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Photo tour: Axis Health System moves into new buildingSarada Leavenworth, vice president of administration at Axis Health System, gives a tour of the nonprofit's new building Monday in Durango. The integrated heath care provider bought the former Mercury building in February and spent the last year renovating it for its own purposes. Photo by Shane Benjamin/Durango Herald21733525Axis Health System spent the better part of a year renovating the former Mercury building in south Durango for its own purposes. The integrated health care provider opened its doors to clients for the first time in its new building on Monday. (Shane Benjamin/Durango Herald)17113042Axis Health System spent the better part of a year renovating the former Mercury building in south Durango for its own purposes. The integrated health care provider opened its doors to clients for the first time in its new building on Monday. (Shane Benjamin/Durango Herald)30244032Axis Health System spent the better part of a year renovating the former Mercury building in south Durango for its own purposes. The integrated health care provider opened its doors to clients for the first time in its new building on Monday. (Shane Benjamin/Durango Herald)25033460Axis Health System spent the better part of a year renovating the former Mercury building in south Durango for its own purposes. The integrated health care provider opened its doors to clients for the first time in its new building on Monday. (Shane Benjamin/Durango Herald)30244032Sarada Leavenworth, vice president of administration at Axis Health System, gives a tour of the nonprofit's new building Monday in Durango. The integrated heath care provider bought the former Mercury building in February and spent the last year renovating it for its own purposes. (Shane Benjamin/Durango Herald)27083611Sarada Leavenworth, vice president of administration at Axis Health System, gives a tour of the nonprofit's new building Monday in Durango. The integrated heath care provider bought the former Mercury building in February and spent the last year renovating it for its own purposes. (Shane Benjamin/Durango Herald)22373200Sarada Leavenworth, vice president of administration at Axis Health System, gives a tour of the nonprofit's new building Monday in Durango. The integrated heath care provider bought the former Mercury building in February and spent the last year renovating it for its own purposes. (Shane Benjamin/Durango Herald)30244032Sarada Leavenworth, vice president of administration at Axis Health System, gives a tour of the nonprofit's new building Monday in Durango. The integrated heath care provider bought the former Mercury building in February and spent the last year renovating it for its own purposes. (Shane Benjamin/Durango Herald)20952793Kristal Southcotte with Axis Health System, comes down the stairs of the nonprofit's new building Monday in Durango. The new facility will use all three floors of the former Mercury Building. Photo by Shane Benjamin/Durango Herald30244032shane@durangoherald.comHealth System spent the better part of a year renovating the former Mercury building in south Durango for its own purposes. The integrated health care provider opened its doors to clients for the first time in its new building on Monday. (Shane Benjamin/Durango Herald)30244032Health System spent the better part of a year renovating the former Mercury building in south Durango for its own purposes. The integrated health care provider opened its doors to clients for the first time in its new building on Monday. (Shane Benjamin/Durango Herald)40323024Health System spent the better part of a year renovating the former Mercury building in south Durango for its own purposes. The integrated health care provider opened its doors to clients for the first time in its new building on Monday. (Shane Benjamin/Durango Herald)30244032Health System spent the better part of a year renovating the former Mercury building in south Durango for its own purposes. The integrated health care provider opened its doors to clients for the first time in its new building on Monday. (Shane Benjamin/Durango Herald)30244032Health System spent the better part of a year renovating the former Mercury building in south Durango for its own purposes. The integrated health care provider opened its doors to clients for the first time in its new building on Monday. (Shane Benjamin/Durango Herald)23753703Health System spent the better part of a year renovating the former Mercury building in south Durango for its own purposes. The integrated health care provider opened its doors to clients for the first time in its new building on Monday. (Shane Benjamin/Durango Herald)30244032Health System spent the better part of a year renovating the former Mercury building in south Durango for its own purposes. The integrated health care provider opened its doors to clients for the first time in its new building on Monday. (Shane Benjamin/Durango Herald)26813059Health System spent the better part of a year renovating the former Mercury building in south Durango for its own purposes. The integrated health care provider opened its doors to clients for the first