Top 5 most-read stories last week: Homeless parking, spring flooding, Eisenhower tunnel arrest |

Top 5 most-read stories last week: Homeless parking, spring flooding, Eisenhower tunnel arrest

Alden Scholl poses for a portrait inside of his camper van March 5 at The Church at Agape Outpost in Breckenridge. Scholl works full time as a ski patroller at Breckenridge Ski Resort and has lived in his van for the past two years.
Jason Connolly/For the Summit Daily News

Stories in this list received the most page views on in the past week.

1. Unsheltered in Summit partners with Summit County Sheriff’s Office and Breckenridge to find safe parking lots for individuals living out of their cars

Van life has gotten a lot of attention over the past couple of years and for good reason. When the pandemic led to worker layoffs or otherwise forced employees to work remotely, some individuals were drawn to the lure of life on the road, picking up and leaving on a whim and traveling across the country unrestricted by personal time off limits.

As one of the most visited counties in the U.S., Summit County has had its fair share of van life travelers pass through its borders. But those who choose to live out of their vans — and those who are forced to sleep in their cars — are met with widespread restrictions on where they can park at night.

“I’ve been here 17 years, and it’s been going on as long as I’ve been here,” Summit County Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons said about individuals who sleep in their cars. “The difference is, it used to be a summer thing. We used to really see it in the summers and not so much in the winters, and what happened was technology changed. … All kinds of devices now allow people to camp year-round.”

Though people choose van life for various reasons, a dominant one is because of housing. Diane Luellen is chair of the Unsheltered in Summit Committee, a group that focuses on providing individuals a safe place to sleep at night. For the past 2 1/2 years, the group has coordinated the Summit Safe Parking Program where it has secured the parking lot at The Church at Agape Outpost off Colorado Highway 9 so that those sleeping in their vehicles have a permitted place to stay.

Since the program started, she said there’s been a steady rise in demand for one of the 10 parking spots.

— Jenna deJong

2. Emergency management officials urge Summit County homeowners to prepare for spring flooding

As mud season approaches, emergency preparedness officials are urging Colorado homeowners to revisit their flood insurance plans.

Although Colorado isn’t typically known for flooding, that doesn’t mean it isn’t a threat. Wildfires over the past few years have led to more frequent floods and mudslides, which are often caused by rain on scorched earth.

Those mudslides can lead to debris and water flowing into buildings down the slope of burn sites, said Diana Herrera, a regional flood insurance specialist with the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Region 8 office in Denver.

Because of the impact of wildfires, it’s important for people to be prepared for a flood. The best way to do that is to purchase flood insurance, Herrera said.

— Libby Stanford

3. Breckenridge neighborhood included in statewide effort to mitigate wildfires

The Colorado State Forest Service released its 2021 report about the health of the state’s forests, which details wildfire mitigation projects across the state. One of those partnerships is in Summit County.

In the Warriors Mark neighborhood of Breckenridge, local and state leaders came together to lower the risk of wildfires in that residential zone. According to the report, the project began in November and continued into the following weeks. The neighborhood had trees removed in order to help reduce the risk of wildfire activity coming in residential areas.

Specifically, lodgepole pine trees were removed from a milelong stretch, including trees near family homes and rental properties.

— Eliza Noe

4. Sunday tunnel closure brings arrest

A man with a fire extinguisher caused the closure of the Eisenhower Tunnel at about 5 p.m. March 6, according to the Summit County Sheriff’s Office.

Police said the man asked to be dropped off at the westbound pull-off parking area near the tunnel after he was involved in a disturbance on a bus at about 2:50 p.m. The man reportedly made his way into the pedestrian walkway of the tunnel around 5 p.m. and began spraying vehicles with a fire extinguisher.

He faces charges of criminal tampering, obstruction of a roadway and throwing missiles at vehicles, according to a news release.

— Andrew Maciejewski

5. Crowd spurs on the competition at Leadville’s annual skijoring event

On any given day, Harrison Avenue in Leadville is your typical, quaint small-town street with historic buildings, local businesses and one stop light.

However, every year during the first weekend in March, Harrison Avenue is transformed as several tons of snow are laid down on the town’s main drag and snow ramps are built for the annual Leadville Ski Joring competition.

It is not long before Harrison Avenue is bustling with galloping horses with skiers in toe hanging on by a rope for dear life as they go over jumps and capture small rings.

This year’s Leadville Ski Joring competition, which took place March 5-6, marked the 74th year of the competition as it has been going on since 1949.

— Cody Jones

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