Hometown Homecoming Project | SkyHiDailyNews.com

Hometown Homecoming Project

Mountain Family Center announced the shopping kick-off phase of their new Hometown Homecoming Project beginning Tuesday, September 6, and ending right before Middle Park High School Homecoming on Saturday, October 8.

Local volunteers have organized the gorgeous dresses and accessories to include shoes and jewelry at the Main Street Thrift at 222 East Agate in historic downtown Granby.

Any high school girl will be given a 25 percent discount on their purchase of their special and unique Homecoming ensemble.

Local students are encouraged to shop early and often because new outfits are constantly being added to the treasure trove.

Main Street Thrift is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Obituary: William (Bill) Gardner

Long-time Broomfield resident Bill Gardner passed away Aug 18.

He was a frequent visitor to Grand County for many years to enjoy time and events with family. He also enjoyed hiking, biking, canoeing, tent camping, church events, and Nordic skiing at Devil’s Thumb and Snow Mountain Ranch. He first visited Grand Lake in 1961 on his honeymoon.

He is survived by his wife of 55 years Ardy, sons Kyle, Greg (Heidi), Koll (Natalie), daughter Mari Riley (Jim), and 14 grandchildren.

Meet Linneya Gardner, Sky-Hi News intern

Linneya Gardner is a senior at Middle Park High School and will be interning at the Sky-Hi News during the school year. Gardner has a passion for photography and journalism and hopes to pursue this when she attends college next year. She is involved in basketball, soccer and yearbook. She has lived in Grand County all her life and considers it the best home anyone can have. With her passion for photojournalism, she hopes to travel and experience the world by capturing meaningful moments and using them to inspire others.

First day of school, MPHS

Senior girls pose for a picture on Monday, August 29 as they get ready to face a new year. Front row (left to right): Alyssa Fawkes, Erin Emery, Madison King, Maddy Hill, Mackenzie DePlata, and Nicole Mitchell. Back row (left to right): Jaiden Smith, Claire Luque, Ashley Trotter, Makenna Green, Ryleigh Sutcliffe, Jene Hansen, and Karmen Reynolds.

Fall sports underway for panthers

The fall sports season is starting off fairly strong for the Middle Park Panthers.

Varsity teams from Middle Park High School (MPHS) competed last weekend in football, volleyball and soccer with the panthers winning two out of three of the early season competitions.

Football

The fall season kicked off for the panthers on Friday August 26 with the MPHS football team scoring a solid win against the Aspen Skiers. The panther boys took home the win with a final score of 22-14.

“One of the best aspects of the way we won was that our guys had to play four quarters to win. They had to overcome a lot of adversity,” said Brandon Wilkes, Head Football Coach for MPHS. “We played our best football in the fourth quarter when the game was on the line. What makes me happiest is we were tested and we stood up for the test and showed a lot of toughness.”

Junior running back Blake Weimer led the team in offensive yardage, racking up a total of 206 all-purpose yards over the course of the game including 112 yards rushing and five yards receiving. On special teams Weimer managed to drive for 27 yards from punt returns and 52 yards during kickoff returns.

Junior quarterback Sam Colley also helped the panthers significantly Friday night running in two touchdowns of his own and completing a 29-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Mitch Gardner.

On the defensive side of the ball junior linebacker Will Delay led the panthers with seven tackles Friday night. Senior linebacker Benji Jacobs supported those efforts by stopping five drives of his own. Junior Blake Weimer also plays on defense for Middle Park and made significant contributions from that side of the ball as well.

Weimer recorded two interceptions in his role as defensive back, one more than his fellow defensive back – and team quarterback, Sam Colley who managed one interception. Mitch Gardner also had a standout night on both sides of the ball. Along with his receiving touchdown on offense Gardner recorded one solo sack and one assisted sack on defense.

The Middle Park football team’s next game for the 2016 season will be a rivalry game against the Estes Park Bobcats this Friday, September 2, beginning at 7 p.m. in Granby. The game will determine control of the Trail Ridge Trophy for the coming year.

Volleyball

The lady panther’s volleyball teams also kicked off the year with a varsity win as the team faced off against the Faith Christian Eagles Saturday afternoon August 27. It was a bit of a rough start for the panthers Saturday as both the MPHS volleyball C-Team and Junior Varsity (JV) team lost best of three matches against their Faith Christian counterparts. Both the C-Team and the JV recorded one set win each in their respective matches but weren’t able to secure a match win against the Front Range school.

