Feature Coverage

Lawman William Jasper ‘Jesse’ Benton: ‘The right man in the right place’

Many lawmen in the old west had short careers. Some served for a couple of years, or a few months. One southwestern Colorado lawman served his communities for more than 30 years, mostly in Ouray. He was fearless, a superb marksman, and steadfast in was also a successful businessman and a devoted family man. In his time and place he was a legend; today he is largely forgotten. His name was Jesse Benton.

Market sells to longtime local family

Ouray’s family-owned grocery store has new owners - but they’re deeply rooted in the community and many locals will recognize them as natives who moved away and have returned to take on owning a fixture in the community.

On Guard, on assignment

Their assignment came in the first week of April: head to Ouray to help the county with logistics and planning in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Staff returns to renovated courthouse

After nearly two years of displacement, all county employees have moved back into the newly renovated Ouray County Courthouse, with only a few items left to move out of storage. The courthouse, however, remains closed to visitors due to emergency orders in place limiting public access due to COVID-19.

'Open up my playground,' boy pleads

Rowan Huffman finished up his last day of third grade at home on the morning of May 22, made a homemade sign out of cardboard from the packaging of his parent's new dining set and headed to Ridgway Farmers' Market from his Loghill Mesa home with his parents, Maurice and Sheila Huffman.

Mobile mask making in Ridgway on Friday

Ridgway resident Cat Lichtenbelt sews custom fabric masks for people in her mobile sewing studio — a travel trailer she set up next to the Ridgway Fire House during Farmer’s Market on Friday.


Joshua Kinne, left, plays the guitar while his 9-year-old son, Samuel, plays the hand drums during an impromptu parade in Ridgway’s River Park subdivision on May 21. The neighborhood jam, organized by Joshua Kinne, lasted more than an hour.

Plaindealer sweeps state press awards

The Ouray County Plaindealer earned the top award for newspapers in its class from the Colorado Press Association for its work in 2019, along with recognition for general excellence, editorial excellence and public service. While the association’s convention was canceled due to coronavirus concerns, the awards were presented to newspapers virtually.