Turn Back the Pages: Feb. 7, 2008 | SkyHiNews.com

Turn Back the Pages: Feb. 7, 2008

by Cyndi Palmer
Sky-Hi Daily News

Five years ago, families in Grand County were feeling the pinch as the local economy continued to decline in the grip of a national recession. Requests for emergency assistance from charity groups and for food stamps, welfare and Medicaid from the government had all spiked in the last few months.

– In addition to regular bus drivers, East Grand School District’s buses would now have a couple more adults riding on them to prevent bad student behavior. An increase in disruptive student behavior created a safety problem on the district’s buses, so school administrators got the go-ahead to hire a couple of “bus monitors” to assist drivers in maintaining discipline.

– The U.S. Forest Service helped conduct a Christmas Bird Count as part of a massive nationwide effort to tally winter bird populations. The primary objective was to monitor the status and distribution of bird populations across the western hemisphere. The 38 volunteer birders in Grand County surveyed 12 routes around the county and reported seeing 31 species.

– Kremmling Memorial Hospital District submitted a formal application to the Health Facilities Division of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment requesting designation as a Critical Access Hospital instead of a Sole Community Hospital. The change would increase the reimbursement rates the hospital received from the Medicare program.

– Melanie Brossart won the Bartender’s Cup at the Grand Lake Winter Carnival. Bailey Martin carried home a first place trophy almost as tall as she was after winning the youth division of the Three Lake Ice Fishing Contest. And, an unusual midwinter thaw produced wet, slushy conditions throughout the county.

Ten years ago, one civil rights complaint against the county was dismissed by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission and another was still pending. Both cases were filed by former Grand County Sheriff’s Department employees. The dismissed case had been filed by a man who went to trial in the district court on charges of menacing, aiming a firearm at another person, possession of a firearm while intoxicated, and possession of an ounce or less of marijuana. The pending case was filed by another man who had been fired and was acquitted in December in a case of charges of sexual assault on a child.

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– The Grand County Board of County Commissioners discussed a possible water treatment facility in the Tabernash area. County officials looked at an offer from Devil’s Thumb Investments who said they would sell nine acres for $95,000. The BOCC didn’t accept the offer and said more investigation was needed.

– Before the Moffat Tunnel Commission bowed out of existence Feb. 1 it stated that it didn’t want the 6.2-mile-long railroad tunnel sold by the state without the approval of the Colorado Legislature. The commission passed the motion which spelled out that it didn’t want the tunnel to be abandoned, closed or unduly blocked, or sold without other approval from the state legislature.

– Rose Baer swept up all the individual women’s bowling honors during the Trotters league play. Richard Shults and Tammy Schneiderman announced their wedding engagement. Courageous cat Stella was learning to walk on her two feet at the animal shelter after a double amputation of her back legs. Ron Fridge won first place and $1,000 for his 4.25-pound brown trout during the Three Lakes Ice Fishing Tournament. And, a local actually won the fishing tournament’s grand prize truck raffle: Paul Keller of Fraser.

Twenty-five years ago, as part of a statewide notification and warning system, the Grand County Department of Emergency Medical Services and other local agencies were on the alert in case fragments of a nuclear-powered Russian satellite fell in the county. Although there was a small probability that the crippled Soviet spy satellite’s impact area would include Colorado, a state memorandum warned that if it did, citizens could be exposed to falling debris and radioactive materials.

– The Fraser Board of Trustees was looking at alternatives to Heritage Cablevision service, citing the deteriorating quality of television reception in town. Meanwhile, the Fraser Valley Metro. Rec. District was investigating the possibility of providing a reliable TV signal to the Fraser Valley. The District appointed a board member to investigate the costs of installing a booster and translator system in the area.

– Former county commissioner John Martling told the Grand County Board of Commissioners he would no longer represent the county on the Governor’s Metropolitan Water Roundtable, calling it “a futile effort to achieve a spurious consensus.” He said the purpose of the roundtable was to find out how to get more water for Metro Denver and that representatives like himself were invited to join the advisory group “to keep the process honest.”

– Snowmobilers Alan Hassler and two of his friends hiked through deep snow to safety after being stranded overnight on Elliot Ridge. Elk Valley Ranch got the OK to add seven more RV spaces. Eleven outlets had been approved for Colorado Lottery ticket sales in the county. The El Monte hosted a euchre tournament. And, according to a study by the Colorado Ski Association 54 percent of the total employment in Grand County was directly related to the ski industry.

Fifty years ago, despite heavy snows, the Colorado Game and Fish Department rented a helicopter for counting elk around the White River area. Hunters W.G. Bullock and Kenneth Balcomb were invited to join in the count to determine whether there were sufficient elk in the drainage to permit liberal hunting.

– Sam Morgan was the winner of the 2nd Annual Cutter Race at the Middle Park Fairgrounds in Kremmling. His two horses, Duddes and Ella’s Dream turned in the fastest time.

– Nearly everyone in Colorado had “forest dollars” in his pocket, according to an official from the Kremmling Timber Company who was a spokesman for Colorado forest industries. He said figures revealed employees of Colorado forest industries received $14,800,000 annually in salaries and wages which was circulated through the economy of the state. At the time Colorado’s expanding lumber industry produced more than 162,000,000 board feet annually.

– Foreign teaching posts were available in Army-operated schools for American children in Germany, France, Italy, Japan and Okinawa for the 1958-1959 school year. The greatest number of vacancies were for elementary teachers.

– The McQearys entertained with a turkey dinner in honor of Phoebe Russell’s 80th birthday. The Hot Sulphur Springs Grade School basketball team was defeated by the Fraser team 36 to 15. Mr. and Mrs. Harold Law watched Sputnik cross the sky over Kremmling. David Sailer of Kremmling won recognition for good sportsmanship in the Metro. Miami Fishing Tournament when he caught and released a Jack (a.k.a. Coho salmon). And, an 1,100-foot rope tow was installed on Maggie Hill in Hot Sulphur Springs (to be operated by the owners of the Riverside Hotel).

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