time in its new building on Monday. (Shane Benjamin/Durango Herald)30244032Health System spent the better part of a year renovating the former Mercury building in south Durango for its own purposes. The integrated health care provider opened its doors to clients for the first time in its new building on Monday. (Shane Benjamin/Durango Herald)27343646Sarada Leavenworth, vice president of administration at Axis Health System, gives a tour of the nonprofit's new building Monday in Durango. The integrated heath care provider bought the former Mercury building in February and spent the last year renovating it for its own purposes. (Shane Benjamin/Durango Herald)32644912Sarada Leavenworth, vice president of administration at Axis Health System, gives a tour of the nonprofit's new building Monday in Durango. The integrated heath care provider bought the former Mercury building in February and spent the last year renovating it for its own purposes. (Shane Benjamin/Durango Herald)26274032Sarada Leavenworth, vice president of administration at Axis Health System, gives a tour of the nonprofit's new building Monday in Durango. The integrated heath care provider bought the former Mercury building in February and spent the last year renovating it for its own purposes. (Shane Benjamin/Durango Herald)2105302430242105Sarada Leavenworth, vice president of administration at Axis Health System, gives a tour of the nonprofit's new building. (Shane Benjamin/Durango Herald)
Demolition derby back on for 2024 La Plata County FairEvent will take place in Ignacio to work around liability concerns at fairgrounds30002000Some of those involved with the demolition derby ran a float in the Snowdown Light Parade on Feb. 2 asking for support to “bring back the demolition derby.” (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald file)Demolitionists, start your engines. And then prepare to have them smashed. The annual demolition derby at the La Plata County Fair, which had been in jeopardy, is back on. The event will be held this year at the Sky Ute Fairgrounds in Ignacio. The fair board turned to the Southern Ute Indian Tribe as it become increasingly clear that La Plata County commissioners would not allow the event to take place at the fairgrounds owned by the county. In September, county officials informed the fair board that the annual blockbusting smash-em-up event would not be permitted to take place citing liability concerns. The county does not run the fair, but it does rent the fairgrounds property to the independent organization that holds the event. Organizers and derby participants were outraged by the decision. The event is one of the largest sources of income for the fair. Fair Board President Amy Peterson estimated the event raked in about $30,000 last year and said that without it, the fair’s future could be in jeopardy. And so it was with great joy that fair board members are celebrating the revival of the derby. Although the board is still hammering out the final details of a contract, organizer Tiffany Griffith said she is looking forward to holding the event again. “It's just a staple to our fair, and so the thought of that not happening – it just didn't sit well with many of us,” she said. No, the derby will not be held at the La Plata County Fairgrounds. But the event is happening during the fair, in La Plata County. The new location comes with its own upsides and downsides. Although the event will not occur at the site of the other fair activities, the Ignacio location does add capacity for about 400 additional seats to the typically sold-out event. “We get lemons, we make lemonade out of it,” said Ralph Brawley, a longtime organizer and supporter of the derby. County commissioners had raised concerns about holding the event in a mixed-use arena and what risk that could pose to livestock and spectators. Ultimately, officials decided the potential liability that taxpayers would assume was too great a risk to take. Although Brawley still feels the decision has not been adequately explained, he too expressed optimism about the future of the event. “The derby will continue because we have a great following, a bigger venue, (and) hopefully we make more money,” he said. 0VideoYouTube480360The event will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 11, with beer and food for sale per usual. To fill the hole left in the schedule at the county fairgrounds on Saturday, when the derby is typically held, Griffith said she is hoping to secure a lumberjack show involving chain saw carving. Despite the move, Griffith remains hopeful the event will be a success. “I'm optimistic that we're going to have a full house because every year, we tend to sell out anyway,” she said. “… I'm confident that it'll still be another sold out event at a bigger place (with) better parking.”rschafir@durangoherald.com
Event will take place in Ignacio to work around liability concerns at fairgrounds
