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Gloves come off in first debate between congressional candidates Don Coram and Lauren BoebertRepublican primary opponents offered voters a glimpse of their different approaches to legislating1300952State Sen. Don Coram answers a question while debating U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert on Thursday at the Sky Ute Casino Resort in Ignacio for the first of two debates ahead of next month’s Republican primary. Coram touted his track record in the Colorado Legislature as one of the reasons voters should cast their ballot for him. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)IGNACIO – Sparks flew during Thursday’s debate between state Sen. Don Coram and U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert as they jousted ahead of next month’s Republican primary.The two met Thursday morning at the Sky Ute Casino Resort in Ignacio in a crowded event center filled with about 150 people split down the middle, literally; Coram supporters on left and Boebert supporters on the right.It was the first of two debates scheduled for the candidates.Moderated by Dave Woodruff, general manager for El Moro Tavern and the Durango chapter president for the Colorado Restaurant Association, the two began by discussing gun control in the wake of the Uvalde, Texas, school shooting that left 21 people dead earlier this week before moving to more local topics such as public land management, wildfires, worker shortages and water.1600765State Sen. Don Coram and U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert debate in front of a crowded audience Thursday at the Sky Ute Casino Resort. The two discussed a range of topics, including gun control, agriculture and worker shortages. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)16001142State Sen. Don Coram listens to U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert as the two debate Thursday at the Sky Ute Casino Resort in Ignacio. The two offered voters opposing styles of legislating and criticized one another throughout the debate. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)In the strictly cast event with no signs and no cheering after questions, Boebert supporters broke out multiple times in applause while Coram supporters laughed at statements the congresswoman made, prompting Boebert at one point to shout “order.”The debate was relatively civil at the beginning with both candidates answering Woodruff’s questions and trading barbs, but it quickly devolved into attacks during the approximately 10 minutes of cross examination when each candidate was allowed to ask a question of the other and then respond.Boebert’s first attempt was less a question than a comment.“Don, I want you to hear this directly from me,” she said. “The information proposed about you at corruptcoram.com is absolutely facts, facts, facts. You are corrupt sir. You use your political office to pass legislation to line your own pockets.”When Woodruff interjected and asked the Rifle Republican to ask a question, she said: “Any comments?”Throughout her primary campaign, Boebert has taken to calling her opponent “Corrupt Coram,” alleging that he used his time in the Colorado Legislature to pass legislation that would benefit his hemp operation and citing the website “corruptcoram.com” and an editorial by The Gazette in Colorado Springs.Boebert’s campaign runs corruptcoram.com, and The Gazette editorial board endorsed Boebert in the 2020 election.1300867Dave Woodruff, general manager for El Moro Tavern and the Durango chapter president for the Colorado Restaurant Association, moderates the debate between state Sen. Don Coram and U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert as Jean Walter with the League of Women Voters keeps the time Thursday at the Sky Ute Casino Resort in Ignacio. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)Coram, a Montrose Republican, returned the jab, noting the Federal Election Commission’s investigation into Boebert’s personal use of campaign funds and her failure to disclose her husband’s income from the energy industry.“You are absolutely false, and if you want to talk about corruption, let’s talk about you,” he said.During the debate, Coram positioned himself as a moderate who could work across the aisle. He relied heavily on his track record as a state representative and a senator in arguing for voters’ support.Boebert also touted her work in the U.S. House over the last year and a half, often answering Woodruff’s question by highlighting legislation she has introduced.16001017State Sen. Don Coram and U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert debate Thursday at the Sky Ute Casino Resort in Ignacio in the first of two debates ahead of next month’s 3rd Congressional District Republican primary. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)16001110Rep. Lauren Boebert answers a question while debating state Sen. Don Coram at the Sky Ute Casino Resort. Boebert questioned Coram’s conservative credentials and highlighted her own in fiery two-minute segments. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)Coram finished his opening statement by challenging Boebert’s work, comparing her time in Congress to a football player who throws many passes but completes few.“You are introducing, introducing, introducing, but passing is the word,” he said.Both candidates hit on conservative policies, including border security, stopping fentanyl, reining in spending and a limited role for the federal government. However, Boebert attacked Coram’s Republican credentials throughout the debate.9501215U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert answers a question while debating state Sen. Don Coram on Thursday at the Sky Ute Casino Resort in Ignacio. The debate quickly devolved into attacks during the approximately 10 minutes of cross examination when each candidate was allowed to ask a question of the other and then respond. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)She questioned Coram’s 2017 vote to fund the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey, a voluntary and anonymous survey that asks middle and high schoolers about topics including sexual activity, drug and alcohol use, and suicide.Coram was one of two Republicans who voted to renew funding for the survey, which in recent years has become a target of conservatives.Boebert also targeted Coram’s vote for a 2019 bill that made less than 4 grams of fentanyl a misdemeanor, a vote Coram said he regretted.