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Sneak Peek

A power play: Changes to Tri-State will affect Empire Electric and its customers

By Carolyn Dunmire

There’s a new power behind the light switch.

Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, the electric power provider to Empire Electric Association (EEA), is undergoing fundamental changes to its membership, regulatory oversight, and power generation portfolio.

EEA will be directly affected by these changes through its long-term wholesale electric service contract, which requires Empire to purchase 95 percent of its energy from Tri-State through 2050. Since payments to Tri-State are the largest part of EEA’s and its members’ monthly bills, electricity bills could go up or down, depending on decisions made by the EEA board of directors on whether to continue with Tri- State as its primary energy provider or to invest locally in self-supply or transmission upgrades to reach other providers.

These are decisions that the Empire board has not considered since it signed with Tri-State in 2007.

Marianne Mate, an EEA member and Dolores resident who has been attending EEA board meetings for the past year, said by email, “I have several concerns about the upcoming changes at Tri-State. Local coops like EEA will have an opportunity soon to revise their existing, restrictive 40-year contracts to allow for more local development and purchase of cheaper renewable resources with the opportunity to lower our bills. While EEA does a great job of making sure the lights come on when we flip that switch with great staff, reliability and service; the issues and decisions EEA faces now are very complex and may require a shift from being neutral to a much more proactive approach.”

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Coronavirus surges in Arizona, Utah

Print this articleCases of coronavirus are spiking in some states since restrictions on businesses and gatherings have been loosened. In the Four Corners, Arizona and Utah are showing numbers that cause concern, while New Mexico is seeing increases that are … Continue reading


Finding my place amid a global pandemic

Suzanne Strazza

Sitting at the kitchen window, heavy March snow falling, my eyes fix on an invisible spot on the southwestern skyline. These vistas are expansive; horizons form straight lines interrupted only intermittently by mountain peaks shooting skyward from flat sage plains. My eye searches the horizon south of the Abajo Mountains, the Blues, as the Mormon settlers called them. There is a river canyon out there cutting through expanses of stone in the most barren and remote of landscapes – a river, in a desert, where my heart lives.

I welcome the precipitation, I pray “Please. Heal us.”

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Television and commercials

Doug Karhan

Glad to be back. I took a month off because of the flu. Being an old fossil, it was rough and the recovery long. I even had gotten a flu shot back in October. Guess I got a different kind. If I get the Coronavirus, it will doubtless be the end of me.

Valar morghulis.

While laying around not doing much, I watched a lot of TV.

As a staunch supporter of the First Amendment, I was surprised at myself for wishing certain commercials should be banned. I guess I’ll just have to grin and bear it and use my mute button.

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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