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Zach Fridell

Stories by Zach

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Forest Service enacts voluntary trail closures in Routt County

Wildlife experts say several trail areas are key to elk survival

The region’s large elk herds are moving into their winter habitat, and local wildlife officers have responded by enacting voluntary closures to protect those areas. The public is being asked to avoid 10 local areas that are important to the animals’ winter survival.

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Steamboat Ski Area prepares for more lifts, snow

Operators dig out lifts for openings

Last year, lift operators were working the shovels bringing in fresh snow to put underneath the lifts so skiers could get onto the seats safely. This year, they’re facing 5 feet of powder they have to shovel out so the chairs can turn around.

Ski 4 Yellow launches with Olympic visions

A follow-up to the hugely successful Ride 4 Yellow mountain biking event this summer, the inaugural Ski 4 Yellow scheduled for March 25 and 26 will allow the first 200 people to raise $500 or more for cancer-fighting efforts to ski with Olympians and World Cup athletes at the Steamboat Ski Area.

North Routt firefighters put out chimney blaze late Tuesday

No one was injured in the fire near Clark, and the damage to the home was confined to the chimney.

Steamboat police seek suspect in Dream Island burglary

2 arrested in Sunday incident; minor injuries reported after fight at scene

Police still are looking for a Craig man living in South Routt County who reportedly was involved in a burglary and fight Sunday night. A man and a woman from Yam­­pa were arrested early Mon­­­day in connection with the incident in Dream Island, but detectives said they still are looking for the alleged ringleader.

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2010 Search and Rescue calls near record in Steamboat

Rescuers outpace past years with 73 calls for service

With more than a month left on the 2010 calendar, Routt County Search and Rescue volunteers already have seen the second-highest number of calls for service since the organization started.

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Always something new at Truffle Pig

Chef Ezra Duker shares his gnocchi expertise with home cooks

When the Truffle Pig opened in One Steamboat Place adjacent to Gondola Square last winter, it brought high-end, innovative cuisine to within steps of Steamboat Ski Area’s gondola. But don’t let the restaurant’s name or location fool you — it already has become a lot of things to a lot of people, says One Steamboat Place General Manager Lance Thompson.

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For nearly 70 years, Lila Rider has made South Routt’s business her business

For 69 years, Lila Rider has been writing what she knows. And she has no plans to stop anytime soon. As contributing writer to the Steamboat Pilot & Today for nearly seven decades, Rider has made it her business to know the business of her South Routt friends and neighbors.

Divorce case involving Steamboat shooting suspect, victim advancing

Judge could set terms for couple involved in June 11 incident

If Robert and Rhonda Cash can’t figure out the details to their divorce by Feb. 1, District Jud­­ge Mary Hoak will set the terms for them. Robert Cash is accused of shooting Rhonda Cash on June 11 at their Steamboat Springs home.

Injured snowmobiler flown to Frisco hospital

The 56-year-old man is thought to have broken his leg after riding into a deep depression in a field near Fish Creek Reservoir. Routt County Search and Rescue crews were assisted by a Flight for Life team based out of Frisco.

Boot prints in snow lead to 2 Steamboat arrests

Local men charged with damaging tow trucks and city ATV

Police arrested two Steamboat Springs men on suspicion of stealing an ATV and smashing windows on tow trucks after officers tracked the boot prints the men left behind in fresh snow Tuesday morning.

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Blizzard peters out, but frigid temps persist in Steamboat

The blizzard that was expected to pound Steamboat Springs with snow and high winds mostly fizzled out Wednesday, but don’t expect a warm reprieve for Thanksgiving today. Today’s forecast calls for sunny skies with a daytime high of 14 degrees.

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Steamboat chefs give Thankgiving dinner tips

It may not be local, but the meal can be done right

The turkeys at the grocery store? They probably weren’t raised in Routt County. Same goes for the hams. Even with the limitations imposed by the locale, local business owners and chefs said there are ways to bring the meal home.

Life coach for Oak Creek employees under budget

Meetings to help town employees work more efficiently

Members of the Oak Creek government said the consultant the town hired helped town employees “get on the same page” and “work toward the same goals.” And, after meeting with two department leaders and the mayor, the project is likely to come in well less than the $5,000 budget.

Commissioners approve undersheriff pay rate

Salary contingent on whether candidate Joe DeAngelo accepts position

The Board of Routt County Commissioners approved Tuesday an increased hire rate for Joe DeAngelo, should he accept the job as undersheriff.

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Blizzard warning for Scholarship Day in Steamboat

National Weather Service says weather will be 'brutal'

The National Weather Service is predicting high winds and frigid temperatures for Scholarship Day.

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Wiggins wants investigator Joe DeAngelo as his undersheriff

Sheriff-elect wants former DA’s Office investigator as undersheriff

Routt County Sheriff-elect Garrett Wiggins wants investigator Joe DeAngelo to be his undersheriff. DeAngelo, however, isn’t sure he’s ready to move back to Northwest Colorado.

