Top 5 most-read stories last week: Car safety, environment news, opening day at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area and the end of a 9-month manhunt |

Top 5 most-read stories last week: Car safety, environment news, opening day at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area and the end of a 9-month manhunt

Hampton Trrell of Birmingham, Alabama wears A-Basin duct tape on his cheeks while standing in line at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area on opening day Sunday, Oct. 23, 2022.
Jason Connolly/For the Summit Daily News

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

1. What is ‘puffing’ and why is it illegal in Colorado?

On cold mornings, a person’s routine may consist of several efforts to ‘warm up.’ Be it sipping on coffee, slipping into a sweater or starting the car early, attempts to bear chilly mornings comfortably become routine this time of year. One popular habit that is intended to help cope with cold could land people in a more troublesome situation altogether.

“Puffing” describes when a driver starts their car and leaves it unattended — idling with the keys inside the vehicle. The term, which references puffs of exhaust escaping a tailpipe in cold weather, expresses a way to warm one’s car up before heading out for the day.

Avon Police Sergeant John Mackey said this common habit is surprisingly illegal in Colorado. Why?

“More vehicles are stolen in Eagle County from puffing alone than anything else,” Mackey said.

— Vail Daily

2. The wind turbines on his Colorado farm are 20 years old. Who’s going to take them down?

It was the spring of 2000 when two wind company representatives came to Tom Fehringer’s farm near the Nebraska border.

They told him about a coming wind project and pressed him to sign a contract on the spot to lease his land for turbines. Fehringer consulted an attorney in Sterling who said the contract was vague but fairly similar to what an oil and gas company might present. The agreement was signed within a few weeks. Fehringer soon had nine of the Peetz Table wind project’s 33 turbines turning on his Logan County land.

Fehringer, 71, had long been intrigued by renewable energy. He’d considered erecting a wind turbine for his own use and has solar panels outside his house. He calls himself a “firm believer in science” and global warming.

The wind towers were attractive for another reason: enXco, the developer of the project, was offering landowners $1,000 per tower, per year.

“You come out here dangling $1,000 and that’s big,” Fehringer said. “Nobody’s getting millions, but what it’s done to the property tax base, it’s been huge.”

— The Colorado Sun

3. Don’t expect Colorado to have a good snow year. Here’s why.

Colorado can expect a warmer and drier winter, putting the state at greater risk of wildfire and lessening the chance of rebounding from the ongoing megadrought plaguing the West, climate scientists say.

To blame, they say, are La Niña conditions striking for the third year in a row.

Only twice before have La Niñas struck for three straight years, according to Becky Bollinger, of the Colorado State University’s Colorado Climate Center.

Historically speaking La Niñas split the state in half, Bollinger said. The northern portion can expect an average or above-average snowy season while the southern section will likely be warmer and drier.

— The Denver Post

4. Skiers, riders take 1st turns of the season at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area’s opening day

The 2022-23 ski and ride season has descended upon Summit County. There may have only been one lift and ski run open for Arapahoe Basin Ski Area’s opening day on Oct. 23, but that did not hinder people’s stoke for the start of the season.

Despite the Black Mountain Express not opening until 8:30 a.m., around a hundred people had already packed the lift line corrals eager to be on one of the first chairs of the Colorado ski season.

People from all over the county and the state had been up since the wee hours of Sunday morning. In the case of Breckenridge’s Nate “Nate Dogggg” Nadler and his crew made up of Tom “Trailer Tom” Miller, Anthony “Ant” Ugalde and Chad Otterstrom, the group had been at the base of A-Basin since Oct. 20.

“We got here Thursday, before they announced,” Nadler said. “We kind of just know what’s going on and we’ve held it down since then.”

— Cody Jones

5. Breckenridge man arrested in connection to 2019 death of roommate, ending 9-month manhunt

A Breckenridge man charged with manslaughter in connection to the 2019 death of his roommate was taken into custody, ending a nine-month manhunt, according to U.S. Marshals Service reports.

Miles Fernando Tovar, 38, was arrested in Bridgeport, Connecticut, after turning himself in to deputy marshals. Tovar is facing additional charges of first-degree burglary, first-degree criminal trespass and harassment in connection to the death of 29-year-old Brendan Rye, according to a U.S. Marshals Service press release issued Oct. 25. 

On Nov. 6, 2019, a physical altercation between Tovar and Rye began after a night of drinking, according to a Summit County Coroner’s report of the incident. Rye was found unconscious and not breathing, and Tovar was found with a gunshot wound on his right thigh.

— Andrew Maciejewski

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