Back to profile

Zach Fridell

Stories by Zach

Tease photo

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.

Driver knocks out Oak Creek power line

About one-third of Oak Creek was without power Tuesday night after a man drove into a utility pole on Grand Street about 9:15 p.m.

CMC moves to drop agreement with Steamboat

Elimination of arrangement with city would remove extra review requirements

The Colorado Mountain College board of trustees has given President Stan Jensen the go-ahead to propose the dissolution of an intergovernmental agreement between the city of Steamboat Springs and the college.

Steamboat man steals truck, tries to break into house

Ira Scott arrested on suspicion of multiple charges, remains in jail

Ira Craig Scott, a 57-year-old Ste­amboat Springs-area resident, was arrested on suspicion of multiple charges after he allegedly tried to get inside a pickup driven by Tim and Jennifer Boyer, later stole the pickup, and then tried to get inside the house where Jennifer Boyer was hiding with her mother and three children.

Election Guide: Sheriff candidates bring out fireworks

Gary Wall, Garrett Wiggins compete in spirited, high-stakes race in Routt County

The election for Routt County sheriff is a repeat of the race from four years ago, and both men are drawing on their experiences since 2006 to prop up their own candidacies while attacking that of their counterpart.

Election Guide: 2 challenge Routt County coroner

Darrel Levingston and Kevin Nerney hope to take seat from incumbent Rob Ryg

For seven years, Rob Ryg has been unchallenged as the Routt County coroner. This year, two locals are posting their experience and new ideas in a bid to take over the job.

Tease photo

Routt Sheriff Wall asked to move truck

Sheriff told to avoid perception of using county resources

Routt County Manager Tom Sullivan has asked Sheriff Gary Wall to remove his pickup, with a large plywood campaign sign in the back, from the parking lot at the Routt County Sheriff’s Office to remove any perception that he is using county resources in his campaign against All Crimes Enforcement Team Cmdr. Gar­rett Wiggins.

Steamboat Springs City Council to tackle off-leash ordinance

Rita Valentine and Spring Creek parks are one step closer to going to the dogs as the Steam­­boat Springs City Council will take up an ordinance that would allow off-leash areas at both parks. The Parks and Recreation Com­­mission is asking for community input at Tuesday’s meeting with the City Council, which starts at 5 p.m.

Routt sheriff remains in Denver hospital

Wall says blood leaking in the brain to blame

Routt County Sheriff Gary Wall revealed Friday that he actually was taken to a Denver-area hospital after doctors discovered blood leaking in his brain, and not just because of the flu, as he had earlier reported. He remained in the hospital Friday, and his wife, Jenny Wall, said she didn’t know when he would return to Steamboat Springs.

Rodents blamed for cabin fire near McCoy

Routt County Sheriff’s Office investigator Mike Curzon said the results are preliminary, but it appears that pack rats started the fire that burned down a hunting cabin between Bond and McCoy.

Sheriff candidates even in spending

Wiggins out-raises Wall in final campaign finance reporting period

Routt County Republican sheriff candidate Garrett Wig­gins out-raised incumbent Sheriff Gary Wall in the past month, yet each candidate spent about the same amount of money during the final reporting period before the election.

2 exposure cases involving Steamboat restaurant owner assigned trial dates

Steamboat Springs restaurateur Marco Pauvert, 55, has been scheduled for two separate trials in the two accusations of indecent exposure leveled against him. Pauvert was ar­­rested Aug. 25 after a woman accused him of exposing himself to her in his downtown Steam­­­­boat Sp­­­rings res­­taurant.

Oak Creek fire station plans dropped

Decision resulted from public feedback, closer look at budget

The Oak Creek Fire Protection District board scrapped plans to overhaul the downtown Oak Creek fire station after public feedback and a budget reassessment pointed against it. District President Chris Zusch­lag said the board voted unanimously to put off the renovation project indefinitely during a Monday evening meeting.

