Steamboat briefs for April 17

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School Board 'very close' to superintendent hire

Robin Crossan, president of the Steamboat Springs School Board, said Wednesday that contract negotiations with leading superintendent candidate Dr. Shalee Cunningham of Napa, Calif., are progressing well and could prove successful.

"We're very, very close (to agreement)," Crossan said. "It's been a pleasure working with her so far."

The School Board reviewed a draft contract last week before presenting it to Cunningham. If hired, Cunningham would replace interim Superintendent Sandra Smyser, who starts a new job as superintendent of Eagle County schools July 1.

The School Board must vote to approve the contract in a public session to finalize the hire. The board's next scheduled meeting is April 28, after Steamboat schools resume classes after spring break. Crossan said she spoke with Cunningham on Wednesday.

"The contract for approval will be on our meeting agenda for April 28," Crossan said. "We do not have a signed contract as of today - we're working on it."

Bank theft cases move to district court

Two women charged with embezzling more than $1.2 million from Alpine Bank accounts have waived their rights to preliminary hearings and their cases will proceed in Routt County District Court.

Routt County resident Terri Dawn Moody Fatka, 41, appeared Wednesday in Routt County Court, where her case was bound over to the district court. Fatka made her first appearance last week, as did her alleged co-conspirator, Milner resident Pamela Jean Williams, 41. Each woman is charged with two counts of theft of more than $20,000, a Class 3 felony, and two counts of forgery, a Class 5 felony.

Attorneys Charles Feldmann, who represents Williams, and Erick Knaus, who represents Fatka, have indicated they plan to take the cases to trial. The District Attorney's Office does not traditionally make plea agreements with defendants who have proceeded to a preliminary hearing - a court proceeding where a judge hears all the evidence to determine if the prosecution has shown there is sufficient cause to take the matter to trial.

Williams and Fatka are due to appear before Judge Shelley Hill at 1 p.m. May 5.

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