|BridgeWork: Construction workers continue
to make progress on the bridge spanning the width of the
Animas River behind Home Depot on Tuesday afternoon./Photo
by Todd Newcomer.
The Department of Justice has
initiated an investigation into alleged kickbacks and other
impropriety in the office of retiring Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell,
R-Colo. Campbell, who lives in Ignacio, reported that he has been
informed that he is being investigated on allegations that a former
staff member inflated a subordinate's salary in exchange for a
$2,000 payment and participated in an improper attempt to steer a
government contract to a specific vendor.
reported that he requested a Senate Ethics Committee investigation
of these allegations in February of this year.He also said he
intends to cooperate fully with the investigation, wants to get to
the bottom of this matter and will have no further comment until
the investigation is complete.
According to the
Denver Post, it is suspected that the criminal
investigation influenced the Republican's announcement that he
would retire next year after his term ends. The paper added that
questioning began more than a month ago and that the Department of
Justice took its first official action the day before Campbell
announced he would be retiring.
DMR reports brisk real estate
A strong real estate market joined
strong skier day numbers at Durango Mountain Resort this winter.
The resort's expansion is being well received as homesites in the
new Engineer and Tacoma villages are being bought up at a rapid
Initial sales have been
brisk since first being offered last November. Of the 36 homesites
available in phase one of Engineer Village, 17 have closed with
three more under contract. In Tacoma Village, 10 reservations have
been made on the available 16 units in phase one of the BlackBear
Townhomes. Also, in Purgatory Village, the slopeside ElkPoint
Townhomes have sold out.
"The response has been
exceptional," said DMR managing broker Cathy Craig. "The interest
level in the new villages and the ground floor opportunities for
this growing resort community have stayed strong throughout the
winter months."Engineer and Tacoma are the first villages to be
developed under the new master plan and development agreement at
DMR. They are located just across Highway 550 adjacent to the
resort. The 25-year plan calls for the development of five
residential villages and a renovation of the existing base area.
All told, as many as 1,649 units will be developed on 612
Fort Lewis College rehires
Following a large public outcry about
her termination, Fort Lewis College President Robert Dolphin, Jr.
announced last week that Sheri Rochford will be kept on as an
employee. Rochford has accepted an 18-month position as director of
foundation relations for the college. As planned, she will retire
after that time.
Rochford was fired as
dean of development and alumni by Dolphin in February, only 20
months from her planned retirement. She filed grievances about the
termination and many members of the community spoke and wrote on
Last week, it was
announced that Rochford had been rehired and will report for the
next 18 months to Vice President for Finance and Administration
Steve Schwartz. "Sheri and I have worked together for many years,
and I look forward to working with her in this new position,"
resigned from her former position as dean of development and alumni
relations on May 1 to accept this new position.
Mercy Medical Center taps new
Mercy Medical Center announced this
week that it has named a new chief financial officer. Richard White
will be responsible for several of the duties that had been handled
by Mercy's current CFO and chief operating officer, Brad Cochennet.
Cochennet will continue to serve as chief operating
"We're very pleased to
have Rick on board," said Mercy Medical Center CEO Kirk Dignum. "He
brings valuable health-care-specific financial knowledge and
experience to the team."
Dignum said that White
will focus on financial strategy and efficiency initiatives at the
hospital, while Cochennet will oversee management of the hospital's
operations and construction of the new Mercy Regional Medical
White was most recently
the director of finance and budget at The Children's Hospital in
Denver. He also has worked in various financial management roles at
hospitals in Grand Junction and La Junta.
City workers to get an early
The City of Durango is trying to stay
out of traffic. Effective June 1, City Hall and River City Hall
will adopt new hours aimed to help employees avoid rush hours. Both
buildings will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
"The community is
changing and we want to change with it," said Assistant City
Manager Greg Caton. "Over the last couple years the traffic has
increased during the peak traffic times. This change will provide
our employees an opportunity to travel before the peak times, which
will decrease the total number of cars on the roadway when it is
Caton also pointed out
that the people who work from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. can now do business
with the city in the early morning.
compiled by Will