“I certainly stand by my votes and don’t regret them because I read the bills and understand them,” Boebert said.Though the candidates’ differed in their approaches to the debate – Boebert fiery and charismatic and Coram calm and reasoned – the starkest difference between the two was in their responses to Woodruff’s question about election integrity.Toeing the line of former President Donald Trump’s false election claims, Boebert said hundreds of thousands of votes were cast illegally and that the “Fauci-funded China virus” (coronavirus) interfered with the 2020 election, a statement that was met with guffaws from Coram’s supporters.Coram did not reject that voter fraud may have occurred during the last election, but he said there was no evidence to support Boebert’s claims, later telling reporters that every election has some degree of voter fraud but that it does not make a difference in the outcome.1300867State Sen. Don Coram and U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert debate Thursday at the Sky Ute Casino Resort in Ignacio. The room was divided between Boebert’s supporters on the right and Coram’s on the left. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)“I’ve heard all these talks about all this evidence, but I’ve never seen it in a court of law,” Coram said during the debate.The responses from both candidates oscillated between addressing local and national issues as they sought to appeal to the Republican and unaffiliated voters in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District who will decide the June 28 Republican primary.The 3rd Congressional District covers the Western Slope of Colorado and extends to Pueblo County in the southern half of the state.Boebert often approached her responses through a national lens, assailing federal policies for Colorado’s workforce shortages and depicting immigration into a local issue.“Every state is a border state when you have 3 million illegal aliens invading our country,” she said.When asked by Woodruff after she discussed her vocal opposition to pandemic shutdowns why she voted no on the Restaurant Revitalization Fund Replenishment Act, which would put $42 billion toward supporting restaurants and small businesses affected by the pandemic, Boebert put her platform succinctly.“I would have to look at that bill specifically, but I’m sure that there was something with too much spending, not the proper role of government or not going through the proper order,” she said.Coram reiterated his background in agriculture and his time representing the Western Slope throughout the debate. He attempted to keep his answers focused on local issues relevant to the voters of the 3rd Congressional District, portraying Boebert as out of touch with the issues voters in the district face.9501123State Sen. Don Coram and U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert shake hands at the conclusion of Thursday’s debate at the Sky Ute Casino Resort in Ignacio. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)During the cross examination, Coram asked Boebert about her stance on water as a public trust.Public trust doctrine holds that water can never be privately controlled, a departure from Colorado’s system of prior appropriation, which essentially allows water to be possessed and sold by private individuals.Boebert dodged the question, leading Coram to ask it again.“I think that’s a great answer, but it doesn’t answer the question,” Coram said.The debate began awkwardly when Boebert met Coram on stage and Coram questioned why his opponent had notes, saying he believed the candidates’ campaigns had agreed to not allow them.Boebert, who referred to her notes throughout the debate, replied that the campaigns had agreed to allow paper.Speaking to reporters after the debate, Coram said he and his campaign felt good about the race, noting that unaffiliated voters, a growing subset of the district’s voters, will be able to cast a ballot in the primary. Boebert did not speak with reporters, instead engaging with her supporters after the event.A second debate between the two Republican candidates will be held in Pueblo ahead of the June primary, but a date and time has yet to be determined.Both candidates professed Thursday to offer voters their own approach to legislating.“I’ve been very effective in getting things done because I know how to work together and create coalitions,” Coram said. “We have a nation in D.C. that is so divided that they couldn’t agree on buying ice cream and that needs to change.”Boebert made a different pitch.“I ran as a conservative and I won as a conservative. I legislate as a conservative because I am one, and I will win this primary because I’m the only conservative in this race,” she said.ahannon@durangoherald.com0VideoYouTube480360
Republican primary opponents offered voters a glimpse of their different approaches to legislating
28001515Pueblo Community College Southwest graduates line up to enter the Montezuma-Cortez High School auditorium for their graduation ceremony Saturday.Pueblo Community College honors 196 students in Cortez commencementStudents come from PCC sites in Mancos, Durango and BayfieldPueblo Community College Southwest recognized 196 graduates at its 2022 commencement Saturday in the Montezuma-Cortez High School auditorium.State Rep. Barbara McLachlan, a Democrat from District 59, was the guest speaker.Students from the Mancos/Cortez campus and PCC’s sites in Durango and Bayfield received degrees and certificates.24001604Erin White Sinberg sings the national anthem Saturday for the Pueblo Community College graduation ceremony Saturday in the Montezuma-Cortez High School auditorium.28001369Executive Dean of Pueblo Community College Southwest introduces the speakers at the graduation ceremony Saturday at Montezuma-Cortez High School.20002088The state representative for the 59th District, Barbara McLachlan, was the guest speaker Saturday for the Pueblo Community College Southwest graduation.
