by Alan Todd
A Western Slope couple and natives of Colorado purchased the Ouray County Plaindealer last week.
Mike Wiggins, former managing editor of the The Daily Sentinel in Grand Junction and Erin McIntyre, former reporter for the Sentinel, purchased the Plaindealer — the second-oldest business on the Western Slope — from Alan Todd and Beecher Threatt.
McIntyre, 39, worked two stints at the Sentinel as a reporter and a copy editor. She has covered everything from crime to county government and recently has reported in-depth on the Sunset Mesa Funeral Directors investigation.
She has won numerous awards from the Colorado Press Association for reporting, including investigative series, public service, agriculture articles and humor columns.
"My favorite thing about journalism is connecting with the community I serve," McIntyre said, "telling personal stories folks can relate to."
Wiggins, 43, is a 20-year veteran of the newspaper industry. In addition to his recent post at the Sentinel, he has covered everything from city and county government to crime and education. He has been a member of the Colorado Press Association board of directors for the past five years. He has won multiple awards for reporting over the years from the Colorado Press Association and Colorado Associated Press Editors and Reporters.
Wiggins is a Colorado native who grew up on the Front Range but has lived on the Western Slope since he attended college at Colorado Mesa University.
Both look forward to making Ouray County their home and getting to know the community.
McIntyre's roots on the Western Slope trace back to the 1860s, before Colorado became a state and 17 years before the Plaindealer first published. Most notably, her great-great grandfather's sister, Elizabeth, was married to Enos Hotchkiss, who founded the towns of Lake City and Hotchkiss, among many of his accomplishments.
Elizabeth was described in Kate Ruland-Thorne's "Historic Tales of Colorado's Grand Valley" as "a feisty and accomplished horsewoman who could outride and outshoot most men."
Both sides of her family have a long tradition of working as miners, railroaders, ranchers and one-room schoolhouse teachers on the Western Slope.
The Ouray County Plaindealer was established in 1877, and only the Silverton Standard and The Miner (1875) newspaper traces its roots as a Western Slope business back further than the Plaindealer.
The Plaindealer has been owned and operated by Alan Todd and Beecher Threatt since October 2010, when they purchased the paper from David Mullings. They will stay on for a few months to assist the new owners and plan to remain in the area.
The Plaindealer is the newspaper of record for Ouray County, the City of Ouray and the Town of Ridgway.