Durango police investigate suspicious white powder spread around buildingsCourthouse and police station were closed Tuesday morning40323024A white powder substance was found sprinkled around the entrances of the Durango Police station, La Plata County Courthouse and other buildings early Tuesday in downtown Durango. (Shane Benjamin/Durango Herald)A suspicious white powder – later determined to be baking soda – was found spread around the Durango Police Department, La Plata County Courthouse and other buildings early Tuesday in downtown Durango.The police station and courthouse were closed while authorities investigated. It appeared early on as if the white powder may have been baking soda, but authorities were operating cautiously until a hazmat team could analyze the substance for the presence of hazardous materials, said DPD Chief Bob Brammer.It appears the powdery substances was sprinkled about town on at least two different occasions. A nearly empty 10-pound bag of Arm & Hammer baking soda was found discarded Monday morning near the Herald building. Video surveillance showed the powder being spread in front of the main entrance about 6:20 p.m. Sunday.40323024A nearly empty 10-pound bag of Arm & Hammer baking soda was found discarded near The Durango Herald offices Tuesday morning the same day a white powdery substances was found sprinkled around the entrances of the Durango Police station, La Plata County Courthouse and other buildings in town. (Shane Benjamin/Durango Herald)24361827A white powder substance was found sprinkled around the entrances of the Durango Police station, La Plata County Courthouse and other buildings in downtown Durango. In this photo, the white powder can be seen sprinkled around a Durango Police Department vehicle parked on east 10th Street. (Shane Benjamin/Durango Herald)Law enforcement encircled the police station and courthouse with crime tape Tuesday morning.Police had video surveillance of a suspect spreading the powder early Tuesday, said Cmdr. Jacob Dunlop, with the Durango Police Department. No arrests had been made as of 9:30 a.m., he said.“If we find the person we’re looking for that we think it might be, it shouldn't be too hard to match him up,” Dunlop said. “But we can’t positively ID the person from the footage alone.”40323024A white powder substance was found sprinkled around the entrances of the Durango Police station, La Plata County Courthouse and other buildings early Tuesday in downtown Durango. (Shane Benjamin/Durango Herald)Possible charges for sprinkling a non-harmful substance could include interruption of government services, among others, Dunlop said. The charges for sprinkling a harmful substance would be much more severe, he said.“It’s a fine white powder that’s obviously intentionally spread on the door handles and access points and on the ground at all of the entrances to the police department and county courthouse,” Dunlop said.Police also found the white powder spread near the entryway to the First United Methodist Thrift Store at 986 East Second Ave., which is next door to the police station.The Durango Fire Protection District used a portable mass spectrometer to analyze whether the white substance contained any hazardous chemicals.The FBI and Colorado Bureau of Investigation were assisting with the investigation.shane@durangoherald.com0VideoYouTube480360
Courthouse and police station were closed Tuesday morning
55013644The Waltz of the Snowflakes during act 1 of Mann Dance Academy's 15th annual production of the Nutcracker at Henderson Fine Arts Theater on Saturday. (Crystal Shelton/Special to the Tri-City Record)Photos: Mann Dance Academy performs ‘Nutcracker’ in Farmington “The Nutcracker,” a classic ballet composed by Peter Tchaikovsky in 1891, was performed Friday, Dec. 15 and Saturday, Dec. 16, at the San Juan College Henderson Fine Arts Theater in Farmington.Set on Christmas Eve, the story follows young Clara, who receives a magical nutcracker doll from her godfather. The enchanted toy comes to life, leading Clara on a journey to the Land of Sweets. The ballet is renowned for its music, choreography, and imaginative storytelling, making it a beloved holiday tradition worldwide. Mann Dance Academy has been entertaining Farmington audiences with its rendition of The Nutcracker for 15 years. This year's production boasted a diverse ensemble of dancers, spanning ages from 8 to 22. Notably, some performers have been a part of Mann Dance Academy's Nutcracker production since its inception. 55893685Dancers perform, Ribbon Candy during act 2 of Mann Dance Academy's 15th annual production of the Nutcracker at Henderson Fine Arts Theater on Saturday, December 16, 2023. (Crystal Shelton/Special to the Tri-City Record)55063671Cassandra Hallum as Clara with the Nutcracker played by, Dreylon Matthews during Act 1 of Mann Dance Academy's 15th annual production of the Nutcracker at Henderson Fine Arts Theater on Saturday (Crystal Shelton/Special to the Tri-City Record)49313217The Toy Soldiers perform during act 1 of Mann Dance Academy's 15th annual production of the Nutcracker at Henderson Fine Arts Theater on Saturday. (Crystal Shelton/Special to the Tri-City Record)51833455Dancers perform, Arabian Coffee during act 2 of Mann Dance Academy's 15th annual production of the Nutcracker at Henderson Fine Arts Theater on Saturday. (Crystal Shelton/Special to the Tri-City Record)
“The Nutcracker,” a classic ballet composed by Peter Tchaikovsky in 1891, was performed Friday, Dec...
