November 2023 Year in Review from The Prowers Journal

Prowers County Courthouse


November 2023 General Election Results for Prowers County

There was a record number of candidates running office for City of Lamar-Mayor and City Council during the November 7th General Election, as eleven candidates made the ballot.

Kirk Crespin remains as mayor with 777 official votes, defeating Bill Becker and Patrick Christensen Jr out of a total of 2,020 votes cast.

Brent Bates remains on the city council for Ward 1 with 435 votes, Davad Zavala had 230 votes to defeat his opponents to represent Ward 2 as did incumbent, Gerry Jenkins who held on to her seat for a four year term with 269 votes.

Joe Gonzales continued to represent his constituents in Ward 3 by defeating his challenger, Shalah Mata 285 to 252.

Travis Hall defeated challenger Ellen Moira Martin, 1830 to 509 votes to represent District C in the Lamar Re-2 school district.
By Russ Baldwin




Council Ordinance Change Impacts Local Business Option

Ordinance 1269 providing for the elimination of the distance restriction as applied to GOAL High School at 123 South Main Street was approved on second reading by the council.  The current state statute restricts the sale of alcohol beverages within 500 feet of any public or parochial school.  The newly owned Main Street Cinema at 219 South Main is within the 500 foot boundary.  The new owners are proposing to make adult beverages available to legal patrons in the future.

Southeastern Colorado Builders, owned by Tess Langston, had been contracted to break down the WHO steel building at 1100 North Main Street in Lamar to clear the property for a proposed Arby’s fast-food franchise.  Because of the deterioration of the metal wall panels, the re-assembly is not possible and some need to be replaced to ensure a safe and stable structure for future storage by the city.  An additional $15,500 is needed for a total replacement.  An amendment to the contract was approved this past April, but had not been signed by Langston at that time as he believed he could not meet the mandated deadline.  An amendment on the timeline was approved by the council for an additional 180 days beginning on November 27th.
By Russ Baldwin




BBB Foundation, Good People Helping Others

The Foundation and Assorted Children

A check for $37,000 will be presented to Lamar Area Hospice and Southeast Colorado Cancer Initiative, funds which were raised through the year through the efforts of the BBB, Beers and Brats for Boobies Foundation.  Megan Baanhoffman of the BBB said the most recent event took place with their 12th annual 5K race/walk during Lamar’s yearly Oktoberfest.  Almost 400 participants turned out on a perfect fall day to get some exercise in the sunshine and help raise funding to support the invaluable work of these two groups.

Roni Vallejos, Child Life Specialist for Lamar Area Hospice, said the funds allocated to her program will help pay for supplies for her on-going work with grief counseling.  “We’ve expanded to schools in Lamar, Wiley, Springfield and Granada and we’ve been very well received for our counseling.  We have plans opening some nights to the entire family with separate sessions for adults and parents, teens, elementary are students as well as pre-school children.  There is a need and Hospice is very fortunate to have the support of the BBB and others in the community,” she explained.

Tiffany Buxton who currently manages the activities of SECCI, Southeast Colorado Cancer Initiative, said this local group has continued offering financial support for cancer patients in the region for over two decades.  “We provide needed funding for cancer patients who have to travel to Pueblo, Colorado Springs or to other medical facilities for their on-going treatment.  Our friends and neighbors have to travel to these areas, often daily for weeks at a time to receive their radiation treatments and that’s time consuming and can be very expensive,” she explained, adding, “We’re going into a new year with some new funding plans and events and once we have our new members to the board of directors, we’ll be detailing what we have to offer in the way of assistance for cancer patients.”  Buxton said all a person has to do is contact her at Wallace Gas and Oil at 336-7787 or stop in to the business office to pick up an application form.
By Russ Baldwin




Jonh Stulp, One of Three Colorado FFA Foundation Hall of Fame Inductees for 2024

John Stulp

Greeley, Colo. — The Colorado FFA Foundation is pleased to announce three inductees representing excellence in wheat breeding and teaching, government and agricultural leadership, and public service, into the Colorado Agriculture Hall of Fame. Scott Haley (Fort Collins), Bill Hammerich (Severance), and John Stulp (Lamar), will all be formally honored and inducted into the Colorado Agriculture Hall of Fame on February 29, 2024 at the annual Hall of Fame Banquet. The Colorado Agriculture Hall of Fame is presented by the Farm Credit Associations of Colorado.

“These inductees have established lasting legacies in Colorado agriculture. They each exemplify the innovative, resilient, and hard-working spirit of Colorado’s agriculture community,” said Glenda Mostek, chair of the Colorado FFA Foundation. “We are honored to publicly thank them by inducting them into the Hall of Fame for all they have done and continue to do for agriculture.”