Despite the loss panther’s Head Coach Kate Lapham was proud of the young ladies for their performance. “I thought that all three of our teams showed maturity and composure on the court in their first home match of the season,” Lapham stated. “Even though the C team and JV didn’t pull out a win, they played with heart and determination up to the very last point.”

The panthers Varsity squad faired better though, defeating the Faith Christian Varsity team in four sets. According to the high school athletic statistics aggregation web site MaxPreps the panthers won the first set by a score of 25-18 and the second set 25-22. The varsity ladies dropped the match’s third set, 23-25, but took home the match win in the fourth set with a 26-24 tally.

The panther’s leading scorer on Saturday was junior Bailey Martin who racked up 12 kills. Martin was followed closely by junior Kiera Barr who tallied 11 kills. Also contributing significantly to the offensive side of things was junior Layne Neiberger who served up three aces and was the team’s primary setter scoring 43 assists.

Defensively the panthers were led by Kiera Barr who had 32 digs during the match last weekend. Senior Annalys Hanna was the team’s second leading defender with a total of 26 digs.

“I think that the Varsity team looked like one cohesive unit on the court that connected and communicated really well with each other,” Coach Lapham stated. “Our defense was really scrappy and it seemed as though we were determined to not let any ball hit the floor.”

Lapham went on to explain the lady panthers have, historically, struggled to finish strong during such tight matches but added, “tonight the girls competed at a high level every point with close scores in all four games, and were able to finish on top against a very strong 3A team.”

The MPHS volleyball team’s next scheduled match will be held on Friday September 9 beginning at 6 p.m. in Granby against the Estes Park Bobcats.

Soccer

The panther boy’s soccer team also competed in their first match of the fall season on Saturday August 27. The match was held in Lake County against the Lake County Panthers. The panther men lost a heartbreaking season opener to Lake County with a final score of 2-3.

The soccer boys will take the pitch for the second time this season today, Wednesday August 31, in Granby against the Sheridan Rams. The match is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m.

Look for the Panthers Fall Soccer Preview coming soon in the Sky-Hi News.

Obituary: Margaret Jean Alt

After a hard fought battle with illness, Heaven has acquired a very special angel. Margaret (Marge) Jean Alt passed away in her home with her family by her side. She was born in Detroit, Michigan. In 1944 she moved to Denver with her now deceased parents, Lewis and Lillian Hall, and surviving sister, Joan Sweet (Sam) Aurora, Colorado. In February, 1955, she became the loving wife of John A. Alt, who survives her. During their 61-year marriage they were blessed with two surviving daughters, Cindy Greiner, Granby, and Sandy Tillotson, Grand Junction. In 1973, the family moved from Denver to Granby. Marge was elected Grand County Treasurer and Public Trustee. She served in that office from 1979 to 1993. During this time, she was elected to positions with the State of Colorado Public Trustees Association, and was honored as Outstanding Treasurer at both the Colorado State and National levels. Marge was very dedicated and a mentor to many. Along with raising their two daughters, Marge and John opened up their home to foster care for numerous foster children.

In addition to her husband, children, and sister, Marge is also survived by six grandchildren, six great grandchildren, and many nieces, nephews, cousins, in-laws, and wonderful friends. She dearly loved each and every one. Her greatest joy was spending time with family and friends.

A “Celebration of Marge’s Life” will be held in Grand Junction, Quartzsite, Ariz., and in West Virginia at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Margaret Alt to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital by mail: PO Box 1000, Dept. 142, Memphis, TN 38148 or by phone: 800-822-6344.

Golf league updates

Nifty Niners

Fall was definitely in the air as the Nifty Niners teed-off on Tuesday morning, August 23. Even though the temperature didn’t change much throughout the morning, everyone enjoyed playing the game of “Pitch Two.” The winners were: Nancy Smith – 1st. Place,

Sue Ronald – 2nd Place, Lynn Turnquist and Deb Sisung shared 3rd Place, Lucette Kottcamp and Gladys Howard tied for 4th. and last but not least was Vicki Nessan in 5th Place. Gladys Howard won the “Putt Pot” for the third week in a row. “Congrats to her!!

Grand Lake Mens Golf Club

On August 24 and 25 the Grand Lake Mens Golf Club held their Annual Championship Tournament. The Club Champion was Larry Burks with a gross score of 78/76, total 154. The ‘Net’ Club Champion was Mike Montgomery with a score of 70/68, total 138. The Flight 3 winner was Todd Mayfield with a total 139 and the Flight 4 winner was John Murray with a total 142. Congratulations to the winners! Following the tournament, cocktails and delicious appetizers were served up by the Sly Fox Restaurant followed by a fabulous dinner of Sirloin steak, Salmon, Chicken and dessert. The event concluded the official 2016 Men’s Club season.

