Top 5 most-read stories on, week of Jan. 31

Search and rescue personnel look for three people missing after an avalanche Monday, Feb. 1 near Silverton.
Photo courtesy of the Office of Emergency Management, San Juan County.

Editor’s note: Stories in this list received the most page views on for the past week.

1. 3 Eagle County residents presumed dead after avalanche near Silverton

Family, friends and colleagues spent the night of Monday, Feb. 1 and much of Tuesday, Feb. 2 waiting, praying and hoping for a good outcome after four well-known Eagle County residents were buried in an avalanche near Silverton Monday afternoon.

The four skiers were part of a larger group, which recovered one person with minor injuries. Three of the men who were missing after the avalanche were confirmed to be dead late on Feb. 2.

The bodies of the three skiers were recovered Wednesday, Feb. 3 and identified as Seth Bossung, Andy Jessen and Adam Palmer.

— Tom Lotshaw and Pam Boyd, Vail Daily

2. Skier dies in East Vail avalanche Thursday

A skier was trapped and died in an avalanche Thursday, Feb. 4 at the East Vail Chutes in the backcountry outside Vail Mountain’s boundaries.

“This is a very unfortunate accident and our thoughts are with the victim’s friends and family,” Eagle County Sheriff James van Beek said in a news release announcing the death.

The Eagle County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of the avalanche around noon. Vail Mountain Rescue teams and members of Vail Ski Patrol also responded to the scene to assist with recovery operations.

The Eagle County Coroner’s Office later identified the deceased skier as John Kuo, 41, of Vail.

— Nate Peterson, Vail Daily

3. As outbreaks among ski area employees add up, vaccine prioritization remains unclear

Twelve outbreaks among ski area employees were reported in January, raising questions about when these guest-facing employees, many of whom live in congregate housing, should be vaccinated.

The 12 outbreaks among ski area employees represent one-third of all outbreaks reported by the county last month.

Summit County Commissioner Tamara Pogue said ski resort employees and restaurant workers who need to continue working in guest-facing jobs should be included in the phase of vaccine distribution for essential workers, as this would help control outbreaks.

Taylor Sienkiewicz

4. Colorado to start vaccinating educators and people age 65 and older

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis announced on Friday, Jan. 29, that pre-K through 12th grade educators and people who are at least 65 years old will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine starting Feb. 8.

Until Feb. 8, the state will continue vaccinating the currently eligible group — people who are 70 years and older, health care workers and first responders. Although 90% of health care workers have been vaccinated, the state still hasn’t reached its goal of vaccinating 70% of the 70-and-older population.

As of Friday, 34% of the state’s 70-and-older population have been vaccinated, Polis said. However, officials anticipate that number will rise to 50% by the Feb. 8 date.

Libby Stanford

5. 4th arrest made in Denver house fire that killed former Summit County resident

Authorities announced Jan. 29 that a fourth person has been arrested as a result of the investigation into a Denver fire that killed five people in August, including a former Summit County resident.

Tanya Bui, 23, has been charged with marijuana possession and intent to distribute, as well as possession of a firearm for the purpose of drug trafficking.

Bui, who lives in Littleton, was arrested after an agent for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigating the fire linked a cellphone used by one of the juvenile suspects in the case back to her. Federal court documents note that Bui pays for a phone for one of the suspects, who is related to her, though she uses a different phone for herself.

Three male suspects, two who are 16 years old and one who is 15, were arrested Jan. 27 as part of the fire investigation. The teens, who had their first court appearance Jan. 29, face 28 charges — including murder, arson, burglary and assault — related to the deaths of five members of a family from Senegal, including two children. Two of the three teenagers have been charged as adults, prosecutors said Tuesday, Feb. 2.

— Lucy Haggard, The Colorado Sun

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