Photos: Funeral procession for Cortez Police Sgt. Michael MoranHundreds of law enforcement vehicles escort the body of Cortez Police Sgt. Michael MoranThe body of Cortez Police Department, Sgt. Michael Moran, is escorted on Wednesday, Dec., 6, 2023, in a procession of hundreds of law enforcement vehicles down Main Street to the Cortez Recreation Center for his funeral. Moran was fatally shot and killed in the line of duty this past Wednesday. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)11722000People line Main Street for the funeral procession of Cortez Police Department, Sgt. Michael Moran, on Thursday, Dec., 30, 2023, in Cortez. Moran was fatally shot and killed in the line of duty this past Wednesday. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)1148950The body of Cortez Police Department Sgt. Michael Moran is escorted on Wednesday, Dec., 6, 2023, in a procession down Main Street in Cortez. Moran was fatally shot and killed in the line of duty this past Wednesday. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)9912000People line Main Street for the funeral procession of Cortez Police Department, Sgt. Michael Moran, on Thursday, Dec., 30, 2023, in Cortez. Moran was fatally shot and killed in the line of duty this past Wednesday. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)14082000The funeral procession of Cortez Police Department, Sgt. Michael Moran, arrives at the Cortez Recreation Center on Wednesday, Dec., 6, 2023. Moran was fatally shot and killed in the line of duty this past Wednesday. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)10922000A Colorado State Patrol trooper salutes as the body of Cortez Police Department, Sgt. Michael Moran, arrives at the Cortez Recreation Center on Wednesday, Dec., 6, 2023. Moran was fatally shot and killed in the line of duty this past Wednesday. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)12761963Law enforcement makes their way to the Cortez Recreation Center on Wednesday, Dec., 6, 2023, for Cortez Police Department, Sgt. Michael Morans funeral. Moran was fatally shot and killed in the line of duty this past Wednesday. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)1477950The funeral procession of Cortez Police Department, Sgt. Michael Moran, passes under a giant sized flag that the Cortez Fire Protection District placed on Wednesday, Dec., 6, 2023, in Cortez. Moran was fatally shot and killed in the line of duty this past Wednesday. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)13332000People line Main Street for the funeral procession of Cortez Police Department, Sgt. Michael Moran, on Thursday, Dec., 30, 2023, in Cortez. Moran was fatally shot and killed in the line of duty this past Wednesday. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)14832000The funeral procession of Cortez Police Department Sgt. Michael Moran passes under a giant sized flag that the Cortez Fire Protection District placed on Wednesday, Dec., 6, 2023, in Cortez. Moran was fatally shot and killed in the line of duty this past Wednesday. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)13332000A Farmington Police Department officer salutes as the body of Cortez Police Department, Sgt. Michael Moran, arrives at the Cortez Recreation Center on Wednesday, Dec., 6, 2023. Moran was fatally shot and killed in the line of duty this past Wednesday. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)14602000The body of Cortez Police Department, Sgt. Michael Moran, is escorted on Wednesday, Dec., 6, 2023, in a procession of hundreds of law enforcement vehicles down Main Street to the Cortez Recreation Center for his funeral. Moran was fatally shot and killed in the line of duty this past Wednesday. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)12711962The body of Cortez Police Department, Sgt. Michael Moran, is escorted on Wednesday, Dec., 6, 2023, in a procession of hundreds of law enforcement vehicles down Main Street to the Cortez Recreation Center for his funeral. Moran was fatally shot and killed in the line of duty this past Wednesday. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)9342000The body of Cortez Police Department, Sgt. Michael Moran, is escorted on Wednesday, Dec., 6, 2023, in a procession of hundreds of law enforcement vehicles down Main Street to the Cortez Recreation Center for his funeral. Moran was fatally shot and killed in the line of duty this past Wednesday. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)13752000Cortez Police Departments officers wrote on the sides of their windows as they escort the body of Cortez Police Department, Sgt. Michael Moran, on Wednesday, Dec., 6, 2023, down Main Street to the Cortez Recreation Center for his funeral. Moran was fatally shot and killed in the line of duty this past Wednesday. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)1085950Cortez Police Departments officers wrote on the sides of their windows as they escort the body of Cortez Police Department, Sgt. Michael Moran, on Wednesday, Dec., 6, 2023, down Main Street to the Cortez Recreation Center for his funeral. Moran was fatally shot and killed in the line of duty this past Wednesday. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)853950A blue ribbon under the windshield wiper of a car parked on Roger Smith Avenue as the funeral procession of Cortez Police Department, Sgt. Michael Moran, passes by on Wednesday, Dec., 6, 2023, in Cortez. Moran was fatally shot and killed in the line of duty this past Wednesday. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)13232000The body of Cortez Police Department, Sgt. Michael Moran, is escorted on Wednesday, Dec., 6, 2023, in a procession of hundreds of law enforcement vehicles down Main Street to the Cortez Recreation Center for his funeral. Moran was fatally shot and killed in the line of duty this past Wednesday. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)14212000The body of Cortez Police Department, Sgt. Michael Moran, is escorted on Wednesday, Dec., 6, 2023, in a procession of hundreds of law enforcement vehicles down Main Street to the Cortez Recreation Center for his funeral. Moran was fatally shot and killed in the line of duty this past Wednesday. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)11722000A Classic Air Medical helicopter leads the procession of hundreds of law enforcement vehicles as they escort the body of Cortez Police Department, Sgt. Michael Moran, on Wednesday, Dec., 6, 2023, down Main Street to the Cortez Recreation Center for his funeral. Moran was fatally shot and killed in the line of duty this past Wednesday. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)12691250A Classic Air Medical helicopter leads the procession of hundreds of law enforcement vehicles as they escort the body of Cortez Police Department, Sgt. Michael Moran, on Wednesday, Dec., 6, 2023, down Main Street to the Cortez Recreation Center for his funeral. Moran was fatally shot and killed in the line of duty this past Wednesday. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)52652068Cortez Police Departments officers wrote on the sides of their windows as they escort the body of Cortez Police Department, Sgt. Michael Moran, on Wednesday, Dec., 6, 2023, down Main Street to the Cortez Recreation Center for his funeral. Moran was fatally shot and killed in the line of duty this past Wednesday. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)830125019621271The body of Cortez Police Department, Sgt. Michael Moran, is escorted on Wednesday, Dec., 6, 2023, in a precession of hundreds of law enforcement vehicles down Main Street to the Cortez Recreation Center for his funeral. Moran was fatally shot and killed in the line of duty this past Wednesday. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)
Hundreds of law enforcement vehicles escort the body of Cortez Police Sgt. Michael Moran
Watch live: Memorial services for Cortez Police Sgt. Michael MoranOfficer was killed in the line of duty last week0VideoYouTube48036030002322MoranSgt. Michael Moran's life is being celebrated at a private memorial service 10 a.m. today at the Cortez Recreation Center.Watch the services live at 10 a.m.About 430 law enforcement staff and 72 different agencies participated in a procession Wednesday morning on Cortez’s Main Street, en route to the services at the Cortez Recreation Center.
