Summit County’s top stories: March and April 2012 |

Summit County’s top stories: March and April 2012

Daily News staff report
Summit Daily/Mark Fox

An El Paso County judge denied prosecutors’ request for an appeal of an assault case against Dillon police officer Brian Brady March 1, after the case was tossed out in August.

Brady was charged with third-degree assault on a minor after he allegedly hit a handcuffed juvenile suspect in the head during an arrest in 2010. The 16-year-old suspect was wanted for multiple armed robberies and arson at the time of the arrest.

An arm of Ten Mile Creek at the west end of Frisco flooded in early March, seeping into several Stonebridge townhomes’ crawlspaces.

An unconfirmed theory suggested that the creek froze from the bottom up, lacking insulation it typically receives from fallen snow. With mild winter days mixed with chilly days recently, water started to flow over the frozen creek bed.

The Colorado Department of Transportation halted the controversial rolling speed harmonization program in mid-March, with only mixed results to show for the low-budget solution to heavy winter weekend traffic on Interstate 70.

Summit County Crime Stoppers, a local organization dedicated to taking anonymous tips and to paying out rewards to tipsters who help solve crimes, was disbanded in March after 15 years in operation as leaders faced dwindling funds and a lack of enthusiasm.

A 17 percent recession-induced decrease in property tax collections hit Summit County government’s budget in January. In March, local officials learned another dip, though not as bad, is coming in 2014.

Property values have fallen again, an average of 4 percent countywide over the last two years.

A Silverthorne man faces charges of vehicular homicide after reportedly hitting and killing a pedestrian on a crosswalk in Keystone March 17.

Keystone residents had long complained about the crosswalk where the victim was hit.

The town of Breckenridge agreed in late March to pay $97,000 in lodging expenses for the Winter Dew Tour as part of a deal to bring the event back to Breck for the next two years.

The money covered the cost of 750 room nights for Dew Tour staff and competitors during the mid-December event.

A small wildfire ignited by a downed powerline closed Montezuma Road March 26, and later grew to a five-acre frenzy.

The fire in underbrush next to snowbanks was a strange sight to Lake Dillon Fire chief Dave Parmley, who said the late March blaze could be the earliest he’d seen.

Snowpack percentages plummeted during March.

Warm, dry weather counteracted Colorado’s wet February, dropping snowpack in the Colorado River Basin from 75 percent of average at the end of February to 49 percent at the end of March.

It was the driest winter since 2002, when the snowpack on April 1 was also reported to be just 52 percent of the average.

Criminal defense lawyer Todd Barson, the locally favored Democratic candidate for district attorney at the time, was charged in March with domestic violence and harassment, ending his bid for the top prosecutor’s job.

The case was later dismissed.

Breckenridge voters replaced Peter Joyce, the only incumbent in the running for town council, instead seating newcomers Gary Gallagher, Wendy Wolfe and Ben Brewer in the April 3 local election.

In a close race on Tuesday, Dillon residents cast the majority of their ballots for Terry King, Kevin Burns and R. Louis Skowyra III for town council.

The quest to fill three full-term seats and one half-term vacancy on the Silverthorne Town Council ended April 3 with incumbents Stuart Richardson, Bruce Butler and Ann-Marie Sandquist remaining seated for another four-year-term each and Derrick Fowler finding his way to the two-year seat.

The April 3 elections unseated Mayor Bill Pelham, with voters choosing former town Councilman Gary Wilkinson for the top slot. Voters also re-seated incumbent town Councilman Larry Sawyer and brought in new councilmembers Tom Connolly and Kathleen Kennedy.

In their first election in decades, nearly 150 Blue River voters turned out April 3 to put a fresh face, Julie Jones, on the town board of trustees, and to return two incumbents, Rob Theobald and Larry Nelson to their seats.

Longtime Summit County nonprofit Summit Prevention Alliance announced Tuesday it is suspending operations indefinitely due to financial issues while its board tries to identify a new direction.

Trouble maintaining operating expenses and competing for grants were some of the biggest reasons for the suspension.

Former Breckenridge attorney Royal “Scoop” Daniel was sentenced April 19 to 12 years in state prison, the maximum for the charges he faced.

Daniel, who disappeared in 2007 along with more than $900,000 of his clients’ money, pleaded guilty to two charges of felony theft in February, while insisting his crimes were not intentional.

Four of 10 local businesses called on during a series of compliance checks last spring sold alcohol to undercover minors working with local law-enforcement agencies.

All immediately received warnings after the checks.

The Breckenridge Town Council gave the nod to a controversial proposal for a weekend rodeo this summer to be held on the overflow skier parking lot to the north of town in late April.

Town leaders called this summer’s event an experiment.

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