Year in review 2020

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A special thank you to Larry Banman for compiling the Year in Review. He has done the year end compilation for the Grand Gazette since its beginning!

January

In a move fitting for the beginning of a new year, the West Grand School board of directors launched a Homegrown Talent Initiative.

Charlee Manguso graduated from Colorado State University Warner College of Natural Resources with a Bachelor’s degree in Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology. In news on the police front, the Town of Kremmling had one full-time police officer on staff, and he had been on the job less than two months. The Grand County Sheriff’s Department was providing training for Bryson Hicks as well as daily coverage for a designated eight-hour shift. Jason Cleckler was named CEO of Middle Park Health. He had most recently served as CEO of Delta County Memorial Hospital.

Bill Dixon receives a plaqueBill Dixon receives a plaque  in recognition for 55 years ofin recognition for 55 years of  service.service.
Bill Dixon receives a plaque in recognition for 55 years of service.

Hot Sulphur Springs/Parshall Fire Department held its annual banquet and presented Bill Dixon a plaque in recognition of his 55 years of service and named Travis Wood as its Firefighter of the Year. West Grand High School grapplers took second place (out of 13 teams) at its home tournament. Placing for West Grand were Ben Biekert (2nd), Dane Biekert (4th), David Santos (3rd), Jacob Murphy (3rd), Ely Ryszkowski (4th ), Cameron Wood (2nd), Landon Williams (4th), and Rene Dominguez (1st).

The Lady Mustangs basketball team defeated Clear Creek but lost to North Park to start the new year.
The boys’ basketball team overcame a 13-point deficit against Clear Creek and earned an exciting two-point win in overtime.

Ashley Givens was named to the All-State Spirit Team and Angel Castillo was named to the All-State Dance Team.
Kremmling Police Chief Jamie Lucas remained in limbo while waiting for the 14th Judicial District Office to conclude its investigation related to a November 2019 incident regarding possible animal cruelty. Chief Lucas was being investigated to determine if he acted outside his authority and jurisdiction.

Francois Tucker and Randy Mayeaux were thanked by Tiffany Freitag of Middle Park Health for lighting up the outdoor Christmas tree at the Cliffview Assisted Living Center.

The West Grand Community Education Foundation held its 1st Quarter meeting. In attendance were President Stuart Heller, Treasurer Emily Pedersen, Secretary Larry Banman, Sara Pryor, Shorty Lemon, and Dr. Darrin Peppard.
Mountain lion tracks were spotted and photographed in the Kremmling Country subdivision by Bud Carpenter of Badlands Outfitting.

The ice on Wolford Mountain Reservoir reached 12” thick and access was opened for ATVs and snowmobiles.

The West Grand Lady Mustangs lost a close game on the road to Meeker and then battled with SoRoCo at home but ended up dropping the contest. Leading scorers in the two games included Emma Daly, Alex Schake, Emma DeSanti, and Ally Daly.
The Middle Park Volleyball team started its club volleyball season. Coached by Sara Miller and Emmylou Harmon, team members included Morgan Nelson, Lily Butler, Audree Miller, Lisi Buller, Maddy Probst, Allie Daly, and Sage Lechman.

photo by Mike Wilson | Brad Heeney drives for the basket as the Mustangs win the game against the SoRoCo Rams 61 to 42. The win completed a sweep of the weekend conference games, by adding a win over the Meeker Cowboys 45 to 39.

The West Grand Mustang boys’ team started the year well with victories over both Meeker and SoRoCo.

Highlighting action for the West Grand Mustang wrestling team were Cameron Wood, Zade Overholt, Andreas Cervallos, Chris Wellington, and Omar Dominguez.

Buller Bookkeeping, which was started 4½ years ago by Andrea Buller, was named the January Business of the Month by the Kremmling Chamber of Commerce.

Earl McLimore was to celebrate his 90th birthday on January 28 and well wishes and cards were encouraged.
Kremmling Town Trustees agreed to ask Kremmling voters if they favored lifting the ban on marijuana-based businesses within the town limits.

The Middle Park Fair and Rodeo board of directors gained permission from its governing body, the Grand County Commissioners, to become self-sustaining. The move would allow the MPFR board to seek and hold its own liquor license for some of its events.

In the always fun high school basketball faceoff between Grand County’s two public school districts, West Grand boys were defeated by the Middle Park Panthers while the girls from Kremmling went home with a victory.
A highlight at the annual basketball contest between the rival high schools in Grand County featured a show of unity by the spirit squads from both schools as well as law enforcement officials from both communities. In a nod to a school color shared by both schools, the theme for the special event was “Get United in Purple.”
Cameron Wood advanced to the finals in the Wiggins Invitational where he faced, and was defeated by, a familiar foe, Kody Logan of SoRoCo.

For many Grand County residents, January is synonymous with the National Western Stock Show. For the past nine years, that show has included draft horses from Flintstones Gravel and Trucking, owned by the Pratt family of Granby.

The Colorado State Patrol designated Trooper Gregory Stevens-Mejias as a School Resource Officer for the West Grand School District.

Grand County Commissioners approved a $1.6 million project to purchase the Whitmer Law Office building in Hot Sulphur Springs. The building will be utilized by the Grand County Human Services Department.

West Grand junior Charlie Multerer won the Mountain Parks Electric energy- related essay contest. Multerer, who hopes to attend Georgetown University, earned a trip to Washington, D.C. with his winning essay.

Bluebird Backcountry announced it would open the first human-powered ski area in the United States on Whiteley’s Peak, which is located near Rabbit Ears pass in west Grand County.

John Butler was the winner of the Best Energy-Related project at the annual West Grand High School science fair. Other top placers at the science fair were Tyler Sherman, Angel Castillo, Iliana Castillo, Lily Butler, Morgan Nelson, Rigo Castillo, Wyatt Shearer, and Parker Graves.


The judges for the contest included: Paula Belcher (Bureau of Land Management), Heather Halbritter (Blue Valley Ranch), Kassandra Stubbs, Austin Gregory (West Grand School District), Katlin Miller (Middle Park Soil Conservation), Bryan Lamont (Colorado Parks & Wildlife), Rigo Zubia, Lori Haack (First Robotics Manager Digital Instruction), Bryan Hinostroza, Jamie Dahlkemper (Bureau of Land Management), Olivia Stefanik, Dave Skinner (Kremmling entrepreneur), Kammyn Felton, Chris Michalowski (Mountain Parks Electric), Elaine Menardi (Colorado AeroLab), Mary Price (Grand County Water Information Network), and Angie Daly (iCEV).


West Grand graduate Meghan Cameron was a member of the team from the Colorado School of Mines that won the Henderson Sustainability Challenge. The challenge was to develop a plan to utilize the Henderson Mill and Mine facilities and resources after the molybdenum mineral deposit is depleted. The team’s plan was for a tailings-to-glass facility.

Steer weigh-in officially signaled the beginning of 4-H in Middle Park. In an increase over 2019, 13 4-H members registered 18 steers along with several breeding heifers. Helping with the weigh-in were Tim Ritschard and Joe Harthun.

February

Tate Fellhauer and Brad Probst were pictured on the cover of the Grand Gazette leading the annual Peak Ranch cattle drive. Mike Sherman and Andrea Pettit (from Sweden) were on swing while Brian Manuel ran drag. Also helping were Dave Hammer, Karen Hammer, Rich Sherman, and Brenda Sherman.


photo by Kim Cameron | Town clerk recorder, Joanna Eaton draws the ballot order for Town Council candidates – candidate Jim Miller observes. The order candidates are drawn is they order they appear on the ballot. Candidates will appear on the ballot in this order: 1. Peter Moschonas, 2. Jason Wikberg, 3. Jim Miller, and 4. Dave Sammons. The four candidates are vying for three seats with Wikberg and Sammons as incumbents. The election will be a mail-in ballot.

Candidates for the Kremmling Town Council were Peter Moschonas, Jason Wikberg, Jim Miller, and Dave Sammons. The four were competing for three spots on the town council.

Dakota Docheff and Branden Cordle were married at River Run RV Resort on the palindromic date of 02-02-2020. Debra Hopgood, Jeanne Power, and Robert Good were the finalists for director of the Grand County Emergency Medical Services. Good was later to be hired as the EMS Chief.

Kremmling Police Chief Jamie Lucas, who remained on paid administrative leave, faced multiple charges from the 14th Judicial District. In an informal gathering of community members, Chief Lucas told his supporters nothing he had done warranted the charges he was facing.

The Kremmling Chamber of Commerce prepared to host the 23rd annual Wolford Ice Fishing Tournament.
The West Grand School District was to receive help from Mountain Parks Electric in obtaining one of the first electric school buses in Colorado.

The West Grand High School boys basketball team defeated Hayden, 55-35. Competing at the state robotics competition was West Grand Robotics Team 8805 with team members Joe Swanson, Danielle DeMattos, Jessica Gregory, Dominik Stefanik, and Sierra Bensing. The team would finish in 10th place at the state competition.

