Ridgway girls basketball find fourth quarter fire

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Photos by Bill Tiedje

By Bill Tiedje
After a slow start Friday evening, the Ridgway Lady Demons turned it on in the fourth quarter to win their match, 35-30, against Sargent High School in the state Region 3 basketball tournament at Fort Lewis College in Durango.
Senior co-captain Leta McNatt's 3-point shot early in the fourth put Ridgway in the lead after trailing in the third quarter.
"It was good," McNatt said of the shot. "I needed that."

CITY OF OURAY Research reveals citizen communication preference

By Sheridan Block

Ouray citizens are too busy to attend city council meetings and would prefer to receive information through the newspapers or in their e-mails. That’s what Community Development Coordinator Ann Morgenthaler found in her Citizen Communication Survey conducted in mid-October as part of her final project to complete her masters degree.
The two-page questionnaire was designed to determine how citizens would like to receive communication and provide feedback to the city while helping the city work on efforts to better engage citizens in the future. Morgenthaler presented her findings to the city council and interested community members during a work session on Monday, Jan. 27.

OURAY COUNTY Ridgway State Park to participate in national 1st day hike program

By Bill Tiedje

On New Year’s Day, Ridgway State Park will host two guided hikes as part of the national "First Day Hikes: America's State Parks" event.
The event is a nationwide effort to encourage people to get out and enjoy their state parks in the New Year.
At Ridgway State Park, Park Ranger Chelsea Murray will lead a one mile hike along the Dallas Creek nature trail, starting at the confluence parking area at the Dallas Creek entrance.
The hike will begin at 1:30 p.m. and will tour a unique riparian area, offering great views of the Sneffels Range in a rarely visited portion of the park.
Murray said this hike would be suitable for all ages and all skill levels and would provide a great opportunity to see animal sign and bird life along the Uncompahgre River inlet, including bald eagles.

OURAY COUNTY A Christmas Carol radio performance returns to the Wright this weekend

By Sheridan Block

Get into the Christmas spirit this weekend with two live radio performances of "A Christmas Carol" at the Wright Opera House.
Presented by the Ouray County Players, this will be the second time the show has been hosted at the Wright since 2007.
The Ouray County Players' radio adaptation of Charles Dickens’ popular novella was created by director Mike Hockersmith in 1999. Having been inspired after seeing another live radio performance, Hockersmith used aspects of the original story, the 1937 radio play and various other radio versions to create a revamped version of the Christmas tale. Nearly 100 hours of work was put into drafting a script and combining original sound effects and musical cues to make the hour-long radio production.

Ouray County fashion show kicks up its heels

The women of Ouray County enjoyed a Saturday together at the Friends of the Library Fashion Show and Luncheon. According to event coordinator Barbara Morss, the event went smoothly with very few problems. Proceeds from Saturday's well-loved event will go toward the purchase of new books for the Ouray Public Library. Additionally, members of the Friends group who have passed away in the last year were remembered for their contribution to the community. This year, Barbara Peterson was remembered at the event. A book plate dedicated to Peterson will be in each new book purchased for the library.

Plaindealer photos by Sheridan Block


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CITY OF OURAY Energy and water among top concerns for new council says Risch

Former Ouray Mayor Bob Risch. Plaindealer file photo.

By Sheridan Block

After six years in office, Ouray Mayor Bob Risch is set for retirement, handing back the reins of mayorship to his predecessor, the newly elected Pam Larson.
Risch’s three term tenure was “mostly very positive” and in leaving the position, he said he has no regrets about his or the council's decisions.
“I always thought you had to be crazy to be mayor without spending time on council, but I did that,” he said. “I just kind of jumped in. It seemed like a good opportunity and I really enjoyed the experience.”

TOWN OF RIDGWAY Community meeting to consider action on RAMP award

By Bill Tiedje

A community meeting to discuss Ridgway's Colorado Department of Transportation Responsible Acceleration of Maintenance and Partnerships grant award for the Highway 62 and Downtown Infrastructure Project will be held at at the Eagle's Nest in the Ridgway Elementary School library on Nov. 18 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
The $13 million project, requiring $2 million in match from the town of Ridgway plus interest accrued during the repayment period, would include adding a center turn lane to Highway 62 from Highway 550 to Laura Street as well as the road paving, drainage and curb, gutter and sidewalk project formerly known as Streetscape.

OURAY SCHOOL School board neither supports nor opposes finance bill initiative

By Sheridan Block

While still struggling to see the benefits of Colorado's school finance reform measure, the Ouray School District's Board of Education decided to take no action on the bill's proposed tax amendment.
Amendment 66, formerly known as Initiative 22, enacts Senate Bill 213 and will go to voters in November. The proposed amendment offers to raise approximately $1 billion a year in new revenues for K-12 education through an increase in the state's income tax rate.
Currently, Colorado citizens pay 4.63 percent in income tax. The initiative proposes a two-tiered system that would raise the tax to five percent for all income earned up to $75,000 and to 5.9 percent for all income earned above $75,000.

OURAY COUNTY Hay crop delayed by continuous rains

By Bill Tiedje

Months of unseasonably wet weather have delayed this year's hay crop for many Ouray County ranchers still rebounding from extremely dry weather last year.
Waiting for a break in the rainy conditions, many ranchers noted the surprising amount of moisture that the county received late this summer.
"It's just about the worst I've ever seen," said Wolf Ranch Manager John Jackson, who has worked on area ranches all his life.
Jackson described the need for several consecutive days of dry weather in order to cut, rake and bale hay that was of good quality.

OURAY COUNTY Food pantry finds new home

By Bill Tiedje

The Ouray County Food Pantry will be moving into the Rio Grande Western building located at 257 Sherman St. in Ridgway and will re-open by the end of September.
Previously known as the Ridgway Community Food Pantry, the food pantry has been renamed and incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non profit organization.
Volunteer Brenda Hernandez explained the new location was acquired through a combination of donations from private individuals and foundations as well as a discounted rent arrangement with the building's owner, Grady Colby.
Another fundraising effort this fall will focus on raising funds for...

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