Students come from PCC sites in Mancos, Durango and Bayfield
Fort Lewis College featured on PBS NewsHour for efforts to reckon with its pastBoarding school stripped Native Americans of language, culture and identity27151500Fort Lewis College was featured this week on PBS NewsHour for its efforts to acknowledge and accurately portray its history as a boarding school for Native American students. (Screenshot)Fort Lewis College was featured this week on PBS NewsHour as part of a national segment about the United States’ history of removing Native American children from their families and placing them in boarding schools, where they were forced to give up their language and culture.The eight-minute segment, titled “Colorado college reckons with a troubling legacy of erasing Indigenous culture,” includes interviews with FLC President Tom Stritikus, faculty members and a student. It also features several shots of the college, the Old Fort campus in Hesperus and footage of a powwow held at FLC.“There has been a huge reckoning in this country to say that institutions must take a look at their own racialized history and understand the implications of that racialized history,” Stritikus told PBS NewsHour. “For Fort Lewis College, that racialized history is embedded in the fact that we started as an Indian boarding school.”The college offers a Native American tuition waiver as part of a land agreement struck more than 100 years ago. Indigenous students make up about 45% of the student body, from 185 nations, tribes and villages, according to the college.FLC is engaged in an effort to explore its history, acknowledge its past and provide a “more supportive learning environment” for Indigenous students, the PBS NewsHour narrator explains. “It's actually connected to the fact that the students who are attending today potentially had ancestors who were abused and traumatized by Native American boarding schools,” Stritikus tells PBS NewsHour. “Those things are connected. Indigenous communities paid a tremendous price because of federal Indian boarding schools.”Thousands of Native American children attended school at the Old Fort campus 15 miles west of Durango where they were “stripped of their language, their culture and, frankly, their identity,” he says.Majel Boxer, an associate professor in the department of Native American and Indigenous Studies at FLC, had grandparents who attended boarding schools around the country. Her father didn’t learn the Dakota language, she told PBS NewsHour, because his parents determined he would be better served to learn English without any accent.The news segment also speaks with Joslynn Lee, a former student and current assistant professor of chemistry at the college, who helped lead an effort to update the language used on panels under the college clock tower explaining the school’s boarding school history. One of the panels read: “The children are well-clothed and happy.”Lee told PBS NewsHour it was an inappropriate representation.She sent an email to Stritikus in August 2019, and the college formed a History Committee to re-evaluate the school’s history. The panels were removed last year.Noah Shadlow, a senior, told PBS NewsHour he has seen a change in campus culture since the reconciliation efforts began.“I feel more recognized. I feel more acknowledged on this campus, rather than how it was before, where it’s just like, ‘Oh, there’s just some Indian kids over there,’” he said.But he said more needs to be done, including hiring more Indigenous staff members, including a counselor.And the college is working to improve its graduation rate among Native American students, which is about 30%, slightly below the national rate, according to PBS NewsHour.The school’s effort to recognize its history and learn from it has been meaningful, according to those interviewed.“I think this has opened up a lot of discussion on how we can start to learn more about each other’s culture,” Lee said.shane@durangoherald.com0VideoYouTube480360
Boarding school stripped Native Americans of language, culture and identity
720584A fox peers into a monitoring camera at the Spring House site in Mesa Verde National Park. (Courtesy Mesa Verde National Park)Wildlife at home among Mesa Verde National Park’s ancient dwellingsPark cameras capture a variety of species in and around ancient dwellings A group of foxes investigate something at Spring House in Mesa Verde National Park. (Courtesy Mesa Verde National Park)398720A fox peers into a game camera at the Spring House site in Mesa Verde National Park. (Courtesy Mesa Verde National Park)584720A black bear visited Spring House in 2016 at Mesa Verde National Park. (Courtesy Mesa Verde National Park)436720The nocturnal ringtail cat hangs out at Jug House in Mesa Verde National Park The ringtail is member of the raccoon family. (Courtesy Mesa Verde National Park)618720A two-year old mountain lion nicknamed Squeaks resides in Mesa Verde National Park. He migrated to the park in August 2020 after traveling 558 miles from the Santa Ana Pueblo in central New Mexico. (Courtesy Pueblo of Santa Ana Department of Natural Resouces)405549Spruce Tree House has been closed to the public for safety reasons, but wildlife can come and go as they please, such as this bobcat on March 30. (Courtesy Mesa Verde National Park)359720When the tourists leave the cliff houses at Mesa Verde National Park, wildlife will wander in for a photo shoot.Cameras monitor the condition of ancient dwellings and watch for looting and trespassing humans.But when wildlife show up and trigger the cameras, it’s a “highlight of the monitoring program – much better than seeing people illegally entering sites,” said Kay Barnett, a park archaeologist, in an email.Here are a few favorites over the years. They include a black bear, bobcat, foxes and a ring-tailed cat, which is a member of the raccoon family.Squeaks, a 2-year-old mountain lion living at the park since August 2020, is also featured on a game camera and appears to be doing well. He made headlines after a 558-mile journey from central New Mexico recorded on a GPS collar. The trek included swimming across Navajo Reservoir twice.jmimiaga@the-journal.com
Park cameras capture a variety of species in and around ancient dwellings
The 12 Hours of Mesa Verde raceAbout 950 riders registered for the 12-hour endurance race at Phil’s World in Cortez. After coming out of the tunnel, racers climb a hill during the 12 Hours of Mesa Verde race.20732549 Riders pass through the tunnels going under U.S. Highway 160 Saturday in the 12 Hours of Mesa Verde race.18952400 Racers go under U.S. Highway 160 Saturday during the 12 Hours of Mesa Verde race.15872400 Spectators watch for racers Saturday during the 12 Hours of Mesa Verde.15322400 Wearing a pink tutu, a racer takes off on another loop of the trail during the 12 Hours of Mesa Verde race.16552400 Hannah MacLaren starts her third loop around the trail in the 12 Hours of Mesa Verde race Saturday. 17412400 Shawn Gregory takes off on another loop of the Phil's World track during the 12 Hours of Mesa Verde race Saturday. 18272400 The Montezuma County Fairgrounds is packed with tents Saturday as racers participate in the 12 Hours of Mesa Verde.13882400 A jumble of bikes await riders for their turn in the 12 Hours of Mesa Verde.14302400
About 950 riders registered for the 12-hour endurance race at Phil’s World in Cortez.
