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Serving Cortez and Southwestern Colorado for more than a century.

March 31, 2012 FIFTY CENTS

VOL. 122, No. 159


n Dolores resident helps unravel bird mystery.

Page 11A


n Local high school students make All-Conference basketball team.

Page 6A


n Fox continues recovery after painful breast cancer ordeal.

Page 1B

Enrollment down, $400,000 gone Decrease in student numbers costing Re-1 school district By Michael Maresh Journal Staff Writer The Montezuma-Cortez Re-1 School District lost more than $443,000 in state funding for the 2011-12 school year because enrollment dropped by 72 students, district records show.

Districts are mostly funded on the number of students who attend school, and Re-1 has continued to see its enrollment drop. According to district records, student enrollment in the Re-1 decreased from 2,970 students last year to 2,898 for the 2011-12 school year. The decrease of 72 students re-


Cortez to pick 4 councilors Tuesday

sulted in the district losing funding of $443,592 because schools in Colorado are paid $6,161 for every child who attends school. The school with the biggest drop was Montezuma-Cortez High School, which decreased in students from 721 to 679, while Kemper Elementary saw its enrollment go from

404 to 363 students. Compounding the problem was the state’s decision to cut the per pupil funding from $6,259 in 2010 to $6,161 which resulted in another decrease in funding of $283,000. In 2009, enrollment in the district

Birds of a feather …

page 10A

A life gone too soon Community feels loss of young child

By reid Wright

Journal Staff Writer Cortez voters will go to the polls Tuesday to pick their next city council in the 2012 Municipal Election. Polling for the regular election will take place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, with mail-in ballots due 7 p.m. that same day. Four seats on the Cortez City Council are up for grabs. Three seats are four-year terms and one will be for a two-year term. On Election Day, the polling location for Precinct 1 (city residents living north of Main Street) is the Montezuma County Annex Building, 103 North Chestnut St. The polling location for Precinct 2

By Brandon Mathis Journal Staff Writer

See coRTEz on Page 10A

E lEc tio n R Esults tez, Dolores and Mancos will be posted on Tuesday night.

■ Volunteers part of superintendent hiring committee.

See coST on Page 10A

Municipal election has six candidates

■ Get the results Tuesday night. ■ Results from municipal elections from Cor-


Journal/Sam Green

Eating somE hay and sharing a field are a pheasant and a Canada Goose northwest of Cortez.

The loss of a loved one is hard, but even more so when the loved one is your own child. Ryan Burris and Ana Hern of Cortez feel that loss. They lost their young daughter on Tuesday to a lifelong illness. Aeden Marie Burris was 6 years old when she passed away on Tuesday, March 27. According to her obituary, she was the epitome of a princess. Geraldine Jones is one of Hern’s closest friends. Together, they work at Silver Bean Coffee in Cortez. Jones said it wasn’t easy to talk about Aeden’s passing. “It’s kind of hard to talk about,” she said of her friend’s loss. “They are

See LIfE on Page 7A

Parks and wildlife releases big-game count Southwest Colorado hunters bag fairly average deer, elk season By russell sMyth Journal Staff Writer Southwest Colorado hunters experienced consistent hunting during the fall 2011 big-game seasons, according to recently released survey results from Colorado Parks and Wildlife. After the fall hunting seasons end,

Colorado Parks and Wildlife uses a random telephone survey of hunters to estimate the number of animals harvested and hunters’ success rates, said Joe Lewandowski, a Durangobased spokesman for the wildlife agency. The agency releases survey results in the spring. “We don’t call every hunter, but it’s a representative sample that gives us an accurate picture of what the harvest was,” Lewandowski said. Weather often affects hunting seasons, as Lewandowski noted.

“We had … some early snow that got the animals moving around,” he said. “The first season for elk was pretty successful. … I think you could say it was a typical season.” DEER HUNTING Hunter success rates remained fairly stable for the fall 2011 deer seasons, according to parks and wildlife statistics. For example, hunters in Game


thrEE bucks gather in a pasture of hay near Dolores. A recently released Colorado Parks and Wildlife survey indicates Southwest Colorado deer hunters experienced a relatively consistent 2011 hunting season.


Big - gAm E hARvEsts 2011 fall big-game harvests for some Southwest Colorado game management units follow. Statistics are for all manner of take — archery, muzzle-loader and rifle. Colorado is divided into more than 150 game management units.

Journal/Sam Green

Management Unit 72, located west of Cortez, had a 60 percent success rate, meaning 60 percent of hunters harvested a deer. The average success ■ Deadline for hunters nears. rate for the past five years in GMU 72 page 7A is 58 percent. Parks and wildlife divides the state into more than 150 game management units. Deer hunters in GMU Although the health of deer popu73, located east of Cortez, logged a lations can vary from one part of the 58 percent success rate in 2011, com- state to another, Colorado has experipared to the five-year average of 54 See coUNT on Page 7A percent.

■ Game Management Unit 72, west of Cortez — deer hunting, 60 percent success rate, 344 deer harvested, 577 hunters, five-year success rate average is 58 percent. ■ GMU 73, east of Cortez — 58 percent success rate, 333 deer harvested, 572 hunters, fiveyear success rate average 54


average 20 percent. ■ GMU 73 — 16 percent success rate, 158 elk harvested, 1,002 hunters, five-year success rate average 28 percent. ■ GMU 71 — 18 percent success rate, 573 elk harvested, 3,171 hunters, five-year success rate average 26 percent. ■ GMU 711 — 24 percent success rate, 617 elk harvested, 2,555 hunters, five-year success rate average 27 percent. ■ Statewide — 21 percent success rate, 212,000 hunters; 43,480 elk harvested.

■ GMU 72 — 17 percent success rate, 103 elk harvested, 610 hunters, five-year success rate

Source: Colorado Parks and Wildlife

percent. ■ GMU 71, northeast of Cortez — 31 percent success rate, 189 deer harvested, 604 hunters, five-year success rate average 44 percent. ■ GMU 711, north of Cortez — 46 percent success rate — 336 deer harvested, 732 hunters, five-year success rate average 44 percent. ■ Statewide deer — 43 percent success rate, 33,200 deer harvested, 76,445 hunters.

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