Kayaker killed in Gore Canyon identified | SkyHiNews.com

Kayaker killed in Gore Canyon identified

The Grand County coroner has identified a kayaker who was found dead in the Gore Canyon as 38-year-old Elizabeth "Beth" McVay, of Boulder County, officials said. Coroner Brenda Bock determined that McVay died from blunt force trauma after falling from a riverside cliff. McVay became separated from her kayak near the upper end of Gore Canyon on the Colorado River on Aug. 16. Grand County Dispatch received a report stating McVay was trying to scale an embankment on the side of the river around 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 16, according to a press release. Her body was discovered at the base of the cliffs in rocky terrain along the river early on Aug. 17.

Woman killed in Gore Canyon identified

The Grand County Coroner has identified a kayaker who was found dead in the Gore Canyon as 38-year-old Elizabeth "Beth" McVay, of Boulder County, officials said. Coroner Brenda Bock determined that McVAy died from blunt force trauma after falling from a riverside cliff. McVay became separated from her kayak near the upper end of Gore Canyon on the Colorado River on Aug. 16. Grand County Dispatch received a report stating McVay was trying to scale an embankment on the side of the river around 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 16, according to a press release. Her body was discovered at the base of the cliffs in rocky terrain along the river early on Aug. 17.

Republicans edge out Democrats in Grand County

Republicans have taken a lead in Grand County’s early voting results with U.S. State Senate candidate Ken Buck and U.S. Congress candidate Stephen Bailey edging out their opponents. Grand County citizens have, however, shown a clear preference for Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Hickenlooper over opponents Dan Maes and Tom Tancredo in early results. Amendments 60 and 61 and Prop 101 are also on the road to defeat in Grand County. Some 3,719 of Grand County’s absentee and early votes had been counted as of 7:30 p.m., Nov. 2. Partial Grand County Election Results as of 7:30 p.m. U.S. Senate Ken Buck (REP) 1,774 Michael Bennett (DEM) 1,501 U.S. Congress Stephen Bailey (REP) 1,918 Jared Polis (DEM) 1,388 Governor John Hickenlooper (DEM) 1,714 Dan Maes (REP) 424 Tom Tancredo (ACP) 1,358 State Senate District 16 Tim Leonard (REP) 2,094 Jeanne Nicholson (DEM) 1,309 State Representative District 57 Steve Ivancie (DEM) 1,113 Randy Baumgardner (REP) 2,202 Grand County Commissioner District 3 Gary Bumgarner (REP) 2,148 Bob McVay (DEM) 1,268 Grand County Sheriff Rod Johnson (REP) 2,495 Sheila Kesler (UNA) 756 Amendment 60 YES 919 NO 2,568 Amendment 61 YES 955 NO 2,549 Proposition 101 YES 1,216 NO 2,287

4 candidates running for 1 commissioner seat in November

Countdown to general election: • Last day to petition onto the primary election: May 27 • Last day to change party affiliation: Aug. 10 • Statewide Primary Election: Aug. 10 • Last day to file intent to run as write-in candidate: Aug. 24 • Last day to register to vote: Oct. 4 • General Election: Nov. 2 By Tonya Bina Sky-Hi Daily News GRAND COUNTY – The way races are shaping up for the Grand County general election in November, the District 3 commissioner’s race should be a hot contest, with four candidates presently vying for the seat. The District 3 commissioner race is one race that came out of the Republican Grand County Assembly recently, with George Davis of Hot Sulphur Springs and incumbent Gary Bumgarner securing enough votes to get their names on the primary ballot. The Primary Election will have two District 3 commissioner candidates from the Democratic side as well. Robert McVay of Hot Sulphur Springs and Peter Ralph of Parshall are both running as choices for the seat. At the Democratic Grand County Assembly on April 6, Ralph garnered 53 percent of the votes ahead of McVay, according to Grand County Democratic Party Chair Clint Roberts. Although the seat is filled by someone who lives in District 3 – mid- to western-Grand County – all Grand County residents are qualified to vote for the District 3 position in the General Election. Bumgarner has held the seat for one four-year term. The March 28 Republican Grand County Assembly had as many as 100 people in attendance, according to Grand County Republican Party Chair David Abbott. Party affiliates elected 17 delegates to go on to the state convention May 21-22 at the Budweiser Events Center, Loveland. Discussions about party politics took place during the assembly, with two resolutions adopted to move forward concerning gun rights and eliminating daylight savings time. Democrats in Grand County chose 13 delegates to continue on to the Democratic state convention May 22 in Broomfield. Resolutions that came out of the Democratic County Assembly concerned banning corporate contributions to political activities, supporting a universal, single-payer health care system, making water conservation measures mandatory and instituting greater financial regulations. Another potential race in the Republican Primary is for Grand County Sheriff. Incumbent Rod Johnson was the sole Republican sheriff candidate at the Grand County Assembly, but Republican opponent Stephen Holland of Granby is circulating a petition to get on the Aug. 10 ballot. An unaffiliated third sheriff candidate may be entering the race. Sheila Kesler of Granby is petitioning onto the general election ballot. Both Holland and Kesler were once deputies at the Grand County Sheriff’s Office. In other Grand County races, the treasurer’s office held by Republican Christina Whitmer is being contested by Brenda Morrow, a senior escrow officer and resident of Hot Sulphur Springs. Republican Morrow is currently circulating a petition to get onto the Primary Election ballot. Grand County Assessor Tom Weydert, Clerk and Recorder Sara Rosene, Coroner Brenda Bock and Surveyor Warren Ward, all Republicans, are poised to be on the Primary ballot uncontested. Presently, there are no other candidates for these positions listed by the Secretary of State’s office. – Tonya Bina can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19603 or e-mail tbina@skyhidailynews.com.

