NEWS: Wednesday March 10, 2010

Mar 10th @ 8:47 am in News by Scott Staley

In cooperation with the City of Durango, the Southwest Conservation Corp will be conducting wildfire fuel reduction training in Dalla Mountain Park from Wednesday, March 10, 2010 through Friday, March 12, 2010. Vegetation and ladder fuels will be hand-thinned in the Mountain Park.  Community members are asked to use caution while enjoying the park during the three-day period. For more information, please contact the Parks and Recreation Department at 375-7300.
Source: PSA   (Posted 8:58a)

Richard Shaw, age 56, of Cortez, Colorado, was sentenced last Friday, March 5, 2010, by U.S. District Court Judge John L. Kane to serve 37 months (just over 3 years) for making a false statement to a financial institution in connection with obtaining a Small Business Association (SBA) loan.  Following his prison sentence, Shaw was ordered to spend 5 years on supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution totaling over $975,000 to the Small Business Administration and the Bank of Durango.  The defendant, who is free on bond, was ordered to voluntarily report to a federal Bureau of Prisons facility.

Richard C. Shaw was indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver on March 24, 2009.  He pled guilty before Judge Kane on November 6, 2009.  He was sentenced last Friday, March 5, 2010.

According to the stipulated facts contained in the plea agreement, on August 15, 2003, Shaw applied at the Bank of Durango in Durango, Colorado.  As part of the loan process, Shaw completed paperwork that included a personal history form.  That form included the question “Have you ever been charged with and/or arrested for any criminal offense other than a minor motor vehicle violation?”  In response to this question, the box on the form was checked “no.”  The defendant signed his name to the form, under the clause: “CAUTION: Knowingly making a false statement on this form is a violation of Federal law and could result in criminal prosecution.”

Shaw signed the paperwork at the Bank of Durango to obtain the Small Business Administration (SBA) loan to obtain business operating expenses for his company, Sonrise Construction of the Four Corners, LLC.  The loan was for $1.1 million.  At the time Shaw signed the paperwork, he knew that he had a conviction from the State of New Mexico for Embezzlement and Racketeering.  Thus, Shaw knowingly misrepresented his criminal history and made a false statement to the Bank of Durango, intending to influence the bank to approve his loan.

“The success of this investigation is attributed to the combined efforts of our federal partners, including the Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of the Inspector General Investigations Division,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge James Davis.

Peg Gustafson, the Inspector General at SBA, stated: “Detecting and preventing fraud in SBA loan programs is especially important in these difficult economic times.  This noteworthy sentence should serve as a notice to all SBA loan participants that persons committing loan fraud will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.  I commend the professionalism and exemplary work by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the prosecution of this landmark case.”

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of the Inspector General Investigations Division.  Shaw was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Bob Mydans and Dondi Osborne.
Source: Press Release   (Posted 7:46a)

Work continues today on I-70 in Glenwood Canyon to loosen up huge boulders that sit above the roadway. The road near Hanging Lake Tunnel has been closed since late Sunday night causing major detours for everyday travelers.  The Denver Post says this closure is jacking up costs for truckers and increasing delivery times for merchants.  One trucking company out of Denver says a typical run from Denver to Glenwood Springs is about three hours, but with the detours, it’s taking his drivers 8 ½ -9 hours for a one way trip causing his guys to have to stay the night, another fee incurred due to the closure. Alternate routes are primarily US 40, Colorado 13, and Colorado 131. No word on how soon any lanes of I-70 through Glenwood Canyon will be open.
Source: Denver Post (Posted 7:46a)

Gaining access to medical marijuana was just made easier in Southwest Colorado by a woman in Ouray County. According to the Telluride Watch, Jeanne Robertson recently opened Ridgway Apothecary out of her home, a medical marijuana delivery service.  She says her business is delivery only and she doesn’t keep the product in her home at all. There are municipalities all over the state that have enacted moratoriums on medical marijuana dispensaries—Ridgway and Ouray included—while the state legislature makes a decision on how to regulate the business. Robertson lives in unincorporated Ouray County.
Source: Telluride Watch (Posted 7:16a)

Last night, the Tri-County 912 & Independence Caucus held a public forum for the Montrose County Sheriff candidates: former SO employee Shawn Cline and incumbent Rick Dunlap and Montrose City Council At-Large candidates: Bill Patterson, Ray Rose, and Pat Treacy.  Log onto or to learn more about the election process and deadlines in the county & city.
(Posted 7:15a)