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Top 5 most read stories on SkyHiNews.com, week of June 13

Grand County entered a Stage 1 fire ban on June 16 at noon due to high risk of fires.
Sky-Hi News file photo

The following stories were the most well-read on www.SkyHiNews.com from June 13-19.

1. Felony arrests: Woman caught receiving meth in mail also brought drugs into county jail, police say

A woman who recently received methamphetamine through the mail is facing new charges for allegedly introducing meth to the Grand County Jail.

Keetsa A. Kyle, 39, has been charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession of contraband and introducing contraband after meth was found in a holding cell Kyle had been held in overnight, according to an arrest affidavit.

Kyle was arrested by Granby Police on May 12 for possession of a controlled substance, possession of paraphernalia and violation of a protection order.

2. Grand goes to Stage 1 fire ban

In response to a heightened fire risk, Grand County commissioners unanimously approved Tuesday a move into a Stage 1 fire ban that goes into effect at noon Wednesday.

Under Stage 1 restrictions, campfires are banned outside designated, permanent fire rings and portable stoves. Smoking outside near vegetation, welding, using a chainsaw without a spark arrester and using explosives, such as fireworks are also prohibited.

Grand County Sheriff Brett Schroetlin and Grand Fire Assistant Chief Schelly Olson told commissioners Tuesday that conditions prompted them to request the fire ban.

3. What was that mushroom cloud formation seen from Vail on Monday evening?

Vail-area social media sites exploded with activity on Monday night as locals posted pictures of a mushroom cloud formation visible from most of Eagle County.

“What is that thing?” asked local real estate professional Broby Leeds.

Meteorologist Dennis Phillips was able to provide a quick answer: Phillips said Eagle County locals were enjoying the one storm cloud that was hanging out over Colorado.

4. 68-year-old dies skiing at Rocky Mountain National Park

Park rangers found a 68-year-old man who was skiing in Rocky Mountain National Park dead on Sunday.

The man from Loveland died in a 400-500 uncontrolled slide on a snowfield into rocks, according to park officials. The man was wearing a helmet and skiing alone. Bystanders witnessed the fall and tried to help as they notified park officials.

The man was skiing a north facing aspect on Sundance Mountain, midway between Trail Ridge Road and Old Fall River Road.

5. Lineup announced for Blues from the Top Music Festival

After 2019’s record attendance and talent lineup, the Blues From the Top Music Festival said it doesn’t plan to slow down.

This year, Kenny Wayne Shepard, Sugaray Rayford, Eric Gales, Ruthie Foster and A.J. Fullerton will play the one-of-a-kind event.

Presented by the Grand County Blues Society, the 18th annual Blues From the Top will be Aug. 14 at the Rendezvous Event Center at Hideaway Park in Winter Park.

Coroner identifies deceased Crystal River kayaker as Chason P. Russell

Chason P. Russell, a 41-year old Mountain Rescue Aspen volunteer, has been identified as the kayaker who died on the Crystal River last week, according to the Pitkin County Coroner’s Office.

Russell drowned after his kayak overturned and he was released from the vessel while navigating the difficult “Meatgrinder” section of the river just north of Redstone on Thursday, according to the news release Sunday morning.

He was kayaking with two others when he went missing; Russell was pulled under the water around 8 p.m. that night and not seen again, Pitkin County Sheriff Joe DiSalvo said last week.

The Roaring Fork Valley man was missing for nearly two days before search crews recovered his body around 3:30 p.m. Saturday in the area he was last seen. Crews spent all day Friday and much of Saturday on the search, which was complicated by high water levels in that section of the river.

This is a developing story that will be updated.


Discovery of gray wolf pups won’t change Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s reintroduction work

Colorado Parks and Wildlife staff tranquilized and placed a GPS collar on a gray wolf — M2101 — in north-central Colorado after he was spotted traveling with gray wolf M1084 from Wyoming’s Snake River Pack.
Provided by Colorado Parks & Wildlife

That Colorado wildlife officials have sighted gray wolf pups in Colorado – the first in the state in 80 years — will not delay or slow the state’s voter-mandated reintroduction of the predators.

“The ballot measure requires the establishment of a self-sustaining population, and this pack is not a population,” Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokeswoman Rebecca Ferrell said.

In November, voters narrowly approved a measure directing Colorado Parks and Wildlife to reintroduce wolves in Colorado by the end of 2023. The agency has launched a public campaign to gather input and form a reintroduction plan that includes species management strategies and a program to reimburse ranchers for livestock killed by wolves.

Phase one of that campaign — managed by the Keystone Policy Center and detailed at the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission meeting Thursday in Trinidad — will include more than 40 meetings in the coming months. The center is planning 13 in-person open houses on wolf reintroduction on the Western Slope and 17 “geographic focus group” meetings in western Colorado. There are plans for 10 smaller, invitation-only meetings for groups of 15 to 20 participants around the state. And a statewide, online town hall meeting on wolves is planned as well. The agency will announce dates and specific locations for all those meetings soon.

Read more via The Colorado Sun.

