Category Archives: Breaking News

Montezuma County Sheriff Steve Nowlin says experience matters

By Gail Binkly After 45 years in law enforcement, Montezuma County Sheriff Steve Nowlin is seeking four more years at the helm of the Sheriff’s Office. He was first elected in November 2014 and re-elected in 2018. If re-elected this … Continue reading

Published in Breaking News

A quick learner: Odis Sikes seeks to become sheriff

By Gail Binkly Odis Sikes has no experience in law enforcement, but he isn’t letting that stop him from challenging Montezuma County’s incumbent Sheriff Steve Nowlin for the position. From the age of 18 Sikes has demonstrated leadership skills, he … Continue reading

Published in Breaking News

Make sure your primary vote matters

In 2016, Colorado voters approved Proposition 108 allowing unaffiliated voters to vote in Colorado primary elections without registering with a particular party. Unaffiliated voters receive two ballots in the primary and choose which primary in which they will participate. Only … Continue reading

Published in Breaking News, Letters

Expressing appreciation

A small group is working to support local teachers By Gail Binkly Overworked, overstressed, underappreciated, undervalued, and unrespected. That’s how many teachers are reportedly feeling across the country and in Montezuma-Cortez School District Re-1. To try to counter that, a … Continue reading

Published in Breaking News

Where do you come from?

Local artist nabs NEA grant for work on ‘story objects’ that root people   By Free Press staff Funding for an Individual Artist Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts has been awarded to local visual and literary artist … Continue reading

Published in Breaking News

A burning issue

A chip pile at the Ironwood Mill is raising concerns about the chance of fire   By Janneli F. Miller The concept of “fire season” is disappearing. Thanks to climate change, fires can break out year-round through much of the … Continue reading

Published in Breaking News

FCFP takes seven awards in SPJ contest

Competing against media outlets in four states, the Four Corners Free Press picked up seven awards in the 2022 Colorado Society of Professional Journalists Top of the Rockies contest. The winners were announced April 9 at the Denver Press Club. … Continue reading

Published in Breaking News

Saving the world one bird at a time

Southwest Avian Protection Services rehabilitates the injured and diseased By Janneli F. Miller “Being able to take something that is just fixing to die and then release it – there isn’t anything like it – and to do it over … Continue reading

Published in Breaking News

Montezuma County clerk, treasurer and assessor seek re-election

By Gail Binkly Montezuma County Clerk and Recorder Kim Percell, Treasurer Ellen Black and Assessor Leslie Bugg have announced that they are all seeking re-election in November. Percell is seeking her third term in office. Bugg and Black are seeking … Continue reading

Published in Breaking News

Gerald Koppenhafer chosen as commissioner

Gerald Koppenhafer, who previously served two terms as Montezuma County commissioner, has been chosen to replace Joel Stevenson, who died of complications from COVID. The choice was made by current commissioners Jim Candelaria and Kent Lindsay at a meeting Jan. … Continue reading

Published in Breaking News

A big acquittal on a minor charge

By Gail Binkly A year after an incident in downtown Cortez that led to charges of harassment against a half-dozen locals, the ramifications of the event are still being felt. The behavior of the six on Jan. 2, 2021, led … Continue reading

Published in Breaking News

Is this an insensitive place?

By Gail Binkly In January 2020, before the pandemic hit, Cortez made the national news because of controversy over what was being sold at a local retail outlet. CNN, and later the New York Post and New York Daily News, … Continue reading

Published in Breaking News

Simmons acquitted on harassment charge

Acting with lightning speed, a jury of six acquitted Cortez resident Sherry Simmons on Friday, Dec. 10, of a misdemeanor charge of harassment. Reading the jury instructions, which heavily emphasized First Amendment rights, almost took longer than the quarter-hour or … Continue reading

Published in Breaking News

Reaching out for help: School District Re-1 asks the community to fill some shortages

By Gail Binkly Montezuma-Cortez School District Re-1 is so short of teachers and staff that it is pleading with the community for help. “We’re asking the community to help us with our workforce concerns,” Superintendent Risha VanderWey told the Four … Continue reading

Published in Breaking News

An unsustainable situation? Middle-school teachers voice concerns over discussions of drastic measures

By Gail Binkly Talk of totally revamping the Montezuma-Cortez District Re-1 curriculum and of no longer letting LGBTQ students meet in a lunchtime club has some teachers dismayed. They worry that the measures being made or considered by the Re-1 … Continue reading

Published in Breaking News, Uncategorized

A collection for those who love the Southwest

In the late spring of the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, as catastrophic drought warnings began looming across the western United States, I received in the mail an edited collection of poetry and prose written “to speak love to … Continue reading

Published in Breaking News, Prose and Cons

Recall costs $21,000

Montezuma-Cortez School District Re-1 has been billed $21,256 for the Feb. 16 recall of school-board member Lance McDaniel. The bill from the county clerk and recorder’s office includes the cost of the mail ballots and envelopes, postage for sending them … Continue reading

Published in Breaking News