Top 5 most read stories on SkyHiNews.com, week of Oct. 17
COVID-19 deaths in Grand County have reached double digits with three more in the last seven days.
Ten residents have now died due to COVID-19 complications. According to Grand County Public Health Director Abbie Baker, the deaths occurred in predominantly unvaccinated individuals.
The county has seen an additional five deaths with COVID since the pandemic began, meaning the individuals had COVID when they died but the virus was not determined to be the cause of death.
DENVER — The chief judge for Colorado’s Fifth Judicial District was charged Saturday with felony menacing, according to court records.
Judge Mark Thompson, 54, who presided over courts in Summit, Clear Creek, Eagle and Lake counties, was removed from his position as chief judge after the charge was filed Saturday, according to the Colorado Judicial Branch.
Thompson was charged with a single count of felony menacing with a real or simulated weapon after an investigation by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, according to court records, which say the incident happened on July 25.
No one lost more in the East Troublesome Fire than Lyle and Marilyn Hileman, an elderly couple who died inside their home as the fire barreled down on Grand Lake and the surrounding neighborhoods on Oct. 21, 2020.
The couple, ages 86 and 84, refused to the leave the home they loved. In a letter to the community in the weeks following the fire, the Hilemans’ family remembered over 30 years of memories with their parents and grandparents at the Grand Lake house.
Along with those two lives, the East Troublesome Fire took 366 homes and 189 structures and buildings. Damages are estimated at nearly $200 million, and the burn scar spreads across nearly a fifth of Grand County.
When the Braidwood Condominiums in Winter Park were built in the 1980s, the building lacked hallways wide enough for wheelchairs, walls between units were slim and the fire suppression system couldn’t compare to modern requirements.
An April 2020 fire damaged a majority of the structure and killed 28-year-old Andrew Barton. Fire investigators believe the fire started in the second-floor unit where Barton lived, though East Grand Fire Chief Todd Holzwarth said a specific cause wasn’t determined.
On top of fire, the building was further damaged by water and mold. Despite the work needed, Braidwood Homeowners Association President Doug Moore said the homeowners were eager to rebuild.
Approaching a year after the East Troublesome Fire destroyed 366 homes, including 132 belonging to fulltime Grand County residents, there are still a few families that haven’t been able to find stable housing.
Grand County Housing Authority Director Sheena Darland explained to commissioners during a workshop Wednesday that while some have moved to other towns and want to come back, others spent the summer tent camping.
“They’re to a point where they’re facing wintertime in a van, some of them, or a tent,” Darland said.
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