Wiggins’ campaign yard signs stolen in Steamboat

Some taken to opponent’s lawn, taped over Gary Wall’s campaign signs

Routt County sheriff candidate Garrett Wiggins reported that 50 to 100 of his campaign yard signs, including nearly all his signs in Old Town, were stolen during the weekend. A number of Wiggins’ signs also appeared in his opponent Routt County Sheriff Gary Wall’s yard, where someone taped Wiggins’ signs over Wall’s.

Tease photo

Routt County coroner candidates tout experience

Levingston, Nerney speak at Rotary forum; Ryg unable to attend

The two challengers taking on Routt County Coroner Rob Ryg said the emergency response and medical experience they each have would add a new dimension to the coroner’s office. Darrel Levingston and Kevin Nerney spoke to the Rotary Club of Steamboat Springs at a forum Tuesday.

Tease photo

American Legion in Routt County voicing concerns about Amendment P

Sen. White says Legion concerns about Amendment P are unwarranted

The local organizer of the American Legion is sounding alarm bells about an amendment on this year’s ballot that he said could lead to the end of small-game fundraisers such as bingo and quilt raffles. State Sen. Al White said those concerns are overblown.

Health ballot issues 62, 63 grab few headlines

Amendments would define ‘personhood,’ challenge federal health care requirement

With the attention the three proposed fiscal amendments have received, two other potentially important amendments have so far slid by with little comment. Amendment 62 is a reprisal of the “personhood” amendment, and 63 is an attempt to stop federal intervention in state health care law.

Tease photo

Candidate forum season heats up across Routt County

The candidates are shaking hands and filling their calendars with scheduled appearances as several major groups across Routt County host election forums. A chance to grab hands and pat backs, each of the forums offers if not something different, at least a chance for a different audience leading up to the Nov. 2 election.

DOW to buy Routt County land for easement

4,282 acres could be used to preserve wildlife

If a Colorado Division of Wild­­life deal goes through, there will be 4,282 more acres of preserved wildlife area in South Routt County in a prime location for elk, pronghorn, deer and — importantly — sage grouse.

Yampa residents to vote about medical marijuana laws next year

The Town of Yampa will take the issue of medical marijuana to voters, possibly as soon as January. Yampa Town Board members made the decision during their meeting Wednesday night. Town Clerk Janet Ray said Thurs­­day that Town Board members still want to check on law enforcement issues and potential liability for the town before the election is official.

Steamboat shooting case goes to district court

Robert Cash scheduled to appear Nov. 2 on attempted murder charge

Robert Cash is scheduled to appear Nov. 2 in district court on an attempted murder charge. Lawyers called several Steamboat Springs Police De­­part­­ment detectives as witnesses during the preliminary hearing on Thursday, and a recording of a hospital-room interview with Rhonda Cash brought Robert Cash to tears.

Tentative plea deal set for Steamboat Loggers Lane’s More

Guilty plea will ensure public record of deferred judgment

The key part of a plea deal that Kati More and the Routt County District Attorney’s Office will take before a judge at the end of the month is a charge that isn’t even related to the theft she is accused of committing. Instead, the charge of disorderly conduct is a way to guarantee that the rest of the case can never be sealed entirely.

Fire marshal: Fumes fed Steamboat duplex fire

A bucket of solvents used to clean car parts is partly to blame

Steamboat Springs Fire Marshal Jay Muhme said a plastic bucket with a solvent or gasoline on the porch likely caused fumes that fed the fire at Fourth and Oak streets in August. The blaze displaced 18 people.

Tease photo

Trio of events in Steamboat focus on homegrown food

Even if there isn’t an economic collapse, or even if the local grocery stores don’t run out of food, there are many reasons why a self-sustaining economy in Steamboat Springs is desirable, Transition Steamboat organizer Paul Potyen said. The group, along with Deep Roots, will host a series of events at the end of the week to promote economic and ecologically sustainable cultures in Steamboat.

Cell phone users must register for Routt County emergency notification system

When Oak Creek’s water system failed Sept. 26 and town officials needed to warn residents to boil their water, it was a chance for the county’s new CodeRED emergency notification system to take an inaugural run. The notification system performed well, Routt County Com­­munications Director Tim Mc­­Men­­amin said, but only for those people who actually could be contacted.