Officer was killed in the line of duty last week
60484024A dancer following the Montezuma Search and Rescue float.Photo gallery: The 2023 Parade of LightsOn Saturday, the annual Parade of Lights brought a community together following the tragic death of Cortez Police Sgt. Michael MoranA dancer following the Montezuma Search and Rescue float.40246048The Lewis-Arriola PTO float during the Cortez Parade of Lights. The float went on to win in it's respective category.40246048Police vehicles spanned for over five blocks along Main Street, Cortez, in honor of fallen officer Sgt. Michael Moran.40246048The judges watching the parade intently. Parade of Lights, 2023.40246048Cortez Parade of Lights 2023.39625955The Lewis-Arriola PTO float during the Cortez Parade of Lights. The float went on to win in it's respective category.40246048Cortez Parade of Lights 2023.40246048Cortez Parade of Lights 2023.40246048Cortez Parade of Lights 2023.39425924Cortez Parade of Lights 2023.40246048Cortez Parade of Lights 2023.40246048Cortez Parade of Lights 2023.40246048Cortez Parade of Lights 2023.39325909Cortez Parade of Lights 2023.26593997Cortez Parade of Lights 2023.40246048Cortez Parade of Lights 2023.40246048Cortez Parade of Lights 2023.40246048Cortez Parade of Lights 2023.40246048Cortez Parade of Lights 2023.40246048Cortez Parade of Lights 2023.40246048The Lewis-Arriola PTO float during the Cortez Parade of Lights. The float went on to win in it's respective category.40246048Cortez BMX during the Parade of Lights.34615202The parade judges watch as the Montezuma-Cortez middle school band marches by.40246048The Montezuma-Cortez middle school band marches during the Parade of Lights.32874940The Montezuma-Cortez middle school band gets ready to march.40246048The Montezuma-Cortez middle school band gets ready to march.40246048Ute Mountain Casino's float during the Cortez Parade of Lights.40246048Police vehicles spanned for over five blocks along Main Street, Cortez, in honor of fallen officer Sgt. Michael Moran.39125879Police vehicles spanned for over five blocks along Main Street, Cortez, in honor of fallen officer Sgt. Michael Moran.40246048A child lifting weights with Santa on the Body by Design Fitness float.40246048Police vehicles spanned for over five blocks along Main Street, Cortez, in honor of fallen officer Sgt. Michael Moran.40246048Police vehicles spanned for over five blocks along Main Street, Cortez, in honor of fallen officer Sgt. Michael Moran.40246048Santa waves to the crowd as he gets ready to kick off the parade.33054968Spectators watch the Parade of Lights at the corner of Market and Main.40246048Santa steps off his helicopter shortly after landing.40246048
On Saturday, the annual Parade of Lights brought a community together following the tragic death of Cortez Police Sgt. Michael Moran
0VideoYouTube480360Video: Candlelight vigil held for fallen Cortez police Sgt. Michael MoranHundreds attend Candlelight vigil for Cortez police Sgt. Michael Moran After a moment of silence, several co-workers spoke about Cortez Police Sgt. Michael Moran and his impact on them and their careers – how he could be tough on them as they learned their jobs and in the next breath how kind and caring he was.20001348Corin Wolf, right, hands a candle to Elisa Lukas, as Amanda Puett hands one to Cortez Police Officer, Karla Ross, during a candlelight vigil for Cortez Police Department Sgt. Michael Moran on Thursday, Nov, 30, 2023, in front of the CPD building. Moran was fatally shot in the line of duty on Wednesday. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)
Hundreds attend Candlelight vigil for Cortez police Sgt. Michael Moran
20001229About 300 people took part in a candlelight vigil for Cortez Police Department officer Sgt. Michael Moran Thursday. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)Residents, leaders express grief over loss of Cortez Police Sgt. Michael MoranSgt. Michael Moran is remembered as a friend, father and police officer Two days after Cortez Police Sgt. Michael Moran was killed Wednesday in the line of duty, residents and leaders from Montezuma County, Colorado and the nation have expressed their grief about Moran and their support for his family. The Cortez Police Department issued a statement on Wednesday, saying that he will be remembered “by his fellow officers for his dedication and sense of humor.” Thursday night, nearly 300 people gathered to pay their respects to Moran during a candlelight vigil at the police department. 865913Sgt. Moran was killed in the line of duty on Wednesday. (Cortez Police Department)20001408About 300 people took part in a candlelight vigil for Cortez Police Department officer Sgt. Michael Moran Thursday in front of the CPD. