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Pet of the week
Grand County police blotter, June 13-19
The Grand County Sheriff’s Office fielded 313 calls from June 13-19 while dispatchers answered 638 calls for all first-responder agencies in the county.
Sunday, June 13
11:44 a.m. — Shots fired were reported near Morgan Gulch Trail off County Road 3.
2:05 p.m. — An ongoing noise issue at the trailer park on Park Avenue in Kremmling was reported.
2:19 p.m. — A rear license plate was reported stolen from a car on Vasquez Street in Winter Park.
Monday, June 14
7:32 p.m. — A homeowner reported items stolen from their home on 4th Street in Granby.
9:38 p.m. — A loud party at a unit on County Road 838 in Fraser was reported. Police were unable to locate the noise.
Tuesday, June 15
6:24 a.m. — A gray Ford Escape with no license plates was speeding, making bad passes and driving aggressively on Highway 9.
6:27 a.m. — Horses were reported near the concrete plant on County Road 5.
9:09 a.m. — An Xcel gas line on Garfield Street in Grand Lake was hit with heavy equipment. Xcel responded to the scene.
1:47 p.m. — A construction project on Portal Road near the East Inlet trail in Grand Lake was reported dumping trash into the lake.
10:04 p.m. — Shots fired were reported on County Road 4 near the Idleglen parking lot in Grand Lake. Police were unable to find anyone.
Wednesday, June 16
10:31 a.m. — A homeowner reported an ongoing issue with a hot air balloon coming too close to the home on US Highway 40 in Fraser and waking him up in the morning.
1:25 p.m. — A piece of rail equipment rolled out of control and derailed on Zero Street in Granby. Criminal mischief is suspected.
8:49 p.m. — A fire outside an established fire ring was reported on County Road 20 in Hot Sulphur Springs. Officers didn’t locate the fire.
Thursday, June 17
6:50 a.m. — Illegal campers were reported on private property on US Highway 40 in Kremmling.
3:16 p.m. — Tires and metal were in the road on US Highway 34 outside Granby.
10:13 p.m. — Multiple people called about fireworks in the Pole Creek area on County Road 5113 in Tabernash. Police issued a warning.
Saturday, June 19
6:40 p.m. — Cows were reported on Highway 134 in Kremmling.
8:30 p.m. — Two cars were seen racing each other on Red Dirt Hill outside Granby. Officers contacted both drivers and arrested them for speeding and reckless driving.
These are a small number of the calls fielded by Grand County’s dispatchers, first-responders and law enforcement agencies. The police blotter was put together by the Sky-Hi News with information provided by the Grand County Sheriff’s Office. It does not include any reports about alleged sexual assaults, child abuse, DUIs or domestic violence.
Grand County appoints new medical director, assistant
Grand County has appointed three people to medical director positions for the health department and emergency medical services.
The Grand commissioners officially appointed a new EMS assistant medical director, public health medical officer and a assistant medical officer on Tuesday.
For EMS, Dr. William Rose will take over as assistant medical director from Dr. Lisa Jo Floyd, who has chosen to retire from the position. Rose will be assistant to EMS Medical Director Dr. Darcy Selenke.
The commissioners named Dr. Jason Steurman as the new public health medical officer to replace Selenke.
Selenke had served as the Grand County public health medical officer through the pandemic, but asked to resign from the position. She agreed to stay on as assistant public health officer for the transition.
Grand ups fire restrictions to Stage 2
With three major fires burning in Colorado, including one less than 20 miles from Kremmling, Grand County will increase fire restrictions to Stage 2.
On Thursday, Grand County Sheriff Brett Schroetlin recommended that county commissioners move to implement Stage 2 Restrictions in the county. He explained that the Muddy Slide Fire in Routt County contributed to the decision as responders struggle to keep up with the demand for resources.
“Everyone’s fighting for the same resources and we’re only in June,” Schroetlin said.
Commissioners unanimously approved the restrictions, which begin 6 a.m. Friday. Under Stage 2, no outdoor fires or campfires of any kind are permitted.
Use of open flame torches and explosives are prohibited, except with a special permit. Firework shows are still allowed as professional displays, though individual towns can choose not to permit them.
Much of northwest Colorado has implemented Stage 2 Restrictions this week as conditions remain hot, dry and windy, encouraging the rapid growth of fires in Routt, Craig and Moffat counties. The Bureau of Land Management and US Forest Service have followed suit with increased restrictions on public lands.
Residents and visitors are reminded to sign up for CodeRED, which issues cellular emergency notifications based on location including for floods and fires. Sign up for CodeRED alerts by visiting www.gcemergency.com.