Attending a youth diversity conference at Cherry Creek High School in Denver were West Grand High School students Drew Landy, Sarah Hough, Tiffany Padia-Luttrell, AJ Multerer, Shannon Whitten, Madison Jump, and Teresa Cantwell.

Shannon Whitten was selected to sing with the honor jazz choir sponsored by the Jazz Aspen Snowmass Jazz Festival.

Grand County resident Bill Hamilton was Mike Rosen’s featured guest on KOA radio 850 AM.

Hamilton was to discuss his book, “Formula for Failure in Vietnam: The Folly of Limited Warfare.”

Nearly 30 performers shared their talents in the revived, “West Grand’s Got Talent” show in Kremmling. Bella Ilgner won first place with her poi performance (second from left in picture), Shannon Whitten, sang “On My Own” from Les Miserables and earned second place, and Orion Ilgner and Rowan Kittrell teamed up for a third-place performance of the Phish “Faulty Plan.” The talent show was revived and under the direction of Rhonda Ilgner.

Middle Park snow courses measured 112% of average on February 1. Mark Volt, who has been measuring snow for 40 years in Middle Park, was pictured taking measurements on Gore Pass.

Flowers by Marcia, owned and operated by Marcia Wyatt and in business for 17 years in Kremmling, was named Kremmling Chamber of Commerce Business of the Month.

Grand County residents Todd Perdue, Mark Krieg, Carl Prather, and Debra Prather were to compete in the Bird Dog Circuit National Championships. Carl’s dog Morgan was in the running for “Dog of the Year.”

Habitat for Humanity and Maria Archuleta-Jones hosted an open house for the 11th home built in the community.

Caitlin Belcher, Charish Jansen, Emily Osborne, Tiffany Padilla-Luttrell, Charlie Multerer, AJ Multerer, Jakob Buller, and Hannah Zagone were among the West Grand High School students planning to take a trip to Costa Rica with their teacher and sponsor, Shannon Barsy. Sadly, the trip was to be canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

photo by Kim Cameron | Makayla Allison won the Youth Mackinaw Division at the 5th Annual Warrior’s Scramble ice fishing tournament.

West Grand Middle School student Kai Edson was pictured applying precision navigation as he flew a mini-drone through an obstacle course. The Drone Club, run by Colorado AeroLab, was one of several offerings of the Kremmling-based educational initiative. Emma DeSanti and Angel Castillo were also pictured participating in a video call with Teresa McDermott, a graphic designer from Glenwood Springs. Video instruction would later become a regular part of the lives of West Grand students as COVID-19 caused repeated shutdowns of face-to-face learning.

The Bruchez family, which ranches in the William’s Fork Valley near Parshall, was named Middle Park Conservation District’s “Conservationist of the Year” at the annual Middle Park Stockgrowers and Middle Park Conservation District annual dinner.
Kremmling native George Culbreath was inducted into the Colorado State University Rodeo Wall of Fame. Culbreath competed in saddle bronc, bareback, bull riding, and bulldogging during his time as an Aggie in the 1960s.

Ben Martinez of Denver won over $6,000 at the Wolford Mountain Ice Fishing Tournament. His biggest prize catch ($5,000) was a fish tagged by Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Martinez also won $1,200 for catching the largest fish. Steve Schake of Kremmling was one of the winners with his catch of a 25.625” Rainbow Trout.

Marcus Sanchez, West Grand senior, sank a three-pointer with eight seconds left in the game to carry the Mustangs to a 43-42 upset victory over DeBeque, the defending state champions.

Rene Dominguez earned a trip to the state wrestling tournament. Dominguez wrestled in the 138-lb weight class. The West Grand High School junior capped an amazing year in which he was honorable mention All-State in Football, honorable mention academic All-State, All-Conference in football, and a starter on the boys basketball team as well as the wrestling squad. He accomplished the difficult and unusual feat of competing in basketball and wrestling during the same season.

Competing in the NASA Hunch Culinary Challenger was a team from West Grand that was comprised of members Morgan Monk, Yakary Lopez, Maritere Mendoza, Sicily Gonzales, Trina Gonzales, and Danielle Patterson. Their entry was Coconut Curry Chicken on tri-colored quinoa.

Blue Valley Distillery released its first spirit – Spring Creek Corn Whiskey. Founders Red and Jessica Waldron started with a batch of 1,100 bottles.

Home-town native Rene Dominguez represented West Grand High School at the 2020 Colorado State Wrestling Tournament.
West Grand senior athletes celebrating their final year of high school competition were Emma DeSanti, Ashley Givens, Anna Mendoza, Angel Castillo, Brad Heeney, Marcus Sanchez, and Collin Warren.

Mini-cheerleaders Tenley Kassib, Tymber Mahon, and Stella Moore were pictured being helped by West Grand High School cheerleader Isabella Galindo

FFA members Madelyn Probst, Lily Butler, Emma Daily, Dustin Beason, Christopher Wellington,
Daisy Hawkinson Bryne, Allison Daily, and sponsor Autumn Rompf celebrated FFA Week. Hunter Graves collected two awards for racing in the 2019 Colorado Off-Road Championship Series.

Carson Culbreath broke his personal record in archery at The Vegas Shoot 202 while competing with his team, Bear Creek Archery.

The first talk of COVID-19 occurred at the end of February when the Board of County Commissioners asked for a conversation with the Grand County Public Health after a public statement from the CDC confirmed: “14 cases diagnosed in the US in addition to 39 cases among repatriated persons from high-risk settings.”

March

The snowpack remained well above normal and was at 133 percent of the 30-year median. The Gore Pass site was recorded with 52 inches of snow and 14 inches of water, a reading that had only been surpassed by the 1962 readings. According to an article by Anastasia Button, the heavy snowfall may have contributed to the increased roadkill between Granby and Kremmling.

Wolford Mountain Reservoir received 100,000 BXS, which is a Belaire Rainbow trout crossed with Snake River Cutthroat trout.
Judy and Steve Borda were among the county residents to view Tread, a documentary about Marvin Heemeyer and based partially on Killdozer, a book written by Grand County resident Patrick Brower. Steve owned a shop close to the concrete batch plant where Heemeyer started his rampage and was active in the effort to stop the dozer/tank that Heemeyer had constructed.

The Grand Gazette presented a series of three profiles on candidates for the Kremmling Town Council.
The Middle Park Fairboard, consisting of Tonya French, Holly Hester, Cale Smiley, Dakota Cordle, Shea Meeks, Christy Horn, and Carol Culbreath was named Business of the Month by the Kremmling Chamber of Commerce.

East and West Towing, owned and operated by Kremmling residents Leslie and Mike Osorio, announced an expansion of its service fleet.

West Grand High School basketball teams headed to regional state competition with the boys to face Fowler and the girls to face Rocky Ford. Both teams were to lose their first-round game, ending their respective seasons.

“Cinderella with the Comedia Players” was presented at West Grand High School and featured the following high school and middle school students: Tiffany Padia-Luttrell, Callie Frietag, Kai Edson, Eleanore Poindexter, Jessica Gregory, Eric Gregory, Wendy Eller, Khai Hughes, Shannon Whitten, Danielle DeMattos, Emily Osborne, and Iliana Castilla. The production was under the direction of Dan Bowerly and Shannon Barsy.

Michelle DeSanti received recognition from the Northwest Board of Cooperative Educational Services for her work on that board during her eight years on the West Grand School Board of Directors.

Nick Papazoglou displayed good golfing form during his round at the West Grand Booster Club annual Ice Golf tournament on Wolford Mountain Reservoir.

Brene Belew-LaDue, Grand County Public Health Director, addressed a crowd of approximately 30 people at a coronavirus pandemic workshop held at the courthouse in Hot Sulphur Springs. While workshopping around pandemic preparedness, Colorado Governor Jared Polis announced a statewide declaration of emergency. COVID-19 was to affect the lives of people worldwide for the rest of 2020.

Grand Mountain Bank of Kremmling offered a Take a Book, Leave a Book library in small structures outside the bank.
Sales tax in Kremmling for the year of 2019 increased from its 2018 level of $945,003 to $1,056,300.

Jesus Dominguez, a sophomore at West Grand High School and the son of Luis and Shavahn Dominguez, was named the National Jostens Renaissance Student of the Month.

Kremmling Rotarians Bill and Irene Wheatley, Jeanne and Jim Sloan, plus Rich and Sara Rosene sold 50/50 raffle tickets to attendees of the Pregnancy Resource Connection annual banquet.

Life in the pandemic started and Kremmling experienced some of the panic buying that engulfed the nation in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. The “stock-up” buying prompted the Kremmling Mercantile to devote its full-page ad in the Grand Gazette to reassure buyers that supplies would continue to be available if people refrained from hoarding and stockpiling.

