News

Tue
21
May

Suspect sought in burglary case, has ties to Ridgway

Authorities are looking for this man in connection with the burglaries of two businesses in Sawpit and Placerville early Monday morning.

Photo courtesy of San Miguel County Sheriff's Office

A suspect involved in two early-morning burglaries is believed to have headed toward Ridgway and to have stolen license plates from the parking lot of a local hotel.
Interim Ridgway Marshal Shane Schmalz confirmed deputies are looking for a man believed to be responsible for burglaries in Placerville and Sawpit early Monday morning. The businesses, the Sawpit Mercantile and M&M Mercantile, were hit within minutes of each other. They’re located within five miles of each other on Colorado Highway 145.
The burglaries, which happened just before 2 a.m., involved a white male, believed to be around 30 years old, who is unshaven, has a stocky build and stands 5-foot-10 to 6-feet tall. He may go by the name Mikey and was last seen wearing a sweatshirt over a long white shirt, possibly a restaurant uniform.

Sat
18
May

County road dollars drained

By Carolina King

news@ouraynews.com

The man in charge of keeping up Ouray County's roads says he's spent nearly all of his maintenance budget with seven months left in the year.

"This year alone, I'm already at 90 percent of my budget for maintenance cost and I'm in May. I have an aging fleet that is dying, and can't keep up currently," the usually quiet Road and Bridge Supervisor Steven Calkins told the Board of County Commissioners at a May 8 work session.

The work session was scheduled for commissioners and staff to further discuss a ballot initiative asking voters to approve additional taxes to fund county road maintenance and improvements.

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Sat
18
May

Council agrees to talk water rates with businesses

By Erin McIntyre

erin@ouraynews.com

 

Business owners concerned about skyrocketing water bills have the ears of town councilors, who agreed to meet and discuss possible solutions to the situation.

True Grit Café owner Tammee Tuttle came to the council meeting armed with her own history of water bills and those of 11 other local businesses, compiled by Ridgway resident and retired certified public accountant Bob Collins.

Collins presented spreadsheets of information to councilors at the May 8 meeting, stating he didn't understand why the businesses were bearing the brunt of the increased revenues to the water department. He explained his caluclations show the dozen businesses' water bills are covering more than half of the total budgeted increase in revenue to the department.

Sat
18
May

Vandals hit community garden, slated for opening

Chris Lance points to vandalism at the Ridgway Community Garden, which was found earlier this week. Anyone with information is asked to call the Ridgway Marshal's Office.

By Mike Wiggins

ouraynews.com

The first sign that something was awry was the sign itself.
Chris Lance arrived at the Ridgway Community Garden Monday morning and found yellow paint smeared across the lettering Ridgway Elementary School students hand-painted 11 years ago when the garden originally bloomed at the corner of Charles and Laura streets.
"I thought, 'Is this a mistake?' I mean, I'm not used to crime here."
It was no mistake.
Vandals caused damage inside and out the fenced and locked half-acre Green Street Park plot sometime Sunday night or early Monday morning, briefly casting a pall over organizers and volunteers who have worked for years to recreate a space for the community to dig together in the dirt.

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Sat
11
May

Plaindealer co-publisher earns writing awards

Plaindealer Staff Report
plaindealer@ouraynews.com
 
Ouray County Plaindealer co-publisher Erin McIntyre earned three awards for her journalism in the past year by the Society of Professional Journalists Colorado chapter last week.
The Top of the Rockies Contest, open to journalists working in Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Wyoming, celebrates work published by radio, TV and newspaper journalists.
McIntyre won second place best investigative/enterprise reporting for her story headlined “Behind those bungled ballots.” Her reporting dug into the roots of a ballot-printing company serving one-third of Colorado counties, which imperiled the 2012 election due to a spat with another ballot printer and also caused a hand-count of the Montrose primary election in 2018.

Sat
11
May

Students to bid farewell to old playground

by Carolina King
news@ouraynews.com

Ouray students are preparing to bid farewell to their 30-year-old playground. On May 29, they will gather to say their goodbyes to the playground and take part in a “project launch” celebration complete with ice cream and popsicles.
Students will also have the opportunity to give input on the final details of the actual play equipment.
Construction will begin on May 31, starting with the wall at the west end of the playground. Proposals from local stone-building, excavation and landscaping professionals for the project were due on May 8. By mid-June project manager Danika Gilbert expects to be “dialing in details,” and Aug. 26 is already set for the grand-opening party.

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Fri
10
May

Sewage cleanup continues as businesses worry about repeat

by Mike Wiggins
mike@ouraynews.com

Fri
10
May

County Road 5 plowing debate to go to court

by Carolina King
news@ouraynews.com

Fri
10
May

Interim administrator sole finalist for top job

Justin Perry was named the only finalist for the Ouray city administrator position.

by Mike Wiggins
mike@ouraynews.com

The interim tag is close to peeling off.
The Ouray City Council voted unanimously Monday night to name interim City Administrator Justin Perry the sole finalist for the permanent position, a move that surprised few people.
Councilors emerged from a two-hour executive session and, with a motion, a second and a unified vote, announced their decision without any discussion.
Perry and City Building Inspector Dave Doherty were the only candidates interviewed for the position.
Councilors could name Perry as city administrator as soon as their May 20 meeting, but not before then. State open meetings laws require public bodies to wait a minimum of 14 days after identifying finalists for an executive position before making an appointment.

Fri
10
May

Property values shoot up

By Erin McIntyre
erin@ouraynews.com
 
Increased property values and recent sales have triggered higher property valuations, mailed to property owners recently by the Ouray County Assessor’s Office.
Residential property values in Ouray County had an overall increase of 16 percent since the last valuation in 2017, according to Assessor Susie Mayfield. Vacant land saw a 15 percent overall increase and commercial properties saw an increase of 18 percent overall, including everything from hotels and restaurants to mixed-use properties with combined retail and housing.
Mayfield said recent sales of commercial properties as well as residential homes have resulted in the hike taxpayers will see in their valuation notices.
“Because of the sales that are happening, people should not be surprised by an increase,” she said.

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