Log In

Reset Password

Videos & Photos

1009682Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., a member of the House Freedom Caucus, speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, July 14, 2023. (Patrick Semansky/The Associated Press)Lauren Boebert apologizes after being removed from ‘Beetlejuice’ performanceRepresentative sorry actions or words caused harm: ‘I simply fell short of my values’ EEmbattled U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert issued an apology Friday evening for her behavior during a performance of “Beetlejuice” in Denver on Sunday, saying she “fell short of my values.”The Republican congresswoman, who was ejected from the musical along with a male companion, also apologized for misleading reporters when her campaign’s manager told news outlets she hadn’t been vaping inside a theater at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Video obtained by 9News through an open records request refuted that claim.“The past few days have been difficult and humbling, and I’m truly sorry for the unwanted attention my Sunday evening in Denver has brought to the community,” Boebert’s statement said. “While none of my actions or words as a private citizen that night were intended to be malicious or meant to cause harm, the reality is they did and I regret that.”She added: “There’s no perfect blueprint for going through a public and difficult divorce, which over the past few months has made for a challenging personal time for me and my entire family. I’ve tried to handle it with strength and grace as best I can, but I simply fell short of my values on Sunday. That’s unacceptable and I’m sorry.”Boebert filed for divorce from her husband, Jayson, in April. A different man accompanied her to the “Beetlejuice” performance Sunday. The pair were captured on surveillance video holding hands as they left the Buell Theater. The video also appeared to show Boebert’s male companion groping the congresswoman’s breasts during the performance.Theater officials told The Colorado Sun on Monday that two patrons were “escorted from the theater” Sunday, but declined to say who they were, citing privacy concerns. However, surveillance video obtained by The Colorado Sun and other news outlets, as well as Boebert’s 2024 reelection campaign manager, confirmed it was the congresswoman.Brian Kitts, director of marketing and communications for Denver Arts and Venues, said the patrons were talking loudly, vaping and using cameras during the performance. They were warned during an intermission, but the behavior continued into the second act, at which point the two were asked to leave.2VideoYouTube480360As they were being escorted from the property, the two people said “stuff like ‘do you know who I am,’ ‘I am on the board,’ (and) ‘I will be contacting the mayor,’” according to a security incident report obtained by The Sun from the city through an open records request.Boebert’s campaign manager, Drew Sexton, told reporters earlier this week that Boebert wasn’t vaping, but didn’t deny that she was using her phone and being boisterous. That was disproven by the video obtained by 9News, which clearly showed the congresswoman exhaling smoke or vapor.“Whether it was the excitement of seeing a much-anticipated production or the natural anxiety of being in a new environment, I genuinely did not recall vaping that evening when I discussed the night’s events with my campaign team while confirming my enthusiasm for the musical,” Boebert’s statement on Friday night said. “Regardless of my belief, it’s clear now that was not accurate. It was not my or my campaign’s intention to mislead, but we do understand the nature of how this looks. We know we will have to work to earn your trust back and it may not happen overnight, but we will do it.”Boebert said she has “learned some humbling lessons these past few days” — a complete departure from how her staffers brushed off the situation earlier in the week.The bombastic congresswoman, who has been at the center of several controversies since being elected in 2020, nearly lost her reelection bid last year to Democrat Adam Frisch, a former Aspen city councilman, in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, which is traditionally a Republican stronghold.The 3rd District is expected to be a battleground in 2024, which Democrats and Republicans each committing resources to the district, which spans across the Western Slope into Pueblo and southeast Colorado.The Sun on Monday began asking questions about Boebert’s behavior at the “Beetlejuice” performance. Anthony Fakhoury, Boebert’s congressional spokesman, said “there’s no comments from our office regarding anything that occurred.”On Tuesday evening, Sexton confirmed that Boebert had been ejected from the musical, joking that he could “confirm the stunning and salacious rumors: in her personal time, Congresswoman Lauren Boebert is indeed a supporter of the performing arts (gasp!).” Security camera footage from the Buell Theater started being posted by news outlets that night.Boebert’s staff also arranged and then canceled a meeting with a Colorado Sun reporter in Washington this week.Boebert’s apology Friday isn’t the first she’s issued. She apologized in July after being seen throwing away a tribute pin for one of the children killed in the Uvalde school shooting. In November 2021, Boebert issued an apology for anti-Muslim remarks she made in reference to Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Minnesota Democrat who is Muslim.Beyond the “Beetlejuice” incident, Boebert has been in the news this week for joining other Freedom Caucus members in threatening to hold up passage of federal budget bills that would prevent a government shutdown.“Spending is the most important issue (for my constituents) right now,” Boebert told The Sun in Washington. “Everywhere that I go people are having a hard time buying groceries, affording gas, getting to work, paying for their child care, affording the homes that they live in— or the homes that they would like to live in. We have got to get the spending under control in Washington, D.C.”She’s also pushing for a vote to impeach President Joe Biden in the House.“I’m ready for a straight up and down vote on the floor: yes or no, impeach Joe Biden,” Boebert told reporters Tuesday after the Freedom Conference news conference. “My vote is ‘yes.’”Colorado Sun editor David Krause contributed to this report. Colorado Sun correspondent Sandra Fish also contributed to this report.
