The Home Front: A ‘constant drone of helicopters’ as crews fight four wildfires fires in Northwest Colorado

Your morning roundup of stories on the front pages of newspapers across Colorado

“A seemingly constant drone of helicopters fighting wildfires hummed over the Yampa Valley this weekend,” reports The Steamboat Pilot. “Crews are now fighting four fires in Northwest Colorado. For fire and closure information, visit inciweb.com. The Ryan Fire was first reported Saturday night and is burning in more than 500 acres of live and beetle-killed lodgepole pine, said Routt National Forest spokesperson Aaron Voos. The fire originated in the northern tip of the Mount Zirkel Wilderness Area but is growing rapidly and moving toward the Wyoming border. It has passed U.S. Forest Service Road 80, which runs parallel to the border and less than a mile from the state line.”

“Valerie Wheeler admires the way bus drivers for Grand Valley Transit always extend a hand to elderly and disabled folks, steadying them on the bumpy mechanical lifts that hoist them on and off buses,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “The 51-year-old bus rider who recently moved to the area also appreciates that drivers sometimes offer riders tips about local job opportunities and helpfully report the best routes to get them where they’re going.”

“Longmont next month will launch a new Planning Academy providing an in-depth look at the city’s planning process and how it shapes the community,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “The four-week course, which will meet on Thursday nights Oct. 18 to Nov. 8, is intended ‘to assist participants in becoming more effective and informed advocates for Longmont’s planning efforts and to encourage positive, ongoing engagement in the planning process,’ principal planner Erin Fosdick wrote in a memo to city council.”

“Although the building has been long shuttered, the property that surrounds it continues to fulfill a ‘mission,'” reports The Pueblo Chieftain. “For more than seven years at Mineral Palace Park, the Everybody Counts homeless ministry offered a Sunday afternoon meal and uplifting message to anyone in need, homeless or otherwise.”

“Coming off recent successes, the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance is looking to the future with separate plans to expand both the presentation and the scope of local history,” reports Summit Daily. “Detailing those recent successes, president of the heritage alliance’s board of directors Jerry Dziedzic noted that Barney Ford, a former slave who achieved great wealth during Colorado’s gold rush, was inducted into the Colorado Hall of Fame earlier this year.”

“Two inmates on death row. A hamburger stand. A family’s first meeting with the drunk driver who killed their son,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “Pope John Paul II’s 1979 visit to Iowa. These are just a few of the subjects of the many photographs from Loveland photographer Bob Campagna’s 40 years in photography that currently decorate the walls of the North Gallery at Artworks Loveland.”

Although the building has been long shuttered, the property that surrounds it continues to fulfill a “mission.” For more than seven years at Mineral Palace Park, the Everybody Counts homeless ministry offered a Sunday afternoon meal and uplifting message to anyone in need, homeless or otherwise.”In April 1970, the day after Percy Wolf was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army for the first time, he went through a job interview with Western Electric in Colorado Springs,” reports The Greeley Tribune. “The first interviewer from the human relations department noted the company often worked with the federal government. Wolf said, yes, he had a security clearance. The interviewer asked what kind. Top-secret NATO crypto-clearance, Wolf said. The interviewer’s skepticism showed. He laughed. Wolf handed the man the phone and told him to call a certain number. He said it would ring on the desk of then-famous General Bernard Rogers, the commanding officer at Fort Carson and the rare military man who had won the Distinguished Service Cross for gallantry in action while a general, in this instance in Vietnam.”

“Almost everything about the judge and jury’s decisions in a Vail Mountain skier death case is being appealed,” reports Vail Daily. “Dr. Louise Ingalls and Dr. Steve Conlin, parents of Taft Conlin, say judges in Broomfield and Eagle counties erred in several rulings. Court documents filed with the Colorado Court of Appeals declared their intention to appeal those rulings and the jury’s verdict, which was based on those judges’ rulings.”

“If you aren’t paying sales tax on those online orders, you soon will be,” reports The Coloradoan in Fort Collins. “And that could be a financial boon to Fort Collins and the rest of Colorado’s cities and towns.”

“Life for Colorado Springs musician Joe Uveges was humming along to an upbeat tune,” reports The Gazette in Colorado Springs. “With nine albums to his credit, a family that made him beam with pride, a sense of security and a feeling of being in control, all was good. Until 3:19 a.m. May 19, 2016. Uveges awoke to use the bathroom and noticed the door to his 15-year-old son’s bedroom was open. Unusual. He saw Andrew wasn’t in bed. A moment later, he found Andrew’s lifeless body. Just 1½ weeks shy of his 16th birthday, Andrew Uveges ended his life in the house where he grew up. “And you see from somewhere outside your own body, someone starting to scream, and you realize it’s you,” Uveges said. More than two years later, the unfathomable grief of losing his only son at such a young age to suicide remains raw and palpable.”

“Local and state officials continue to work in collaboration to determine the source of a mysterious, intermittent odor in Lincoln Park, but so far, they have not come up with any answers,” reports The Cañon City Daily Record. “The top brass from the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office and Cañon City Fire Department, along with District 1 County Commissioner Tim Payne, toured the neighboring former Cotter mill site and surrounding area Tuesday, looking for clues. Fire Chief David DelVecchio said they have not found any conclusive indications related to the origination of the unknown odors that have been reported in the area.”

“A statewide ballot measure that would dramatically increase the distance new oil and gas wells would have to be from homes, schools and waterways will be a job-gutting attack on Colorado’s economy, opponents say,” reports The Denver Post. “It will deprive cities and towns of millions of dollars in tax revenues and rob thousands of mineral rights owners access to their underground property. Or Proposition 112, known during the petition process as Initiative 97, will bring long-sought sanity to neighborhoods throughout the state, bolstering the health and safety of thousands living above or on the edge of Colorado’s increasingly industrialized energy landscape. Those are the competing messages voters will have to sort out Nov. 6, when they will be asked whether additional controls should be placed on drilling in a state experiencing an ongoing population boom alongside an intensifying hunt for the resources that power modern life. Specifically, the measure would increase setbacks for new wells to 2,500 feet instead of current setbacks of 500 feet from homes and 1,000 feet from schools.”

“Art matters for Hayley Kirkman, and that’s pretty evident around Durango,” reports The Durango Herald. “Murals popping up around town, first on the side of Durango Joe’s on College Drive and now behind Kroegers Ace Hardware facing Narrow Gauge Avenue, are the product of Kirkman’s work and her passion for art. While society can be less than encouraging to children about pursuing a career in arts, Kirkman never deviated from her passion and her pursuit of making a career in the arts. She grew up in Albuquerque and graduated from Fort Lewis College with a degree in graphic design.”

The Colorado Independent is a statewide online news source operating in a time when spin is plentiful, but factual, fair and unflinching news in the public interest is all too rare. Our award-winning team of veteran investigative and explanatory reporters and news columnists aims to amplify the voices of Coloradans whose stories are unheard, shine light on the relationships between people, power and policy, and hold public officials to account. We strive to report the news with context, social conscience, and soul, and to give Coloradans the insight they need to promote conversation, understanding and progress in this square, swing state we call home.

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