Red Flag warning issued in Grand

Rain forecasts on June 20 show Grand will not receive precipitation and is experiencing Red Flag conditions of high winds and low humidity.
Courtesy NWS

Due to high winds and low humidity, the National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag warning for Grand County through Sunday night.

The Red Flag warning starts at 11 a.m. Sunday and goes through 7 p.m. Winds are averaging 15 to 25 mph, with gusts as high as 40 mph. Relative humidity is sitting at 14%.

While light rain is expected on the other side of the Continental Divide on Sunday, forecasts in Grand County don’t call for rain until later in the week. High temperatures are expected throughout the week.

As of June 17, all of Grand County was in drought, ranging from abnormally dry to exceptional drought.


Photos: Mustangs at Joe Shields Invite

West Grand seniors Austin Schake, right, and Alejandro Castanon finish first-second in the 110 meter high hurdles at the Joe Shields Invitational Friday night in Kremmling. Schake won in 16.50 seconds and Castanon came in second at 16.51.
Mustangs freshman Kai Edson competes in the high jump. His best jump cleared the bar at 4 feet, 8 inches.
West Grand freshman Tannar Smiley gets ready to launch in the shot put event. Her best throw went 21 feet, 2 inches.
Mustangs freshman Olivia Stefanik clears the bar during the pole vault event. She finished after clearing a height of 8 feet, 6 inches.
West Grand junior Landon Williams lets loose in the discus. He finished with a distance of 68 feet, 7.5 inches.
West Grand senior Iliana Castillo clears 8 feet in the pole vault, tying the personal record she set as a sophomore and giving her the best vault of her senior campaign during the Joe Shields Invitational on Friday in Kremmling.
Longtime Mustangs coach Chris Brown reacts after Iliana Castillo’s successful pole vault.
Iliana Castillo reacts after her vault.
Mustangs coach Chris Brown and Iliana Castillo walk away together after embracing for a quick hug following her successful 8 foot vault.
Mustangs junior Maddy Probst releases the ball in the girls shot put. She took fourth in the event with a distance of 27 feet, 4 inches.
West Grand junior Audree Miller finishes the 100 meter hurdles in 20.06 seconds.
West Grand sophomore Wyatt Howell takes off at the start of the fifth heat for the 100 yard dash. He took second out of 31 runners with a time of 12.3 seconds.
West Grand freshman Kai Edson clears the bar at 8 feet, 2 inches in the pole vault.
Fans cheer as Mustangs senior Angel Dominguez finishes the 100 yard dash in 12.90 seconds.
West Grand junior Sage Lechman closes in on the competition during one of the girls team relays.
Fans cheer on Austin Schake as he approaches the finish line during a boys relay. The West Grand boys won both the 4x100 and 4x200 meter relays Friday.
West Grand senior Joy Hast leads the 1,600 meter run ahead of North Park’s Samantha Westfahl. With Westfahl running for the Mustangs cross country team this fall, she and Hast were teammates earlier this year. Westfahl won the race in 6 minutes 8.44 seconds, and Hast took third at 6:16.33.
West Grand freshman Lillian Hufford comes off the blocks in the 400 meter dash. She finished in 1 minute, 11.03 seconds.
West Grand junior Galen Wilkinson painted his face chrome, similar to the “war boys” in “Mad Max Fury Road,” for the boys 1,600 meter run Friday in Kremmling. He finished third in 5 minutes, 36.9 seconds.
Coach Ryan Tripicchio cheers as West Grand’s Joy Hast and North Park’s Samantha Westfahl round the corner during the 3,200 meter run. Hast finished second in 13 minutes, 33 seconds.
West Grand senior Joy Hast runs under the stadium lights at WGHS during the Joe Shields Invitational on Friday.

West Grand seniors Rene Dominguez, right, and Angel Dominguez pass the baton during one of the nighttime relays at the 2021 Joe Shields Invitational at WGHS.

For more photos from the 2021 Joe Shields Invitational, find the Sky-Hi News on Facebook.

Kremmling hires code enforcement officer


Kremmling will have its first ever code enforcement officer starting Monday.

Carlos Villegas will serve under the Kremmling Police Department, Chief Hiram Rivera explained at Wednesday’s town board meeting. Villegas will work 32 hours a week for the next four months, though the board could choose to extend that.

Villegas will start with enforcing code violations that are already present in town. Working with the police department, he may be directed to specific issues or otherwise work systematically through town.

“Most importantly engaging with the citizens to try to resolve ongoing issues that haven’t been resolved by other means to see if we can come up with some solutions,” Rivera said.

Because there is extra money available in police salaries due to a vacant officer position, Villegas’ role could be extended through the end of the year. Staff wanted to show progress with the code enforcement officer role before bringing that proposal forward.

In other business:

• Trustees adopted an amendment to the town code regarding animals, specifically dogs, to better regulate aggressive animals. The amendment was adopted with a slight change specifying that the section requiring dogs be leashed only be applicable when an animal is found vicious or dangerous or its owner has been cited for related offenses.