Representative sorry actions or words caused harm: ‘I simply fell short of my values’
Dozens pay tribute to 9/11 service members during Durango stair climbFirefighters, law enforcement complete Sky Steps in honor of fallen first responders40323024Capt. Breaux Burns, left, and Ty Matthys with Durango Fire Protection District participate in the 9/11 Stair Climb on Monday in Durango. The Stair Climb honors service members who died in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. (Shane Benjamin/Durango Herald)Firefighters, law enforcement and community members climbed the Sky Steps just west of Fort Lewis College on Monday in commemoration of service members who responded to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York City.Firefighters said it was a chance to reflect on the commitment and sacrifice men and women in the emergency services made 22 years ago, as well as the dedication first responders give to their communities every day.“There are people entering the fire service that weren’t even alive on that day, which is kind of hard for some of us to believe who were alive that day and remember it,” said Deputy Chief Randy Black, with Durango Fire Protection District.The day began about 9 a.m. at the top of the Sky Steps, with a short speech read by Capt. Mark Fleming with Upper Pine River Fire Protection District.“Your involvement, irrespective of participation in climbing the stairs, pays homage and preserves the memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice,” Fleming said.69604640John Learned, carrying the flag, and Chris Ziegler, both with Durango Fire Protection District, make their way to the top of the Sky Steps at Fort Lewis College on Monday. (Matt Hollinshead/Durango Herald)Several dozen first responders then descended the Sky Steps and then climbed them, completing five laps to signify the highest point firefighters climbed in the World Trade Center – 110 levels – before the towers collapsed.“When that tower came down, I go, ‘They’re all (expletive) dead,’” said Rich Dory, choking back tears.Dory, who worked with the Chicago Fire Department for 37 years, was part of a FEMA team that went to Ground Zero a week after 9/11 to help dig through the debris in search of victims.He choked up again when remembering the letters family members left on site in those early days.“They were all saying, ‘Daddy, I miss you and I hope you’re OK,’” he said. “That affected me more than anything. … It was brutal.”0VideoYouTube480360The Sky Steps run from the base of East Sixth Avenue and 10th Street to the top of Fort Lewis College Mesa. Firefighters and law enforcement patted each other on the backs and shoulders as they passed each other along the 750-foot route. At the 343rd step, they rang a bell in honor of the 343 firefighters who died on 9/11 in the towers.Several firefighters wore full gear, which weighed 40 pounds. One also carried a chainsaw. They switched off carrying an American flag up and down the steps. At the top of the steps, many touched the remains of a steel I-beam that used to be part of the World Trade Center.Black said 9/11 was one of the worst days for the country and first responders, but emergency workers run toward danger every day in an effort to save lives while others make their escape. Even during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, firefighters put their own health at risk in the pursuit of helping others, he said.Breaux Burns with Durango Fire Protection District and law enforcement officials proceed up and down the Sky Steps at Fort Lewis College on Monday. (Matt Hollinshead/Durango Herald)46406960mhollinshead@durangoherald.comKen Manwell with Durango Fire Protection District walks up the Fort Lewis College Sky Steps on Monday. (Matt Hollinshead/Durango Herald)41754999mhollinshead@durangoherald.comJohn Learned, carrying the flag, and Chris Ziegler, both with Durango Fire Protection District, make their way to the top of the Sky Steps at Fort Lewis College on Monday. (Matt Hollinshead/Durango Herald)46406960mhollinshead@durangoherald.comJohn Learned with Durango Fire Protection District, rings the bell on Monday. Durango-area first responders rung the bell on 343rd step to honor 343 FDNY firefighters who died when the Twin Towers collapsed on Sept. 11, 2001. (Matt Hollinshead/Durango Herald)46406960mhollinshead@durangoherald.comUpper Pine River Fire Protection District Fire Chief Greg French completes the fourth of five laps going up and the down the hundreds of stairs at Fort Lewis College’s Sky Steps on Monday. (Matt Hollinshead/Durango Herald)46406960mhollinshead@durangoherald.comMark Fleming with the Upper Pine River Fire Protection District takes a drink of water on Monday atop the Sky Steps at Fort Lewis College. (Matt Hollinshead/Durango Herald)46406960mhollinshead@durangoherald.comThe 9/11 Stair Climb, in its eighth year, was organized by Fleming and Capt. Breaux Burns, with the Durango Fire Protection District.The Stair Climb is in no way intended to be a fun outing or sporting exercise, Burns said. Rather, it reflects the selflessness and ultimate sacrifice others made in the spirit of helping others, he said.“They didn't want to go to the Twin Towers and parish,” Burns said. “So this is to pay homage to the 343 firefighters who died and a bunch of EMS and police officers, as well.”Several participants also served in the military, including Burns and Durango Police Department Chief Bob Brammer.Burns served as a Marine at the time of 9/11. He was deployed to Iraq in 2003, a direct response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, he said.0VideoYouTube480360“As firefighters, we're pretty much going to war every day, just in a different manner,” Burns said. “We see some things that other people don't see, and we do things that other people don't do. And we love our jobs, but at times we have a hard job.”Fleming said the Stair Climb is a way to empathize with the service members who died on 9/11, particularly the New York City Fire Department.“I think that participating in a stair climb like this almost makes you (understand) not only what they were up against, but just how physically demanding, mentally demanding this job can be,” Fleming said. “The first responders will give it all to save others.”shane@durangoherald.com
Firefighters, law enforcement complete Sky Steps in honor of fallen first responders