Governor Polis suspended all gathering of more than 10 people, school practices and extra-curricular activities were suspended, county offices were closed to the public, and most organized activities had been cancelled. And yet, people and businesses slowly adapted and essential care and services continued.

West Grand High School graduate Dr. Michael Gallagher was featured in a story about life and his work on a German icebreaker being used to help gather data on the Arctic’s natural ice drift.

Named to the CSHSAA Academic team were Rene Dominguez, Cameron Wood, Austin Schake, Jakob Buller, Angel Castillo, Charlie Multerer, Emma DeSanti, Iliana Castillo, Emma Daly, Austin Gregory, David Santos, Omar Dominguez, Ashton Williams, and Isabella Galindo.

The Bluebird Backcountry Ski Area brought its inaugural season to a close. Located on Whiteley’s Peak and operating without lifts, to some it evoked memories of the Mount Baker Ski Club which was located six miles up Muddy Creek. The Mount Baker Ski Club was formed in the 1950s by Joe McElroy and Willard Taussig. A photo of the club included Richard Steffen, Ruth Ritschard, Mary Ellen McElroy, Bob Browning, Pat Heeney, Larry Stronger, Miriam Taussig, Bob Sewart, Bobby Naylor, Dan McElroy, Therese McElroy, and Linda Smith.

Jess Buller of Colorado Aerolabs shared a bit of optimism and community spirit while serving a hot dog meal to Logan Shafer, Parker Graves, and Hunter Graves.

The initial days of the COVID-19 pandemic prompted a number of responses from community-minded individuals, institutions, and businesses. For example: Sew it Seamz was offering free cloth masks with filters to those with autoimmune disease. The West Grand School District continued to serve meals, using the bus route to distribute food from the district and Mountain Family Center. The West Grand High School chemistry department donated goggles for use by staff at Middle Park Health. Mountain Family Center provided a pantry that operated on the honor system. A sign thanking truck drivers was posted outside Blue Valley Acres. People with pets made rounds around town visiting people. The school district developed a system for interacting with students and allowing for controlled access to personal belongings and resources at the school. Essential businesses remained open and people learned to recreate in a socially-responsible manner.

Named to the Mile High Prep Class 2A All-District 5 Basketball Team were: Jesus Dominguez, Charlie Multerer, Collin Warren, Marcus Sanchez, Rene Dominguez, Brad Heeney, and Alejandro Castanon Jr. (boys); Emma DeSanti, Alex Schake, Allie Daly, and Emma Daly (girls). The West Grand girl’s team was named Surprise Team of the League.

April

The Kremmling Town Council decided against declaring a state of emergency related to thecoronavirus pandemic. Mayor Grover Pryor and council members argued that access to disaster funds from the county and the state would be available even if the state of emergency was not declared. The declaration under consideration would have given the Mayor certain unilateral authority and was more extensive than those adopted by other towns in Grand County. There was also concern expressed that local businesses needed to survive.

Bureau of Land Management officials were in town to dynamite a portion of a beaver dam on Muddy Creek. The dam was causing flooding on private land and interrupting natural eco cycles.

In response to the quarantine, Jennifer Bauckman of Redeemed Photography launched #FrontStepProject, a unique project in which she quickly took portraits of people on their front porch and shared the images on Facebook. Families that participated included the French, Harthun, and Vrbas families.

There were numerous stories and photographs that reminded people to continue to exercise; gratitude expressed to essential workers; measures taken to cope with the pandemic; guides to which businesses and services were offered and how to access those services.

Kremmling residents voted to continue the ban on marijuana within the town. Nearly 450 voters (48 percent of registered voters) turned out and 53 percent of those voters voted to maintain the ban.

Incumbents Jason Wikberg and Dave Sammons were joined by first-time council member Jim Miller to be sworn in as Kremmling Town Trustees.

Grand Lake residents Jim and Stephanie Kropf’s novel, “Merged” was named one of three finalists in the Colorado Humanities 29th Annual Colorado Book Awards.

Kim Shepton was photographed wearing one of the many masks she has made and donated to Last Time ‘Round Thrift Store to purchase food for the Mountain Family Center.

Local real estate agent Nancy Dulac offered local businesses the opportunity to showcase their business using a 3D virtual tour. The Matterport system creates a 3D image that allows the viewer to “walk-into” the image and feel as if they are present within the image.

CSU Cooperative Extension hired local residents Olivia Clark as the new CSU Extension Director and Karli Tonneson was hired as the new 4-H and School Enrichment Coordinator. Tonneson had been the administrative assistant in the CSU office for the past year and a half.

Kremmling Chamber of Commerce Director Tara Sharp brought a special guest to every street in Kremmling. The Easter Bunny was ferried around town Kremmling-style, in the back of a pickup truck.
The Dean West stepped up to the plate during the pandemic and provided over 300 Easter dinners to members of the community.
West Grand staff members delivered a yard sign to all seniors of West Grand High School. One of the recipients, Ashton Williams was pictured with wrestling coach Brian Strathman and football coach Fernando Enriquez.
Mountain Parks Electric approved a contribution to the Emergency Assistance Grant Fund. The fund, created and administered by the Grand Foundation, was earmarked to provide rental, mortgage, and utility assistance to those adversely affected by COVID-19.

The Kremmling Town Council voted unanimously to not reappoint Kremmling Police Department Chief Jamie Lucas. Town Clerk Joanna Eaton, Town Treasurer Doris McCallie, and Town Judge Ronald Carlson were also unanimously reappointed. The town’s legal counsel (the firm of Kelly PC) was retained in a split vote.

The West Grand School District partnered with Visionary Broadband to provide high-speed internet services to district students and families during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Blue Federal Credit Union and the Grand Foundation announced they were partnering to donate $200,000 in matching funds to nine non-profits in Colorado and Wyoming, including the Mountain Family Center in Grand County.

Stella Wheatley, Idelia Baumgarten, Laureen Myers, and Anna Dietrich were featured as part of a series of articles authored by Marissa Lorenz during Women’s History Month.

Grand County was moved from the Stay At Home phase of quarantine to the Safer at Home phase. The Kremmling Town Council showed a few signs of chafing under the restrictions that had been applied to the entire county. Council members voted to send a letter to the Grand County Board of Commissioners requesting the ability for the town to direct re-opening measures.

Doug and Kristen Prewitt along with Brittany and Bryan Klotz were introduced as the new managers of the Wolford Campground and Marina. They followed in the footsteps of Jeff and Sara Miller who were the concessionaires for nearly 20 years.

Landon Williams, West Grand High School sophomore, was pictured with 10 masks which were made by the Robotics Team with a 3D printer and donated to the Grand County COVID Response Team.

Emma Daly was awarded a FFA State Degree. She served as a District 1 Vice President as well as the president of the West Grand High School FFA Chapter.

May

Small businesses opened with renewed precautions. Dalen Acord Harthun of Grand Hair Design opened and was pictured with client Marveen Terryberry and both were wearing masks.

Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, Grand County airports received unexpected funds and was able to see their expenses reduced by $225,000 and revenue increased by $60,000.

Sisters Anael and Iliana Castillo filmed a traditional Mexican folklore dance in honor of Cinco de Mayo, commemorating the day in 1862, when a fledgling Mexican army defeated much larger and better equipped French forces.

Rolie Levercom, manager of The Family Dollar in Kremmling, was recognized by his employers as one of the Family Dollar Unsung Heroes. By collecting donations and drawings for $25 gift cards which he and his wife, Michelle donate, he has been able to purchase several thousand dollars worth of food and supplies for the Mountain Family Center Food Pantry.

Renovations at the Silver Spruce Apartments revealed several memories from the building’s days as a school building. Amy Cordova was pictured working on a section of hardwood gym floor with markings still in place. Other treasures included a scoreboard still on the wall and a walled-off principal office/solarium.

West Grand High School students painted logos on several buildings in town, as a reminder of the important occasion in their lives. In a classy move, the Class of 2020 purchased $5 gift cards from local businesses and placed them on windshields of folks around town. Pictured during the “prank” were Collin Warren, Madison Jump, Angel Castillo, Emma DeSanti, Alexis Pasillas, Caitlin Belcher, and Charish Jansen.

Chris Zagone, a 2010 graduate of West Grand High School, transitioned from enlisted to Officer in the US Navy.

Megan Setliff graduated from Colorado State University with a Bachelors Degree in Agriculture Education.

Despite losing her grandmother to COVID-19, Heather Graves of Kremmling chose to direct her energy into positivity.

In addition to custom leather keychains for all graduating seniors, Graves made over 300 ear savers for masks that she generously donated.

A photograph of two moose by Barb Kollar was the first known photographic evidence of moose being sighted on the Troublesome River.

The Grand County Library District was offering drive-thru and curbside pickup of library materials.

Mason Lemon and Tel Linke showed good form while working together while roping a calf during a Middle Park Roping Club session at the Middle Park Fairgrounds in Kremmling. The club had policies and procedures in place to be able to continue their practices while adhering to Public Health Department guidelines.