Tease photo

Phippsburg Community Club thrift store pays for streetlights and more

The ladies at the Phippsburg Community Club are the light of the town. Or at least they’re paying the bills for it. The thrift store and community center at the old church at the end of Third Avenue has just about everything. In fact, the center turns only a few items away during its weekly Thursday operations, and the store regularly pulls in $150 to $400 per week in revenue.

Tease photo

Man gets probation for obstructing paramedics

Doctors' reports suggest Stephen Thomas might have survived otherwise

The man, who was 17 at the time and is now 19, had pleaded guilty to obstructing emergency medical personnel as they tried to help Stephen Thomas after he stopped breathing at a North Routt County party in 2009. Thomas later died. Visiting Judge Thomas Ossola accepted a plea agreement and sentenced the defendant to 18 months of supervised probation, to 64 hours of public service and to write an apology note to Thomas’ mother, Jackie Saari.

Tease photo

Fish are prime at Stagecoach Reservoir despite construction work

The water levels may have dropped, but several men fishing from the boat ramp at Stagecoach Reservoir reported good results Wednesday afternoon. Workers have decreased water levels at the reservoir in stages this summer to allow for construction on the dam.

Several Routt County fires contained

The Coulton Creek fire in North Routt County is contained and likely will be controlled today as a small crew continues to fight hot spots. Diann Ritschard, Routt-Medicine Bow National Forest spokeswoman, said the fire was contained at 8 acres.

Tease photo

Routt County Sheriff Gary Wall could defend self in suit

Sheriff finds no takers in complicated claim with Routt County

Routt County Sheriff Gary Wall might have to represent himself in a civil suit with a law firm and the county commissioners after the sheriff found that no law firms were willing to represent him, he said in court Tuesday.

Tease photo

A Steamboat sergeant’s fight with cancer

Benefit is Saturday for Dale Coyner

Sitting in the home his father built on River Road, police Sgt. Dale Coyner said there are some things he doesn’t want to know. He recalled a time he was talking to a doctor, not long after he was diagnosed with widespread cancer, when his wife Judy asked how long he would live. He threw up a time-out sign with his hands. “I don’t want to know because it’s not relevant to me,” he said. “I’m not anybody else, and nobody else has my body.”

Oak Creek water declared safe

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has declared the water of Oak Creek safe after five tests showed that it was free of E. coli bacteria.

Tease photo

Water boil order ended in Oak Creek

Oak Creek will have water test results at 3 this afternoon

Oak Creek residents can again drink the town's water after a series of state-required tests showed no E. coli.

Beaver Flat fire contained

Fire crews in North Routt County on Monday continued fighting a blaze that spread from a campfire. U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Diann Ritschard said crews expected to have the 8-acre Coulton Creek fire contained by 6 p.m. Monday.

Tease photo

Hunters give Yampa businesses much-needed boost

South Routt business owners report strong returns, hope trend continues

Business owner after business owner in Yampa reported that the economy of the South Routt town is on the mend this year after several tougher years. Even so, the overall success of the season before winter hits hinges on the second rifle-hunting season.

Steamboat reading program launches

One Book Steamboat picks ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’

Atticus, Scout and Boo are so much like neighbors that they could live down the road in Steamboat Springs. And starting today, there are 10 Scouts, Atticuses and Boos scattered through downtown businesses as part of Bud Werner Memorial Library’s new One Book Steamboat program.

Tease photo

Law firm Purvis Gray, with Steamboat office, recognized in top tier

Colorado firm gets top rankings from US News and World Report

From the $5 million settlement for victims in the Good News building explosion to the high-profile case against Fen-Phen, the attorneys with Purvis Gray have earned a place in the spotlight. The firm was named in the top tier at the state and national level in several categories of a report by U.S. News and World Report.

Tease photo

Liability unclear in Steamboat car-cow crash

Vehicle hit, killed 2 cows Tuesday night

Isaiah Farnsworth, 31, hit two cows in his Subaru outside the Hogue Ranch, near Steamboat II, shortly after 8:30 p.m. Maureen Hogue confirmed that the cows belonged to her family and said it appears a “fencing issue” allowed the cows onto the highway.