Durango reacts to draft decision that would overturn Roe v. WadeGroups express despair and elation, but acknowledge ruling would have limited impact in Southwest Colorado16001067Emily Ciszek, left, and Tiare Flora hold signs as they gather Tuesday with about 100 other protesters at Buckley Park after the U.S. Supreme Court’s draft decision that would strike down Roe v. Wade. The protesters marched to the La Plata County Courthouse where they rallied and spoke in favor of reproductive rights. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)Abortion-rights supporters in Durango were incensed while those opposed to abortion were cautiously optimistic as Durangoans reacted Tuesday to news that a leaked draft decision from the U.S. Supreme Court showed justices intend to overturn Roe v. Wade.But while the two sides took up their positions, both acknowledge that the decision by the Supreme Court would have limited impact in Durango and Southwest Colorado.Indivisible Durango, the local chapter of the nationwide progressive advocacy group, along with community activist Harrison Wendt, organized a response rally for 5 p.m. Tuesday that aligned with national protests.Dozens of protesters showed up to the rally, including a large contingent of high school students, marching from Buckley Park to the La Plata County Courthouse. They carried signs that read “Freedom over reproduction,” “Keep abortion safe and legal” and “Bans off our bodies.”“We just wanted to show solidarity with other cities across the country who are expressing their absolute outrage over this ruling over this apparent SCOTUS ruling,” said Anne Markward, a member of Indivisible Durango’s coordinating council, in an interview.Katie Stewart and Mary Quinn attended the rally because they were furious when they heard the news Monday that the Supreme Court was likely to strike down Roe after the release a draft opinion from Justice Samuel Alito.“Plain and simple it’s not going to happen,” Quinn said. “Women can do a lot and we will do a lot.”16001006About 100 people marched from Buckley Park to the La Plata County Courthouse on Tuesday as they protested a leaked decision that shows the U.S. Supreme Court is preparing to overturn Roe v. Wade. Gov. Jared Polis signed into law the Reproductive Health Equity Act last month protecting the right to an abortion in Colorado state law. However, protesters said they were speaking out to support those in other states where abortion bans are already in place, or soon will be, and to call for national action from Colorado’s representatives. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)Though Colorado firmly supports abortion rights after Gov. Jared Polis signed the Reproductive Health Equity Act into law last month, Stewart said she was speaking out for all of those who would be affected by the ruling.“I’ve had four children, and I have a bonus kid. I’m really fighting for the rights of other people with uteruses that maybe they don’t know where they are yet. I’m fighting for the rights of my daughter,” Stewart said. “It’s not about me. It’s about everyone.”Though Colorado has encoded the right to an abortion in state law, Quinn said the Supreme Court’s draft ruling would allow for the erosion of that right if Colorado’s politics were to change.“The best thing I’ve heard is you have to protect your own backyard,” Quinn said. “We can’t take a chance if it seeps in. I’m from Florida, I’m a queer woman who grew up Catholic, and I refuse to go back to that. So it’s not coming in my backyard.”Markward said the rally was not so much about speaking out about the local implications of the draft decision. Instead, the intent was to push Colorado’s representatives to pressure their colleagues to address women’s reproductive rights through national legislation.“We are doing this to encourage (Sens.) Bennet and Hickenlooper and everyone else at (the) state level government to do what they can to help us put the pressure on recalcitrant members (of Congress) and make them realize that their votes have cost women all over the country our bodily autonomy rights and we’re pissed,” she said.16001109Harrison Wendt, right, one of the organizers of Tuesday’s reproductive rights march leads about 100 protesters from Buckley Park to the La Plata County Courthouse. The rally was less about speaking out about the local implications of the draft decision and more about pushing Colorado’s representatives to pressure their colleagues to address women’s reproductive rights through national legislation. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)It was a point that Teal Lehto, another rally attendee, reiterated.“It’s really important that our elected officials know that their constituents really care about this issue,” Lehto said. “They’re the ones who are going to be able to affect change on a national level and that’s what we really need. It’s important that our elected officials know there’s a large number of constituents that are vocal and active about this issue so they know that there’s a lot at stake especially with an election coming up.”While reproductive rights advocates were frustrated, those who oppose abortion took Monday’s leak and the Supreme Court’s preliminary ruling as a positive, if premature, sign.“We’re definitely hopeful, but since an official decision hasn’t been made, we don’t feel like it’s time to celebrate,” said Shelley Gundrey, treasurer of LifeGuard, a Durango anti-abortion group.While Gundrey viewed the repeal of Roe as a boost to anti-abortion advocates, she was also hesitant about the implications for Colorado.With unsuccessful personhood efforts that have sought legal status and rights for unborn babies and new reproductive legislation in the state, she expressed concern that the ruling could send women from other states to Colorado for abortions.