Curtis Brown, West Grand Middle School math teacher, was named West Grand Teacher-of-the-Year. Formerly an engineer at Freeport McMoRan, Brown has been a math teacher at West Grand since 2016.

Paige and Darcy DeBell raised $31.55 at their lemonade and snack stand. They donated the funds to Middle Park Health. Accepting the donation was Dr. Rob Anderson who said the caring and concern behind the gift, “brought tears to my eyes.”
Julie Aprill, Kremmling resident, graduated from Colorado State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies.

Jaydn Castillo won the Kremmling Chamber of Commerce’s 2020 Salsa Contest. She won a take-and-make woodworking kit from Tiffany Frietag.

"A five-year effectiveness study of the Highway 9 Colorado River South Wildlife  and  Safety  Improvement  project  concluded  with,  “extreme success and as a model to promote similar projects in Colorado.” The project  decreased  wildlife-related  accidents  88  percent  and  carcass counts were down 90 percent along the fenced portion of the highway."
“A five-year effectiveness study of the Highway 9 Colorado River South Wildlife and Safety Improvement project concluded with, “extreme success and as a model to promote similar projects in Colorado.” The project decreased wildlife-related accidents 88 percent and carcass counts were down 90 percent along the fenced portion of the highway.”
photo by Mike Wilson | West Grand High School celebrated the graduation of its senior students. In the middle of the pandemic and with quarantine restrictions in place, the celebrations had a different look in 2020. However, students, staff, parents, and families all rallied to make the graduation a memorable event. Seniors celebrated their graduation with enthusiasm last Saturday in a creative & approved drive-in ceremony at the high school.

Dr. Mark Wisner accepted the gift of a box of cookies from Avriel Sharp. It was one of the many boxes of cookies and cards donated by the Kremmling Girl Scout Troop.

Colorado AeroLab CEO Jess Buller assembled care packages for 5th Day students at West Grand, North Park, and SoRoCo school districts.

Grand County Treasurer Christina Whitmer submitted her resignation. Without stating a reason for her resignation, Whitmer said, “It has been a great honor to represent the people of Grand County for the past 30 years.”

Katrina Sanford graduated with a Master of Science Physician Assistant degree from University of St. Francis.
Members of the VFW honored veterans by placing flags on graves of those who served. Pictured were Cindy Hester, Kent Hester, Jim Sloan, Jeanne Sloan, and Bill Dixon.

The old cottonwood tree at the corner of Highway 9 and 40 was removed as part of a plan to update the traffic signals at that intersection. It was believed the tree would not survive the construction process.



Dillon Willson and Curtis Docheff, public works employees for the Town of Kremmling, were pictured hanging flower baskets along Hwy 40 in Kremmling. The flowers in the basket were grown at the West Grand High School greenhouse.

Girl Scout Troop 50292 of Kremmling chose the Grand County EMS as their Hometown Heroes for the 2020 Girl Scout cookie season. Presenting EMS with 144 boxes of cookies were Emily Osborne, Shiloh French, Taylah French, Addy Pedersen, Isabella Lawrence, Cora Osborne, Samantha Simmons, Paige DeBell, Darcy DeBell, and Brynlie Vrbas.

The Town of Kremmling voted for, “temporary relief for businesses from certain Town of Kremmling requirements.” The move essentially encouraged food and drink establishments to expand outdoor seating areas.

Grand County Commissioners approved a plan to add 30 boat-mooring anchors at Wolford Mountain Campground, increasing the total boat storage by 50 percent.

June

Heavy equipment was on-site as ground was broken for a new Dollar General store to be built on a vacant lot adjacent to the Grand County EMS building on Hwy 40.

Brooke Bock and her grandmother Leslie Jones were pictured delivering breakfast at the West Grand PK-8 building. School was out for summer and students were returning the Chromebooks they had been issued for off-site learning.

Meghan Cameron graduated from the Colorado School of Mines with a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering and a minor in mining engineering.

The Middle Park Medical Foundation presented a check of $66,251 to the Kremmling Memorial Hospital District board of directors. Presenting the check to KMHD board members Bernie Murphy, Kelly Johnson, Carol Petersen, Jodi Docheff, and Gary Bumgarner and MPH CEO Jason Cleckler were MPMF representatives Andy Radzavich, Tiffany Frietag, Chris Sammons, Frank Delay, and Elfie Denaro.

Hot Sulphur Springs/Parshall Fire Protection District voted to make Tom Baumgarten a paid full-time chief.

Christina Travis was welcomed to the Middle Park Medical Clinic in Kremmling as its new Family Nurse Practitioner.

KMHD said goodbye to two long-time board members, Bernie Murphy and Carol Petersen. Murphy had served on the board since 2010 and Petersen served from 2000 to 2008 and was reappointed in 2015. They were replaced by elected representatives Kimberly Cameron and Christine Murphy.

Taylin and Tally Harthun were pictured as they exercised their 4-H steers to get them ready for the fair in August. The fair board approved a “semi-traditional” livestock show and a livestock sale. The sale would be live but contain a virtual component as well.

Sales tax numbers were stronger than expected in both Kremmling and Grand County. Countywide sales tax numbers in April were equal to April 2019 and Kremmling’s numbers in April showed a 23 percent increase.
Kremmling saw peaceful demonstrations of support for Black Lives Matter as well as President Donald Trump.

Dr. Burns and the staff of Kremmling Dental and Granby Dental welcomed Dr. Welch to the team.

Grand County Commissioners appointed Deputy Treasurer/Chief Deputy Public Trustee Teri Tanton to fill the vacancy left after the resignation of Treasurer/Trustee Christina Whitmer.

Thomas Johnson was named the director of Information Services at Grand County.

Riley Mahon won his first team roping buckle with partner Skylar Hill in a 100-team competition held in Penrose, Colorado.

High winds in Kremmling and Grand County damaged numerous trees and pried loose more than a few shingles. It would not be the only strong wind to be experienced in the county in 2020.

The West Grand School District proposed a budget that took into account anticipated revenue reductions due to COVID-19. The proposed budget didn’t include contract renewals for classified staff, including office staff, maintenance, transportation, and food service employees.

Rory Menhennett, Vice-President of Northwest Ranch Supply Inc., was featured as a young business leader. He was also nominated for the North American Retail Hardware Association “Young Retailer of the Year” program.

After 25 years of service with the Kremmling Fire Protection District, Assistant Chief Jim “Jimbo”Carland announced his retirement.

Commande Annette Dopplick with the Steamboa Springs Police Department was named Interim Police Chief for the town of Kremmling.

Cora Osborne practiced handling her cat in preparation for the 4-H Cat Show at the Middle Park Fair & Rodeo.
BOCC unanimously voted to adopt a resolution affirming the First Amendment rights of Grand County citizens.
Bryan Klotz with Grand Power worked with AEC Systems to install eight new electric car charging stations behind the Kum & Go convenience store in Kremmling.

The Middle Park Fair board unanimously voted to extend the reign of Queen Madelyn Probst. Princess Shiloh French would also carry on her duties for an additional year.

Jim Ward, the contracted Fixed Base Operator at Kremmling’s McElroy Field announced his intention to not renew his contract. Ward has been the FBO in Kremmling since 1991.

The Grand County Library District was able to host its annual summer reading program through innovative and creative practices. Kremmling librarians Emily Pedersen, Lauren Bruchez, and Shelly Mathis utilized resources like WebEx! to keep readers engaged.

The Gazette ran a story on the history of change for Kremmling Days. The annual celebration would adapt again to change in a year full of changes. Though abbreviated, the schedule would include a march and the annual Cliff Golf competition. Included in the march, which was led by National Guard veteran Bryan Klotz, his son Caleb, and trusty dog Bell, were Commissioner Rich Cimino, Middle Park Health employees, Rachel Williams, Warren and Matt Rice on bicycles, and a Cliffview Assisted Living Center float. Maizie Heller was pictured with a mask sporting the message, “Kindness is also contagious.”

Middle Park Health was named Business of the Month by the Kremmling Chamber of Commerce.

Swedish researcher Andrea Petitt had been in Kremmling for the past 10 months conducting research on the dynamic relationship between, “new gendered human-horse relations emerging from Western riding.”

Mitch Lockhart and Sage Lechman were pictured as they helped with branding at the Bumgarner Ranches.

July

Grand County had its first COVID-19 associated death. The cause of death was undetermined, but the individual was an organ donor and the infection was discovered as part of the organ donor process.

The Town of Kremmling announced the July 4th Fireworks would be held from the cliffs, as has been the tradition. Observers were encouraged to wear masks and practice social distancing measures.

Dr. Randi Wagner, who had served Kremmling and Middle Park for 21 years, announced her desire to move on to the next adventure in her life.

Skylar Hill and Riley Mahon continued their winning combination by winning a competition hosted by the Middle Park Roping Club. Second place went to Shawn Lechman and Jodi Hill.