Today is last day to register to vote in primary election

The primary election is on Tuesday, Aug. 10, and those who hope to vote in it have until Monday, July 12, to register. July 12 is also the last day to change or withdraw from a major political party affiliation. Yet for those who are unaffiliated, the chance to become affiliated remains up until a ballot is obtained, until primary election day. This year’s election in Grand County is a mail ballot election with ballots mailed to affiliated voters starting July 19 through July 23. Voters can obtain ballots by walk-in at the Grand County Administration Building from July 19 through Aug. 10. Applications for mail-in ballots that will be mailed to voters must be completed by Aug. 3, and the last day to apply for mail-in ballots for the primary election if the ballot is picked up in person is Aug. 6. The Grand County Administration Building will be the location for ballot replacement, voting and ballot drop-off daily from July 19 through Aug. 9, including Saturday, Aug. 7, then on election day, Aug. 10. On the primary election day, voters may vote in person or drop off ballots at the county administration building from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The county clerk and recorder’s office has also organized five drop-off locations that will be open only on election day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. They are: • The CSU Extension Hall in Kremmling • The Grand Lake Firehouse in Grand Lake • The Fraser Valley Baptist Church, Fraser • The Church of the Eternal Hills, Tabernash • Mountain Parks Electric, Granby More information can be obtained from the Grand County Clerk and Recorder’s elections office at 725-3347 or at the Colorado Secretary of State’s website: http://www.sos.state.co.us/pubs/elections/main.htm. On the state website, voters can find applications to change affiliation and register to vote. Those Grand County candidates running in the primary contested are: Republican primary – Gary Bumgarner and George Davis for commissioner District 3; Christina Whitmer and Brenda Morrow for county treasurer; Tom Weydert and Brian Reynolds for county assessor; and Rod Johnson and write-in candidate Stephen Holland for county sheriff. Democratic primary – Robert McVay and Peter Ralph for commissioner District 3

Hundreds expected at Gore Canyon whitewater race this weekend

With hundreds of racers and spectators expected to attend the Gore Canyon Race on the Colorado River this weekend, Bureau of Land Management officials are working closely with the race organizers, Union Pacific Railroad and Grand County. The Gore Race is a national competitive whitewater race through Gore Canyon southwest of Kremmling. The Confluence Road from the Trough Road to the put-in for the Gore Canyon run will be closed to traffic Saturday, Aug. 22, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Race organizers are providing a free shuttle between the Pumphouse Campground and the Gore Canyon put-in. The Launch #3 area at Pumphouse will be closed to public use starting Friday, Aug. 21, so the area can be used for parking and staging for the event. The closure will be in effect until noon on Sunday, Aug. 23. Only race participants, spectators, and event personnel will be allowed into the Launch #3 area during the closure. Launch #1 and #2 will remain open throughout the weekend for general public use not associated with the race. Camping will be allowed at Pumphouse in both developed campsites and at designated dispersed camping areas. Additional dispersed camping will be allowed as usual along the Trough Road. BLM encourages using sustainable camping practices, such as camping in established areas, keeping vehicles on roads and packing out trash. “We’re reminding everyone to stay off of the railroad tracks in Gore Canyon and keep their dogs leashed,” said Dave Stout, Kremmling BLM Field Manager. Stout also points out that the Pumphouse Recreation Area will be occupied by high numbers of racers and spectators this weekend. For those looking to camp away from the race activity, a limited number of campsites are available farther down river at BLM’s Radium Site. This will be the 20th year for the race. Race organizers obtain a special recreation use permit from BLM and coordinate closely with BLM, Union Pacific and Grand County. For more information about the Gore Canyon Race, visit http://gorecanyon.com

