2016 Year in Review | SkyHiNews.com

2016 Year in Review


Granby Town Trustee Charlie LaBrake passes away suddenly over New Year’s weekend.

East Grand School Board member Chip Besse resigns from the Board of Education citing “professional and personal” reasons.

The Hot Sulphur Springs/Parshall Fire Protection District selects Tom Baumgarten as new Fire Chief for the District.


The Middle Park Emergency Response Team is called to Kremmling for a brief standoff with suspect Anthony Cordova. Cordova surrenders shortly after the standoff begins and is taken into custody without further incident.

Grand Lake is named as one of several “host communities” for the summer cycling tour known as “Ride the Rockies”.

The East Grand School District Board of Education appoints Bambi Statz to replace Chip Besse on the Board of Education.


The Line-up for Divide Music Festival is announced. Blondie, Cake, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, The Fray, Kid Cudi, Miike Snow and Passion Pit will play at the festival to be held July 22, 23 and 24 just outside Fraser.

Winter Park hires John Crone for the newly created position of Housing Coordinator. Crone will oversee the town’s attainable housing program.

District Court Judge Mary Hoak sentences Brigid Irish to six-years in prison with the Colorado Department of Corrections.

Henderson Mine and Mill owner Freeport-McMoRan seeks to reduce its property tax valuation from a five-year average in Grand County because falling production means Henderson is overvalued, a company spokesman said.

Commissioners Jane Tollett and Merrit Linke vote in favor of the revaluation, while Commissioner Kris Manguso votes against. Tollett said Henderson had been a “major partner in the community,” giving hundreds of millions of dollars back to Grand County. “This is a big business that asked for help in a time of need,” Tollett said. “We didn’t go down to one year. We met in the middle, and we thought that was fair.” A fall in the price of molybdenum has pushed Freeport-McMoRan to curtail production at Henderson by has much as 60 percent.

The EGSD Board of Education selects Franklin Reeves as the next District Superintendent for East Grand during a Board executive session on March 29.


Winter Park Resort has a great snow year: 351.5 total inches for the 2016-2017 ski season.

The Grand County Board of Commissioners says it will seek to abrogate its recent tax revaluation of Henderson Mine and Mill after hearing a citizen’s concerns on the matter.

A few days later the Grand County Board of Commissioners says it will not seek to reverse its March property tax revaluation of the Henderson Mine and Mill, according to a press release.

Dan Sidles, a veteran of “Operation Iraqi Freedom” dies from hidden wounds from that war as he ends his own life by suicide sometime around April 29.

Longtime US Forest Service Sulphur Ranger District Ranger Craig Magwire retires on April 30.


Elizabeth Carmichael is remanded into the custody of the Grand County Sheriff’s Office to serve a 90-day jail term.


Joy Rondeau is named to the 2016-17 U.S. Paralympics Nordic Skiing National Development Team. Rondeau, who is a Colorado native from Granby, has been training with the National Sports Center for the Disabled’s competitive Nordic/Biathlon program for nearly two years.

Granby Town Finance Director Sharon Spurlin confirms the Town’s wire transfer for the purchase of Shorefox, totaling $4,388,131.57, on June 9.

Ride the Rockies cycling tour heads through Grand County. Riders leave out of Summit County, head up and over Ute Pass and through Hot Sulphur Springs before stopping for the night in Grand Lake.

Winter Park announces that a portion of the Sitzmark South project will be dedicated to attainable housing for the workforce in the Fraser Valley. The building will be constructed at the southeast intersection of Telemark Drive and US Highway 40.

John Kacik retires from the Fraser Valley Recreation District Board of Directors after serving his second and final term.

On Monday, June 27, a boat arrives at the Stillwater boat ramp on Lake Granby with a number of half-inch long zebra mussels attached to its hull. Inspector Fred Emst made the discovery.


The Divide Music Festival lights up the Fraser Valley with performances by Kid Cuddi, Cold War Kids, the Fray, Blondie and many more. The three-day music festival draws hundreds of attendees to Middle Park.

Serene Wellness submits an application for a retail marijuana store in Winter Park. The application sparks opposition from citizens, the Winter Park Town Counsel and Winter Park Resort. Serene Wellness already has locations in Fraser and Empire.

An inmate dies while in custody at the Grand County Jail in an apparent suicide.

Granby opens the Shorefox property to the public.

The Winter Park Town Council passes a motion to approve a maximum price of $3,338,314 in a contract with Big Valley Construction, LLC for the completion of the permanent stage at Hideaway Park.

Deputies from the Grand County Sheriff’s Office (GCSO) locate a body in the Colorado River at around 3 p.m. on Saturday afternoon July 23.


Lee Staab officially becomes Grand County Manager.

Mountain bikers from all over the world compete in the Colorado Freeride Festival at Trestle Bike Park.

Wendy’s opens in Fraser.

