Recent Stories | PostIndependent.com

Recent Stories by Thomas Phippen

Sunday Profile: Conservation-minded Sarah Johnson helps to create community in Carbondale

February 16, 2019 — Throw a stone anywhere in the Roaring Fork Valley and you'll probably hit someone who says they care deeply about community building and the environment. For Sarah Johnson, 36, those interests led her to work in conservation education and immerse herself in the eccentric activities

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Judge denies more mistrial requests in Olivo-Tellez murder case

February 15, 2019 — Defense attorneys for Gustavo Olivo-Tellez, accused of murdering his estranged wife, Blanca Salas-Jurado, in 2016, again filed motions that the judge hearing the case recuse himself and declare a mistrial Friday, as the trial moved into its fourth day. Ninth District Court Judge John Neiley denied

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Roaring Fork public school teachers get pay raise

February 14, 2019 — Teachers at public schools from Glenwood Springs to Basalt will get a higher-than-average pay raise this year. The Roaring Fork Schools Board of Education approved a salary increase for teachers Wednesday, in an effort to make the district more competitive for new hires and more

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Judge Neiley rejects call for mistrial in Olivo-Tellez murder trial

February 13, 2019 — Ninth District Judge John Neiley denied a request for a mistrial Wednesday morning and declined to recuse himself in the first-degree murder trial of Gustavo Olivo-Tellez, 29, who is accused of killing his ex-wife, Blanca Salas-Jurado, in October 2016. Ryan Dawson, a lawyer for the

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Jury hears from Glenwood murder defendant’s ex-girlfriend

February 12, 2019 — A Garfield County jury heard testimony of key witnesses Tuesday during the trial related to Blanca Salas-Jurado's death, as prosecutors presented their evidence against her estranged husband and accused murderer, 29-year-old Gustavo Olivo-Tellez. During her testimony, co-defendant Michelle Castillo, 26, said she has obtained legal

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New River Valley Ranch golf owners envision hotel, resort for Carbondale

February 12, 2019 — Dan and Wynee Coleman have big plans to rejuvenate the River Valley Ranch golf course. After several months of uncertainty and a change in ownership, the golf course is on track to open in April. The former Pan and Fork Restaurant, now The Homestead Bar

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Glenwood murder trial centers around intent to kill, premeditation

February 11, 2019 — Attorneys made opening arguments Monday in the trial against Gustavo Olivo-Tellez, accused of first-degree murder for the death of his estranged wife at the Pinon Pines Apartments south of Glenwood Springs Oct. 7, 2016. The trial does not appear to be about whether Olivo-Tellez allegedly

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Olivo-Tellez murder trial begins in Glenwood Springs

February 10, 2019 — Opening arguments in the murder trial against Gustavo Olivo-Tellez are scheduled to begin Monday morning after a weeklong jury selection process. Prosecuting and defense attorneys settled on a 16-member jury Friday, which includes 12 primary and four alternate jurors. All 16 were sworn in Friday

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Perry Will prepares for shift from wildlife officer to legislator

February 10, 2019 — As the representative-elect for state House District 57, Perry Will is preparing for his seat by retiring from the Colorado Department of Parks and Wildlife, where he's worked for 43 years. A Republican panel of six on Feb. 5 appointed Will, of New Castle, to

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2nd trial set in ranch embezzlement case; I-70 standoff suspect continued

February 7, 2019 — Second trial scheduled in Farris cases A September trial date has been set for Dustin Farris, son of the couple accused of embezzling from Bear Wallow Ranch near New Castle. Ninth District Court Judge Denise Lynch agreed to set the trial for September, which is

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Colorado snowpack nears ‘normal;’ greater amount needed to counter drought

February 6, 2019 — Your neighbor who says, "we need the snow," is still right. As Glenwood Springs schools were closed Wednesday due to the latest winter storm, and with most of the state braced for heavy snowfall through the night, new data for January showed Colorado's snowpack for

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Panel appoints Parks and Wildlife supervisor Perry Will to HD 57 seat

February 5, 2019 — A Republican Party vacancy panel Tuesday appointed Perry Will of New Castle to fill the Colorado House District 57 seat vacated by now state Sen. Bob Rankin in January. Will, a supervisor with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, was appointed during a meeting of the committee

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I-70 eastbound open through Glenwood Canyon, westbound limited to one lane

February 5, 2019 — Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon was finally reopened in both directions late Tuesday, after a day of cleanup and safety measures following an early morning rockslide near Grizzly Creek. I-70 WB: Road open between Exit 133 – Dotsero and Exit 116 – CO 82; Glenwood

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Rifle-raised Interior nominee highly regarded, ruffles some feathers

February 4, 2019 — Rifle native David Bernhardt has been nominated to lead the U.S. Department of the Interior. His friends say he is the best choice, but some locals are wary of his ties to industries doing business on public lands and have concerns. President Donald Trump announced

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Four candidates seek HD 57 seat before nominating committee Tuesday

February 4, 2019 — Four people have expressed interest in the House seat left vacant by Sen. Rankin.

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Garfield County crime briefs: Carbondale car chase leads to felony arrest

February 1, 2019 — A 29-year-old Carbondale man led police on a 17-mile car chase that looped through Missouri Heights and El Jebel and ended on Catherine Store Road around 2 a.m. last Sunday morning. According to an arrest affidavit, a Carbondale Police officer noticed a motorist later identified

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New Carbondale business accelerator is speeding up

January 31, 2019 — Fledgling Carbondale business accelerator and co-working space Coventure is gaining speed. Coventure, a nonprofit organization that grew out of GlenX, is hosting a preview of its facilities from 5:30-8 p.m. during Carbondale's First Friday gathering to show its new co-working space. Coventure founder Mike Lowe

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Colorado Mountain College ‘tops off’ new Spring Valley buildings

January 31, 2019 — Two major new buildings are springing up at Colorado Mountain College's Spring Valley campus, on time and under budget, according to college officials. During a "topping-off" ceremony Thursday, Spring Valley Vice President and Dean Heather Exby praised the work of the designers and contractors. "This

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Colorado Mountain College board votes not to raise tuition for ’19-20

January 30, 2019 — Tuition rates at Colorado Mountain College will not be raised this fall, thanks to special funding expected from the state. The Colorado Mountain College board of trustees voted unanimously Wednesday not to raise tuition rates for the next academic year, hoping to capture around $1

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Deportation in Rifle sex assault case halts criminal proceeding

January 29, 2019 — Within three days of bonding out of the Garfield County Jail, where he had been detained on charges of sexual assault, Jose Solis-Coyado was in federal custody awaiting deportation to Guatemala. Prosecutors were ultimately unable to prevent his deportation, and Solis-Coyado is now out of

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