Oak Creek businesses shift

Town approves convenience store, gym/coffee shop

The face of business in Oak Creek is changing with the season as several new businesses have changed hands or prepare to open their doors.

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Steamboat police officers grow mustaches to benefit sergeant

About a dozen Steamboat Springs Police Department officers have put their donations and their mustaches on the line in a monthlong mustache-growing competition to help their friend and colleague Sgt. Dale Coyner.

Yampa Arts and Crafts fair is Saturday

Thirty years ago, the Yampa Arts and Crafts fair began as a showcase for a couple of ladies in a hair salon. This year, there will be 75 vendor booths and artisans from across the state descending on South Routt Elementary School on Saturday.

Convenience store, gym/coffee shop approach Oak Creek for permits

Two new businesses are scheduled to ask for permission to open in Oak Creek at a meeting of the Oak Creek Town Board tonight.

Permits for self-cut Christmas trees available in Yampa for National Forest land

The Yampa Ranger District station said the permits for self-cut Christmas trees already are flying in as families prepare for the Thanksgiving Day tradition. For $10, anyone can buy a permit to cut a tree in the approved areas of the National Forest land.

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Man convicted of arson in Steamboat is suspect in Ohio kidnapping case

Authorities in Ohio continued to search Monday night for three missing people connected to a 13-year-old girl who was found bound and gagged in the basement of a man with Steamboat Springs ties. Matthew John Hoffman is in custody in Mount Vernon, Ohio.

Steamboat City Council tackles e-crimes

City code includes rules about online harassment cases

As communication moves online, the harassment that was once the purview of telephones has followed. To bring the municipal code up to date and to give police officers more options in dealing with harassment, the Steamboat Springs City Council has updated the town laws to allow prosecution of e-crimes.

Toys for Tots fundraisers aim to bring holiday cheer to Routt County

Concert, bowling tournament to raise money for gifts

The Toys for Tots local organizers have pulled together two fundraisers to boost the event’s annual toy buy, even as only about half of the local sponsors returned this year. The Toys for Tots program handed out toys to 229 families last year in Routt and Moffat counties.

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Oak Creek Chelsea’s Restaurant looks to drive business

Chinese restaurant offers delivery service to Steamboat

Andy and Jaila Benjamin decided that if business isn’t coming to them often enough, they are going to go out and find it. The Benjamins, owners of Chel­­­­s­­ea’s Restaurant in Oak Creek, are expanding with the help of their SUV, making lunchtime deliveries of their Chinese food to Steamboat Springs.

Oak Creek residents look into grants for capital project

With the Oak Creek town budget tight and town staff already stretched thin with loads of work, resident Jackie Brown decided to find a way to initiate a project to better the community — without the town government.

Oak Creek neighbor concerned about strong marijuana odor

The town of Oak Creek is taking a closer look at the odor from a medical marijuana processing facility after a resident and former Planning Com­mission member complained that the filters on the plant were not working.

Judge says Rodeman impeding court case

Former Oak Creek mayor ordered to pay for some costs in lawsuit delay

Former Oak Creek Mayor Kathy “Cargo” Rodeman took a $5,500 hit in court after a judge ruled that she “continued to frustrate and impede the discovery process” in her lawsuit against the town of Oak Creek and former police officer Erik Foster.

Plea deal ends Oak Creek horse abuse case

Sandy Wisecup agrees to deferred judgment, care requirements

After negotiations that stretched into the night, attorneys finalized a plea deal late Monday for Sandy Wisecup that outlines the number of horses she can keep on her property in Oak Creek Canyon and the care she must provide for them.

Democrats hold on to Routt County

Voters lean left in nonlocal races

The politics of Colorado, along with the rest of the nation, took a turn to the right in a few key races Tuesday, but Routt County continued to vote Democratic in nearly all of the state races. Republican wins were the exception in two high-profile local races: the coroner and sheriff races.

Steamboat resident Kellogg enters not guilty plea in murder-for-hire case

Brooks Kellogg pleaded not guilty Friday morning in U.S. District Court in Denver to charges stemming from an alleged murder-for-hire plot. Kellogg, 72, attended Friday morning’s arraignment, handcuffed and in custody of U.S. Marshals.

Deal reached in Loggers Lane theft case in Steamboat

More gets 240 hours community service

After the deals and wrangling were done, Kati More, the Steamboat Springs woman accused of stealing then returning more than $60,000, will serve 240 hours of community service and pay nearly $1,700 in costs and fines.

Hayden man cleared after 2009 drug raid

After having his house searched and going through the court system, Hayden resident Timothy Nelson had all charges against him dropped. Prosecutors and the Routt County Sheriff’s Office decided there were significant questions about the May 23, 2009, search of his home.