“It’s a sticky situation because then you’ll have abortion tourism in a sense where people are traveling for (the procedure),” she said.16001199About 100 people march from Buckley Park to the La Plata County Courthouse on Tuesday to protest the U.S. Supreme Court’s draft decision in a Mississippi case that would spell the end for abortion protections and national reproductive rights. Opponents of abortion in Durango hesitantly celebrated the preliminary decision, though Shelley Gundrey, treasurer of LifeGuard, a Durango anti-abortion group, said more people may pursue abortions in Durango and Colorado because of the ruling. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)On Monday, Politico reported the Supreme Court is set to overturn the decades-old ruling in Roe v. Wade that established the right to an abortion after someone leaked the 98-page draft decision.The court has yet to rule a final decision, but if the draft decision holds true, the Supreme Court will side with Mississippi in the case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, removing the right to an abortion and returning the decision to the states.Numerous states have already passed abortion bans or legislation that would immediately ban abortions if Roe were overturned. Colorado’s neighbors of Oklahoma, Utah and Arizona have already instituted some form of abortion ban, while in March, Wyoming passed legislation that would trigger a ban if the Supreme Court overrules Roe, according to CNN and NPR.In all, 26 states could ban abortion, including five of Colorado’s seven immediate neighbors, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion advocacy group.0VideoYouTube480360With reproductive rights legislation in place, the impacts to Durango and Colorado will likely be minimal, but Durango’s Planned Parenthood clinic could see more out-of-state patients seeking care, said Richard Grossman, a former OB/GYN who worked with Planned Parenthood in the Southwest for more than four decades.Grossman’s greatest concern is the potential return of nonmedical abortions nationally.“What I fear is going to happen in other states, not here in Colorado, is that women are going to turn to whatever they used to do in the past, and that includes self-abortion,” he said.Grossman recounted a former patient who on her second visit to the emergency room admitted to using a knitting needle to try to cause an abortion. The year was 1973 – the same year the Supreme Court decided Roe.“We're going to start seeing women dying once again from nonmedical abortions,” he said.1600908Abortion and reproductive rights supporters march Tuesday to the La Plata County Courthouse from Buckley Park as they protest a draft decision from Justice Samuel Alito and the U.S. Supreme Court that would end Roe v. Wade abortion protections. Richard Grossman, a former OB/GYN who worked with Planned Parenthood in the Southwest for more than four decades, said he was concerned that more women would return to nonmedical abortions because of the ruling. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)For their part, Gundrey said LifeGuard was prepared to welcome anyone who seeks an abortion in Durango with open arms.“We take the approach that we’ll help anybody from wherever they are, and we just want to help women and their babies and families make the best choice for them,” she said. “If we can help in any way, even people traveling from other states, we’ll do it. We’ll do anything to save a baby.”Grossman, who also attended the rally with his wife, shared relief that women in Colorado will still have the right to an abortion and reproductive choice even with the Supreme Court’s draft decision. But he warned that those protections may not always exist.“The state may change as the administration changes. (If) the complexion of the state turns more red, that law could change,” he said. “But I’m happy that, at least for now, women do have the right to choose.”ahannon@durangoherald.com
Groups express despair and elation, but acknowledge ruling would have limited impact in Southwest Colorado
15891278The Associated PressA leopard paces in an enclosure amid sounds of shelling at a private zoo in the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol.Video: Mariupol zoo animals caught in crossfireBefore humanitarian aid arrived, animals killed by shelling nourished the carnivoresA private zoo in the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol has not escaped amid the Russian offensive, with animals caught in the crossfire of heavy shelling.Savely Vashura, the zoo's owner and caretaker, has not left the city and did not evacuate any animals.htmlHe said even during the heaviest of shelling, zoo workers made sure the animals were fed and watered every day, but some had been killed during the strikes.Vashura said this toll included five camels, four ostriches, six monkeys and a leopard.Three days ago a shell exploded very near the zoo, Vashura said, but added the situation was now “more or less stable” as Moscow's forces seek to dislodge the last Ukrainian troops in the battered port city.Mariupol has endured fierce fighting since the start of the war because of its strategic location on the Sea of Azov.Vashura said food for the animals had started to come in the form of humanitarian aid from Russia, including directly from Moscow Zoo.Before this, the owner said, he was forced to feed the carnivores with the remains of the animals that were killed by the shelling.Despite the danger, life goes on at the zoo, with a new litter of raccoons born recently.
