Week in Summit: Summit County looks to limit snowmobiles
The public is invited to comment at a Summit County government hearing on Oct. 27 about a proposal to ban snowmobiles on several roads this winter.
The plans call for closures on Baldy Road and Boreas Pass Road. Also the county would reinstate closures to Gold Run Gulch Road and Sallie Barber Road for snowmobile riders, said Katherine King, senior resource specialist in the county’s Open Space and Trails division, who outlined the regulation changes at the Board of County Commissioners Sept. 29 regular meeting
King explained although Gold Run Gulch and Sallie Barber have been closed to snowmobile use since 2010, the county will verify those closures, while adding two additional roads to ease management of the public lands for all involved government entities.
Both Baldy and Boreas Pass transverse national forest land, as well as protected open-space land that is jointly managed by the county and the town of Breckenridge. There are also stretches of private land included.
“This is way overdue for consistency,” County Commissioner Karn Stiegelmeier said.
After nearly 10 years of public scrutiny and environmental analysis, the White River National Forest travel management plan was approved in 2011. This plan closed the front side of Baldy Mountain, as well as land surrounding Boreas Pass road, for snowmobile access.
The plan seeks to define the national forest’s roads and trails while regulating winter and summer recreational uses, to provide quality experiences for the public while simultaneously protecting natural resources.
For more information about recreational use of national forest lands in Summit County, contact the Dillon Ranger District at (970) 468-5400. To learn more about the White River National Forest’s travel management plan, visit http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/whiteriver.
Child pornography suspect released on PR bond
A Summit County man charged with child sexual exploitation, a class-four felony, after child pornography was discovered on a PC, was released on a personal recognizance bond on Thursday, Oct. 15. The 59-year old defendant, who had recently relocated from Amarillo, Texas, has a preliminary hearing on Tuesday, Nov. 3 at 1:30 p.m.
“At this point, (he) has been in jail for almost four months,” Fifth Judicial District Judge Mark Thompson said, noting that the allegations were not for a crime of violence.
Defense attorney Sommer Spector, argued the defendant was not a flight risk and noted his client is pursuing work and housing in Summit County.
“Given the circumstances and duration of incarceration, he could bond out at this point,” Thompson added.
In June a witness found pornographic material on a hard drive belonging to the defendant. The witness claims there was a second hard drive that also contained explicit material.
The witness said her suspicions were raised based on comments made by former employers of the suspect. Following this, subtle clues started to come to light.
“He started making comments,” she said. “Just little things started popping out because it didn’t seem right.”
The woman said the defendant assaulted her when she threatened to enlighten law enforcement of his activities.
“I think that this kind of community, they need to know, especially with so many little kids,” she said.
Charges were filed on July 9, which in addition to the felony also included class-three assault and violation of a protection order, both misdemeanors.
Bond terms forbid the defendant from having contact with any of the reporting parties and he is restricted from accessing the Internet or a computer.
Although the presumptive range for a class-four felony is two to 6 years, in this instance the Colorado Sex Offender Lifetime Supervision Act of 1998 allows for indeterminate sentencing, meaning the man could face up to a life sentence. Additionally, a class-four felony sex offense charge mandates from 10 years to a lifetime of probation.
Satan visits Breck
Last week, Breckenridge Police arrested a man who may have been suffering a demonic possession.
Officers were dispatched to Blue River Plaza after receiving reports of a “belligerently drunk” man who had been screaming such pleasantries as “666, Satan is good and White Power,” while simultaneously asking strangers for high fives.
A witness at the scene reported to officers that the apparent Satan worshipper held a knife in his right hand.
One citizen approached an officer and told him that the man had a knife in his right hand.
Police approached the man, who wore black makeup under both eyes, and attempted to ascertain his identity.
“You know my (expletive) name” the man bellowed and proceeded to scream obscenities at passerbys. The man also snorted while exclaiming the police were pigs.
While being handcuffed and transferred to the police cruiser, the man struck his head on a window and yelled out “police brutality.” While being booked in Summit County Jail a pocketknife was confiscated from the demonic suspect.
Skull of missing Breck man discovered after nearly a year
The remains of Jack McAtee, a 27-year-old Breckenridge man, missing since Sept. 19, 2014, were recently discovered near the top of Peak 1, allowing his family and friends a rough form of closure.
The family, who remained steadfast in their hopes of reuniting with McAtee, had organized several search missions over the past year, scouring the mountains to no avail.
Shortly after receiving news that a skull found nearly on top of Peak 1 was identified as their missing loved one, the family issued a statement.
“So, our search has come to fruition,” the family wrote. “Our closure is at hand, albeit we acknowledge it will be a lifelong process.”
“There’s nobody now who saw just what Jack saw, knows what he knew, remembers what he remembered, loves what he loved. A person, an irreplaceable person, is gone.”
One day prior to his disappearance, McAtee escaped harm when his vehicle landed in Dillon Reservoir after rolling off of Dillon Dam Road. The young man managed to swim to safety and walked away with merely a scratch above his left eye. Although a state trooper reported erratic behavior, he did not believe McAtee was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It was noted that McAtee had discontinued using bipolar medication 10 days earlier.
Following the crash, McAtee was hospitalized at St. Anthony Summit Medical Center in Frisco. Later the same night he was transferred to Summit Safe Haven, and after meeting with a psychologist was released at 11 a.m. the next morning.
Later that day McAtee , who worked for the Brekenridge Hat Co., resigned from his position and claimed to be moving out of the area.
On Aug. 11, nearly a year after McAtee’s disappearance, two hikers spotted a skull in a steep area of Peak 1 with several cliff bands. This area had previously been combed by the Summit County Search and Rescue Group, who were unsuccessful in turning up any physical evidence. The McAtee family expressed their gratitude for the groups diligent efforts.
“We would like Summit County Search and Rescue to know how much we appreciate the thousands of hours they’ve spent on searching the mountains,” Steve McAtee, Jack’s father, said.
The family also thanked the Summit County Sheriff’s Office for assisting in the search efforts.
At this time a cause or manner of death has not been determined.
A memorial service commemorating the life of Jack McAtee will be held in Chesterfield, Missouri. In lieu of flowers, his family is requesting that donations are made to Living Water International in Jack McAtee’s name, to build wells in Kenya.
“It was really near and dear to Jack’s heart,” Steve said. “It would be a wonderful way for anyone to remember Jack, to make a small contribution.”
He added that the family’s goal is to raise $50,000 in Jack’s name. Donations can be made to http://www.water.cc/jack-mcatees-well-of-love.
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