Top 5 most read stories on SkyHiNews.com, week of May 30
1. The slow fade of Colorado’s mountain pine beetle is triggering a massive shift in the timber industry
Colorado’s forests have been waging a losing battle against tree-killing beetles for more than 15 years. Now, after marching across the state and killing millions of acres of pine forest, the burrowing, fungus-spreading mountain pine beetles are slowly losing steam.
While other beetles have thrived in Colorado’s drought-ravaged mountains, the mountain pine beetles have reigned as the state’s most nefarious pest. But the mountain pine beetle epidemic was always going to end, as there are only so many ponderosa and lodgepole trees in the 3.3 million acres affected by the tree-killing insects in Colorado.
And with that decline, a timber industry that has thrived on a once seemingly endless flow of dead pine trees is transitioning to new types of timber and logging.
— Jason Blevins, Colorado Sun
Authorities have arrested a man they believe is connected to two bank robberies in Fraser, including one Wednesday at the United Business Bank and the robbery of the same bank in January.
James W. Smith, 57, is facing two charges of aggravated robbery after being arrested around noon Wednesday in Empire.
According to police, an officer at a car wreck on Berthoud Pass recognized a dark Toyota sedan and its driver as matching the descriptions from the Fraser Winter Park Police Department.
Police have released images of a man they say robbed the United Business Bank in Fraser on Wednesday.
According to Fraser Winter Park Police, someone at the bank reported the robbery at 11:34 a.m. Wednesday. Within an hour police had posted several images of the robber and a vehicle on social media.
Police said the suspect closely resembles the man who robbed the same bank on Jan. 6, who entered the bank and gave employees a note demanding money. That man was also tied to a Jan. 14 bank robbery in Frisco.
4. Colorado cities will be able to require developers to build affordable housing in new rental projects
A 20-year-old court precedent that has blocked Colorado cities and towns from forcing developers to build affordable housing in new rental projects is no more, after Gov. Jared Polis signed a bill into law Friday.
“Communities are strongest when people who work in a community can live in the community, and that’s something that sadly we have been losing,” said Polis, a Democrat, at a bill signing ceremony Friday.
House Bill 1117 modifies state land use statutes so local governments can require below-market-rate units in new or redeveloped rental projects without running afoul of the state’s rent-control prohibition. It reverses the effects of a 2000 Colorado Supreme Court ruling that restrained local governments for years.
— Thy Vo, Colorado Sun
Filled to the brim with an eclectic assortment of goods, the floors of the Granby Corner Mall creak with every step.
The unique antique store sits inside a 100-year-old building on the corner of Granby’s main street. The ceiling is covered with its original tiles, an intricate pattern above the amalgamation of people, tales — and maybe even ghosts — as interesting as the goods Shannon Kerber sells.
Kerber initially had a booth at the antique store and took over the business a couple years ago when the owner died. Now, the Corner Mall is changing hands.
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Winter Park approved an across-the-board raise for town staff that had initially been paused due to the coronavirus pandemic’s expected impact on the budget.