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Marianne GoodlandMarianne GoodlandFebruary 16, 20187min573
It’s not just about preventing another Columbine-style school shooting. Handheld radios in schools help employees manage difficult parents or help students get to school when the bus breaks down. But it’s the cost of setting up radio communications to first responders that is stopping many school districts from making that happen, and this week, Republican […]

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Kara MasonKara MasonFebruary 6, 20182min657

The nation’s first pot scholarship program is making college possible for even more students in Pueblo this year; 600, to be exact.

Pueblo County commissioners announced Monday they would likely award more than 180 more awards to college-bound seniors in Pueblo than what was awarded last year. This year nearly $750,000 is available for scholarships. Last year, the county awarded $420,000 to students; county officials said that amount was just coincidentally similar to the 4/20 reference.

In recent years between 300 and 400 students graduate from Pueblo high schools. Every high school senior in the county is automatically eligible, but the scholarship that comes from the recreational marijuana revenue is only awarded to Pueblo high school graduates who plan to attend college at CSU-Pueblo or Pueblo Community College.

“Even if you’re not sure if you’re eligible, you should apply. We have $75,000 available for students who may not fall into the Pueblo County Scholarship’s defined criteria,” Pueblo Hispanic Education Foundation Executive Director Beverly Duran said in a statement.

Pueblo County voters decided in 2015 to allocate 50 percent of the marijuana excise tax collected in Pueblo County to the scholarship fund. The remainder of that money goes to a list of community projects, such as trails and parks.

As the excise tax grows the amount of money available for scholarships is expected to, too. And that could mean the difference in going to college for some Pueblo students.

“It is so critically important to make college affordable for our youth if we want to provide long-term economic opportunity to our community,” Pueblo County Commissioner Sal Pace said of the program last year. “Too many kids can’t afford to go to college, with this program we are taking cannabis-tax revenue and using it to provide for a brighter future in Pueblo.”


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Ernest LuningErnest LuningDecember 1, 201713min5099

The aftershocks were still coming days after a Republican vacancy committee picked a replacement for former state Rep. Clarice Navarro, the Pueblo Republican who resigned to take a position with the Trump administration in early November. Judy Reyher, a Swink resident and former Otero County GOP chair, won the appointment to Navarro’s seat on a 6-5 vote when the House District 47 panel met Monday night in Fowler, about half way between Pueblo and La Junta in southeast Colorado, but that was only the beginning.


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Jessica MachettaDecember 1, 20175min929
Glenwood Springs city attorney Karl Hanlon has announced he is running for Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, reports the Post Independent Citizen Telegram. “Over the last several months, I have spoken with many people about the challenges we face in western and southern Colorado. In those conversations, the thing I’ve heard over and over is that […]

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Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirNovember 3, 20173min900

Puebloans are being asked on the Nov. 7 local ballot whether they want to elect a “strong mayor” to serve as their city’s chief exec. A city manager runs City Hall right now with the oversight of only the city council.

As voters ponder the proposal, some observers are saying the city need look no further than just 40 miles up Interstate 25 — to Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers — for an example of an effective strong mayor in action. Colorado Springs became the second Colorado city in 2010 to rewrite its charter to create the strong-mayor post; Denver was the first, over a century earlier. Colorado Springs previously had an elected mayor who cast a vote alongside City Council members and presided over them but had few powers they didn’t.

In Pueblo, there’s no mayor at all, and some see Suthers and Colorado Springs as a template. Reports the Pueblo Chieftain:

Backers of the mayor initiative have pointed to Suthers as the kind of leader they think Pueblo needs — a skilled politician who can be a persuasive advocate.

The Chieftain report quotes Chris Woodka of the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservation District, which had engaged in protracted, hardball negotiations with Suthers over a contentious water project that would benefit Pueblo’s northern neighbor. Pueblo, among other concerns, had demanded assurances the Springs would resolve its long-standing problem with stormwater runoff that has been fouling Fountain Creek and the Arkansas River where it runs through Pueblo. Woodka told the Chieftain’s Peter Roper:

“He was very important in negotiating the agreement between Colorado Springs and Pueblo County over the Southen Delivery System (water project). …

“… Suthers led the negotiations in getting a commitment from Colorado Springs to spend $460 million on stormwater control and I doubt just council members would have been willing to go that far.”

Could an elected mayor put that kind of clout to work for Pueblo?


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Joey BunchJoey BunchOctober 5, 20173min703

A day after Sen. Cory Gardner announced plans for a town hall meeting Friday in Pueblo, he announced the town hall is on hold. The White House asked the Republican senator from Yuma to be part of a bipartisan delegation of House and Senate members to go to Puerto Rico Saturday to view the hurricane devastation. The lawmakers will be joined by officials from the White House, the Department of Homeland Security and the Defense Department.