Before humanitarian aid arrived, animals killed by shelling nourished the carnivores
Fire burns 15 structures, prompts evacuations in Monte Vista, east of Wolf Creek PassInvestigators believe fire was not intentionally set18691350Firefighters mop up after a fire in Monte Vista that required the response of fire and law enforcement departments from six San Luis Valley counties on Wednesday. Responders from Alamosa, Center, Del Norte, La Jara and Monte Vista battled the fast-moving blaze for a couple of hours, which destroyed homes and other structures in the city. (John McEvo/Special to The Colorado Sun)A fire that ignited in a neighborhood in the San Luis Valley town of Monte Vista burned several homes and other structures before firefighters were able to halt its advance.Six families were displaced by a fire that quickly grew out of control and destroyed several homes in a rural community in the San Luis Valley, authorities said Thursday.Fire crews worked in the damage zone in Monte Vista to assess the cause of the fire that ignited midday Wednesday and assess the damage, George Dingfelder, Monte Vista’s police chief, said in a news release.Fifteen buildings, including houses and outbuildings, were lost or damaged, he said. A final report documenting the total number of structures lost will be released in the coming weeks.Investigators believe the fire, which grew to 17 acres before firefighters gained the upper hand, was not intentionally set, Dingfelder said. Monte Vista police, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and investigators with the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control will continue to investigate to determine its cause.The fire broke out on the rural community’s north side about 12:15 p.m. and was already “out of control” and approaching structures as fire crews arrived, Monte Vista police chief George Dingfelder said at a news conference Wednesday evening. 1024609The shaded area reflects the mandatory evacuation area in Monte Vista.Firefighters went door-to-door to notify residents to leave their homes amid strong gusts of wind that fueled the fire, Dingfelder said. No injuries have been reported and the police department has not received any reports of missing persons, he said.“We struggled at times to stay in front of this fire and stay out of the way because the winds were so strong,” he said.Dingfelder declined to estimate the number of structures lost in the fire. Video taken of the fire’s aftermath showed several foundations of buildings that burned. Several 5-gallon propane tanks exploded in the fire.Mayor Dale Becker credited volunteer firefighters and others who pitched in to attack the flames.“It’s a disaster for Monte Vista, our small rural community,” Becker said. “They were here to take care and save our little town.”The fire forced people from about 100 homes to leave and seek safety, Dingfelder said.As of Wednesday evening, the fire was estimated at 17 acres and is no longer growing, but firefighters are continuing to extinguish hot spots. The fire forced people from about 100 homes to leave and seek safety. About 20 to 30 homes still remain in an evacuation zone, Dingfelder said. 20251350State fire officials said Wednesday evening that people in Monte Vista likely will continue to see smoke from the fire because heavy material still was smoldering. (John McEvoy/Special to The Colorado Sun)20251350A firefighter pours water of the remains of a building that burned in Monte Vista on Wednesday afternoon. Responders from Alamosa, Center, Del Norte, La Jara and Monte Vista helped fight the fire in gusty winds, an effort Mayor Dale Becker credited with saving his town. (John McEvoy/Special to The Colorado Sun)About 160 customers lost power, which was expected to be restored by 11 p.m. Wednesday. Five customers were without natural gas service, the police chief said.Fire departments and law enforcement agencies from six counties responded to the fire, said Paul Duarte, of Colorado Department of Fire Prevention and Control. A Type 1 helicopter dropped water on flames from above and a multi-mission aircraft was also used, he said.A break in the wind helped firefighters make progress on containing the fire, Duarte said.htmlResidents who lost their homes in the fire attended Wednesday’s conference, some upset that they would not be allowed to return to their homes overnight. Dingfelder, the police chief, listened and calmly directed them to speak with him after the conference.“I know some of us have nowhere to go. You cannot keep me out of my home,” one man said in a raised voice.Residents were told not to water their lawns or run their sprinklers.“My house did not burn. I am going to my house because that is the only house that I have, I have nowhere else to go,” a woman said. “If I have to, I will sit outside in my backyard and water my damn backyard all damn night.”Smoke will be visible “for a while,” Duarte said, explaining that there is a lot of heavy material still burning in the area.