Dr. John Stulp was the Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture from 2006 to 2010, and water advisor to Governor John Hickenlooper from 2010 to 2018. He was appointed by five Governors of different political parties to two cabinet positions, six state boards and commissions over 45 years of public service, and was a major part of Colorado’s inaugural Water Plan. He and his family have opened their farm in Prowers County to trade teams, foreign farm tours, members of Congress, state legislators, nearly every State board and commission he has served on, grade schoolers and their teachers.




Lamar RE-2 School Board Approves First Phase of Stadium Project

At the regular meeting of Nov. 13, 2023, the Lamar School Board voted unanimously to approved Big Project 1, as it is referred to by GMCN Architects of Garden City Kansas, the architectural firm designing the new stadium.  Via video chat with GMCN’s Nick Nemechek, the board members were able to see the final design plan for the main building, which houses the ticket window, concession stand, locker rooms and public restrooms.  A few minor changes had been made since the original drawing was presented; namely, improvements in the restrooms.  Board member Shannon O’Bryan jokingly asked Nemechek, “So this means that the women will never, never have to wait” in a restroom line.  “That is correct; no one should have to wait in a line”, replied Nemechek.  The entire project was also moved slightly west due to grade concerns, as well as slightly to the north in order to preserve the existing tree line to the south.  The entire stadium will be ADA-compliant, from restrooms to ramps at the grandstand and ADA-accessible seating along the front row of seats.  Final color schemes for the building, grandstand seating and the track will be chosen and approved by the Board at a future meeting.

Also in Big Project 1 is the grandstand and press box.  The proposed grandstand will seat approximately 1500, dependent upon final selection of seating choices by the Board.  There are several options available, which will be discussed further at another meeting. The press box is slated to be 40 feet by 80 feet divided into 5 separate boxes, with rooftop access for filming events.  CMCN wanted the Board’s approval to proceed with the first phase so that materials for the building and grandstand can be ordered soon to keep on schedule for the predicted groundbreaking in mid-February of 2024, weather permitting.
By Barbara Crimond




Lamar Theatre Owners Retire After 29 Years of Dedicated Ownership

Bittersweet farewells were shared during Moonlight Madness on October 26 as the Lamar Theatre owners Tina and Rick Ross handed out candy, took pictures, and played their last movies “Paw Patrol” and “Hocus Pocus” before they begin retirement.  Their retirement marks the end of an era for both the theater and the community it has called home since 1946.

The theater changed ownership three times before Rick and Tina Ross purchased it in December 1994.  The timing was perfect; the young couple was ready to become business owners. Although Rick and Tina were working in different fields, they were looking to purchase a theater and return where Rick started at such a young age.  “We wanted to get our own business,” said Rick. “There’s no business I know better than theaters.” Tina recalls this time stating, “We looked at a lot of theaters and this one worked out. We were meant to come back here.”

And so they began their illustrious career at the Lamar Theatre, becoming a source of nostalgia and a platform for showcasing a wide variety of films to the community.

They made many improvements and renovations over the 29 years, including installing a new roof, updating the sound system, automating the booth and installing a new projector, restoring the ticket booth, renovating the ceiling mural and marquee, and countless other improvements.

Although change is inevitable, the theater will continue to be a place of entertainment, connection, and cinematic wonder.

The Lamar Theatre is not closing its doors with Tina and Rick’s retirement; it will be passed on to new owners Monica Sutphin and Jeff Travis. Movies will resume on Nov 10.

After 29 years of changing the Lamar Theatre marquee, Rick changed it one last time to a message for the community.  It read “Thanks for the memories -Rick & Tina” but the Lamar community wants to thank YOU for your dedication, passion, and all the memories created. Enjoy retirement!
By Catt Reyes




The Lamar RE-2 Food Truck has been named: Taste the Thunder

We are pleased to announce the results of our Food Truck naming experience. In anticipation of our truck delivery, we began a community-wide inquiry into name ideas in July. During the initial idea stage we received 179 name ideas from nearly 100 students, staff, parents and community members. From there we identified 10 Food Truck names based on their relevance to our school district and mission statement.

Students in grades K-12 have been the sole voices for advancing name ideas to the finish line. We received 641 responses to the Top 10 survey where five names were found to be most popular. Most recently we have asked students for the Final Five to be reduced to a winning name! 934 student votes were received during the last naming stage which concluded on Monday, November 20th. Taste the Thunder has been selected as the winning name!  Other finalists included:  Bison Bites, Rolling Thunder, Thunder Wagon and Thunder Truck.

Filed Under: Consumer IssuesFeatured


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