Historical Hindsights, a weekly feature in the Grand Gazette provided by the Grand County Historical Association, featured a photograph of the first airplane to land in Kremmling on July 2, 1920. Pictured as witnesses to the event were Jennie Jameson, Lum Eastin, and Little Lum Eastin.

photo by Mike Wilson | Construction began on the new addition to Kremmling Memorial Hospital. Pictured at a ground-breaking ceremony were Dreke Ortner, Deb Plemmons, Dr. Shane Tong, Ray MacKendrick, Jeffff Miller, Dr. Mark Wisner, Jodi Docheffff, Chris Murphy, Bernie Murphy, Merrit Linke, Dr. Tom Coburn, Kristen Manguso, Jason Cleckler, Kim Cameron, and Gary Bumgarner. Kremmling Mayor Grover Pryor had work commitments and he was ably represented by his family, Sara, Ryder, and Rayne Pryor.

Kremmling Library staff members Lauren Bruchez, Branch Librarian Emily Pedersen, and Shelly Mathis continued to provide weekly library updates in the Gazette.

The Grand County Board of County Commissioners, sitting as the Board of Health, stated it would not enact a countywide mask mandate in conjunction with the statewide mask mandate implemented by Governor Jared Polis.

Grand County Public Health Director Brene Belew-Ladue, offered her support for a countywide mask mandate, stating that masks were the most effective preventive measure against COVID-19 infections.

Kremmling Rotarians were pictured serving a drive-through pancake breakfast on July 4. Working hard to go above and beyond were Susan Ritschard, Suzanne Briggs, Marissa Lorenz, Jim Sloan, Jeanne Sloan, Sara Rosene, Irene Wheatley, Bill Wheatley, Rich Rosene, Teresa Banman, and Larry Banman.

Another glorious fireworks show was produced by the Wilkinson family. The faces behind the planning and hard work were Carol Hochstrasser, Brayden Clark, Kendra Wilkinson, Galen Wilkinson, Ken Wilkinson, Jill Wilkinson, Andrew Wilkinson, and Katie and Tom Van Groningen.

The Grand Gazette published a guide to local merchants which was entitled, “Grand Trades.”

Lyle Sidener

Two local long-time and well-known Colorado Parks and Wildlife Officers announced their retirement. Lyle Sidener retired after 30 years of service and Bob Thompson retired after starting as a full-time game warden in 1980.

Corey Withrow and Carson Culbreath were a part of the Elevation day of service in Kremmling as they joined others to help paint, weed, wash, and install window screens at the Cliffview Assisted Living Center. After a day of service in the community, participants concluded the day by enjoying the music of Confluence in the Town Square.

Grand County moved into the category of “High Transmission Rate” with a report of a total of 29known cases, nine within the previous two weeks.

Bryan Klotz, of Grand Power, was featured as a Young Business Leader. Klotz lives in Kremmling with his wife Brittany and their four sons.

Hunter Graves won four mini-races in a row and was undefeated for the 2020 season. Competing against 110 contestants in the youth division (the next youngest boy was two years older) Graves finished the race in 6th place.

A Stage 1 Fire Ban went into effect in Grand County on July 15.

Kenny McNichols, Shadow Creek Ranch, thanked the United States Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, plus fire agencies from Grand and Summit counties for a rapid and unprecedented response to a fire on Dice Hill. Thought to have been caused by lightning, the fire came within a half-mile of several structures.
Bob Dillon hosted a well-attended auction at which he divested himself of many of his possessions. A long-time veteran of the Kremmling Police Department, Dillon was on to his next great adventure.
Sego Krempin was pictured performing for the 5280 Trick Riders at the Flying Heels Arena. The Flying Heels Rodeo operated under a variance from Grand County Public Health and Grand County COVID-19 Response Team.

Grand County Sheriff Brett Schroetlin and Grand County EMS Chief Robert Good enjoyed the EMS 50th Anniversary celebration.

School board members Shawn Lechman and Mitch Lockhart and West Grand Superintendent Darrin Peppard addressed groups of parents on reopening plans for the 2020/2021 school year.

The annual Colorado Classic Farrier Competition and Clinic was hosted in Kremmling with 45 participants, a 45 percent increase from 2019.

The 104th Annual Middle Park Fair and Rodeo was to be held with an abbreviated schedule that emphasized the traditional 4-H Shows and Livestock Sale. A rodeo was to be held on Saturday night with as many spectators as were allowed by the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.

Chris Hinkel, owner and operator of High West Heating and Cooling, was introduced in a feature article. Chris, his wife Jenna, and their two sons live in Kremmling.

Shoshana Cooper was introduced as the new District Ranger for Arapaho National Forest’s Sulphur Ranger District.

The Grand County Commissioners sent a notice of breach of lease to Alpine Wings, the FBO at Kremmling’s McElroy Field. Reportedly, an employee of Alpine Wings refused to fuel an emergency aircraft when he was upset about where the vehicle was parked.

August

Ellie Thurston, the daughter of Ray and Lacy Thurston, was pictured receiving instructions in the 8 & Under Showmanship Class at the Open Horse Show during the Middle Park Fair and Rodeo.

Grand County Republicans named Frank DeLay as their nominee for Grand County Treasurer and Public Trustee. He and his family moved to Grand County in 2003 to help start Grand Mountain Bank.
Travis Wildeboer collected enough signatures to run as an unaffiliated candidate for the office of Grand County Commissioner District 1.

The Kremmling Memorial Hospital District approved $60,000 for the purchase of equipment and reagent to facilitate rapid-response COVID-19 testing.

Participating in the MPFR 4-H Dog Program were Aubrey Hanson, Amber Hester, Taylah French, Tasha Springs, Scotty Cameron, Penny Myer, Lance Eisenman, Ashlyn Eisenman, and Elisabeth Corcoran.
Zaria Barreintez of Dillon, Colorado showed her black otter mini rex, which won overall breeding grand champion rabbit.

Dave and Karen Hammer

The Middle Park Fair and Rodeo honored William Hamilton, Dave Hammer, and Karen Hammer as its Citizens of the Year. Honored as Pioneers of the Year were Elaine Busse, Fred Garrett, Leigh Murphy, and Geneva Sherman.
Health concerns related to COVID-19 caused the annual luncheon to be canceled. The honorees will be included at ceremonies during the 2021 Middle Park Fair and Rodeo.

It was a welcome event for residents of Grand Lake when the Colorado Department of Transportation completed work on a new bridge over the Colorado River.

Penny Myer and Audrey Wheatley provide fast-paced action during the Middle Park Fair and Rodeo horse races. During the contest, Wheatley clocked the second-fastest time of the day, behind only the time posted by Cody Mumma.

Local revenues in Kremmling continued to surprise, with sales tax figures continuing to meet or exceed the budgeted figures.

James Newberry, former Grand County Commissioner, qualified for the general election ballot for Grand County Commissioner in District 1.

Champion and Reserve Champion livestock animals were selected at the Middle Park Fair and Rodeo. Respectively, those animals were: Grand Champion Lamb – Lyndee Thomson, Reserve Champion Lamb – Trace Lewis; Grand Champion Swine – Addyson Salyards, Reserve Champion Swine – Addyson Salyards; Grand Champion Goat – Trace Lewis, Reserve Champion Goat –Trace Lewis; Grand Champion Beef
– Tally Harthun, Reserve Champion Beef – Luci Bruchez; Round Robin Champions – Trace Lewis, Senior; Luci Bruchez – Intermediate; Sego Krempin – Junior.

Grand County Commissioners passed a resolution to move Grand County into Stage 2 Fire Restrictions. Fires in nearby counties were consistently filling the skies with smoke.

Penny Hamilton of Granby received the 12th Annual Spirit of Flight Award in an outdoor ceremony held in Westminster, Colorado.

The 4-H Junior Livestock Show sale numbers reached $212,500, $27,000 more than the sale in 2019.

Kremmling’s Hotel Eastin was awarded a 2020 Traveler’s Choice award, recognizing the hotel as one of the top 10 percent of hotels in the world, based on overall ratings and reviews.

The West Grand School District was set to welcome back students on August 24.

Doris McCallie retired as treasurer for the Town of Kremmling after 32 years of service to the community.

Asa and Aila Holley of Sisu Farms in Granby were named to the Top 20 Emerging Leaders in Food and Ag. Their farm puts an emphasis on quality meat and eggs produced locally.

A fire broke out on the Williams Fork in the Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest. Human-caused, the fire was mostly in a remote area, but it poured smoke and threatened structures in the Fraser area. Winds often whipped the fire into a frenzy, creating an ominous and sinister column of smoke. It would reach over 11,000 acres in size.

The fiberglass bovine that stood at the entrance of Middle Park Meat Market in Kremmling for four decades was refurbished and returned to its usual place at the Hwy 9 entrance to the town.