Grand County Republicans pick Maes over McInnis

HOT SULPHUR SPRINGS- Grand County Clerk and Recorder Sara Rosene signed off on an unofficial tally of votes in the primary election around 10 p.m. this evening, Tuesday, Aug. 10. Across the board, Republican incumbents held favor among local voters over their challengers, and many of tonight’s winners will run unopposed in the November election. However, County Commissioner Gary Bumgarner will run against Democratic challenger Bob McVay in November. Bumgarner faced stiff competition in the Republican primary from George Davis, beating him by fewer than 140 votes. McVay won the Democratic primary over Peter Ralph by 60 votes. Grand County Sheriff incumbent Rod Johnson, who with 89 percent of the votes beat out Republican write-in candidate Steve Holland, will face unaffiliated candidate Sheila Kesler in the November general election. In the statewide election, Grand County voters picked Republican Candidate Dan Maes over Scott McInnis by a 2-percent margin. Elsewhere in the state, that race remains too close to call. Grand County Democrats backed U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, who declared victory over challenger Andrew Romanoff earlier this evening. Local Republicans, likewise, backed the victorious Ken Buck, who beat out Jane Norton for the right to challenge Bennet in November. Rosene and a crew of about a dozen election day volunteers completed the daunting task of counting Grand County’s 3,464 votes and verifying signatures in less than three hours. Fewer than 20 provisional ballots remain to be counted in Grand County, Rosene said. Typically problems with mail-in ballots are caused by issues with the signatures. Fifteen Republican ballots and four Democratic ballots will need to be verified before they can be counted. County Commissioner – Republican Primary Gary Bumgarner 1,201 53% George Davis 1,063 47% County Commissioner – Democratic Primary Bob McVay 431 54% Peter Ralph 371 43% County Treasurer – Republican Primary Christina Whitmer 1,271 55% Brenda Morrow 1,026 45% County Assessor – Republican Primary Tom Weydert 1,243 57% Brian Reynolds 951 43% County Sheriff – Republican Primary Rod Johnson 1,853 89% Steve Holland (Write in) 235 11% U.S. States Senator – Republican Primary Ken Buck 1,276 56% Jane Norton 1,004 44% U.S. States Senator – Democratic Primary Andrew Romanoff 449 45% Michael Bennet 544 55% U.S. States Senator – Libertarian Primary Mac Stringer 6 60% John Finger 4 40% U.S. Congress District 2 Representative – Republican Primary Stephen Bailey 1,163 68% Bob Brancato 553 31% Governor – Republican Primary Dan Maes 1,134 51% Scott McInnis 1,073 49% Governor – Libertarian Primary Kilo Sallis 3 30% Jaimes Brown 7 70% State Treasurer – Republican Primary J.J. Ament 853 47% Walker Stapleton 953 53%

Hot Sulphur Springs hires John Stein as town marshal

HOT SULPHUR SPRINGS — There's a new marshal in the town where the new sheriff works. John Stein, former Grand County undersheriff and candidate for sheriff in last year's election, was approved for the new position of town marshal by the Hot Sulphur Springs Board of Trustees on Thursday night, March 19. Hot Sulphur Springs Mayor Robert McVay said Friday the town has been considering adding the position for the past several months. He said the town originally wanted to create a code enforcement officer's position but decided instead to create the marshal's position because marshals have law enforcement authority and can issue summonses and conduct similar activities, which code enforcement officers cannot do. Previously law enforcement responsibilities for Hot Sulphur Springs have fallen on the Grand County Sheriff's Office (GCSO). According to McVay, there is no formal agreement between the GCSO, and the Town and Hot Sulphur Springs paid no fee to the GCSO for overseeing law enforcement within the community. When asked why the Town felt it was necessary to hire a Town Marshall with the GCSO located within their community McVay responded, "The Sheriff's Department does a fine job in town but they don't really have the manpower or the time to follow up on some of the things we want taken care of." McVay said he hopes to have Marshal Stein begin his official duties for the town in early April, though no specific date has been finalized. The Town has not yet set a salary for the position. McVay said the Hot Sulphur Springs town marshal will have his own patrol vehicle for conducting his official duties. Stein was unavailable for comment Friday morning. Stein left his previous position with the sheriff's department in January after new Grand County Sheriff Brett Schroetlin took office. Stein ran a write-in campaign for the sheriff's position in a highly contested election last fall against Schroetlin.