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Wiggins, Wall reflect on Routt County sheriff race

New sheriff-elect considering his options for undersheriff

Routt County Sheriff-elect Garrett Wiggins said he got only two hours of sleep on the late election night Tuesday, and even then, his phone was ringing all night and he couldn’t sleep for long.

Wall ‘disappointed,’ not regretful about sheriff race

Routt County Sheriff Gary Wall said he is disappointed to be ousted from the Routt County Sheriff’s Office but he doesn’t know what else he could have done to win the election.

Hayden’s Referendum 3B could shift

Provisional, unsigned mail ballots could tip school funding vote

With Referendum 3B hanging by just a few votes, Routt County Clerk and Recorder Kay Weinland said it’s possible for the results to shift as provisional and unsigned mail ballots are counted.

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Ryg retains Routt County coroner seat

Routt County voters decided overwhelmingly Tuesday to keep coroner Rob Ryg in office. Ryg easily held off challenges from Democrat Darrel Levingston and unaffiliated candidate Kevin Nerney to keep the job. Ryg has been the county’s coroner for the past seven years and was deputy coroner for the seven years before that.

Candidates get ready for election night

With just two days left until the election, candidates are going out of their way to be seen in public in the wrapup of the 2010 campaign. Democrat Steve Ivancie and Republican Randy Baumgard­­ner have the most area to cover locally as the two men finish the race for House District 57.

Busy Halloween weekend expected for Steamboat police officers, taxis

For the taxi drivers in Steam­boat Springs, Halloween ranks up with New Year’s Eve and Fourth of July as one of the busiest nights of the year. “We pick up gorillas at Fifth and Lincoln and Superman at the Ghost Ranch,” Go Alpine dispatcher Sherryl Brown said. Brown said Go Alpine, the town’s only taxi service, planned to have 10 drivers Friday night, 15 tonight and 10 on Sunday.

Oak Creek to hire life coach

Town Board votes for counselor, against medical marijuana grow operation

Oak Creek Town Board members voted unanimously Thursday night to set aside up to $5,000 to hire a life coach for town employees. The person will provide counseling and advice for communication and interpersonal relationships to town employees.

Hunters in Flat Tops found in good shape

Men spent 5 days stranded in Flat Tops Wilderness Area

Three hunters who had been stranded in the Flat Tops Wilderness Area were rescued by helicopter this morning and escaped with no major injuries. Routt County Search and Rescue helped with the effort in Garfield County.

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Engineers fine-tuning traffic lights in Steamboat

City, state engineers create temporary traffic patterns downtown

When the project is complete, the downtown Steamboat traffic lights are designed to work like one connected computer, with fiber optic cables running from intersection to intersection. Until those cables are in­­stalled in the spring, however, city and state engineers will continue to fine-tune the lights.

Rock through woman’s windshield reported on U.S. Highway 40

A boulder about 8 to 10 inches in diameter fell Sunday into the windshield of a Craig woman driving the same stretch of U.S. Highway 40 where Karen Lynn Evanoff was killed in March by a falling rock.

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Wintry weather causes wrecks in Routt County

Routt County drivers still may have been adjusting to the first major snowfall of the year Monday as a few cars slid off roads across the area. But despite the multiple accidents, emergency responders reported no related injuries as of Monday evening.

Steamboat Springs School District laptop recovered

Computer stolen in February 2009; SSN information not accessed

The laptop containing 1,351 Social Security numbers that was stolen from the Steamboat Springs School District in a February 2009 burglary was recovered late last week, and detectives said they think the personal information on the computer never was accessed.

Exonerated death row inmate to speak Monday in Steamboat

After 17 years, Juan Melendez found freedom

After 17 years, eight months and one day, Juan Melendez was free. He had served the time on Flor­­ida’s death row for a crime he didn’t commit, against a person he said he never met. At 7 p.m. Mon­­day at Steaming Bean Coffee Co., the local chapter of Amnesty International has invited Melendez to speak.

Costs of Oak Creek power outage being tallied

Power restored in town thanks to extra transformer

Oak Creek Public Works Director Bob Redding said it was lucky that he had a spare transformer available Tuesday night, or five locations would have been out of power well into Wednesday. He has ordered a new transformer.

Steamboat acquaintance: Kellogg was helpful with club

Man accused of trying to hire hit man to kill former business partner

Rotary club President Jane Denning said part-time Steamboat resident Brooks Kellogg was always willing to help with Rotary events. FBI agents arrested Kellogg this week on allegations that he was trying to hire a man to kill a former business partner who had twice sued him.

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Routt County sheriff candidates debate tolerance

Wall seeks to define difference; Wiggins says approaches similar

Sheriff Gary Wall said the difference between him and Republican opponent Garrett Wig­­gins is Wall’s commitment to encouraging officer discretion and rejecting a zero-tolerance approach to law enforcement. Wig­gins said that difference doesn’t really exist. The two candidates squared off Tues­day.