Against Children Unit was also involved in the investigation.

From evidence presented at the Federal Courthouse in Denver, the two suspects apparently met online and engaged in Internet chats over a two-month period during which Leonard allegedly told Hennis that she had sexually abused an infant. According to the DOJ, Hennis encouraged her to molest the infant again, take photographs or videos of the abuse, and then send them to him which she did.
“Law enforcement recovered the pictures that Leonard produced of the infant from Hennis’s phone,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office stated.

The DOJ also claimed that around the same time that Leonard was allegedly abusing the infant, she was in contact via email with nannies4hire.com and care.com, which are websites that connect child-care providers with those needing child care.

Investigators also alleged that Leonard and Hennis chatted in graphic detail about kidnapping, raping, killing and dismembering a child between the ages of 4 and 8 years.

“Leonard twice during the chat indicated that she didn’t intend to go through with it, yet she continued to engaged in such chats with Hennis,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office stated.

 Pick up this week's Limon Leader or Eastern Colorado Plainsman, available on store shelves around Lincoln County for the complete story.


For more information about PSC, the public is encouraged to visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/.  For more information about Internet safety education, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/resources.html and click on the tab "resources."

Friday, April 1, 2016

Storm Wrap Up

Charles Hoffman
So much better than shoveling! Don Otto brought his tractor to rescue the parking area at the Limon Leader office after snow drifted up to two feet deep in front of the building and almost three feet deep in the alley.