“So please be patient with us,” he said. “We’re working as quickly as we can to help you get back into your your places.”The cause of the fire remains unknown. Authorities, including the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, are looking into what sparked the fire.20251350Firefighters mop up after a five alarm fire in Monte Vista on Wednesday. Responders from Alamosa, Center, Del Norte, La Jara and Monte Vista batttled the fast-moving blaze for a couple of hours. Several structures were destroyed. (John McEvoy/Special to The Colorado Sun)1024683One of the structures that was lost in the fire in Monte Vista. (John McEvoy/Special to The Colorado Sun)1024683Firefighters mop up after a five alarm fire in Monte Vista. Several structures were destroyed. (John McEvoy/Special to The Colorado Sun)The city is working on an emergency declaration that would bring in more assistance, City Manager Gigi Dennis said.A video posted to Facebook by state Rep. Donald Valdez, D-La Jara, appeared to show a building engulfed in flames. Photos from the scene showed heavy fire and thick, black smoke.Monte Vista has a population of about 4,000. The town is on the western side of the San Luis Valley.Chris Lopez of The Alamosa Citizen contributed to this report.The Colorado Sun is a reader-supported, nonpartisan news organization dedicated to covering Colorado issues. To learn more, go to coloradosun.com.0VideoYouTube480360Firefighters on the scene of an in-town fire that destroyed structures in Monte Vista, Colorado, on April 20, 2022. (Alamosa Citizen)8101080Firefighters pour water on the remains of a structure consumed by a fast-moving fire that destroyed multiple buildings in Monte Vista, Colorado, on April 20, 2022. The fire burned in a neighborhood along Jefferson Street, north of Acequia Drive. (Alamosa Citizen)7681024A fast-moving fire consumed structures in Monte Vista on April 20, 2022, in a neighborhood along Jefferson Street, north of Acequia Drive. (Alamosa Citizen)7681024A fast-moving fire consumed structures in Monte Vista on April 20, 2022, in a neighborhood along Jefferson Street, north of Acequia Drive. (Alamosa Citizen)7681024
Investigators believe fire was not intentionally set
An afternoon of bull riding with Luke Mackey of IgnacioMackey reaches open short round; Nate Hoey winsLuke Mackey, of Ignacio, rides a bull to a score of 85.5 on Saturday during the Smith and Sons Productions Battle of the Bull Hands Tour in the Fred Klatt III Arena at the La Plata County Fairgrounds. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald12761600Luke Mackey, a sophomore at Ignacio High School, walks to his next bull on Saturday during the Smith and Sons Productions Battle of the Bull Hands Tour in the Fred Klatt III Arena at the La Plata County Fairgrounds. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald10911600Luke Mackey's riding helmet gets covered with some dirt on Saturday during the fourth stop of the Battle of the Bull Hands Tour, held in the Fred Klatt III Arena at the La Plata County Fairgrounds. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald1293950Luke Mackey, of Ignacio, gets ready for his next bull on Saturday during the Smith and Sons Productions Battle of the Bull Hands Tour in the Fred Klatt III Arena at the La Plata County Fairgrounds. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald8741300Luke Mackey, of Ignacio, walks to his next bull on Saturday during the Smith and Sons Productions Battle of the Bull Hands Tour in the Fred Klatt III Arena at the La Plata County Fairgrounds. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald1404950Luke Mackey, of Ignacio, rides a bull to a score of 85.5 on Saturday during the Smith and Sons Productions Battle of the Bull Hands Tour in the Fred Klatt III Arena at the La Plata County Fairgrounds. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald1245950Luke Mackey, of Ignacio, makes a gesture to fellow cowboys after his successful ride on Saturday during the Smith and Sons Productions Battle of the Bull Hands Tour in the Fred Klatt III Arena at the La Plata County Fairgrounds. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald9331300Luke Mackey, of Ignacio, gracefully gets off his bull after a successful ride on Saturday during the Smith and Sons Productions Battle of the Bull Hands Tour, held in the Fred Klatt III Arena at the La Plata County Fairgrounds. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald1007950Luke Mackey, of Ignacio, is all smiles while talking about his ride on Saturday during the Smith and Sons Productions Battle of the Bull Hands Tour in the Fred Klatt III Arena at the La Plata County Fairgrounds. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald8671300Luke Mackey, of Ignacio, looks over the bulls on Saturday during the Smith and Sons Productions Battle of the Bull Hands Tour in the Fred Klatt III Arena at the La Plata County Fairgrounds. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald8831294Luke Mackey, of Ignacio, pops up off an uncooperative bull in the chute on Saturday during the Smith and Sons Productions Battle of the Bull Hands Tour in the Fred Klatt III Arena at the La Plata County Fairgrounds. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald1365950The bull that Luke Mackey, of Ignacio, is on falls down in the chute as the gate opens on Saturday during the Smith and Sons Productions Battle of the Bull Hands Tour in the Fred Klatt III Arena at the La Plata County Fairgrounds. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald10671600The bull that Luke Mackey, of Ignacio, is on falls down in the chute right as the gate opens on Saturday during the Smith and Sons Productions Battle of the Bull Hands Tour in the Fred Klatt III Arena at the La Plata County Fairgrounds. Mackey got a re-ride. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald13861300Luke Mackey, of Ignacio, is all smiles as he talks about his ride on Saturday during the Smith and Sons Productions Battle of the Bull Hands Tour in the Fred Klatt III Arena at the La Plata County Fairgrounds. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald8361300Luke Mackey, of Ignacio, jumps off his bull on Saturday during the Smith and Sons Productions Battle of the Bull Hands Tour in the Fred Klatt III Arena at the La Plata County Fairgrounds. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald1461950Luke Mackey, of Ignacio, jumps off his bull on Saturday during the Smith and Sons Productions Battle of the Bull Hands Tour in the Fred Klatt III Arena at the La Plata County Fairgrounds. Photo by Jerry McBride/Durango Herald11431600
Mackey reaches open short round; Nate Hoey wins