Grand County high school sports results, Feb. 4

Tuesday, Feb. 4 Boys Basketball Platte Canyon 53, Middle Park 45 Girls Basketball Middle Park 57, Platte Canyon 17 Wrestling Middle Park 36, Lutheran-Parker 12 106: Henry Hoyhtya (MP) pinned Travis Simmons (LP) 5:12. 132: Bryce Weimer (MP) forfeit. 138: Ben Jacobs (MP) forfeit. 152: Adam Visconti (MP) forfeit. 160: Jesse Corder (MP) forfeit. 170: London Worrell (LP) pinned Victor Gardner (MP) 2:41. 195: A.C. Landrey (LP) pinned Daniel Kamer (MP) 5:03. 285: Justin Halley (MP) forfeit. Faith Christian 57, Middle Park 15 106: Luc Herrera (FC) pinned Henry Hoyhtya (MP) 1:15. 113: Brendan Dejonge (FC) forfeit. 120: Joshua Marquardt (FC) forfeit. 126: Luke Martin (FC) forfeit. 132: Bryce Weimer (MP) pinned John Campisi (FC) 1:14. 138: Markus Jones (FC) pinned Ben Jacobs (MP) 0:12. 145: Trevor Olsen (FC) forfeit. 152: Adam Visconti (MP) decision Clark Kelly (FC) 10-3. 170: Mac Hansen (FC) decision Jesse Corder (MP) 12-8. 182: Seth Von Rentzell (FC) forfeit. 195: Chris Siebarth (FC) pinned Daniel Kamer (MP) 2:45. 220: John Ramstead (FC) forfeit. 285: Justin Halley (MP) forfeit.

Updated: Byers Canyon fire containment estimate upped to 60 percent

HOT SULPHUR SPRINGS — Thick smoky haze and the whirring pop of helicopter rotors filled the skies above Grand County on Tuesday morning as local firefighters worked to battle the Byers Canyon Fire, which started Monday morning, Aug. 24. Firefighters worked against high winds Monday afternoon that spread the blaze quickly along the northern shoulders of Highway 40 just west of Byers Canyon. What was initially reported as a five-foot-by-five-foot fire quickly grew to more than 100 acres as shifting winds pushed the fire both east and west along the highway and north into the Parshall Divide area. Monday afternoon the fire also jumped Highway 40 and began moving into areas south of the road. As of Tuesday night local officials were putting the overall containment at 60 percent with the fire covering an area slightly under 600 acres. Grand County EMS Emergency Manager Nowell Curran said the efforts Tuesday were being directed primarily to the north side of Highway 40 with a focus on air support. The fire south of Highway 40 appeared to be under control at mid-day Tuesday. "It has hot spots but isn't spreading," Curran said. North of the Highway firefighters contended with 20-foot flames as increasing winds Tuesday afternoon spurred caution. Highway 40 through Byers Canyon was closed intermittently Tuesday, though officials said it was not affecting travel much. The fire started Monday morning shortly before noon at the Byers Canyon Shooting Range just west of the Colorado River. Officials have confirmed the fire was started by a .223 full metal jacket rifle round. County officials stressed the ammunition was legal at the rifle range and the fire was not started by a tracer/phosphorus round. Emergency Manager Curran saw the situation as a teachable moment and suggested those using the shooting range bring a fire extinguisher with them in the future. Monday afternoon the fire began spreading and pushed into the north rim of Byers Canyon and into portions of the canyon itself. Tuesday two air tankers and one helicopter worked from the skies to put the conflagration down. The two tankers were called out of the Craig Interagency Dispatch Center and included one single-engine tanker and one heavy air tanker, both dropping retardant, or as it is sometimes colloquially known, slurry. Curran explained the airdrops into Byers Canyon use water only and not the retardant often used in aerial firefighting. The helicopter conducting the airdrops is filling its water bucket in the Colorado River. The coordination for the airdrops is done using air-to-ground radio contact and local fire officials direct the pilots. Monday as the fire spread one home was evacuated, though the residents were allowed to return Monday evening and no other evacuation orders have been issued. Curran confirmed no structures have been damaged and no injuries have been reported. A smoke advisory was issued Tuesday due to the heavy smoke west of Byers Canyon and officials closed down County Road 20 for fire operations. Along with the air support units a 20-man hand crew was called to the area from Juniper Valley Buena Vista. They worked alongside Hot Sulphur Fire, Parshall Fire, Kremmling Fire, Grand Lake Fire, the Office of Emergency Management, County EMS, Grand County Sheriff's Office, the Colorado State Patrol, the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management. Schelly Olson, assistant chief for Grand Fire, explained local firefighters were working Tuesday to dig fire lines around the blaze and cool already burned spots using their water hoses. Olson explained that each of the firefighters on the line carries specialized hand tools, wildland fire packs and fire shelters as a safety precaution. Similarly, the firefighters pre-identify safety zones and escape routes are pre-marked.