Pole Creek Ladies

On Thursday August 25 the Pole Creek Ladies golf league played a “Partner Relay” tournament. Each two-person team recorded the lower handicap partner’s Net score for the odd holes and the higher handicap partner’s Net score for the even holes. The winning teams were: 1st Place Tie} Helen Brown & Sandy Williams 74, Linda Moore& Mary Regehr 74, Susan Odneal & Madelyne Stevens 74. 2nd Place: Pat Riddell & Andrea Singleton 75. 3rd Place: Marie Johannes & Cathy Malone 76. Linda Moore and Jeanne Anne MacDonald had the fewest putts with 31. Carol Stott and Susie Noel shared the large chip in pot.

CPW awards $87,900 grant to Grand County

Western slope economics, especially areas like Grand County, are driven by tourism. Tourism, in turn, is dependent upon the unique environment of the high Rockies and the recreational opportunities on offer.

During the long high country winter massive snow dumps draw visitors from throughout the state, nation and world. The summer season offers more varied recreational choices but the preeminence of our local lakes and streams is hard to overstate. One of the biggest draws for recreators in Grand County are our incredible fishing opportunities.

While many who come to Middle Park seek out vast mountain lakes, creek and river anglers are extremely prevalent. Driving down US Highway 40 through Grand County will typically reveal several anglers casting for trout in our mountain streams. For some time now local conservation groups have been working to improve river habitat in the Fraser Valley.

The regional adaptive management committee for water issues, known as Learning By Doing (LBD), has already undertaken a few projects. The LBD group is made up of multiple entities including Trout Unlimited, Grand County government, Northern Water and Denver Water among others.

Earlier this summer Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) awarded Grand County an $87,900 grant. The grant will be applied to projects the LBD group is working to develop. According to a press release from CPW issued in early August the grant is for, “public access and habitat improvement on the Fraser River near Tabernash.”

Local officials have been negotiating details surrounding how the grant would be implemented for the past several weeks but lingering issues have been worked out and the project is now moving forward.

The LBD group has already done several projects in the Fraser Valley including the Fraser Sediment Pond, which removes road traction sand laid down on Berthoud Pass over the winter, and the Fraser Flats River Habitat Project. The Fraser Flats Project seeks to improve the habitat of the Fraser River by digging deep narrow channels in the middle of the existing stream bed to allow the river to recede in low flow periods while still maintaining high water velocity, a crucial dynamic in the health of any river.

Enrollment tallies for EGSD new school year

Fall is in the air in Grand County.

Aspen leaves are beginning to change in small stands of tress that line the local streams and rivers. The temperature is dipping lower and lower each night while dense fog formations lift off the Three Lakes Region and envelope the mountain parks surrounding Granby nearly every morning.

The fall brings many things; hunting season, sweaters and gloves, and for those who still attend school, or those with children attending school, the fall is a time of new beginnings as youngsters head back to the classroom.

The first day of the 2016-2017 academic school year for the East Grand School District started on Monday August 29. Students from Middle Park High School (MPHS) and East Grand Middle School (EGMS) attended classes throughout the day while elementary students from Granby Elementary School (GES) and Fraser Valley Elementary (FVE) underwent testing both Monday and Tuesday in preparation of the first day of elementary school classes on Wednesday August 31.

Middle Park High School

Total enrollment for the high school stands at 380 students as of the first day of classes. Middle Park has a total of 89 senior students starting the school year in 2016. The senior class at MPHS is the smallest out of the four high school classes. The junior class, eleventh-graders, has a slightly larger total with 94 students while the sophomore class has a total of 92. There are 105 ninth-graders in the freshman class of 2016, who will look do graduate in 2020.

This year MPHS welcomes five new teachers and one new paraprofessional while administrators and students will welcome back 20 returning teachers who have previously instructed classes at the high school.

East Grand Middle School

East Grand Middle School starts the 2016 academic year with a total of 302 students enrolled. The new middle school class, sixth-graders, is the largest class of students currently attending EGMS with a 108 students. The seventh-grader enrollment total stands at 97. This year’s eighth-grade class also has 97 students enrolled.

Administrators from EGMS welcomed two new teachers this year who will be instructing students, one new teacher is a transfer from MPHS while one is from out of district. There are a total of 20 returning certified teachers this year for the EGMS.