16002701Montezuma-Cortez's Tay Wheat takes flight during the boys' long jump Saturday, April 9, in Ignacio at the Abel Velasquez Invitational. Wheat leaped 19 feet, 4.5 inches, tying for second with Dove Creek's Kade Hankins.Local high school sports teams hitting midseason strideNew season bests highlight Abel Velasquez InvitationalWith the season halfway gone, Montezuma-Cortez, Mancos, and Dove Creek used a midseason trip to the Abel Velasquez Invitational in Ignacio to stretch their legs and show off some versatility.The Panthers, Bluejays, and Bulldogs all posted some season best performances, in hopes of cementing spots in their respective state championships at the end of May.Already all-but-assured a spot in the 100 and 200 meter dashes in the 3A championships, M-CHS junior Zander Cruzan continued to expand his repertoire on Saturday, topping the field in the triple jump with a debut mark of 41 feet, 7 inches, good enough to top classmate Sawyer Smith by 2 inches.The duo combined in the 4 x 100 meter relay, which took first in a time of 46.26, joining junior Austin Wood and freshman Tay Wheat to get the baton around the track the fastest.Perhaps their effort brought out the best in Dove Creek's 4x100, as well, as the Bulldogs shaved over two-tenths of a second off their season-best mark to capture second in the meet. The quartet of sophomore Colten Fury, juniors Quaden Huffaker and Kade Hankins, along with senior Chorbin Cressler posted a time of 46.49, which will place them among the top teams in the 1A classification.1225889Joel Priest/Special to The JournalMontezuma-Cortez’s Zander Cruzan, show in an archived photo, continued to expand his repertoire Saturday at the Abel Velasquez Invitational, topping the field in the triple jump with a debut mark of 41 feet, 7 inches.For M-CHS, the Panthers are looking to shake up the state standings, in spite of a smaller roster. Wheat continues to climb the standings on a regular basis, as he closes in on breaking 12 seconds in the 100 dash. His mark of 12.24 earned him fifth in the discipline, while he also took second in the long jump (19 feet, 4½ inches).As for Dove Creek, junior Quaden Huffaker has exploded onto the scene in the past few weeks in the sprints and jumps, earning third in the 100 meter dash (12.17), just behind his teammate Cressler, who, in Cruzan's absence in the event, took top honor (11.62).Hankins shook off the rust from the early season meets in one of his best disciplines, the 110 meter hurdles, to blaze a time of 17.60 in the event, good for second place and a mercurial rise in the state standings.For the Bluejays, Mancos senior Mason Goodwin has made clearing 6 feet in the high jump a regular occurrence, as he surpassed the mark yet again to win the event in Ignacio.Over in the throwing rings, classmate Connor Showalter continued his dominance in the shot put, winning with a mark of 47 feet, 6 inches – but his second-place finish in the discus may have been the more impressive toss of the day. Showalter improved his season best with a throw of 138 feet, 6 inches to take silver behind Durango senior William Knight.Mancos' Connor Showalter launches the discus Saturday, April 9, in Ignacio at the Abel Velasquez Invitational. Showalter placed second in the event and first in the shot put.16392800Dove Creek's Quaden Huffaker accelerates toward the finish line during his 100-meter dash heat Saturday, April 9, in Ignacio at the Abel Velasquez Invitational. Huffaker would clock 12.17 seconds. He finished in third place.24001600 Montezuma-Cortez's Savannah Haselroth strides alongside Sargent's KayleeAnn Martinez during the girls' 1,600-meter run Sat., April 9, in Ignacio at the Abel Velasquez Invitational. Haselroth finished eighth in 6:52.11; Martinez took ninth in 6:55.57.24001600Dove Creek's Ralynn, and Rylee Hickman, right, approach the finish line during their 100-meter dash heat Saturday, April 9, in Ignacio at the Abel Velasquez Invitational. Rylee placee 10th, and Ralynn ranked 11th.18752502Mancos' Connor Sehnert exits the frontstretch during the boys' 1,600-meter run Saturday, April 9, in Ignacio at the Abel Velasquez Invitational. Sehnert clocked 5:27.91 and finished in ninth place.24001600Montezuma-Cortez's Tay Wheat takes flight during the boys' long jump Saturday, April 9, in Ignacio at the Abel Velasquez Invitational. Wheat leaped 19 feet, 4.5 inches, tying for second with Dove Creek's Kade Hankins.27011600Also providing strong efforts for their teams, Mancos sophomore Levi Manning took eighth in the discus (102 feet, 3 inches), while M-CHS freshman Ben Hoffman took seventh in the 400 meter dash (60.33). M-CHS senior Anon Plemons took fourth in the pole vault with a big improvement, clearing 10 feet, 3 inches.For the girls, the improvements came in droves as well – Dove Creek senior Jessica Ayers took fourth in the discus with a 10-foot improvement in the event (84 feet, 2 inches), and helped the 4 x 100 relay squad drop nearly half a second off their season best in their second-place performance (56.95).Mancos freshman Adaline Kearns posted a fifth place effort in the 200 meters with nearly a full second improvement in the event (29.83). Bluejay sophomore Clara Most took sixth in the 800 meters (2:51), while senior Tina Bayles claimed fifth in the shot put (26 feet, 5 1/2 inches).Dove Creek junior Rylee Hickman eclipsed 14 feet for the first time this season, with a second-place effort in the long jump (14 feet, ½ inch) to lead a parade of three Bulldogs to score in the event.M-CHS sophomore Savannah Hasselroth earned the highest placement of any Panther girl in the meet, taking third in the high jump (4 feet, 6 inches).Many of the local teams will reconvene at Mancos on Friday, April 15, for the Mancos Invitational, with field events slated to begin at 9 a.m. and the running events to follow at 11 a.m.
New season bests highlight Abel Velasquez Invitational