La Plata County Republicans host Moms for Liberty speakerResidents protest controversial chairwoman 30001782About 100 protesters carry signs on Main Avenue protesting keynote speaker, Darcy Schoening, chairwoman of El Paso County, Colo., Moms for Liberty, on Tuesday during the La Plata County GOP meeting at the Durango Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 4031. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)There was commotion outside the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4031 during a La Plata County Republicans meeting Tuesday night. Protesters outside the building voiced their displeasure for the meeting’s guest speaker, Darcy Schoening, chairwoman for the El Paso County chapter of Moms for Liberty.Moms for Liberty, as defined by the organization’s website, is a conservative group “dedicated to fighting for the survival of America by unifying, educating and empowering parents to defend their parental rights at all levels of government.”In recent years, the group has garnered controversial attention for its views on the LGBTQ community, opposing critical race theory and attempting to remove books from school libraries.The group has been vocal about standing up against educators teaching what it considers “woke” ideology. About 100 people showed up to oppose Schoening’s speech. There were two people in favor of Schoening’s perspective standing along Main Avenue, with more inside the VFW waiting for her to speak. 30002110Darcy Schoening, chairwoman of El Paso County Moms for Liberty, the keynote speaker for the La Plata County GOP meeting, on Tuesday said, “Honestly, I could not be more honored,” referring to the protesters outside on Tuesday at the Durango Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4031 who showed up to voice their opinions against her being in Durango. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)“We invited Darcy, who is actually part of the El Paso (County) chapter, to come on down and give us a little information on Moms for Liberty and how we can help start protecting our kids in the fashion of school,” said La Plata County Republicans secretary Hope Scheppelman, holding a sign that read “Protect Our Kids” in support of Moms for Liberty.That protection, which many meeting attendees cheered for, relates to school districts that are allegedly indoctrinating children by acknowledging students by their preferred gender, allowing explicit reading material in libraries and not allowing parents to have a say in their child’s curriculum.“The big thing that we’re really wanting to make sure that our kids are learning history and not erasing history and not telling them there’s like 26 or 27 genders,” Scheppelman said.0VideoYouTube480360Scheppelman further explained that she is a nurse practitioner and expressed that there are only two genders. She was concerned that school districts had been telling students not to disclose what was being discussed in the classroom.On the other side, members of the Four Corners Alliance for Diversity, Indivisible Durango and other residents hoisted signs that read “Ban Bigots, Not Books” and “Censorship is not equal to liberty.”The front lawn of the VFW was layered with Pride and Black Lives Matter flags. Post Commander Mike Benton said the VFW is a nonpartisan group and that its first priority is to support the community.“They’re an anti-student inclusion group. They're a white supremacist group. They actively campaign against public education. They actively campaign against the existence of trans and gay kids,” said Four Corners Alliance for Diversity Chairperson Tyler Frakes.Frakes said the protesters wanted to make it clear that hateful views were not welcome in Durango. 30002045Hope Scheppelman, vice chairwoman of the Colorado Republican Committee, carries her sign on Tuesday next to protesters on Main Avenue who showed up to voice their opposition against keynote speaker, Darcy Schoening, chairwoman of El Paso, Colo, Moms for Liberty, on Tuesday before the start of the La Plata County GOP meeting at the Durango Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 4031. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald) “Moms for Liberty is recognized as a hate group. We want them to know that we are a town that values our diversity and our inclusiveness,” said protester JoAnne Smotherman. The Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights organization that tracks extremists, considers Moms for Liberty a far-right extremist group but has not classified them as a hate group.In November, Durango School District 9-R will host an election to fill school board seats in Districts B and D. Smotherman said that she wasn’t concerned about the election of a potential right-wing extremist candidate, but still wanted to stand up against the views of Moms for Liberty.Scheppelman said she was hopeful that a candidate would come forward to represent the stances presented by Moms for Liberty, but did not specify if there was a candidate.“Right now, we have a school board that values education and values young people, and they take care of their teachers,” Smotherman said. Another protester, Robert Bridges, said that he identifies as intersex and that there are some commonalities between trans people and intersex people in terms of discrimination.30001171About 100 protesters carry signs on Main Avenue protesting keynote speaker, Darcy Schoening, chairwoman of El Paso County, Colo., Moms for Liberty, on Tuesday during the La Plata County GOP meeting at the Durango Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 4031. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald) “There’s legislation that they’re trying to pass to prevent transgender kids from getting appropriate medical care, exactly the same treatments that intersex kids need,” Bridges said.Bridges said his father was gay and suppressed those feelings for a long time living in Missouri during the 1960s and ’70s and never really came out because of the era he was living in.Inside the VFW, Schoening started her speech in front of about 70 spectators, lamenting that public education was failing parents. She referenced the protesters outside, saying she was honored by their presence.She referred to protesters’ claims that Moms for Liberty is bigoted. She said white supremacist groups were just buzzwords meant to cancel the organization. “Everybody’s here for the same reason. We all want to educate our kids,” Schoening said. “My kids in the front row here are 7 and 8 years old. They have the right to go to school, to learn math, English, to learn to read, to learn science based in chemistry, without being told that they’re racist.” She took issue with teachers and superintendents asking students what their pronouns were and that educators were “poisoning them with leftist ideology.”“There is no such thing as pronouns. I’m a woman. You’re a man,” she said.Much like other members of the Moms for Liberty group, Schoening expressed distaste for alleged unspecified literature in school libraries that referenced two men involved in sexual settings.30001825Darcy Schoening, chairwoman of El Paso County, Colo., Moms for Liberty, the keynote speaker for the La Plata County GOP meeting, on Tuesday, said, “Honestly I could not be more honored,” referring to the protesters outside on Tuesday at the Durango Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4031 who showed up to voice their opinions against her being in Durango. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald) She also referenced the book “Push” by Sapphire, which was later made into a movie called “Precious,” claiming that she could not read the book in a public setting because she would be arrested for exposing children to its explicit material. However, she never indicated whether the book was in any of the Durango School District 9-R schools.She accused school districts of putting this material in elementary school libraries.“My son Dexter can’t go into Cinemark tomorrow and watch a movie with people doing gross things and people saying gross things and people being violent,” she said. “Why the hell can the state of Colorado do it?”She was also upset by scenarios where a local principal in El Paso County allegedly put a sticker of the transgender pride flag on a water bottle. “You think if it was a Trump flag, it would fly in that environment? It wouldn’t because leftists don’t believe in free speech,” she said. 30002091Some signs on Tuesday as people show up in opposition or support for keynote speaker, Darcy Schoening, chairwoman of El Paso County, Colo., Moms for Liberty, before the start of the La Plata County GOP meeting at the Durango Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 4031. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald) Schoening also took the opportunity to blast HB23-1003, which seeks to create a sixth through 12th grade mental health screening act.Her concern was that the bill was written in a similar fashion to California’s AB-957, which seeks to include a parent’s affirmation of the child’s gender identity or gender expression as part of the health, safety and welfare of the child.The bill says, “the health, safety, and welfare of the child includes, among other comprehensive factors, a parent’s affirmation of the child’s gender identity or gender expression. Affirmation includes a range of actions and will be unique for each child, but in every case must promote the child’s overall health and well-being.”The bill would make parents affirming their child’s chosen gender an extra piece of information used in making a decision about parental custody. Some other criteria involve the amount of contact a child has with a parent, the nature of the contact, and the health, welfare and safety of the child. Her fear is that the state would try to implement something of this nature in HB23-1003.Currently, the bill does not specifically discuss students disclosing their gender identity to their parents, but says if during one of the proposed screenings it is discovered that the student is suffering child abuse or neglect or that the child’s home situation presents an immediate serious threat of harm, the screener must contact social services or local authorities.tbrown@durangoherald.com(An earlier version of this story had Moms for Liberty Darcy Schoening saying HB23-1003 would allow the state of Colorado to take parental custody away if they did not acknowledge their child’s transition. Schoening was referencing California’s AB-957 as the direction Colorado could take with HB23-1003.)
Residents protest controversial chairwoman
Custom bikes on display during Four Corners Motorcycle RallyThousands of riders roll through Durango area30002104Rob Farino gets ready to leave the Four Corners Motorcycle Rally at the La Plata County Fairgrounds on Saturday with his dog Carly in the sidecar. Saturday marks the second day of the rally with events at the fairgrounds, Sky Ute Casino and the Durango Harley-Davidson dealership concluding on Sunday. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)Hundreds turned out to the La Plata County Fairgrounds, Durango Harley-Davidson and the Sky Ute Casino Resort in Ignacio on Saturday for the 30th annual Four Corners Motorcycle Rally.The Durango area hummed with the sounds of motors in the lead up to the rally, which started on Thursday and really kicked into gear Friday with stunt shows, Harley-Davidson demonstrations and bike shows.0VideoYouTube480360Trevor Bird, Durango Harley-Davidson dealership owner and event organizer, previously told The Durango Herald the 30th anniversary is a big deal and he expects to have the largest attendance in the rally’s history.The La Plata County Fairgrounds baseball field hosted more than 600 tents and campsites for Labor Day weekend travelers to make it easy for guests to reach events at the fairgrounds, he said.The Durango-based rock ’n’ roll group Ben Gibson Band jammed while engines revved at the fairgrounds on Saturday where visitors admired rows of V-Twin motorcycles propped up for display for the V-Twin Visionary Performance Motorcycle Show.Among the crowd of motorcycle enthusiasts were people who traveled from across Colorado and New Mexico, some attending the Labor Day weekend celebration for their first time and some longtime fans of the event.Robert Espinosa of V-Claws and Customs in Pueblo rode to town for his first experience at the Four Corners Motorcycle Rally. He and his crew displayed Custom V-Claws decorated with elaborate patterns, vibrant colors and creative murals.15002733Motorcycles crafted at V-Claws and Customs in Pueblo were on display for the Four Corners Motorcycle Rally at the La Plata County Fairgrounds on Saturday. Robert Espinosa said V-Claws and Customs focuses on “real cholo designs” featuring murals and intricate etchings, some of which were handcrafted. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)30002206Lucky, left, and Val Mulkey look over some of Pueblo-based V-Claws and Customs’ bikes featured at La Plata County Fairgrounds on Saturday for the 30th anniversary of the Four Corners Motorcycle Rally. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)“Real cholo design, low-rider style,” he said. “Works of art. … Strong candy paint jobs. A lot of engraving, a lot of custom work.”One motorcycle had a 32-inch diameter front wheel, dwarfing the wheels on another ride beside it. Some of the bikes had engravings that were stitched into their metal builds with an engraver tool that looks and functions similarly to a tattoo gun, he said. Other bikes had patterns that were engraved by hand.Espinosa said he hopes the rally receives a big turnout this weekend and encourages people to come out and show support for the motorcycle scene of Colorado and New Mexico.An Albuquerque man who identified himself simply by his first name, Scott, said he met a Denver friend and his wife in Durango for the rally. But the crowd seemed a little thin Saturday afternoon, to his surprise.30002182Riders with the Ives Brothers Wall of Death perform in the Motordome at the Four Corners Motorcycle Rally at the La Plata County Fairgrounds on Saturday. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)Regardless, he said he was looking forward to seeing the Wall of Death performance later in the day, where riders take their bikes into a spherical cage and rely on their momentum to carry them in death-defying loops.He said the weather was perfect and gorgeous for a motorcycle ride with just the right amount of cloud cover. He and his friends’ favorite trip in the area is U.S. Highway 160 between Durango and Pagosa Springs.