Del Norte— 2018 in Review

Photo by Lyndsie Ferrell The Rio Grande County Sheriff’s Department received seven Kevlar Vests.

DEL NORTE— The following is a compilation of many of the top stories that graced the pages of the Del Norte Prospector throughout the last year.

January 2018
Rio Grande County Treasurer Peggy Kern announced her plans for retirement after 24 years of service to the community.
Joe Schlabach, councilman for the City of Monte Vista, announced his intention to run for Rio Grande county commissioner in district two.
Christopher Crown, undersheriff for Conejos County, announced his candidacy for Rio Grande County Sheriff in the upcoming election.
The Rio Grande County Sheriff’s Department received seven Kevlar Vests from Shield616, an organization dedicated to helping rural communities afford tactical gear through the help of local organizations.
Kyle Cornett Pauley, 31, of Sanford, was arrested on Wednesday, Jan. 31, as a result of an investigation led by the Conejos County Sheriff’s Office into an armed robbery that occurred in La Jara. Whiling confirming the events that transpired in La Jara, Del Norte Police Chief Bobbi Fresquez stated that the suspect’s girlfriend implicated him in several other thefts throughout the Valley, including the robbery of Del Norte Bank on Dec. 7, 2017.

February 2018
“I want to continue to serve the residents of Rio Grande County,” said Karla Shriver announcing her candidacy for a third term as commissioner for District 2. “I would be both humbled and honored if the people of Rio Grande County would see fit to elect me to this position again.”
Public Health Director Emily Brown reported on the statistics of the flu in Rio Grande County. According to the report, The Valley is experiencing a higher than normal amount of fl u cases but is still down in percentage of cases compared to the rest of the state.
Natalie Benavides, a junior at Del Norte High School, wrestled in the Girls State Championships held Feb. 3 in Thornton, Colo. She took home the win placing first in her 147-pound weight bracket.
RG and Associates, LLC Engineer David Boles and his assistant held a public meeting on Feb. 16 to gain public perspective on a downtown revitalization project proposed for Del Norte.

March 2018
Del Norte residents Laura Anzalone and R. Scott Rappold announced their candidacies for town board in the April 3 election. The two decided to run jointly because of their shared belief in the need for new voices and fresh ideas.
The Del Norte School District released preliminary plans for the new school during a public meeting on March 13. The school will house grades kindergarten through 12th, keeping the students secure in one building but separated in different wings.
The Del Norte Police Department welcomed a new officer to their troop on March 17, and she is the first female officer to join the department in several years.

April 2018
Unofficial results for the 2018 spring election showed the following:  Annette Archuleta won the Del Norte Town Board seat with 106 votes; Laura Anzalone had 106 votes, and Bob Muncy had 99 votes.
A 12-year-old boy from Rio Grande County underwent his first arraignment Monday, April 9, after a tragic accident that claimed his best friend’s life. Over the weekend, the boy was playing with a gun with his 14-year-old best friend when the gun fired, killing the 14-year-old. Details pertaining to the incident have yet to be released as the event is still under investigation.
On April 20 the Town of Del Norte hosted their annual cleanup day. The town rented seven roll-offs and had a waste tire collection location available for residents.

May 2018
The Del Norte Head Start is the new owner of the Mesa Building that housed the Del Norte Elementary School for several years. Out of the two buildings that comprised of the entire elementary school, the Mesa building was the only one that could be salvaged by school officials.
During the Del Norte Town Board meeting held on May 9, Town Attorney Gene Farish swore in Annette Archuleta, Bob Muncy and Laura Anzalone.
Seven new members were inducted into the SLV Medical Hall of Fame, including Dr. Norman Haug. He was a committed leader to healthcare in the SLV, using his leadership skills to bring the Rio Grande Hospital to reality, as well as serving in many other roles that contributed to the wellbeing of the SLV community and beyond.
Students gathered on the Del Norte High School football field to break ground in the new school.

June 2018
Rio Grande County Commissioner Gene Glover gave a report on the new bus route that began in Del Norte on June 5.
The High Valley Community Center (HVCC) was awarded a 21st Century Community Learning Grant through the Department of Education.
Rio Grande County primary election results showed Republican candidate for commissioner, John Noffsker defeating Republican Karla Shriver, 939 votes to 867 votes. Sheriff candidate Don McDonald defeated candidate Chris Crown.

July 2018
The Del Norte School Board recently accepted the resignation of board member Lyle Tuoti, in order to have him serve as security personnel for the coming school year. After some discussion and consideration the board added Veronica Climie to the board during their meeting on July 5.
During their July 23 meeting, the Sargent Board of Education decided to peruse the option of working with the Rio Grande Sheriff’s Office to get a School Resource Officer (SRO) over the options of arming teachers and staff or hiring a private security guard to address security concerns.
Long-time Rio Grande County Sheriff Brian Norton announced he will run again for sheriff, seeking re-election as a write-in candidate.

August 2018
Grand Avenue in Del Norte was packed with people from all over the Valley on Aug. 4 for the annual Covered Wagon Days.
The Del Norte Town Board approved draft resolution 3-2018 approving a sales tax increase question to be placed on the November ballot.
Rio Grande Hospital staff gathered with community members, sponsors, business owners and the hospital board for a delicious meal and fun while raising money for the hospital at the annual Keeping the Dream Alive fundraiser.

September 2018
On Sept. 12 the US Army Corps of Engineers issued a 404 permit to the Town of Del Norte and Del Norte Trails Organization allowing the Del Norte Riverfront Project to begin construction. This culminates years of work, public processes and permitting requirements required to make any changes on or near an American waterway.
Del Norte High School seniors kicked off homecoming week with a special project that will now become a long-standing tradition. As the morning sun cleared D Mountain in Del Norte the senior class of 2019 walked up the long, beaten road to the peak to paint the D branded on the mountain side.

October 2018
The Rio Grande Hospital (RGH) announced the opening of their new emergency department (ED) in Del Norte that is now being utilized.
During a special meeting on Oct. 25, the Del Norte Town Board accepted a resignation letter from Trustee Annette Archuleta. Though the reasoning behind the resignation is not clear in her letter to the board, Archuleta stated that it was for personal reasons.
The San Luis Valley Rural Philanthropy Days conference, scheduled for Sept. 17 to 19, 2019 will be held in Del Norte.
November 2018
Preliminary results came in for the 2018 Rio Grande County election just after 8 p.m. on Nov. 6. In the Rio Grande County Sheriff’s race, Don McDonald, South Fork police chief, is the unofficial winner of the November election with 2,380 votes; write-in candidate Brian Norton received 1,877 votes. A third write-in Susan Christine Wolfrey received two votes.
The High Valley Community Center showcased teenage talent at HVCC headquarters on Nov. 15, auctioning off artwork to fund a road trip to Denver to see Disney on Ice.

December 2018
During the Del Norte School District Winter Concert intermission on Dec. 17, Paul Orr presented a $3,000 donation on behalf of the South Fork Music Association. Earmarked for instrument repair and other music program expenses, the donation perpetuates SFMA’s mission.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held as phase one of the Del Norte Riverfront project was completed.


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