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Sheriff: Stray bullet theory is off target

BLM, county officials call report ‘unsubstantiated’ and ‘complete rumor’

By KimBerly Benedict tigation into the cause of Journal Staff Writer

A report posted online Monday evening by the Durango Herald stated the Weber Fire was sparked by a stray bullet. However, Connie Clementson, the Bureau of Land Management’s agency administrator for the Weber Fire, and Montezuma County Sheriff Dennis Spruell, both agents in charge of the joint inves-

the blaze, said that information is unsubstantiated. According to the Herald, during an update on local fires Monday, Butch Knowlton director of the a Plata County Office of Emergency Preparedness, told La Plata County commissioners that bullets shot at targets in Weber Canyon passed through the targets, ricocheted off rocks and ignited a fire in the dry grass.

“That is complete rumor,” Spruell said in a phone interview Monday evening. “It is a joint investigation with the (Bureau of Land Management) and the Montezuma County Sheriff ’s Office and we are still investigating.” Clementson said she has the agency’s top investigators working on the case and while the fire is being investigated as a humancaused incident, there is

little information beyond that at this point. “The cause is under investigation and anything about a bullet is pure rumor,” Clementson said. “It is human cause, but that is as much as we know now. As soon as we know what started the fire, we will make that announcement.” Reach Kimberly Benedict at

deaths Emmett Rockwell Donohue Emmett Rockwell Donohue quietly passed away at his home in Dolores on June 24, 2012, surrounded by family. Emmett was born Jan. 3, 1924 in Petaluma, Calif. He graduated from high school in Iowa. After graduation he returned to La Mesa, Calif. and worked in donohue a grocery store. Because of WWII, the California Dept. of Forestry (CDF) was hiring 18 year-old full time employees. In February of 1942 he began his lifelong career as a fireman with the CDF. In 1943 his career was put on hold to serve in the U.S. Navy as a gunner’s mate

2nd class on merchant ships in the Pacific. He was discharged in 1945 and returned to the CDF as a Forest Fire Foreman. In January 1948, he was promoted to Ranger I, one of the youngest in the state. Emmett worked his entire CDF career in San Diego County, the majority of it in the Julian Ranger District, but he fought fires all over California. He was known for being a dedicated employee and a hard worker with his superior stamina. Very few could keep up with him during a hike or walking the fireline. In fact, he did not like to fly in helicopters, but on one lightning strike fire in the mountains he did fly in, but insisted on walking out afterwards.Emmett always carried a diary and wrote in it daily. He was known to enforce and follow

policies and rules as written. He would stand up for any of his employees and their rights if he believed they were justified. He did not take excuses from anyone over their work assignments or other duties and he would never ask his employees to do something that he would not do himself. He always met everyone with a smile and was faithful to friends, co-workers and others, loaning tools or a helping hand in time of need just because he could. He was blessed with great wisdom, knowledge, being honest in all situations and a man wellrespected. Emmett retired after 37 years with CDF and moved to Colorado where he and wife, Zoa Ann, remodeled two old houses, one in Silverton and the other in Dolores. Together they enjoyed their mutual

of 87. Carol is survived by her Carol was preceded brother, Forest (and Alice) in death by her parents, Reed of Dolores. Howard Joseph and Olga Cremation has taken Dorothy Reed; her hus- place with no public serband, Alton Randolph White; and two brothers, Howard Joseph Reed, Jr. and Don Carlton Reed.

“Barn in the USA” The 2012 Fair Board would like to welcome vendors to the Montezuma County Fair. The fair will be held from August 1 - August 4th at the Montezuma County Fairgrounds, located at 31000 Hwy 160. For vendor information, go to: The vendor application fee is $15. The deadline to submit your application is July 25, 2012. After July 25th, payment must be made by cash or money order only, checks will not be accepted. If you have any questions, please call Allen Whited #970-560-4638 or Rodney Cox #970-739-3123.

hobby of yardsale-ing. Emmett was also a great husband, father, father-inlaw, grandpa and greatgrandpa. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Zoa Ann; daughters, Gail (Ralph) Klusman of Ignacio, Kathryn (Ron) Serabia of Ramona, Calif., Jane Neisler of Elko, Nev.; son, Dale (Diana) Donohue of Dolores; brother, Colonel Frederick (Patricia) Donohue (ret.) of Melbourne, Fla.; sister-in-law, Pat Donohue of Salinas, Calif.; nine grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; and by many nephews and nieces. He was preceded in death by his father Emmett I, who passed away in a car accident in 1931; his mother, Doris; brother, Jim Donohue; sister, Joanne Watson; and by his grandson, Kevin Donohue. No services are planned.

Cortez, CO

7 N. Broadway Cortez, CO 81321 (970) 565-6547

Local Republican candidates will be picked tonight for the general election in two Montezuma County commissioner races and the district attorney for the 22nd Judicial District. All mail-in ballots must be returned to the County Clerk’s office by 7 p.m. tonight. This year’s primary election is being conducted solely through mail-in ballot. In the local area, only the Republican and Libertarian parties have contested races on the ballot for this election cycle. Though registered members of the Democratic Party and American Constitution Party will receive ballots, there are no contested races.

For Republican voters, Montezuma County District 2 commissioner seat candidates are Keenan Ertel, Pat DeGagne-Rule and Bud Garner. Competing in the District 3 race are Dewayne Findley and Casey McClellan. The District Attorney’s race features incumbent DA Russell Wasley and local defense attorney Will Furse. The local Libertarian party will also be part of the ballot, with registered Libertarians choosing a candidate for the 3rd Congressional District seat. Gaylon Kent and Gregory Gilman are the candidates. Republican Scott Tipton currently holds the seat. See for election results tonight.

Bridge Shelter opens doors for Mancos evacuees The Bridge Emergency Shelter is opening its doors to those of the Mancos community who have been evacuated or who feel the need to leave their homes for health reasons related to smoke in the air. The shelter opened to accommodate guests on Sunday night, June 24. There are no clients at the shelter this time of year because they are typically not open in the summer. Bridge Shelter can provide mats, blankets, pillows, towels, showers, laundry, toiletries, computer service, phone service for local calls and very simple meals. The shelter is clean, and because of the concrete block structure, it is also cool. Karen Silliman, the Executive Director, and Donna

Boyd, Shelter Manager, are coordinating this outreach effort. In addition, the shelter has been informed by the city that they will help the shelter in any way needed. To locate the shelter, drive north on Mildred Road in Cortez (the road that goes towards the hospital). At the intersection of Mildred Road and Empire Street (a four-way stop) turn left (west) and go half a block and turn left into the parking area on the north side of the Justice Building. The door to the shelter is on the north side of that building. For information, call Karen at 570-0038, Donna at 719-200-0030, or MB McAfee (Chair of the Board) at 560-5017.

Have News? Call 565-8527


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Carol White Carol White was born on April 12, 1925, in Saint Louis, Mo., the daughter of Howard Joseph and Olga Dorothy (Meese) Reed. She has been a resident of this area for the last 7 1/2 years. Carol passed away on June 22, 2012 at the age


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Weber Day1 5