“It’s been a great day, man. Went downtown and ate at Carver’s, it was excellent,” he said. “Beautiful weather.”Another Pueblo resident, Greg Compton, said he and his partner have attended the Four Corners Motorcycle Rally for the last 20 or so years. Durango to Cortez is among their favorite drives in the area.Food trucks, beer gardens, tattoo artists and motorcycle gear vendors were stationed around the fairgrounds and Durango Harley-Davidson for people’s enjoyment.Flat track races at La Plata County Fairgrounds were slated to start at 5 p.m. Saturday, to be followed by the Ives Brothers’ Wall of Death performance, the Dixxon and V-Twin Visionary Party, the Brawl Awards Ceremony and an after party scheduled to last until 12:30 a.m.Sunday also boasts a packed schedule, starting with the Missing & Murdered Indigenous Relatives Ride beginning at Durango Harley-Davidson. A number of contests and bike shows are scheduled throughout the day.cburney@durangoherald.com30002032The Ben Gibson Band performs at the Four Corners Motorcycle Rally at the La Plata County Fairgrounds on Saturday. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)30001500This is the first year that a camping site was provided at the Four Corners Motorcycle Rally at the La Plata County Fairgrounds on Saturday. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)30001994A bike that was entered in a bike show at the Four Corners Motorcycle Rally at the La Plata County Fairgrounds on Saturday. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)
Thousands of riders roll through Durango area
Classic Air Medical Hospital lands on Mancos school grounds for a lessonMedical flight crew meets with health care students to talk about their occupation 55683712Mancos High School students who are on a health care pathway attend a Classic Air Medical crew’s presentation at the Mancos School District’s practice field on Aug. 24, 2023. Colette Czarnecki/The JournalSouthwest Memorial Hospital’s Classic Air Medical Helicopter made an appearance on the Mancos School District’s practice field Thursday, Aug. 24, as students from various classrooms surrounded the field to watch it descend.As it landed, the copter created a wind vortex, blowing a gale toward everyone and everything that was close enough to it as its diesel exhaust briefly filled the immediate area.Soon after, most students went back to class, but about 30 high school students on a health care pathway high surrounded the Classic Air Bell 407 GX crew to view the copter, equipment and listen to the crew members talk about what life is like up (or down) in the air. Some of the students were also from a drone class.Two of the students said they wanted to do something related to this profession. One said she thinks she wants to be in the medical field and another said he wants to be a pilot, but mostly he wants to work on big planes.0VideoYouTube480360The crew also brought swag for the interested students – red T-shirts, calendars, lip balm, stickers and pens.Jacklynn Romine, the flight paramedic, said the Classic Air copter is stationed at Southwest Memorial Hospital’s landing pad, unless it’s in use.The crew said they’re constantly busy responding to calls and teaching the public first aid and CPR in a region that includes Utah, Arizona, and La Plata and Montezuma counties.The students also wanted to know about the training they receive.The crew’s pilot, Kyle Davis, captivated the young audience with what his job entails.“Last night we had to fly to Montezuma, Utah, for a gunshot wound in the abdomen,” he said. “She had to be flown to Farmington.”55683712Southwest Memorial Hospital’s Classic Air Medical helicopter lands on the Mancos schools’ practice football field to talk to students about the medical flight crew occupation on Aug. 24. Colette Czarnecki/The Journal55683712Medical pilot Kyle Davis, left, and flight medic Seth Wayman to health care pathway students at the Mancos schools campus about their jobs. Colette Czarnecki/The JournalHe also explained to the students that since this area is so remote, there’s not enough light to see in the night sky. To counter that they wear night vision goggles. He said the idea of wearing them is cool but after many hours of wearing them, the added 8 pounds around their heads gets heavy.Davis, who’s flown for about 20 years, two of them for Southwest Memorial Hospital, said he doesn’t have any medical training.“This might sound cruel, but my job is to not care about the patient. If I start to care about what’s wrong with them, I would put too much pressure on myself,” he said. “My only job is to get these guys from point A to point B.”He then asked if anyone wanted to get on the tiny stretcher that’s located behind the pilot seat to show how uncomfortable it is inside. A male student, who once was a patient in a medical helicopter, volunteered to get in.40323024Seth Wayman, flight medic, assists a high school student on the Classic Air Bell 407 GX on Aug. 24, 2023. Colette Czarnecki/The Journal.40323024Southwest Memorial Hospital’s Classic Air Bell 407 GX on Mancos School District’s practice football field on Aug. 24, 2023. Colette Czarnecki/The Journal“Thing is, you don’t want to be in my helicopter,” Davis said. “Trust me, it’s not fun.”Before working as an EMS helicopter pilot, Davis gave tours in Las Vegas for seven years after he closed his flight school, Suncrest Aviation, in Grand Junction.“I was flying famous people – from Kermit the Frog to Tommy Lee Jones,” he said.Eric Thomas and Seth Wayman were the other crew members who spoke with the students.Thomas, the flight nurse, informed everyone that the shift routine was four days on and four days off. He said in total that’s only eight days of actively working a month.40323024Eric Thomas, flight nurse, and Seth Wayman, flight medic, talk to Mancos high school students about their occupations for Southwest Memorial Hospital’s medical flight crew on Aug. 24, 2023. Colette Czarnecki/The Journal“It’s nerve-wracking at times, but the hours are a plus,” he said. “It takes a certain breed (to do this job). We’re there with limited resources, and we have to fix problems.”Seth Wayman, the flight medic, said that each crew member brings specific skills. The flight medic has more experience being in the back of an ambulance and knows more about ventilation management and intubations, while the flight nurse has more experience working in clinical settings and administering medications.Within a half-hour the students ran out of questions and the educators asked a few more including, “How do they know which hospital to fly to?”The crew said that it’s based on the hospital’s specialty and the weather.Soon after, the presentation ended and the crew packed up.
