Top 5 most-read stories on, week of Feb. 21 |

Top 5 most-read stories on, week of Feb. 21

Grand County Search and Rescue snowshoes to two stranded snowmobilers caught in downed trees in Woods Landing outside Winter Park.
Courtesy GCSAR

Editor’s note: Stories in this list received the most page views on for the past week.

1. 60-year-old man accused of sexually assaulting teen at Colorado hot springs

A New Castle man accused in a sex assault involving a teenage female at the South Canyon hot springs earlier this month has been charged with a felony and three misdemeanors for his alleged actions.

The lone felony charge read to Kenneth Hartley by District Judge Denise Lynch during a video court hearing Thursday was for contributing to the delinquency of a minor — a class 4 felony — for allegedly offering the 16-year-old girl marijuana.

In addition, Hartley faces misdemeanor charges for sexual assault, unlawful sexual contact and indecent exposure.

– John Stroud, Post Independent

2. Search and rescue helps two stranded snowmobilers

Grand County Search and Rescue extricated two snowmobilers from the Corona Trail system on Sunday after they got stuck in downed trees.

Around 2:30 p.m., search and rescue, along with the Grand County Sheriff’s Office, the Grand County Advanced Backcountry Snowmobile Team and the US Forest Service, responded to the Woods Landing area outside Winter Park.

The two snowmobilers were uninjured but becoming hypothermic, according to search and rescue. The snowmobilers were able to start a fire while crews worked to reach them.

– McKenna Harford

3. Forest survey shows spruce beetle declining in Grand

The intensity of the infestation of the most damaging forest pest in Colorado is starting to decline in Grand County, according to a new aerial survey from the US Forest Service.

Results of a 2020 aerial survey on forest pests like the spruce beetle, a native species that attacks Engelmann spruce trees, showed the infestation in Grand County is declining, even as it grows in other counties, such as La Plata and San Juan.

The USFS attributes some of the decline to a lack of large-diameter spruce trees, which were killed off in earlier years by the beetles. However, beetles remain active in Rocky Mountain National Park.

– McKenna Harford

4. Skier dies in accident at Sunlight Mountain

A skier vacationing with his family suffered a fatal injury at Sunlight Mountain, the Garfield County Coroner’s Office confirmed.

Around 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Job Henning, 48, of Bethesda, Maryland was found unresponsive at the base of a tree. Sunlight Mountain Resort Marketing and Sales Director Troy Hawks said ski patrol was called to a report of the injured skier near Ivy’s and Ute trails, runs classified as easy difficulty.

“Sunlight ski patrol treated the skier, performed advanced life support and evacuated the skier from the mountain,” Hawks said. “The skier was pronounced deceased at the Sunlight ski patrol first-aid room. The skier was wearing a helmet at the time of the incident.”

– Ray K. Erku, Post Independent

5. Flooding events a major concern for Grand following fire

When people envision flooding, they often imagine rising waters filling a home — but that’s not always the case in a post-fire mountain landscape.

Tracie Harrison, who does post wildfire outreach for FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program, explained that a burn scar like that of the East Troublesome Fire changes the risk for properties nearby.

“That burn scar that has no vegetation kind of acts like concrete,” Harrison said. “All that water that usually would get absorbed is flowing downstream and downhill from those burn scars. As it’s flowing down, it’s picking up ash, boulders, trees. Those things are dangerous.”

– Amy Golden

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