Here is what is not permitted under Stage 2 Restrictions:
• No outdoor fires or campfires of any kind
• No use of open flame torches or explosives
• No operation of any internal or external combustion engine without a spark arresting device in working order
• Smoking is only permitted in an enclosed vehicle or building
• Petroleum-fueled stoves, grills, lanterns and heating devices are permitted only if they have an on/off switch and meet fire underwriter’s safety specifications
• Residences may have fires within the home
• Persons with a special permit specifically authorizing their activity
Source: Grand County Wildfire Council
Here’s where a preliminary map places Colorado’s new 8th Congressional District
Colorado’s new, eighth congressional district would include the cities of Arvada, Westminster, Broomfield, Thornton, Brighton and Platteville, a preliminary map drawn by nonpartisan redistricting staff and presented to the state’s Independent Congressional Redistricting Commission on Wednesday shows.
Staff placed the new district in the north Denver metro area for two reasons, said Jeremiah Barry, a legislative attorney advising the redistricting commissions.
“The first reason was we recognize this was the fastest-growing area of the state,” said Barry. “The second was a recognition that although nearly 30% of the population of the state are Hispanics, none of the current seven districts are represented by a Hispanic.”
The map is a major first step in the state’s once-a-decade redistricting process. It will evolve as the commission gets input from the public and interest groups over the next few months.
The preliminary map is based on 2019 U.S. Census Bureau estimates because of a monthslong delay in the release of the final population data collected during the 2020 Census. Once the U.S. Census Bureau releases that data in August, redistricting staff will have to adjust the map.
To continue reading this story, go to ColoradoSun.com.
Grand Lake Fire gets radios from BLM
The Bureau of Land Management Northwest District Fire and Aviation donated radios to Colorado fire districts to improve federal and local communication ahead of fire season.
BLM gave 63 radios to Grand Lake Fire District, Moffat County Sheriff’s Office, Artesia Fire Protection District, Rangely Fire Protection District, West Routt Fire Protection District, Rio Blanco Sheriff’s Office and Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.
“Communicating with multiple agencies who respond to a wildland fire incidents is essential,” said BLM Fire Management Specialist Brandon Voegtle. “Firefighters carry different radios depending on who they work for, and the radios that are being donated will allow city and county firefighters to communicate with BLM, National Park Service, and Forest Service firefighters during cooperative wildfire response as well as providing non-federal firefighters the ability to talk with suppression aircraft during wildland fire incidents.”
Recently, Grand County and many other parts of the state have experienced Red Flag conditions on several days. Smoke from fires burning in Routt and Eagle counties has drifted across the state, creating hazy skies.
Brower: We came to work, we stayed to play
It’s the oldest saying for many employees in the business up here: ‘I came for winter but I stayed for the summer.’
Which could easily be expanded in general for many workers here: ‘I came to work but I stayed to play.’
This sums up a key element that employers, personnel managers and bosses in general might want to consider as they ponder how to keep their employees happy and on the job: Let them play.
In fact, don’t just let them play, make them play. In a way, almost, force them to play, or at least make it so easy for them to play that they will. And usually, once they play in the great outdoors up here in Grand County, they’ll see why so many people come to visit.
And perhaps they’ll realize why they should stay. And if they want to stay, they are much more likely to stay and work, too.
It may seem odd to many people but lots of workers come here to the county to work because there is attractive pay and the promise of regular work. Many don’t come to ski. Many don’t come to fish. Many don’t come to hike. They come to work.
But study after study reveals that workers who work all day and have no play become disenchanted, bored, over-worked and embittered. Those types of workers leave, adding to the already immense problem locally (and across the nation, too) of not having enough employees to hire.
What can a business owner do about this? Make play an integral part of the job by offering free “tokens” or “comps” for playing in the great outdoors that we enjoy so much here in Colorado. And perhaps give workers a four-day week so they can really enjoy these comps for play.
Many businesses here already offer free lift tickets or passes for their workers. This is a tactic that works well to create employee loyalty and satisfaction. But the free ski pass can be expanded to a wide range of other opportunities.
Why not team up with a fishing guide who needs a service offered by the business to offer free trips to employees in exchange, perhaps, for a free service or product offered by the business? These “play perks” don’t have to cost cash is the point.
What about bartering for a horseback trip for a group of employees who are in the same department? Not only would this be getting them out to play and enjoy the outdoors, it could also help to build team spirit and better office or work cohesion.
It would also expose employees to something that could become a new past time or hobby. If those new past times rely particularly on being here, then there’s a better likelihood that employee will stay here.