Locals likely remember Middle Park Meat employee Glen Bakke, a young man with Down syndrome, faithfully rolling the steer into a shed at night and pulling it out again the next morning – for over 20 years. When it fell into disrepair, Larry Vocate took on the job of restoring the steer. Unfortunately, Larry succumbed to cancer, but his brother Gary took on the task and saw it to completion. The bovine is now named, “Mr. America” and he proudly welcomes people to town.

Finalists for the position of Kremmling Police Chief were named and introduced at a community Meet & Greet. The finalists were Todd Willson of Kremmling, Hiram Rivera Jr., of Savannah, Georgia, and Jesse T. Lisenby from Fort Worth, Texas.

The enrollment of students at the West Grand School District, both on-line and in-person was 420, only one less than the enrollment in 2019.

Katie Hornbaker brought opioid-free anesthesia to Middle Park Health.

West Grand High School seniors were given the opportunity to paint their own parking spots. Each student was allowed to paint their approved design and claim a spot as his or her own. Pictured helping Austin Schake with his spot were Kelley Rice, Alex Schake, and Carson Culbreath.

Jodi Hill hosted the Troublesome Classic roping event at his ranch. The Classic had 921 teams and over 1660 runs in two days. Matt Kosorok was the high money-winning saddle winner; Joss Fillmore was the runner-up Yeti cooler winner. Jessica Amicarella and Skylar Fay Hill finished first and second in the women’s competition.
Representing Grand County at the Colorado State Fair Dog Show were Taylah French, Elisabeth Corocoran, Ashlyn Eisenman, Amber Hester, and Penny Myer.

The Allington Inn & Suites was named August Business of the Month by the Kremmling Chamber of Commerce.

September

Labor Day was a busy weekend in Kremmling as the town hosted the Pregnancy Resource Connection 2020 Walk for Life; the West Grand High School Cross Country Invitational; and the Middle Park Fair and Rodeo’s first Derby Party.

The cross country meet followed CSHSAA guidelines. Galen Wilkinson finished in 14th place and Henry Westfahl finished 15th and led the boys to a sixth-place finish. Leading the girls to a fifth-place finish were Samantha Westfahl (5th), Joy Hast (8th), and Allura Luna (10th) in a field of 50 runners.
The Bureau of Land Management’s Acting Director, William Perry Pendley visited Kremmling and was taken on a tour of the Radium Recreation Site.

Electric-powered vehicles are often seen taking advantage of the Tesla charging station behind Kum & Go in Kremmling. The super-charging capabilities of the stations allow for an estimated 10-15 minutes to recharge the batteries of the vehicles. The Town of Kremmling continues to offer free charging stations at the southwest corner of the Town Square.

Sixth graders Caleb Klotz and Landon Lockhart both earned fourth-place medals at the Rocky
Mountain Nationals wrestling tournament.

Lizzy George and Amara Miranda were pictured enjoying a fall day while they began a brainstorming activity about their favorite animal. The two were online students at West Grand but have also taken advantage of the micro-pod learning offered by Colorado Aerolabs in Kremmling.

The West Grand High School greenhouse saw its cover destroyed by the high winds of summer and fall. A new cover was on order, according to program director Emmylou Harmon.

Doug and Kristin Prewitt and family provided a two-hour pontoon ride on Wolford Mountain Reservoir for the residents of the Cliffview Assisted Living Center in Kremmling.

Hiram Rivera was selected as the new police chief for Kremmlng. He would be accompanied in his move to Kremmling by his wife Sabrina and his 11-year old daughter Olivia.

Rachel Thurston and Joni Lange of the Cliffview Assisted Living Center accepted a donation of frozen chicken from Carson Culbreath. A Middle Park 4-Her, Carson makes an annual donation from the flock of chickens he raises for the county fair.

The COVID-19 Incident Management Team was awarded the 2020 Excellence in Health Service
Award by the Grand County Rural Health Network.

The Middle Park Fair & Rodeo hosted its own Kentucky Derby Day including a Labor Day Horse Race. Marie Tillotson and Christy Horn raced on draft horses. They rode bareback because naturally, draft horses have a harness and not a saddle. Kelly Johnson won first place in the hat contest with a hat crafted with creativity and style.

Sage Lechman was the all-around winner in the 14-18 age group at the Flying Heels rodeo series. The saddle she was awarded was the first saddle she has won. Also winning saddles were Riley Mahon, Foster Krempin, and Harlee Ann Baas.

The Colorado Cattleman’s Association held a rally at the Kremmling fairgrounds to talk about problems they are facing, how to overcome those challenges, and how to take part in the movement to support rural Colorado.

Patricia Pulliam and June Matson


Well over 100 people participated in the PRC 2020 Walk for Life. The event earned over $26,000, with Hot Sulphur Springs’ Calvary Church earning $2,545 as the top-earning team. Patricia Pulliam earned over $2,000 in pledges. One of the groups that walked together included Kremmling residents and long-time community supporters Cindy Hester, Jan Gross, Sharon Cesar, Theresa McElroy, Kathy Matney, Jeanne Sloan, and Twila O’Hotto.

Due to improved weather conditions and minimal fire activity, Arapaho National Forest managers reduced the size of the Williams Fork Fire forest closure.

Mountain Mama’s, an embroidery and screen printing business owned and operated by Dawna Heller, now has a storefront at its new location at the west end of town.

Bustang, the Colorado Department of Transportation bus service, presented plans for a new Outrider route, connecting Craig to the Front Range – via Grand County.

Jodi Hill and his roping partner Matt Kosorok won the average for the Ram truck roping division at the Western Frontier Labor Day Celebration. The pair won over $12,000 and Kosorok won a new truck.

West Grand High School co-leaders Omar Dominguez and Jesus Dominguez were pictured wishing Cirenda Cordova a happy 18th birthday.

Sophomore biology students Jordayn Williams and Sarah Williams joined biology teacher Emmylou Harmon in pointing out that science is real.

The highlight of the cross country story about West Grand High School was the stride-for-stride description of the finish provided by author Heather Westfahl. For the boys, Henry Westfahl, Galen Wilkenson, and Alex Bergman finished within 13 seconds of each other. In the girls’ race, West Grand’s Allura Luna, Samantha Westfahl, and Joy Hast finished within 23 seconds of each other.

Cliffview Assisted Living Center celebrated its 26th year by getting a new roof. For National Assisted Living Week, residents celebrated Grandparents Day with a homemade cake baked by Alondra and Mary Jo Hargadine; Joe Rooyakkers conducted an outdoor contest, and a fried chicken lunch was provided by the 9 & 40 Restaurant.
West Grand made the decision to participate in a fall football season. Due to a variance granted by the CHSAA and decisions by Governor Jared Polis and the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment, local schools and districts were given the option of deciding whether or not to participate in a modified fall football season.

Deb Menhennett retired from Middle Park Health after four decades of dedication as a registered nurse.
Kremmling Mercantile celebrated 15 years of business in Kremmling with its signature free fall barbecue lunch. Guests pictured included Al Buerger, Ragenia Garrett, Jacob Murphy, Paul Romero, and Maria Stubbs.

Kremmling Girl Scout Leader Katie DeBell received the Volunteer of Excellence Award from Girl Scouts of Colorado. Four girls crossed the bridge, moving from one level of scouting to the next.

Suzzen Hatcher and Samantha Simmons bridged from Brownies to Junior; Addy Pedersen bridged from Junior to Cadet; and Emily Osborne bridged from Senior to Ambassador.

The National Honor Society of West Grand inducted 10 new members and increased the membership to 19. Members include Susan McDonald, Rene Dominguez, Cirenda Cordova, Madelyn Probst, Alex Schake, Emily Osborne, Jakob Buller, Jesus Dominguez, Charlie Multerer, Alex Bergman, Tiffany Padia-Luttrell, Khai Hughes, Iliana Castillo, Joy Hast, Carson Culbreath, Isabella Galindo, Omar Dominguez, Josy Wheatley, Emma Daly, and sponsor Emmylou Harmon.

The West Grand cross country team saw six athletes set personal course records. Allura Luna, Lillie Steinle, Joana Ramirez, Brandon Dale, Vincent Schenk, and Eric Gregory. Alex Bergman and Alejo Aguilar ran their first high school race on a West Grand course.

October

The dreaded, yet anticipated, fall surge of COVID-19 hit Kremmling as multiple cases were confirmed among residents of the Cliffview Assisted Living Center. In addition, due to a probable case at West Grand High School, students and staff members were sent home.

The Middle Park Health expansions at both Kremmling and Granby were moving along as scheduled, with few surprises. Chip Ellis, construction manager, said parking would be re-opened and the roof in place by December. The new portion of the hospital will house two emergency department exam rooms, two trauma bays, three in-patient rooms, CT and X-ray suites, and a primary care clinic with six exam rooms and a treatment room. The new ambulance entrance will be off of the alley.