• The board agreed to hold a public hearing at the next town meeting on the town code related to mobile home parks. This change would allow existing non-compliant campers to be replaced, something the town code does not currently allow. The replacement campers would have to meet a set of standards.

• Trustees directed staff to look into how the town could use American Rescue Plan dollars to invest in infrastructure.

• The board agreed to delay the Second Street widening project, which would have gone over the budgeted amount by $68,000. In order to avoid going over budget, the trustees agreed to delay the project by a year to ensure it receives full funding.

Photos: Fun begins at Kremmling Days

Kremmling Days returned for its 71st year with everyone’s favorite traditions. On Saturday, folks ran the Mustang Mile down US Highway 40 before the annual parade down main street. Afterward, the Kremmling Fire Department set up the fireman’s games in town park featuring foot races, sack races and firefighter challenges.

Colorado guides say they can’t get enough permits on federal land

Spindrift is lit up by the setting sun during a colorful sunset over Rocky Mountain National Park on Nov. 3, 2019 in Estes Park.
Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post

Due to understaffing at the U.S. Forest Service and a cumbersome process, it can take several years and hundreds of work hours before Colorado guides receive a permit to take small groups fishing, hiking or do other recreational activities on federal lands.

To get around it, northern Colorado anglers drive customers 90 minutes into Wyoming because they can’t get a permit to fish in this state. In southern Colorado, the Forest Service has ignored permit applications, effectively prohibiting experts on dangerous 14ers like Blanca Peak and Little Bear Peak.

The result of this outdated regulatory system, according to frustrated outfitters and guides, is fewer trained experts in forests and limitations on Colorado’s famed outdoor recreation industry.

“Is hiking an environmentally impactful activity? No. Hell no,” said David Leinweber, owner and president of Angler’s Covey in Colorado Springs. “This is bureaucracy at the highest level.”

Read more via The Denver Post

Camp for people with disabilities seeks help

Adam’s Camp Colorado, an organization that provides a camp at the YMCA of the Rockies in Grand County for children and adults with disabilities, is looking for some help on a number of upcoming Sundays.

The camp is currently in desperate need of volunteers for its Sunday registrations and welcomes the Grand County community’s involvement. Dates for which the camp needs help include June 20, July 4, July 11, July 25 and Aug. 1. Email Ariana Falco at Ariana@adamscamp.org for more information.

Fitness Trail: Medicine and slam balls

Editor’s note: This is the final installment in a three-part series focusing on using medicine and slam balls as fitness tools.

For my past two columns, medicine and slam ball fundamentals have been highlighted. This final week, four more unique medicine or slam ball drills will be detailed, adding to your medicine and slam ball repertoire. As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.

Preparation — Warm-up for 5-10 minutes without the balls, performing the movement patterns without these tools. This will prepare you for the movement patterns, so that when you add the tools to the program, your body will be ready to hit the ground running.

Prior to each drill, you should have your shoulders packed down and back, rib cage lifted, navel pulled toward the spine and the pelvic floor pulled up and inward. Your shoulders, hip, knees and toes should all face the same direction. Perform 1-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions of each exercise on two-three non-consecutive days or the week. There are three medicine ball drills and one slam ball in this series.

Full Body Extensions (medicine ball or core ball) — Holding a medicine or core ball at chest height, stand with the feet approximately shoulder distance apart. Sit back into a squat with the body weight in the heels, and then press up onto the balls of the feet fully extending the body as you press the medicine ball over the head. This compound exercise trains the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes and nose to toes core.

Across the Top (BOSU + slam ball) — Place a BOSU in an unobstructed space with the handles turned to noon and 6 o’clock. You should be standing at 9 or 3 o’clock.

Holding the slam ball, walk the inside foot on top of the BOSU, then the outside foot, and then the inside foot walks to the floor and then the outside foot on the floor, once on the floor with both feet, slam the ball, pick it back up and then repeat the across the top skill. Once you have mastered the skill, you may add power to the drill.

High Step Ups (medicine ball press, 10-12 inch step, heavy medicine ball) — Set up your step so that it is 10-12 inches high, or you may use the lower plyo bench. Stand in front of the step holding the medicine ball in both hands. Step up on the step with the right foot. As you elevate, press the ball overhead, the trailing left leg just suspends behind you during the lift.

As you land, contact the ground with your toe, ball and heel on the left foot and go into a squat. Complete your reps on this side and repeat on the opposite side. This compound exercise trains the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, pecs, delts, triceps and nose to toes core.

Touch n’ Go (medicine ball) — Lying supine on the floor holding a medicine ball of choice, bring your legs up over your hips, fully extended and keep your legs in this position throughout the exercise.

Take your arms and extend them over the head. Engaging the rectus abdominis — think rib cage to hip bone — flex your torso as you bring the arms up and touch your toes.

This is essentially a reverse curl, so the hips lift with control, no momentum, toward the ceiling and the chest moves up toward the thighs. This exercise trains the entire core with an emphasis on the rectus abdominis.

Jackie Wright is the owner/manager of Mountain Life Fitness in Granby. She may be reached at her website at www.mtnlifefitness.com and her email at jackie@mtnlifefitness.com.