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)20001752About 300 people took part in a candlelight vigil for Cortez Police Department officer Sgt. Michael Moran Thursday. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)Moran was fatally shot Wednesday as he made a traffic stop on South Broadway. The gunman was killed minutes later in a shootout south of town. Police officer Kurtiss Baumgartner tearfully spoke during the vigil about how Moran would flash a goofy smile and a joke in stressful situations, “immediately making everything OK.” “He was always there for you,” Baumgartner said. “He was so passionate about the things he believed in. The world lost a true hero.” City Councilor Matt Keefauver, a former principal at Southwest Open School, talked about how Moran visited to SWOS with his dog Otto to build a relationship with students. Keefauver said it was all the students could talk about for the next few weeks, and that they had been thrilled to meet Moran and K-9 officer Otto.“Michael was a father to two girls, he was a friend … and we’re here to remember him,” Keefauver said. “Michael was truly a special individual who gave everything for his community.” Another attendee at the candlelight vigil said that Moran embodied what it meant to be a true police officer. “I’m going to miss him, I’m always going to miss him,” he said. “He loved coming to work, and he was amazing. He was a good cop. He was the true definition of a police officer.” KaLlisha Henneberger expressed her sadness over the loss of Moran, saying that he had been a friend to her when she had no one.“He was very good to me, me being who I am with a record,” Henneberger commented on Facebook. “He sat next to me in the hospital numerous times, never judging me, never reporting me, just setting his job aside and being a friend when I had nobody else in the world by my side. I’m very upset and mourning the loss of a good friend and somebody who would be by my side if I needed him. My condolences and prayers go our to his family and fellow officers. You will be truly missed Sgt. Moran. Rest in peace, my friend.” The Cortez City Council released a statement speaking of the community’s loss.“The Cortez City Council is deeply saddened about the death of Police Sgt. Michael Moran,” the statement said. “While in service to our city, Sgt. Moran made the ultimate sacrifice when his life was taken from him. This is a tragic loss to our entire community.” “On behalf of the residents of the City of Cortez, we wish to thank him and his family for his service to our country and our city. During this extremely difficult time our deepest condolences are with the Moran family, the members of the Cortez police department and all those who loved and respected Sgt. Moran,” they continued. “The City of Cortez City Council supports our police officers and we are grateful they, even in grief of this loss, continue to serve as the guardians of our community.” 0VideoYouTube480360County Commissioner Jim Candelaria told The Journal that he has been receiving texts and phone calls from other commissioners in Colorado who expressed their condolences.“As the Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners, along with other phone calls, text emails that I've received from commissioners around the state, we would like to express our deepest condolences for the loss of Sergeant Michael Moran, and our thoughts and prayers are with the family,” Candelaria said. “We're definitely behind the City of Cortez PD and will offer any assistance that we can possibly provide for them if needed. This is a crime, as all crimes are, that is senseless. Words can't express really what happened. So our deepest condolences for to the family and for the loss of Michael.”District Attorney Christian Hatfield also expressed his sense of loss.“It is extremely tragic, and our deepest condolences go out to his family and friends. He was a consummate professional and a pleasure to work with. Anything my office can do to help victim advocates out and people around the state, Colorado District Attorney's Council and others, all expressed their willingness to help with anything we can do for the community. We're here,” Hatfield said. Police departments in Rifle, Boston, Mountain Village, Colorado Springs, Mesa County, Jefferson County, Lafayette Colorado, El Paso, Durango and more posted statements about Moran and in support of the Cortez Police Department. “Our office joins law enforcement agencies across the United States in mourning with the Cortez Police Department,” the El Paso Police Department said on Facebook. “Their loss is felt here in El Paso County and from corner to corner in Colorado. ‘Greater love hath no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.’”