Grand County Assessor Tom Weydert presents the Abstract of Assessment to the Grand County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) at the August 23 meeting in Hot Sulphur Springs. The valuation on mines shows a difference of $35,861,490 in 2015 to $11,473,050 in 2016: a difference of $24,388,440, which is a decrease of 68.01 percent. The total change for Grand County was a decrease of 2.42 percent at $17,975,830.

Brandon Wilkes named new Athletic for East Grand School District for this year, replacing Adam Bright.

Connor MacLaird was handed down a 10-year prison sentence on Monday August 15 for his attempted assault on Grand County Sheriff Brett Schroetlin in 2015.

Gore Fest 2016 is a success with heavy competition from kayakers, rafters, and SUP boarders. Kayak and raft races saw some very skilled competitors navigating five miles of constant class IV and V rapids through Gore Canyon.

The Grand County Coroner’s Office releases the name of the kayaker that died in Gore Canyon on Thursday, August 11. James “Jaime” Page, 25, of Pennsylvania drowned while kayaking

A daylong search for a missing Pa. teen, who was staying at the C Lazy U Ranch when he disappeared, ended Tuesday evening August 2 around 5 p.m. when the missing male wandered back to the mountain resort property as local authorities prepared to conduct one final search for the evening.

US Forest Service’s Sulphur Ranger District welcomes Jon Morrissey replacing longtime District Ranger Craig Magwire who retired in April after serving as District Ranger in Granby for 15 years.


The first public comment period for the May 2017 Competitive Oil & Gas Lease Sale in Grand County ends.

A man and woman fleeing Denver area police, and who are wanted in Jefferson County, entered Winter Park on US Highway 40 near Mary Jane on Sept. 14. Colorado State Patrol and the Fraser/Winter Park police tried to intercept the vehicle on Berthoud Pass, which resulted in a car chase. After a cold night in the woods the man was found by a citizen and later placed in custody.

Construction starts in downtown Winter Park on a new permanent stage in Hideaway Park. The project began on August 30 with a completion date set for June 2017.

A serious wildland fire breaks out in Grand County Tuesday afternoon Sept. 13 in Kremmling. The fire is burning in the Gorewood Estates housing subdivision, located several miles west of Kremmling on County Road 14 South, near the entrance to the Grand River Ranch. Fire officials quickly bring the blaze until control with no injuries or structures damaged.

The 5th annual US Constitution Week in Grand Lake draws criticism after Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke gives the keynote speech.

Pollution is discharged into Fraser River near the Moffat Tunnel derived from a culvert located beneath a set of metal stairs that descend right to the banks of the Fraser.


At their October 4 meeting, the Winter Park Town Council passes a motion to allow a ceilometer to be installed on the roof of the Winter Park Town Hall. The ceilometer uses a laser to determine the height of a cloud base, and will help with the cloud seeding program.

WP secures loan for Hideaway Park Stage.

Learning by Doing’ launches Fraser Flats River Habitat Project

Middle Park High School mountain bike club wraps up first season. The club began racing in the Colorado High School Mountain Bike League.


Voter turnout in Grand County was at 74.79 percent on election night, according to the county website, with 8,769 ballots cast. Open lands and the sustainability of the Grand County Library District (GCLD) ballot measures passed. Rich Cimino beats Andy Miller for District 1 County Commissioner. Cimino will be replacing Commissioner Jane Tollett, and will take office on January 2, 2017. Judge Mary Hoak retained her seat for the 14th Judicial District with 74.27 percent of Grand County votes. Grand County voted for Donald Trump for President, Darryl Glenn for U.S. Senator, Rich Cimino for County Commissioner, and yes for ballot measures 1A, 1B, and 1C.

Winter Park & Fraser Chamber awards Citizens of the Year to Megan Ledin and Scott Ledin. The Pioneer Award is awarded to Wendy Christensen and Janet Engel.

The Bureau of Land Management begins a 30-day public comment period on a preliminary environmental assessment for the Oil and Gas Lease Sale which includes 20 parcels totaling 27,529 acres in Grand County.


Granby sells 300-acres of Shorefox to Sun Communities for $5.25 million.

The Fraser Town Council votes unanimously to adopt their 2017 annual budget without funding to the Winter Park & Fraser Chamber.

Marijuana moratorium imposed in Grand County.

A Grand County juvenile is treated at the Middle Park Medical Center may have suffered a drug overdose.

Grand County Administration Building announced that it will not shorten workweek.

Winter Park Competition Center’s Joel Hedrick secures spot on the US Ski Team.

Granby Police Chief Bill Housley retires after a 45-year career.

Granby selects Jim Kraker as next Chief of Police

The International Series of Champions Snowcross race is held at Colorado Adventure Park on Saturday night, December 17.

The Grand County Coroner’s Office states on Saturday, Dec. 31 the cause of Kelly Huber’s death was from a traumatic rupture of the aorta and blunt force trauma to the torso. The 40-year-old woman from San Antonio, Texas died after falling from the Quickdraw Chairlift at Ski Granby Ranch Ski Resort on Thursday, December 29. One daughter was released from MPMP the evening of the accident. A second daughter remains in a Denver hospital.

Read the 2015 Year in Review

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