Tease photo

South Routt Nursery to host local food dinner as fundraiser

The bread is made with wheat from a farm near Hayden and baked in Oak Creek. The roast comes fresh from South Routt County. And the eggs for the quiche? The chickens are clucking out back.

Tease photo

2 Routt County organizations to host Mutt Strut fundraiser Oct. 2

Two volunteer organizations in Routt County are taking a cue from the Front Range’s pet-friendly bonanza Furry Scurry to host the county’s first dog walk. The Mutt Strut, a fundraiser for the Animal Assistance League of Northwest Colorado and Heeling Friends, is Oct. 2 with a walk from Howelsen Hill.

No consensus from Routt County Republicans about state measures

Area GOP leaders lack unity about Pro­­position 101 and proposed state constitutional Amend­ments 60 and 61

State Republican politicians are coming down hard against Pro­­position 101 and proposed state constitutional Amend­ments 60 and 61, but most of Routt County’s GOP leaders are taking a more nuanced stance, or no stance at all. The three proposals would drastically reduce the amount of taxes the state government can collect, and requires voter approval for fees as well as taxes.

Downtown Steamboat bar fight leads to arrest, hospitalization

A fight at Ghost Ranch Saloon early Friday morning ended with 25 stitches for one person and second-degree assault charges for the other. Police arrested Steamboat resident Stephan Harrington, 42, on suspicion of second-degree assault after he reportedly hit Jordan Worden, 23, with a bar glass.

Victim notification made easy for Routt County

Computer program is spotlight of Sheriff’s Office showcase

Tucked among the fire engines and the police cruisers parked along Sixth Street between Lincoln Avenue and Oak Street tonight, a computer will be the key display from the Routt County Sheriff’s Office.

Routt County fire danger level high

Strong winds and dry vegetation have prompted local officials to raise the fire danger level in Routt County to high, mirroring similar moves this week by Front Range officials in the wake of two significant fires there. The Fourmile Canyone wildfire in the Boulder foothills burned 169 structures and 6,200 acres before it was contained early this week.

Routt County Search and Rescue volunteers walk biker to safety

Five Routt County Search and Rescue volunteers helped a 77-year-old mountain biker find his way down the trail at Fish Creek Falls late Wednesday night.

Yampa Town Board to hold special meeting to discuss medical marijuana

Yampa town leaders will gauge residents’ tolerance for medical marijuana during a special meeting tonight at Town Hall. The feedback could help determine what, if any, action the town should take related to the hot-button issue. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in Yampa Town Hall. There are no other items on the agenda.

Wall appeals campaign fines

Sheriff says finance issues a result of confusion with new law

The Colorado Secretary of State’s Office hit Routt County Sheriff Gary Wall with two fines in late August for failing to report major campaign contributions in a new electronic reporting format. Wall has appealed both fines.

Tease photo

US 40 in downtown Steamboat work off to fast start

Concrete pours could begin this morning from 9th to 7th streets

Construction crews are a week ahead of schedule on the second and final phase of downtown Steamboat Springs’ major road improvement project, Colorado Department of Transportation spokeswoman Nancy Shanks said Monday. The first concrete pour, between Ninth and Seventh streets, is scheduled to begin this morning.

Rodeman lawsuit pared down

Town of Oak Creek mostly removed from suit stemming from 2008 Taser incident

A U.S. District Court judge dismissed most of the claims made against the town of Oak Creek by former mayor Kathy “Cargo” Rodeman in an ongoing civil case stemming from Rodeman’s controversial July 2008 arrest.

Tease photo

Oak Creek police force goes down to 1 officer

Seasonal Oak Creek officer ready to leave for winter

Through his first summer in Oak Creek, officer Lance Dunaway has been learning the ropes of the town and the 800-some personalities within it from officer Eileen Rossi. Come October, Dunaway will be on his own as Rossi makes her seasonal migration to Arizona. Rossi said the summer training with Dunaway was a success.