Medical flight crew meets with health care students to talk about their occupation
The Delbert Anderson Jazz Quartet shares cross-cultural tunesCanyons of the Ancients and Southwest Colorado Canyons Alliance collaborate to bring band back to the area40323024Delbert Anderson Jazz Quartet plays at Canyons of the Ancients on Aug. 8. Colette Czarnecki/The Journal.Outside, in front of the Canyons of the Ancients entrance doors, a trumpet could be heard blaring staccato notes alongside rhythmic drum beats, a bright sounding keyboard and the bass guitar’s low frequency line. Just before dusk took down the evening sun, the air still held its heat from the length of the summer day. Mingling Diné sounds with a jazz infused flow in the National Monument was the band’s intention since they devote incorporating Indigenous life and history with cross cultural stories.On Tuesday, Aug. 8, the Southwest Colorado Canyons Alliance collaborated with Canyons of the Ancients to make the Delbert Anderson Quartet Jazz Band’s concert possible that evening. It’s imperative for the band to talk to tribe members before actively doing anything on their land. During the Painted Mountains Tour, the band wanted to hear the stories of the tribes where they worked.Anderson, the trumpeter, said they all shared the same message – the desire to get their youths more involved with their cultures.“When we asked if we could use the songs and put them in a way that we can play them, they (tribal members) approved them and said, ‘yes’ because if you can play it at least it’s some way of documenting our song,” said Anderson, who is Navajo. “The elders thought it was a really good way of not only preserving their culture but for getting their music out there in front of everyone.”Earlier that day, on Aug. 8, D’DAT also held a workshop for community members to participate and play music with them. They also did this with all other visits from the Painted Mountains Tour.40323024Robert Muller, left, and Delbert Anderson, right, at Canyons of the Ancients with their band D’DAT on Aug. 8, 2023. Colette Czarnecki/The JournalD’DAT’s keyboardist Robert Muller said that five people showed up and everyone played one tune together at that morning’s workshop. They also talked about connecting with different types of people.“Putting everything aside, like belief systems, and coming together for a common cause of hope helps us connect and respect each other in a totally different way,” Anderson said. “We (as a band) use that process.”Between each jazz piece during the concert, Anderson talked about the tour and the band’s purpose with the BLM residency. He said they’re currently working on the Land Healing Album, which will be the finished outcome of the tour. They anticipate the album will have 10 tracks on it and they hope to have it out next year.They then played Ebola Blues, where the bass flowed its scales with rhythmic drums and a melody of keys flew. Soon after, Anderson introduced the trumpet with staccato notes that climbed the scale.0VideoYouTube480360Jazz was historically derived from very hard times, and the Quartet continues that story by improvising with the Indigenous cultures they visit. Anderson said that the elders’ long walks from the past is what created inspiration for the Land Healing Album.“You need to keep going no matter what,” Anderson said. “Moving, whether forward or backward, keeps the positivity up. Staying put gets you in trouble.”Since 2013, they’ve fused many different sounds into their jazz, including hip hop and funk and band members have changed, except Anderson and the bassist Mike McCluhan have remained since the beginning.Anderson said that he thinks one thing that keeps the band going are the creative residencies they have, such as the BLM artist-in-residence. It pushes them into new projects and new music. He said that the recent addition of Muller and Khalill Brown has elevated everything the band’s done for a long time.Each member of the Delbert Anderson Jazz Quartet carries musical talent scaled back from their early days.Trumpetist Delbert Anderson found his love for the trumpet in fourth grade when he was introduced to jazz in Farmington’s middle school and joined the community jazz band. He also played in big bands since seventh grade, but he really learned jazz when he attended college, where he received a scholarship from Eastern New Mexico University in 1999.Their drummer, Khalill Brown (Blackfoot, Cherokee) rolls the drums with much grace and energy. He began playing as a drummer in the marching band at his school in Georgia, but he remembers listening to his father’s reggae band, where Brown would play around with their instruments as a kid. He lives in Denver and joined the band this past April.The quartet’s keyboardist, Robert Muller, has been playing the piano since he was 5 years old. He originally was trained in classical and pop while growing up in Portland, Oregon, but before he left college he studied closely with Blue Note jazz musician Andrew Hill. He then relocated to New York City to play in smokey clubs and other venues. He resides in Santa Fe.Their bassist, Mike McCluhan, is versatile in the jams he provides to the band. Originally from western New York, he attended the University of Arizona in Tucson and began playing music there in 1988. He then met a woman from Cortez, and they moved back to Cortez in 1999 and raised their family. Now based in Farmington, he teaches and plays music in the city when not on tour.40323024Mike McCluhan, left, and Khalill Brown, right, play with the Delbert Anderson Jazz Quartet at Canyons of the Ancients on Aug. 8. Colette Czarnecki/The Journal“I’m an old deadhead. I grew up on jam band-type stuff,” McCluhan said. “I love when we start doing stuff, not knowing really where it’s going. When the magic really happens, that’s my favorite part.”Their next tune introduced a sad and longing sound with the trumpet called “Heart Passage.” This was created through the Spirit Coalescent project, which was funded through the Association of Performing Arts Professionals. The organization awarded the Quartet $50,000 to input music and workshops into the Cortez community in summer 2022. Anderson explained that the Spirit Coalescent project was an interactive project that combined eight original orchestrated tunes with eight giant multimedia visual art pieces. “Heart Passage” was the seventh of the Spirit Coalescent, and he said that the “Aztec Arc” was painted for the piece, although it was not at the concert.“The trumpet kind of hovers on one note while the rhythm section changes,” Anderson said before they played the tune. “This is the land composition for the Aztec Ruins National Monument’s Arch, and this is called Heart Passage.”With a busy schedule before and ahead – Anderson said that since this past February he’s counted 45 days of spending time at home – he mentioned that they will play in Seattle in September, Hawaii in October and they anticipate playing at the Newport Jazz Festival in Rhode Island next year. When working with other cultures, the band makes sure they have someone who acts as a cultural consultant so they don’t accidentally appropriate them.