Geenie’s Weenies proprietors Gina and Marty Schroeder announced they are retiring from the hot dog business. They estimated they served over 20,000 hot dogs in what was their busiest year in business. The couple hopes to find a successor to the three-year old business and to share their acquired knowledge and experience. On their last day of business, Marty and Gina provided free lemonade and hot dogs to the residents of Silver Spruce Apartments and the Cliffview Assisted Living Center.

Kremmling police officer Bryson Hicks sustained a minor injury during a non-criminal interaction with an individual. Hicks was assisting mental health professionals when he was accidentally injured.

West Grand High School instructor Emmylou Harmon was teaching her students to propagate, culture, and harvest plants and products utilizing current industry standards. Students included Dani DeMattos, Lela Biekert, Ben Kellen, Wade Janson, Tanner Brumley, and Yakary Lopez.


The West Grand cross country team competed well at the Snow Mountain Ranch Invitational. Allura Luna led the girls’ team with a second-place individual finish and Samantha Westfahl (4th), Joy Hast (10th), and Lillie Steinle all contributed to a second-place team finish. Henry Westfahl (4th), Alex Bergman (6th), and Quinten Fletcher (24th) led the boys’ team that included solid performances from Eric Gregory, Brandon Dale, and Vincent Schenk.

County election campaigns ramped up and the Gazette published a series of candidate interviews with County Commissioner candidates Richard Cimino, Travis Wildeboer, James Newberry, Merrit Linke, and Shanna Ganne and County Public Trustee/Treasurer candidates Frank DeLay and Teri Tanton.

Air support responded to the Deep Creek wildfire south of Kremmling. It was reported to be burning on Forest Service lands in Summit County and was estimated to be 25 acres in size.

COVID continued to spike in Kremmling with more confirmed cases at the Cliffview Assisted Living Center, confirmed positive cases at West Grand High School, and a second outbreak associated with a local church congregation.

The Dollar General store in Kremmling finished its construction and was set for the projected opening in October. The store is under the management of Pauline Jimenez. After managing a Dollar General in Texas for two years, she relocated to Kremmling with her fiancé and five-year-old son.

New signage was added to the iFurnish store, which is located in the former Ghostwood Interiors store on Hwy 40 in Kremmling.

Bluebird Backcountry was named Business of the Month for October by the Kremmling Chamber of Commerce.
Kremmling firefighter Ken Wilkinson was pictured talking about fire safety to Kremmling Preschoolers during Fire Prevention Week.

Comcast was working on the infrastructure to provide upgrades to expand Internet capabilities.
Visionary Broadband was at work bringing fiber optic internet connection for the homes, businesses, and public buildings in Kremmling.

In a Principles of Food Science class at West Grand High School, Joseph Manguso, Tylor Ususan, Dustin Beason, Jacob Murphy, and Eli Ryszkowski used a hot water bath to process jelly with no added pectin and a batch with pectin.

Northwest Colorado Health announced it would discontinue Home Health and Hospice services in Grand County.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the Gazette featured an article of the Middle Park Health Breast Health Team including, Melinda Graham, Dr. Jeffery Quam, and Barb Schermer. In a related article, Michelle Licha-Oros was featured for her work specializing in scar tissue massage and lymph drainage therapy.

Mitch Lockhart was featured as a Young Business Leader. Lockhart is a member of the West Grand School Board and active in community service. He and his wife Christina own and operate the Middle Park Meat Company.

The West Grand High School cross-country team qualified for the state competition with a third-place finish at regionals. Allura Luna (9th), Samantha Westfahl (10th), Joy Hast (13th), and Lillie Steinle with a personal best performance were key in the team effort. Galen Wilkinson placed 17th with a personal best time and was joined in key performances by Henry Westfahl, Quinten Fletcher, and Alejo Aguilar.

The four girls would be joined by freshman Joana Ramirez at the state competition, the third year in a row the team qualified for state.

Maximum Services on Central Avenue in Kremmling received a new sign designed and installed by JR and Vanessa Stiefel of Triple V Designs.

Grand Power Electric recently fixed a street light in Kremmling. Grand Power owner Bryan Klotz was joined by employees Jake Cameron and Casey Tanton.

The re-use waterline used to irrigate the Kremmling Cemetery and the Town Square will now be available to irrigate Ceriani Park in Kremmling Country.

The worst fears of the fire season were realized when the East Troublesome Creek Fire began on October 14 and grew to over 30,000 acres within a week, with only 10-percent containment. The fire would destroy hundreds of structures, primarily in the Grand Lake area. It would be several days before most evacuees were allowed to check on their property and homes.

Volunteers at the Last Time ‘Round Thrift Store were treated to a night out. Volunteers at the store include Kim Shepton, Jill Debs, Cherish Warden, Irene Visintainer, Monika Cary, Holly Sheppard, Sue Strickland, and Nicki Scholl.

Stran Lechman and Hogan Kelley, both age 12, were pictured driving cattle from the summer range to lower pasture while smoke from the East Troublesome Creek Fire was pictured in the background.

Middle Park Health announced a new orthopaedic partnership with Vail-Summit Orthopaedics & Neurosurgery.
Anael Castillo, an early childhood education major, was named to the Dean’s List at Fort Lewis College.
West Grand senior Jesus Dominguez earned the Distinction Award from the University of Arizona, giving him a renewable scholarship in the amount of $35,000.

The West Grand Mustang football season finally arrived and the team was able to defeat Hayden, 44-26. Touchdowns were scored by Jakob Buller, Jesus Dominguez, and Rene Dominguez. Coach Chris Brown praised the efforts of numerous players, including offensive linemen Wade Jensen, Alejandro Castanon, Austin Schake, and Parker Graves, wide receiver Wyatt Howell, and three new starters on defense – Graves, Wyatt Schearer, and Landon Williams.

Jeromy Huntington was named Area Wildlife Manager in Hot Sulphur Springs for the Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
Snow was a welcome sight throughout Colorado as state residents sought relief from fires growing exponentially with wind and dry conditions. The East Troublesome Creek Fire had grown to nearly 200,000 acres and was recorded as the second-largest fire in Colorado history.

Karla Hassler joined the

Kremmling Police Department as the department’s new police technician. She would be responsible
for helping to manage workflow and property and evidence collection.

Former trustee Wes Howell was appointed to the Kremmling Town Board of Trustees.

A report was made of an illegal slash burn in Gorewood Estates. The fire was set after snow had fallen but while the county remained under a Stage II fire restriction and barely a week after the East Troublesome Creek fire flared from 19,000 acres to 125,000 acres in less than a day.

The Kremmling Rotary Club hosted a drive-thru homemade chili and cinnamon roll dinner to help raise funds for the victims of the East Troublesome Creek Fire.

he Mustang football team from West Grand was defeated 14-12 by the #8 ranked Rangely Panthers in an unusually low scoring contest for 8-man football.

Providing support from the sidelines was the West Grand Spirit team. Coached by Kendra Holmes and Ashlyn Eisenman, the team includes: Morgan Monk, Itzel Rodriguez, Cora Farley, Isabella Galindo, Tiffany Padia-Luttrell, Ximena Rodriguez-Ramos, Nevaeh Brumley, Kassandra Stubbs, Audree Miller, Wendy Eller, Sage Lechman, Eleanore Poindexter, Rachel Williams, and Lily May Butler.

November

The US Drug Enforcement Administration executed a search warrant on a large-scale illegal marijuana indoor growing operation in the Troublesome Creek valley. A white male was seen taken into custody at about 8:15 a.m. on a Wednesday morning.

Kara Williams was hired as the Director of Finance for the Town of Kremmling. Living currently in Oak Creek, Williams said she looks forward to moving to and getting involved in the Kremmling community.

Julie Savage, co-owner of Kremmling’s Dawgs Abound and Petrel Industries was nominated as a hometown hero for her unerring volunteerism during this year of tumult. Responding to a Facebook post, she has helped match services and needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Kremmling Chamber hosted the first-ever Town Square Scare. There was a large turnout of happy people enjoying a warm autumn evening. Thomas Sheperd, owner of the Hotel Eastin, joined the festivities with a nod to his name complete with a staff and a sheep (dog).

Kremmling residents, ranchers, and outdoorsmen along with Grand County Search and Rescue responded to a call about a lost hunter north and west of Kremmling. The prompt and unified response paid dividends as the hunter, though disoriented and panicked, was found and was able to return, unharmed, to his family.

The Mustangs football team defeated the Gilpin County Eagles, 54-22. A key play early in the game was a kickoff play fumble recovery by Austin Schake. Earlier in the week, the Mustang JV team defeated Hayden, 16-8, on a snow-covered field.

Allura Luna and Samantha Westfahl were named to the All-State Cross Country Team.

The Middle Park Volleyball Club, Hit List, was in action with team members Lily Butler, Maddy Probst, Alex Schake, Allie Daly, Lisi Buller, Andree Miller, Morgan Nelson, and Sage Lechman. The team is coached by Sara Miller and Emmylou Harmon.