“Sending our deepest condolences to the Cortez Police Department as they grieve the loss of Sgt. Michael Moran in the line of duty on November 29,” the Mountain Village Police Department said via Facebook. “Our hearts are with the entire Cortez community, the officer’s family, friends and colleagues during this time.”The Colorado Fallen Hero Foundation is accepting monetary donations that will be given to Moran’s family. Donations can be made at their website. A memorial benefit is being held for Sgt. Moran’s family on Sunday, Dec. 10 from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the County Annex building, 107 N. Chestnut St. in Cortez. There will be a silent auction, and organizers are taking donations for the auction.There will be chili, drinks and dessert for $10 a plate. Questions can be directed to Jaime Cox (970) 739-5421, Emily Baumgartner (970) 799-7501, Wendy Knuckles (970) 759-3365 or Elizabeth Edwards (970) 903-6703. Moran will also be honored at the Parade of Lights on Saturday night. Funeral services are still pending. From the Community and Facebook“Sending my deepest condolences to Sgt. Moran’s family and fellow law enforcement. This is an absolute tragedy to befall a man of such great honor. Thank you for your service, sir, and may you rest in peace.” – United County Blue Sky Homes’ and Land’s Trena Yazzie “Our hearts are grieved at the news of the loss of one of our courageous police officers. Words cannot express our gratitude for his service, nor our grief for his loss. We turn our hearts in times such as these to ‘the God of all comfort; who comforteth us in our tribulation.’” – Pastor Bruce Burkett of Lighthouse Baptist Church “I do not know Sgt. Moran, but I know many like him who choose a life of service over a life of being served. Then there are those who choose a life of service in defense of our nation and our communities willing to lay down their lives for our freedoms. Sgt. Moran did both and ultimately, gave his life so others may live.” – Charles Evanson “My family in Colorado Springs is devastated … hoping his family knows that others outside of their community feels the loss. Thank you to another hero who gave his life to keep others safe.” – Jennifer Catterson
Sgt. Michael Moran is remembered as a friend, father and police officer
60484024Zach Smith, right, serves up food to Carter Snyder during Grace's Kitchen Thanksgiving meal drive.Grace’s Kitchen serves an estimated 500 meals on ThanksgivingCrew cooked 34 turkeys and more than 200 pounds of meat in preparationGrace’s Kitchen, located in St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, spent the past month roasting 34 turkeys and over 200 pounds of meat in preparation for the 500 meals they were expecting to give out on Thanksgiving Day.“Food is kind of my love language,” said Chris Snyder, who helps coordinate the kitchen during this event along with his family. “And so to be able to share that with individuals and be able to to just enjoy a meal together, I think it’s everything that's perfect.”Since the pandemic hit, the Thanksgiving meal drive has shifted from a dine-in event to a take-out and delivery system, which allows them to serve more of the community.“What we've seen this year is this new pattern of somebody signing up and saying, OK, I'm going to take four, so I can give some to my neighbor. There's this extra tier now,” said Victoria Atkins, who helped coordinate the event. “So that just gives me hope for the world.”“You know, Thanksgiving is basically about gratitude,” said Atkins. “We shouldn’t just be grateful. We should act, and show our gratitude.”Cedar Taylor, left, and Ray Taylor, center, serve up food to Beth Mitchell, right, during Grace's Kitchen Thanksgiving meal drive.40246048Two of the complete Thanksgiving meals given out by Grace's Kitchen. Over 500 meals were expected to be given out on Thursday, with around 70 volunteers helping the cause.40246048Volunteers distribute meals to folks in need on Thanksgiving Day.40246048Volunteers distribute meals to folks in need on Thanksgiving Day.40246048Beth Mitchell makes two Thanksgiving meals complete with a little bit of cranberry sauce.40246048The pie table during Grace's Kitchen Thanksgiving meal drive.40246048Folks line up outside St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Cortez for Grace's Kitchen Thanksgiving meal drive. Over 500 meals were expected to be given out, with around 70 volunteers helping the cause.40246048
Crew cooked 34 turkeys and more than 200 pounds of meat in preparation