Search for Missing Hiker Updates

July 13, 2023

Organizers have announced they are closing the public search for missing hiker Ian O’Brian after two weeks of searching. The City of Durango has voted how best to distribute the $361,084 in excess 2022 Lodger’s Tax. Come celebrate 100 years of one of the iconic engines from the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad at the Animas Museum, and voluntary water restrictions are in place as repairs progress on the pipeline under Goeglein Gulch. By Hannah Robertson. This story is sponsored by Tafoya Barrett and Associates and Happy Pappy’s Pizza & Wings

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The search for missing hiker Ian O'Brien continues, spurred by community-based involvement. Come join the Animas Museum and celebrate 100 years of the iconic K-28 locomotive. The city of Durango voted how to allocate $361,084 in excess lodger's tax, and be prepared for possible water restrictions as the city makes repairs to a main pipeline leak under Goeglein Gulch. You're watching the Local News Roundup brought you by Tafoya Barrett and Associates and Happy Pappy's Pizza-N-Wings. I'm Connor Shreve. On June 24th, local hiker Ian O'Brien was reported missing after he did not return to where he was camping with friends after a day hike up Hesperus Peak in the La Plata Mountains. Formal search and rescue efforts have been called off after more than a week with no reported sightings, but local-organized volunteers have continued the search. O'Brien is an experienced hiker and familiar with the area but has epilepsy, and if he had a seizure, he may have become disoriented and confused. He did have a few days worth of medication in his backpack, but depending on his mental state, he may not have been able to take it. At this point, he has likely run out if he hasn't lost his pack. O'Brien's friends and family are continuing to organize search efforts. The Animas Museum invites you to come and celebrate the 100th anniversary of the K-28 locomotives. The first narrow gauge locomotives ordered by the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad, and used on the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad when they were commissioned. Three of the K-28 locomotives are still owned by the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, two of which have been converted from coal burning to oil burning for the scenic railroad tour. Join author Jerry Day who will be signing his book on the history of the K-28 locomotive at the museum, Saturday, July 22nd at 1:00 p.m. At the city council's regular session on June 25th, councilors voted three to two to allocate the $361,000 in excess 2022 lodger's tax for sustainable tourism marketing. $245,000 will go to Visit Durango and the remaining 115,000 will go to the city's sustainability division for electric vehicle chargers. The staff recommendations suggested that $133,000 be used to fund grant opportunities for EV chargers, $100,000 for signage efforts for the transportation department, and $128,000 for Visit Durango projects such as local events and trail infrastructure enhancements. The city of Durango asked large municipal water users to voluntarily restrict water use during repair work to fix a leak on the city's main water supply pipe and residential water restrictions may result depending on progress of the pipe repair. A leak was discovered June 29th on the supply pipe that runs under Goeglein Gulch, feeding the terminal reservoir by Fort Lewis College from the the Santa Rita pump station. The leak is believed to have been caused by soil shifting after the unusually wet winter Durango experienced. Repairs were expected to begin Friday, July 7th, depending on the arrival of needed parts. According to the city's drought management plan, implementation of stage two water restrictions calls for water conservation and education when water levels at terminal reservoir dropped to 70 million gallons. When the pipeline failure occurred, the reservoir was at 78 million gallons. However, once the repair work is completed, any restrictions at both the municipal and residential levels should be lifted. Learn more about these and other stories online at Thank you for watching this edition of the Local News Roundup. I'm Connor Shreve.


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