Granby Elementary School

Granby Elementary School has a total of 334 students currently enrolled for the first day of classes, excluding preschool students. Granby Elementary offers classes for preschool through fifth grade but because of the flexible and fluctuating schedule of many preschool students enrollment and attendance figures for that grade can change drastically throughout each week and over the course of the school year.

Kindergarten teachers at GES will have 51 young charges to instruct and look after over the coming year. The first-grade class has a total of 49 students enrolled for the first day of classes. Local Granby second-graders will attend school this year with a total of 55 students in the class while the third-grade class will have 57 students. The fourth-grade class is the largest class at Granby Elementary this year with a total of 69 students. The Granby fifth-graders, who will move on to the EGMS next year, will be part of a class of 53.

There are 18 classroom teachers returning to GES this year and one new teacher who previously served as a half-time science before entering a new role as fifth-grade teacher. Along with classroom teachers GES has four returning teachers for the courses of PE, music, science and art.

Fraser Valley Elementary

Fraser Valley Elementary is the smallest school in the EGSD in terms of raw student enrollment numbers. The quaint elementary school in southeastern Grand County has a total enrollment figure of 247 for the coming school year, excluding preschoolers. Like Granby Elementary Fraser Valley also offers preschool classes for the youngest students in the area but numbers can fluctuate significantly throughout each week and the year.

The Kindergarten class at Fraser Valley has a total of 37 students enrolled, the exact same number of first-grade students enrolled for the 2016 year at FVE. The Fraser second-grade class is the second largest class at FVE with a total enrollment figure of 43.

Fraser’s smallest class is the third-grade which has a total of 34 students enrolled for the first day of school. The fourth-grade class is the largest at FVE with a total of 47 students while the fifth-grade class will see 41 students attending this year.

Students and returning faculty at Fraser Valley will welcome one new Kindergarten teacher this year along with a new school librarian. The school has 13 classroom teachers returning for the 2016-2017 school year including the school’s preschool teaching staff. Additionally FVE has a special education teacher and director as well as art and PE teachers and two science teachers.

Riding the Wild Waters

Gore Fest 2016 was a success with heavy competition from kayakers, rafters, and SUP boarders. Kayak and raft races saw some very skilled competitors navigating five miles of constant class IV and V rapids through Gore Canyon.

The fest began on Friday, August 26 for most and was a fun day for spectators and competitors as they floated the Colorado River from Pumphouse Recreation Site to Rancho Del Rio where the camping sites were located. The float was a great chance to enjoy some refreshing beverages and relax before entering the raging and violent water of Gore Canyon on Saturday. Saturday’s events included kayak and raft races, all of which were timed, so competitors started one at a time. They started just as the rapids begin in the canyon, after about four miles of flat water. The winning time for rafters was 26:36 and the fastest for kayakers (long-boat) was 20:43. Imagine navigating some of the most intimidating rapids in the country while worrying about your time as well.

There was no shortage of safety for the races as each major rapid saw about 25-30 people on either side of the river ready with throw ropes and safety kayakers. Safety kayakers are applied when someone is in the water away from their craft and often cannot get to shore. The kayakers paddle up to the swimmer and have them grab handles on the back of the boat, and then paddle them to shore. Safety kayakers can also recover lost kayaks and paddles from competitors that have capsized and become separated from their boat. There were many experienced whitewater professionals with ropes along the shore as well ready to deploy a “throw bag,” containing a rope, which was anchored to a rock or sturdy object. The point of the throw bag is to pendulum a person that is in the water to shore, or pull them to safety in an eddy. Ropes were thrown every time a person was in the water away from their boat, and were rescued before continuing to swim through another rapid. There were also rescuers on shore set up as “live bait.” Live bait means the rescuer is leashed to a rope that is attached to the their personal floatation device (PFD) with a detachable chord on the PFD so they can jump in after a swimmer if needed, without the threat of being stuck on the line. If they feel they are in danger while in the water, they pull the detachable chord on their PFD and swim to shore. Safety is nothing to be taken lightly in whitewater sports, especially in Gore Canyon, and the safety crews were deployed flawlessly throughout the rapids through professional organization and volunteer efforts from all safety crewmembers.

Saturday’s race finished off with a barbecue, awards, raffle prizes, and live music at Rancho Del Rio. An immaculate presentation of stars, and a cloudless sky made the night one to remember after seeing some of the best whitewater the country has to offer-located right here, in Grand County.