The annual K-5 Halloween parade at West Grand was taken outside this year. The large array of costumes were a delight for all ages.

Dr. Daniel Thompson, West Grand High School graduate, was featured for his work in Alaska focusing on moose and the impact of increasing temperatures on their health.

Grand County announced the hiring of Joel Cochran as the new Grand County Director of Emergency Management.

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced that Kremmling’s Cliffview Assisted Living Center COVID-19 outbreak was resolved. During the outbreak, 21 of the 24 residents and 10 of the 18 staff members tested positive. Three individuals were hospitalized and other specialized care in the form of additional oxygen and physician supervision was provided, but there were no fatalities and all of those hospitalized had been released.

Kremmling Town Manager Dan Stoltman helped direct traffic at the Ranch Creek Waste free pickup day in Kremmling.

The West Grand School District moved to remote learning when a student and staff member were presumed positive for COVID-19. While talking with the school board of directors, school administration members were visibly shaken while describing the vitriolic response from many in the community.

Three individuals received citations from Colorado Parks and Wildlife for violations concerning trespass and illegal take or possession of big game.

A hunter fatality near Kremmling was confirmed when a 26-year-old West Virginia man was reported by the Grand County Coroner as being killed by a gunshot wound. The incident was under investigation and all parties were cooperating. A 52-year-old male was later to be charged with criminally negligent homicide.
Bridget Ryszkowski donated a new snowblower to the Cliffview Assisted Living Center.

The West Grand School Board hosted a three-hour Zoom meeting attended by over 50 people. At the end of the meeting, the board directed the staff to reopen the school for K-5 students and develop plans to explore more options for learning for students in grades 6-12.

Jesse Lisenby and his wife Jennifer will be jumping into the Kremmling community in their respective fields. Jennifer accepted a position as a registered nurse at Middle Park Health and Jesse will be serving as Kremmling’s newest police officer.

Northwest Ranch Supply was named Business of the Month for November by the Kremmling Chamber of Commerce. Counter staff includes Rory Menhennett, Tami Menhennett, Marcos Ramirez, Tim Menhennett, Pam Miranda, Dakota Cordle, Julie Bambei, Tina Tsaconopoulos, Gabby Willson, and Pistol Pete. The yard crew includes Larry Benson, Paul Romero, Tom Rohas, Dan Murphy, Jacob Murphy, Darrell Cordova, David Santos, Frank Sanguinette, and Collin Warren.

Grand County Animal Control and Care officer, Mary Ann Kerstiens, accepted the first load of donations from the 3Rs 4-H Club. 4-H Member Penny Myers helped unload the truck.

The Grand County Commissioners discussed fire recovery and rebuilding. Topics included: seeking major disaster declaration, debris removal, waiving building plan and review fees; and allowing displaced people to live in RVs on other people’s property through July 31.

December

Kremmling, for the past seven years, has laid claim to the largest living Christmas tree in the Centennial state and, more specifically, “the largest living Blue Spruce Christmas tree west of the Mississippi.” The tree’s lights were strung this year by Randy Mayeaux, Francois Tucker, Dennis Lasater, Dave Shaw, Korby Kline, and Dave Cunningham. The crew gave special acknowledgment to Korby, who replaced 370 of the LED lights.

The official lighting was on Dec. 5 but the usual activities were curtailed due to COVID-19 restrictions. Those who wanted to make a day of it could join the Great Jingle Bell Hunt, a community scavenger hunt hosted by Colorado Aerolabs. The hunt included tasks like posing in front of a fake animal, solving riddles, and performing random acts of kindness.

Grand River Aviation LLC, owned by Keith and Joanna Whitemarsh, began negotiations with Grand County for the Fixed Base Operations contract at Kremmling’s McElroy Field.
Hunter Graves claimed four dirt bike off-road championships as he managed to win every race he entered in two classes.

Kremmling Police arrested and file charges on a 19-year-old male in connection with a string of car burglaries in the Kremmling area.

A Kremmling man faces charges for unintentionally starting a fire during a Stage II fire ban which included a prohibition on outdoor smoking.

Lakes and rivers in Grand County were freezing over as Chambers of Commerce in the county prepared for ice fishing contests.

The Kremmling Town Board voted to create a grant-like assistance program for local businesses and employees being affected by the most recent COVID-19 restrictions. Manager Dan Stoltman said it was primarily restaurants being affected by the restrictions.

The West Grand School District school board agreed to return to face-to-face instruction starting on January 4.

West Grand FFA students came to the rescue of the school’s greenhouse and were able to help their teacher Jacob Walter, as well as Dave Heil, Wes Howell, Shannon Barsy, and Emmylou Harmon replace the greenhouse cover that had been destroyed earlier in the fall by high winds. Students helping make it happen were Jakob Buller, Austin Schake, Gabe Torres, Ben Kellen, Sage Lechman, Emma Daly, Wade Jansen, Allison Daly, Lily Butler, John Butler, Ollie Bergman, Tanner Brumley, Andrew Pecotte, and Trace Lewis, In news from county government, Frank DeLay was sworn in as the County Treasurer/Public Trustee, the county budget was approved, and Assistant County Manager Ed Moyer was appointed as the Acting Town Manager to replace Kate McIntire, who saw her contract terminated in a special meeting held on December 3.

According to Finance Director Curtis Lange, the 2021 budget was balanced with a $45,000 surplus.
The Middle Park Medical Foundation presented the Kremmling Memorial Hospital District board of directors a check for $21,978.30 to be used for infusion service expansion. Accepting the check from MPMF representatives Andy Radzavich and Frank DeLay were KMHD board members Chris Murphy, Jodi Docheff, Kelly Johnson, and Kim Cameron.

Grand County Public Health Director Brene Belew-Ladue tendered her letter of resignation, effective January 15, 2021. Grand County Public Health and Belew-Ladue have faced criticism both in public and on social media in regard to recommendations and actions since the start of the COVID-19 crisis.

“Until recently, the BOCC has not favored public health prevention methods that we have supported nor the state, nor the nation,” Belew-Ladue said. “The fact is, Grand Public Health’s prevention measures have always been in alignment with the state and the nation.”

Larry the camel, a new resident at the Troublesome Horse Rescue, was an unexpected but well-received visitor at the West Grand PK-8 School.

Grand Coroner Brenda Bock told the county commissioners she didn’t think it was appropriate for the state to include the two victims of a Fraser murder-suicide as COVID-19 related deaths. Even though the couple tested positive for the virus, the cause of death was gunshot wounds. Bock told the Grand County there has been only one Grand County resident to die of a COVID-19 infection.

The Open Lands, Rivers, and Trails Advisory Committee recommended a $245,000 grant for the Town of Hot Sulphur Springs and its Himebaugh Creek Property Acquisition project. The recommendation was approved by the Grand County Board of County Commissioners.

The Keepsake Christmas Shoppe was named Kremmling Chamber Business of the Month for December. The artist consignment shop is owned and operated by Randy and Jerri Thornton.

The West Grand PK-8 School raised $152.61 and purchased 15 wreaths for Wreaths Across America. The effort was spearheaded by the National Junior Honor Society, which includes Sara Lechman, Luci Bruchez, Eva Norton, Taylor Martinson, and Advisor Jennifer Vance. The National Junior Honor Society would help veterans and members of the community lay wreaths at nearly 140 graves of veterans at the December 19 event.

Veterans at the event included: Duane Dailey, Valerie Riege, Bob Frank, Bernie McGinn, Jim Sloan, Dan Bowerly, Jonathon Blake Gibson, Anthony Duddleson, Pete Petersen, Rick Tomkievich, Dennis Rioegi, and Dirk Briesch.
Dalene Harthun and her horse Buttercup earned $2,000 at the Lone Star Arenas 5th Annual All in One Barrel Race.

The Cliffview Assisted Living Center served 48 meals to the community on Thanksgiving in a drive-thru pickup format. The Last Time ‘Round Thrift Shop and the Kremmling Community Church helped to sponsor the Thanksgiving community dinner.

Santa (aka Hot Sulphur Springs Mayor Bob McVay) handed out candy and stockings to his visitors at his stops at the library, Candy Store, and town hall.

The Kremmling Police Department was looking for a suspect in an armed robbery at the new Dollar General store. The suspect was “caught” on security camera footage.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife confirmed a mountain lion attack on a llama that took place in the Troublesome Creek valley.

The Kremmling Rotary Club showed the community its appreciation for the support of its three drive-thru fundraising meals in 2020, by hosting a free wassail party. The drive-thru, which was held despite cold temperatures and icy wind, was designed to get people out of their houses and driving through town to look at Christmas decorations.

The first COVID vaccinations were administered in Grand County on December 23. Dr. Darcy Selenke, Grand County Medical Director, received the first dose from Grand County Public Health Director Brene Belew-Ladue.
The Bustang announced the inaugural run of their new Outrider bus line from Craig to Denver, via Grand County, will be on January 1, 2021.