“In Hawaii we have a guy named Tao that’s going to be helping us, because we are going to be composing for volcanoes that are not on our lands and they are a big part of Indigenous history there,” he said. “It’s better that way, rather than us going in. I think that’s just part of the ethics of going about this business and a lot of people don’t do that anymore, they just go and go and go.”D’DAT also founded the Build a Band mentorship project, an extracurricular activity where they teach Farmington-based high school students the ins and outs of everything it takes to be part of a band, from touring to practice and the essential camaraderie between band mates.“We just finished a five day tour with them, where we mentored them and gave them a good idea of what touring is,” Anderson said. “We utilize our band structure, like if someone is mad at one another, how we go about it. It’s a lot of stuff institutions don’t teach and I thought it was very valuable.”Anderson used his own family’s method to incorporate on how to keep a band together. During the pandemic, he noticed his own family, his wife of 20 years and five children, didn’t have as much trouble as others had. He came up with several traits that helped keep his family going, which he turned into key points for the Build a Band program – unconditional love, respect, discipline and sacrifice.“When you look at them now, they’re all hanging out together at the school,” he said. “Before, they used to just kind of have their own cliques, but now they feel like they have something special together.”The Delbert Anderson Jazz Quartet ironically closed with their tune called “The Opener,” an upbeat sound that might have gotten people pumped for their drive back home.“Robert suggested that we call it ‘Closure,’ and so this is ‘The Opener aka Closer,’” Anderson said.0VideoYouTube480360
Canyons of the Ancients and Southwest Colorado Canyons Alliance collaborate to bring band back to the area
Video: Plenty of Excitement at the 2023 Demolition Derby0VideoYouTube48036027251521Drivers compete in the 2023 Demolition Derby on Saturday at the La Plata County Fair. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)
Durango shooting suspect allegedly targeted sex offenderTroy Brown, 34, arrested on suspicion of burglary, attempted murder480640BrownA Durango man is suspected of targeting a registered sex offender by breaking into his home and shooting him multiple times in the middle of the night, according to an arrest affidavit filed Thursday in La Plata County Combined Courts.Troy Allen Brown, 34, was arrested about 9 p.m. Wednesday in the 2800 block of East Animas Road (County Road 250), about 20 hours after the shooting. He appeared via closed-circuit television Thursday in a La Plata County courtroom to be advised of potential charges, including felony burglary and attempted murder.He is being held on $500,000 bail in the La Plata County Jail.The shooting was reported around 12:45 a.m. Wednesday at the Red Cliff Apartments, 5800 Main Ave., in north Durango. When police arrived, they found Thomas Jeffrey Mitchell with multiple gunshot wounds.Mitchell, 52, told police that someone tried to break into his house and kill him. He had a gash on his head and a large hole in his left hand, according to the affidavit.Mitchell was taken to Mercy Hospital and later flown to a Colorado Springs hospital for additional treatment. He received multiple gunshot wounds, according to the affidavit.In a brief interview Wednesday night, Mitchell said he was doing “good,” but his injuries were extensive. A spokeswoman for Centura Health did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Mitchell’s condition.Mitchell told police the shooting suspect “made references during the incident about him being a ‘predator.’”According to a sex offender registry maintained by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, Mitchell has an out-of-state conviction in 2006 for child molestation and convictions in 2011 for sexual exploitation of a child involving videos.30002184An investigator enters an apartment where a shooting happened early Wednesday at Red Cliff Apartments in north Durango. A “person of interest” involved with the shooting was arrested later that night. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)Police identified a bloody shoe print with a distinctive pattern at the scene. They also located a vehicle at the apartment complex with a leather handgun holster in plain sight. They also found a receipt from Big 5 Sporting Goods for a pair of skate shoes. Investigators did a Google search on the shoes and found they had a similar shoe pattern to the bloody prints found at the crime scene, according to the affidavit.The vehicle also had a prescription bottle in the center console with the name “Troy Brown” on it, according to the affidavit.Sometime after 8 p.m. Wednesday, 911 dispatchers received a call about a man covered in blood who was on the caller’s property in the 2800 block of East Animas Road (County Road 250), on the other side of the Animas River from where the shooting occurred.A woman told police she was startled by the man who walked onto her property. The man told her he had injured himself, “and stated something to the effect of he injured himself because a predator was going to harm his child,” according to the affidavit.Police issued a “code red” advising residents within a 1-mile radius to shelter in place while officers searched for the alleged shooter.Meanwhile, Durango police Detective Kathleen O’Toole contacted Brown by phone. The man was in the area of East Animas Road and willing to turn himself in, according to police.Sgt. Padraic Ingle and Officer Dan Kellermeyer with Durango police used a drone to locate Brown, who was taken into custody without incident.0VideoYouTube480360Brown’s shoes were collected as evidence, and the bottoms of the shoes appeared to match the prints found at the crime scene, according to the affidavit.Brown owns a home and has lived in La Plata County for 12 years, according to his defense attorney, who argued for a $20,000 bail Thursday. Before arriving in La Plata County, Brown lived in Gypsum and is a lifelong resident of Colorado.Deputy District Attorney Matthew Margeson argued for a $500,000 bail, saying Brown has a lengthy criminal history including drunken driving, burglary, attempted escape, theft and disorderly conduct.La Plata County Judge Reid Stewart said he understands Brown’s right to bail, but also understands the need to protect community safety. Given Brown’s criminal history, Stewart set bail at $500,000.Brown declined to be interviewed by police upon his arrest.shane@durangoherald.comThe Durango Police Department said late Wednesday night on its Facebook page that a “person of interest” was arrested in connection with a shooting that occurred earlier that day at Red Cliff Apartments.911 dispatchers received a call shortly before 9 p.m. in the 2800 block of East Animas Road (County Road 250) about a man covered in blood who was on the caller’s property.Because the 2800 block of East Animas Road is across the river and is just north from where the shooting took place 20 hours earlier, law enforcement issued a “code red” advising residents within a 1-mile radius to shelter in place while officers searched for the alleged shooter.Officers found Thomas Jeffrey Mitchell inside the apartment with multiple gunshot wounds. Mitchell was taken to Mercy Hospital and later flown to Centura-Penrose Hospital in Colorado Springs with serious injuries.
