February issue is available on newsstands


Sneak Peak: Making a trip from ‘Yellowstone’: Four States Junior Rodeo contestants get a visit from actor Forrie J. Smith

By Janneli Miller

Yellowstone was the most-watched cable TV show of 2020. It’s about a Montana ranch family, with Kevin Costner starring as John Dutton, owner of the largest cattle ranch in the U.S., who is fighting to preserve his land and way of life.

Forrie J. Smith, a real-life bronc rider who later became a stuntman and actor, also stars in the series as ranch hand Lloyd Pierce. Best known for his roles in Westerns such as Hell or High Water (2016) or Tombstone (1993), Smith now has his first role in an ongoing series.

On Jan. 16, after the Four States Junior Rodeo had wrapped up at the Montezuma County Fairgrounds, the contestants were told to attend a “meeting.”

To the amazement of many, Smith was there. He mounted a horse, grabbed a microphone and began to talk to the audience of about a hundred.

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Sneak Peek: Centennial farmers: Bessie White recalls the community and bonds of the Great Sage Plain

By Erika Alvero

When Bessie White was 4 years old, she and her family moved from the harsh Canadian landscape of Vermillion, Alberta, to another beautiful yet unforgiving terrain: Ackman, Colo. Situated on the Great Sage Plain in Southwest Colorado, just south of Pleasant View, Ackman was a place where water was miles away and farmers were completely dependent on Mother Nature for precipitation. It was a place where neighbors relied on one another for survival.

“It was the way that the communities worked,” White told the Four Corners Free Press. Spry and brimming with stories, she celebrated her 90th birthday last year.

White still lives on the dry plains where she grew up, a fixture in the communities of Dolores and Montezuma counties. The farmers market she and her sister Velma founded four decades ago is thriving and a recent virtual talk she gave through the Cortez Public Library drew a crowd, gathered to hear her speak about Bessie’s Sylvan, a book she co-wrote with her neighbors John and Sharon Wolf.

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A monthly publication delivering in-depth news, lively features, and thought-provoking columns on life in the Four Corners.

The Four Corners Free Press is an independent, alternative paper with real substance. Every month, we sink our teeth into meaty topics, providing in-depth, comprehensive news stories on important local and regional issues that affect our readers.

Here’s what you can find in the Four Corners Free Press:

  • Thorough, balanced, in-depth news coverage by award-winning, experienced journalists who are familiar with the community and region.
  • The liveliest Opinion section in the Four Corners, with a rotating group of columnists writing everything from serious political commentary to humor.
  •  A perennial readers' favorite: Our Crime Waves section describing local misdeeds. Crime Waves is available only in our print edition.
  • A Health section with columns and articles on a variety of health and wellness topics.
  • A comprehensive Arts & Entertainment section to tell our readers what’s going on in the Four Corners. We offer feature articles; reviews of books, music and movies; and calendars of cultural events, live music, and other happenings.



Bluff, UT
* K&C Trading Post, 161 E. Main
Cortez, CO
* Books, 124 Pinon
* Burger Boy Drive In, 400 E. Main
* Cliffrose, 27885 Highway 160
* Colorado Welcome Center, 928 E. Main
* Cortez Public Library
* Cortez Recreation Center, 425 Roger Smith Ave.
* Cortez Livestock Auction, 12129 Highway 491
* Cortez Municipal Airport
* El Grande Café, 28 E. Main
* IFA, 10501 Highway 491
* Johnson Building, 925 S. Broadway
* Kokopelli Bike & Board, 30 W. Main
* Once Upon a Sandwich, 1 W. Main
* Pippo's Cafe, 100 W. Main
* Post Office, 35 S. Beech
* Southwest Memorial Hospital
* Shear Shack Salon, 37 E. Main
* Silver Bean, 410 W. Main
* Sinclair Gas Station
* Spruce Tree Coffeehouse, 330 E. Main
* In front of Subway, 1835 E. Main
* The Farm Bistro, 18 E. Main
Dolores, CO
* Dolores Food Market, 400 Railroad Ave.
* Dolores River Brewery, 100 South 4th
* Ponderosa Restaurant, 108 South 8th
Dove Creek, CO
* Dove Creek Superette, 445 Hwy. 491
Durango, CO
* Bread, 42 County Road 250
* Magpie Newsstand Cafe, 707 Main Ave.
* In front of El Rancho, 900 Block Main Ave.
* In front of Francisco's, 619 Main Ave.
* In front of Steamworks, 801 E. 2nd Ave.
Farmington, NM
* San Juan Regional Medical Center
Mancos, CO
* Absolute Bakery, 110 S. Main
* Fahrenheit Roasters, 201 W. Grand
* P&D Grocery, 280 E. Frontage Road
Blanding, Utah
*San Juan Pharmacy
*Four Corners Inn
Shiprock, NM
* Northern Navajo Medical Center