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Carbondale Homicide Victim Identified

February 19, 2015
The Garfield County coroner has identified the victim of Monday's homicide in Carbondale as Maria Carminda Portillo-Amaya, age 30. According to a CBI press release issued at 4 PM Thursday, the suspect remains hospitalized in Grand Junction with injuries sustained when the 4Runner he was driving collided with the rear-end of a cattle truck. KDNK will have updates as information becomes available.

Body of missing Silt resident found

May 25, 2014
The Pitkin County Coroner's office has identified a body found near Basalt Friday as missing Silt resident Claudia Ruiz. Authorities are investigating the cause of death. The Pitkin County Sheriff's Office does not believe the public is in any danger in relation to this incident. Ruiz had been missing on May 17th and had reportedly taken a RFTA bus to El Jebel. KDNK will have more as this story develops.

Silt Woman Missing

Silt Woman Missing May 19, 2014
Forty-three year old Claudia Ruiz of Silt, CO has been missing since Saturday May 17. Family members report that she has a history of mental health issues and left home without telling anyone. Ruiz is 5 ft, 2" tall, 180 pounds, with brown eyes and brown hair/blonde highlights. She was last seen wearing a blue windbreaker, white skirt, and white flip-flops, heading upvalley on a RFTA bus. Glenwood Springs Police Department told KDNK that no foul play is suspected but Ruiz may be confused and disoriented. She may also be using her maiden name "Perez".

If you have any information of her whereabouts or have seen Claudia Ruiz, please contact your local police department or call her daughter Jennehii Ruiz at 970.618.4454 or her son Eliel Ruiz at 970.989.3907.

BREAKING: Probable suicide victim was Carbondale cop

BREAKING: Probable suicide victim was Carbondale cop March 22, 2011

Police are investigating a probable suicide in the parking lot of Crystal River Elementary School, near the Church of Carbondale. Late Tuesday, police announced the victim as Nino Santiago, an officer with the Carbondale Police Department.

Just before 6:00 Tuesday morning, the Roaring Fork School District closed the campus for the day. The Colorado Bureau of Investigation along with the Garfield County Sheriff are working to sort out what occurred.

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Skinner and Foulkrod team up for Youthzone

Skinner and Foulkrod team up for Youthzone July 14, 2010

I wasn't asked to be born

Being a parent doesn't come with an instruction manual. Being a kid doesn't either. Nobody asked to be born. Some young people are happy to point that out and reject, rebel, step away or drop out of their own lives.

There are thousands of reasons to give up. There are always more reasons to not do something than there are to do anything, including and especially, the right thing. I still remember as a kid lying in my bed vowing to be different, vowing to never do this or that which I thought, in my own little world, were wrongs being hoisted upon me. I had to talk to myself because there was no one else there.

I discovered along the way that doing something good or right is a lot easier in the long run than avoiding, rebelling and destroying. Those life lessons take time and love to learn but we don't all have that support, cushion or luxury.

Some kids out there right now feel lost, pissed, suicidal, misunderstood, unloved, reckless or worse. Everyone has issues but when you are young and in a bad situation, it's worse. It's easy for some to give up on difficult kids and kids can give up on difficult adults, too.

We've all heard about empowerment. The best managers empower their employees and they often do their best. Barack Obama empowered a whole bunch of volunteers and they got out there believing in what they were doing and saying and they did end up making a difference.

Empowering youth is the path to their success in society. I work closely with youth with the Andy Zanca Youth Empowerment Program, a non-profit whose mission is to develop leadership, multiculturalism and identity by providing training and opportunity to youth in community broadcasting. It works. I have seen the lights go on and the engine start. It is exciting.

There are a lot of kids in our valley and they are not all doing great. Some of them need help in ways that the average family might not understand. Some of them need help at the last minute. Some parents need help and advice, too. That's where Youthzone comes in. Youthzone is another of those valley non-profits filling a need and working hard to keep doing their work in a down economy. Empowering youth costs money and it is not going to happen without support.

That's why I'm helping. Even though I work hard to keep the lights on in two other non-profits, I have signed on to be a representative for Youthzone's annual "Kiss n' Squeal" fundraiser. I have partnered with Carbondale Town Trustee John Foulkrod to raise money for this essential local service organization. At the kick-off party last week I heard testimonials from young people whose lives were transformed by Youthzone.

We should all stand behind a group that is committed to helping young people become responsible, contributing members of society. Consider the alternative.

This valley-wide fundraiser has different people out competing for the grand prize which is a chance to kiss a pig right on the wet snout. I'm not in it to win. Unfortunately, Foulkrod is and I may find myself sharing a pink snout with John Foulkrod. I'll deal with that nightmare if and when it comes to that.

There is a team from Aspen. There's one in Glenwood. There's an Alpine Bank team, a Rotary team, a Grand River Hospital team, a Property Shop team and a La Nueva Mix team. My team probably won't win against those formidable contestants. But I'm hitting the streets Wednesday with a goat. You might want to head me off at the sidewalk before I come into your office looking for a donation, because, believe me, the checkbook will be flying out when you see what a pair of goats can do to a small office.

I'm doing what I can because I want Youthzone to get back to the hard work of making families and communities stronger. Help me by donating in the name of John Foulkrod at If you are lucky, I'll get to kiss a pig.

Reach Steve Skinner at

News: Sen. Specter talks party switch

July 15, 2009
Speaking at The Aspen Institute, Sen. Arlen Specter, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, gave perhaps his most candid explanation for why he switched political parities this spring. KDNK's Conrad Wilson reports.
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News: Solar panels back up, but still no arrests

News: Solar panels back up, but still no arrests June 30, 2009
Just steps away from the police department, in the heart of town, the Carbondale Rec Center is one of two buildings in Colorado awarded a LEED platinum certification by the US Green Building Council. And now those solar panels are back up. But as KDNK's Conrad Wilson reports, no arrests have been made.
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News: Body found in local orchard

June 26, 2009
KDNK news staff follow developments in the murder case revolving around a body found in an orchard near Glenwood Springs. The dismembered body was discovered on June 12 by a teenager working in the orchard in a bag tossed into the brush.
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