Troy Brown, 34, arrested on suspicion of burglary, attempted murder
Photo gallery: Mancos Days ParadeCrowds lined the streets in downtown Mancos for the Mancos Days Parade on Saturday. Festivities carried on in Boyle Park.Shylee Graf/The Journal34565184Shylee Graf/The Journal34565184Shylee Graf/The Journal34565184Shylee Graf/The Journal34565184Shylee Graf/The Journal34565184Shylee Graf/The Journal34565184Colette Czarnecki/The Journal30244032Shylee Graf/The Journal34565184Shylee Graf/The Journal34565184Colette Czarnecki/The Journal30244032Shylee Graf/The Journal34565184Shylee Graf/The Journal34565184Shylee Graf/The Journal34565184Shylee Graf/The Journal34565184Colette Czarnecki/The Journal30244032Colette Czarnecki/The Journal37125568Colette Czarnecki/The Journal37125568Colette Czarnecki/The Journal37125568Colette Czarnecki/The Journal37125568Colette Czarnecki/The Journal37125568Colette Czarnecki/The Journal37125568Colette Czarnecki/The Journal37125568Colette Czarnecki/The Journal37125568Colette Czarnecki/The Journal37125568
La Plata County family loses home in fire east of DurangoBlaze reportedly started on front porch, but cause remains under investigation30002010Durango Fire Protection District firefighters extinguish flames on a double-wide trailer Friday in the Alpine Shadows subdivision east of Durango. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)A La Plata County family, including a mother and two small children, have been displaced from their home after a double-wide trailer caught fire Friday east of Durango.The blaze was reported about 10:40 a.m. on Pine Ridge Road in the Alpine Shadows subdivision.Sarah Turner said she was babysitting her sister’s two daughters, ages 11 months and 6 years, when the 6-year-old girl saw smoke coming from the ceiling inside the living room. Turner said she opened the front door and saw smoke and flames.30002160Durango Fire Protection District firefighters save one of two kittens from a burning house Friday in the Alpine Shadows subdivision east of Durango. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)15001717Jessica Haydon, holding her daughter, Nora, 11 months, talks about the fire that consumed her family’s home Friday in the Alpine Shadows subdivision east of Durango. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)“The whole front area (of the home) was on fire when I opened the front door,” she said.The owner of the home, Jessica Haydon, was in Durango getting her hair done when she was notified.“I had stuff in my hair, so we had to rinse it out real quick,” she said.Haydon said she rushed home, at least with the knowledge her sister and daughters made it out safely.“It was nerve-wracking,” she said. “I was hoping I wasn’t going too fast. I had to definitely shift down to make sure I wasn’t driving like a maniac.”Turner said she had time to grab the two girls, her dog, a diaper bag and a bunch of clothes.She called 911 and waited for firefighters to respond. The home is in a remote area surrounded by piñon and juniper trees northeast of Elmore’s Corner.“ (The response) felt like 8 million years. I’m sure it was quick, though,” Turner said.30001922Durango Fire Protection District firefighters work a double-wide trailer fire on Friday in the Alpine Shadows subdivision east of Durango. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)15002242Durango Fire Protection District firefighters enter a double-wide trailer Friday in the Alpine Shadows subdivision east of Durango. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)Firefighters arrived to find an active fire in the living room. They attacked the fire and were able to knock down the flames within minutes, said Michael Krupa, deputy fire chief-operations with the Durango Fire Protection District. But the fire remained active in the space between the ceiling and the roof of the double-wide trailer, he said.“We’ve still got some fire between the ceiling and the roof, and that’s what they’re digging in to find right now,” Krupa said.Haydon, who is the general manager at Fired Up Pizzeria in Durango, said she wasn’t immediately sure where she and her daughters would spend the night Friday.She had just gotten two kittens a day earlier. Firefighters were able to save both animals.Krupa said the trailer is likely a total loss. Red Cross was called to assist the family, he said.The cause of the fire remained under investigation.0VideoYouTube480360“The origin of the fire appears to be on the front porch and started on the outside and made its way into the house,” Krupa said. ”And investigators are focusing on the front porch at this time.“shane@durangoherald.com
Blaze reportedly started on front porch, but cause remains under investigation