For businesses that can’t offer a barter, perhaps they could trade in a different way. Maybe a marina could give away boat tours or trips on one of our lakes to a neighboring business’s employees. And then maybe the employees in that neighboring business could offer discounts on lunches or dinners or whatever they have to offer.
Perhaps groups of employers in Grand County create a pool of tokens for free gifts to employees of other businesses. Create a “play pool” online so people can see what’s available. Let a restaurant’s employees take advantage of these tokens, such as for a free guided fly fishing trip, in exchange for a token for a free appetizer or entrée at that restaurant.
The possibilities for these type of employee exchanges are endless.
So for those struggling employers hoping to keep their employees on the job, it pays to remember: Many workers came here to work, but they stayed to play.
Patrick Brower is the Enterprise Facilitator for the Grand Enterprise Initiative. He offers free and confidential business management coaching to anyone who wants to start or expand a business in Grand County. He can be reached by calling 970-531-0632 or at email@example.com.
Library Corner: Babies, books and bonding
As a parent, you already understand the importance of reading to your children. But did you know it’s equally vital to read to your infant?
A baby’s brain grows at an astounding rate. Infants are born with 50 trillion synapses, but 1,000 trillion additional synapses form after birth. Everything is new to a baby, and they soak up information, sensations and experiences like a sponge.
Even if your baby isn’t able to comprehend words, much less follow a story, they will still gain valuable prereading skills by simply being exposed to books. You don’t have to read books word-for-word if your little one can’t pay attention. You can point to pictures, count objects, name colors, and let your baby practice holding the book and flipping the pages. Board books with thick cardboard pages or plastic books with wipeable pages are great for little hands and, sometimes, mouths.
Handling and playing with books will help your baby develop both fine and gross motor skills. Familiarity with books develops interest in reading and learning.
Listening to an adult read a story provides valuable language skills. Babies will begin to recognize sounds as the basic building blocks of speech and become aware of the variety of tones and emotions in spoken words. Their vocabulary will begin to develop. Language is the single most important learning instrument for your child’s brain.
And best of all, reading books to your baby provides lots of great cuddling and bonding time. The connection you and your little one form over books will last a lifetime.
The Grand County Library District (GCLD) has a wonderful collection of resources for our tiniest patrons. Every branch has a wide assortment of board books and sensory kits, some donated by Grand Beginnings, for infants, toddlers and preschoolers. Our children’s areas are bright, colorful and equipped with pint-size chairs and low shelves for little hands.
GCLD patron Nancy Ziegler shared that she and her infant son, Charles, cherish the opportunities the library provides.
“Charles’ favorite thing to do is read,” she said. “He is so engaged as I read to him, he even holds onto the pages. Our time at the library is our favorite time of the week!”
All GCLD branches offer weekly story times open to infants, toddlers and preschoolers. Your baby is never too young to start attending story time.
Don’t worry if your little one cries or squirms, our story times are relaxed and informal. Our goal is for your child to enjoy coming to the library and to experience the joys of books.
Story times are a great way for caregivers to connect with each other too. Visit the program calendar at www.gcld.org to find the story time nearest you.
While you’re at the library, be sure to register your baby for GCLD’s “Tails & Tales” Summer Reading Program. Even though your baby can’t read, they can earn fun prizes by reading with a grown-up. And, of course, GCLD’s Summer Reading Program is also open to older children, teens and adults. We have lots of great prizes for all ages.
Quilt guild plans annual show as members promote craft
The Peaks ‘n Pines Quilt Guild will host its 10th annual quilt show July 10-11 at the Grand Lake Community Center.
The group is 60 members strong and strives to promote the art of quilting for all ages. The guild also undertakes numerous charitable projects, including making quilted holiday and everyday placemats and lap quilts for residents at the Cliffview Assisted Living Center.
The guild also quilts for the Mountain Family Christmas Project, which fills wish lists with each family member receiving a quilt. The guild also supplies baby quilts for VROOM.
Through Quilts of Valor, the guild covers Grand County service members and veterans with comforting and healing quilts. Through Quilts of Valor, 23 quilts have been distributed since 2019, and 11 more are ready to be distributed.
The guild also offers a scholarship for Grand County students and welcome home bags for guild members who were affected by the East Troublesome Fire.
The guild meets on the second Thursday of each month and follows up with a Friday workshop. Membership is open to anyone with an interest in quilting.
The 10th annual Quilt Show will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 10-11 at the Grand Lake Community Center. For more, www.PeaksNPinesQuiltGuild.org.