2012 in Review – July and August

July 2012 in Review 

Two persons were hired to key positions in the community in July.  John Sutherland of Santa Fe, New Mexico was hired by the Lamar City Council as the new City Administrator, replacing interim administrator, Steven Rabe.    Sutherland served as County Manager for Luna County, New Mexico and as City Manager for Tucumcari.  

John Sutherland, Lamar City Administrator

Prowers Medical Center offered the permanent Chief Executive Officer position to Craig Loveless who had served as interim CEO since late May, replacing James Fairchild.  Loveless was CEO and general counsel for a healthcare management group in California.  The recent personnel changes on the PMC board of directors and the new CEO were considered one of the avenues through which a level of cooperation among the county health care providers was initiated. 

Craig Loveless, CEO of Prowers Medical Center

RN Jackie Brown submitted her resignation as Public Health Care Director for Prowers County, ending her leadership role in that capacity after 22 years.  Her final day of service would come in August, allowing the Prowers County Commissioners time to seek her replacement.  Brown indicated that she would remain in the area, employed in a different facet of health care. 

Jackie Brown, Speaking to Well-Wishers

Anthony Moldenhauer joined the Holly Trustees Board in July.  Moldenhauer was approved from a list of interested persons, filling the vacancy created when board member Brad Simon became mayor. 

Anthony Moldenhauer Receiving Trustee Oath of Office from Mary Rushton

There was plenty of heat as the stretch of 100 degree days continued to roll through July.  The heatwave and dry climate prevented the traditional July 4 fireworks celebration from being held at the Prowers County Fairgrounds for this holiday.  It was decided that half the fireworks would be shot off following the Sand and Sage Fair concert and the other half would be considered during the New Year’s Eve holiday.   D3 and D4 drought conditions were evident through most of southeastern Colorado and the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, informed Governor Hickenlooper that 62 of the state’s 64 counties qualified for federal disaster relief.  Revising fire ban restrictions were discussed again by Sheriff Jim Faull, County Attorney John Lefferdink and the County Commissioners in light of the dry conditions and continued Red Flag days issued by the National Weather Service. 

The Lamar Police Department and City Council discussed a revision of abandoned vehicle codes and a means by which the process of notification of code violations could be sped up, especially during the spring and summer when weeds sprouted in unattended lots and yards around the city.  Paperwork, periods between notification to a landowner and action on their part, and a 72 hour waiting period to declare a vehicle as abandoned, were some of the areas singled out for revision. 

August 2012 in Review 

The end of summer brought more changes to the lineup at Prowers Medical Center.  Former PMC board chairman and current board member, Jan Hall, submitted his resignation to chairman Candy Ruedeman effective August 1.  The board advertised for letters of interest from qualified residents, selecting Dr. Kevin McGrath to fill the vacancy for the remainder of Hall’s term in May, 2014.  McGrath opened his optometry practice in Lamar in 1995 and grew up in Las Animas. 

Dr. Kevin McGrath being sworn in as a PMC Board Member

Any relief from the continued heat wave was noticed only by a literal few degrees, dropping from the low hundreds into the high 90s, but it was sufficient to afford local residents a break.  Despite the lack of rain, none of the communities in Prowers County went on water restrictions other than those needed in Granada and Holly for brief repairs to their water system.  The general topic of conversation for some residents was comparing the levels of their utility bills.


Rate fees were also discussed by members of Prowers County Development Incorporated.  The subject was addressed during the board’s monthly meeting and the impact those fees could have on hindering any new business from locating to the county.  PCDI executive director, Lisa Nolder, noted that she had been in contact with several large-scale, local businesses who would like to see some form of consideration on their utility rate structure.

Site of Project HOPE Teen Center

The Lamar Teen Center was on the move in August, transferring from its East Elm Street location to Lincoln Elementary School on North 10th.  Lincoln School had been closed by the RE-2 school board because of cost considerations the year before.  However, the increasing number of students taking part in the Project HOPE, Teen Center activities swelled beyond the limited space available to students on East Elm.  Those numbers, coupled with an anticipated increase in students each Friday with the approaching four day school week, were expected to increase the numbers once the new school year began at the end of the month.  Students and volunteers spent the month, cleaning, painting and moving stored equipment and furniture to open several classrooms for over 100 Project HOPE students. 

Becky Otteman and J.C. Carrica at Ribbon Cutting

A ribbon cutting ceremony signaled the opening of the Southeast Mental Health Services Clinic off Kendall Drive in Lamar.  Officials and citizens gathered for the August 7 event.  Groundbreaking ceremonies were held on October 4, 2011 for the facility which added a new dimension to health care services in the expanding medical campus on Memorial Drive in Lamar.   Southeast Mental Health Services employs 75 persons in the six county region and with the new facility, increased those numbers by six.  Joining the staff was former Prowers County Public Health Director, Jackie Brown who resigned her position from the county at the end of August.  Her new position is listed as Director of Primary Care for Southeast Behavioral Health Group.

by Russ Baldwin

(Editor’s Note:  September and October will be our featured months for the year in review on Saturday, December 29)

Filed Under: ArtBusinessCountyEconomyFeaturedGranadaHealthHollyLamarProwers CountyPublic SafetyRecreationSchoolUtilitiesWeatherWiley


About the Author:

RSSComments (0)

Trackback URL

Comments are closed.