2022 Year in Review – AUGUST

VA Information Van


Here are some news recaps highlighting events which had an impact on residents of Prowers County

Area Veterans Get Welcome News on Lamar VA Clinic Status

As had been published earlier, the VA announced the Lamar and three other rural VA Clinics will not be closing in 2026 as had been anticipated.  VA ECHCS Director, Michael Kilmer, led the VA forum at the Lamar SOS center, stating to the 150 persons attending, that the clinic is staying open, and the closure study has been put on pause. The AIR commission, Asset and Infrastructure Review (AIR) Commission to modernize and realign the VA health care system, determined it will not take any actions on clinic closings at this time.

Gary Harbert, Prowers County Veterans Representative, explained that two years from now, there will be a re-evaluation of the VA system.  “The VA Mission Act, which is a law, requires a study every four years, however there’s a discussion about removing that provision from the act so as not to have to repeat this process every four years.”  He added that one way communities and local clinics were trying to show their importance to a community was through the number of veterans who had signed up and registered.  “We’re at about 500 right now with several hundred who can still register, but we anticipate that using telehealth medicine, the veterans from metro areas who use this process with our local providers will be added along with our local count, perhaps raising it to around 900 in the future.”  Another important feature was having every one of the 64 counties in the state, sign a letter of support for the rural clinics which was also forwarded to the VA to heighten the impact of their potential loss.  Prowers County Commissioner, Wendy Buxton-Andrade, stated that it took a while to get most of the counties on board, while some of the larger counties, such as Mesa, signed on readily.

By Russ Baldwin




Proposed Marijuana Prohibition Ordinance Prompts Council Discussion

The Lamar City Council, on a split vote, passed an ordinance on first reading for a ballot question to go before voters for the November 8, 2022 general election regarding the prohibition and penalization of general sale of marijuana.  Lamar City Clerk, Linda Williams, said a statement of sufficiency was issued as five registered electors of the City of Lamar circulated 11 petitions and collected 414 signatures of which 386 were valid.  The required number was 233 which allows the ballot question to be brought before voters to amend the City Charter by adding Chapter XV for the prohibitions.  The ordinance covers marijuana establishments, cultivation, manufacturing or testing facilities, retail and/or wholesale marijuana stores and prohibit or penalize any person that has possession, uses, displays, purchases, transports, transfers, stores, warehouses, cultivates, sells or distributes marijuana or marijuana accessories to any other person of entity more than one ounce of marijuana to any other person under the age of 21.

The ordinance prompted discussion among council members regarding the ballot language and as to whether the council could vote against the establishment of the ordinance itself.  City Attorney, Lance Clark, explained that as this was not a referred measure, but the result of a petition process, the council was not endorsing the ordinance, but merely following protocol to place the ordinance before the voters in November.  The council will discuss the specific language used on the ballot at its next meeting as it needs to be forwarded to the Prowers County Clerk and Recorder for review by September 9th to make the election by November 8th.  A required second reading and passage of the ordinance is necessary for it to move forward.
By Russ Baldwin





Polis Makes Appointments to 15th Judicial District Courts

Honorable Tarryn Johnson

Governor Polis also appointed Tarryn L. Johnson to fill a vacancy on the 15th Judicial District Court. The vacancy is created by the retirement of the Honorable Stanley Brinkley and is effective December 10, 2022.

Ms. Johnson is a Senior Deputy Public Defender in the La Junta Regional Office, a position she has held since 2021. Her practice consists of criminal defense. Previously, she was General Counsel & Chief Legal Officer for Southeast Colorado Power Association (2021); Senior Deputy State Public Defender (2019-2021) and Deputy State Public Defender (2015-2019) in La Junta.

Ms. Johnson earned her B.A. from Adams State University in 2011 and her J.D. from Texas Tech University School of Law in 2015.



Prowers Economic Prosperity announces Groundbreaking Ceremony for Two New Businesses in Prowers County. 

Taylor Implement

Mark Carrigan is expanding his Rocky Ford Pipe Yard to Prowers County.  The Rocky Ford Pipe Yard has been in business for 50 years. The Pipe Yard is an irrigation pipe and sprinkler system parts supplier.  Carrigan has been in the excavating business in Prowers County since 1996.  He will continue the moto of “get the job done right the first time.” Prowers Economic Prosperity thanks Mark for his 30 years contribution to the Prowers County Business Community. We are excited to have the Pipe Yard in our community.

Rocky Ford Pipe Yard

Taylor Implement Company, a family-owned agricultural equipment dealer headquartered in Hoxie, Kan., has been in business for more than 50 years. Founded in 1971, Taylor Implement has expanded into Colorado, with additional locations in Yuma, Greeley and now Granada. As a full-line CLAAS equipment dealer, Taylor Implement looks forward to bringing CLAAS combines, forage harvesters, tractors, balers and hay tools to Prowers County and southeast Colorado. Additional product lines carried by the dealership include JCB, KIOTI, Deutz-Fahr, Vermeer, Meyer and more. Taylor Implement is a full-service dealer with a staff of more than 45 employees in sales, parts, service and administration. Prowers Economic Prosperity welcomes Taylor Implement owners, Tuffy and Linda Taylor; their son and General Manager, Kyle Taylor; and Location Manager, Jory Haynes, to Prowers County.  The groundbreaking ceremony will be held at 10am, Friday, August 26th at the business site at 20995, US Highway 50, (CR21 and Hwy 50).

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