Top 5 most-read stories last week: Chief judge charged, COVID-19 and Breckenridge Grand Vacations development

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

1. Chief judge charged with felony menacing, removed from position

The chief judge for Colorado’s Fifth Judicial District was charged Saturday with felony menacing, according to court records.

Judge Mark Thompson, 54, who presided over courts in Summit, Clear Creek, Eagle and Lake counties, was removed from his position as chief judge after the charge was filed Saturday, according to the Colorado Judicial Branch.

Thompson was charged with a single count of felony menacing with a real or simulated weapon after an investigation by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, according to court records, which say the incident happened on July 25.

The case was suppressed from public view and court documents that are expected to detail the accusation against Thompson were not available Sunday.

Thompson is currently on planned paid time off, judicial branch spokesman Rob McCallum said Sunday.

Denver Post

2. As counties across Colorado struggle to control COVID-19, Summit County takes steps to tamp down its own rising incidence rate

Summit County Public Health Director Amy Wineland delivered some not-so-great news Tuesday, Oct. 19, during a board of health meeting: Summit County and the rest of the state are seeing a rise in COVID-19 cases.

“We haven’t reached these numbers since January,” she said, referring to the state’s numbers.

Wineland is singing a different tune compared to a couple of weeks ago: At that point, she reported that the county was experiencing a downward trend of cases. During an Oct. 5 board of health meeting, she reported that the county’s incidence rate was 171 cases per 100,000 people for the past 28 days. Now, the county’s incidence rate is up slightly to 193 cases per 100,000 people for the past 28 days.

During the Oct. 5 meeting, Wineland reported that hospitals in other counties were seeing an increased demand for ICU beds, and though St. Anthony Summit Hospital isn’t among them, she pointed out it could be impacted since it’s part of the overall Centura Health network.

Jenna deJong

3. Highway 9 reopens after runaway semitrailer exits I-70, overturns in Silverthorne

The southbound lanes of Colorado Highway 9 were closed for more than four hours Friday, Oct. 15, at the Interstate 70 interchange in Silverthorne due to an overturned semitrailer.

The driver of the semitrailer reportedly lost the brakes while descending I-70 from the Eisenhower-Johnson Memorial Tunnels and took the Silverthorne exit, despite a sign asking truck drivers who have lost their brakes to remain on the interstate.

After the driver lost control of the vehicle on I-70, it clipped a Jeep, then “careered” down the Silverthorne exit and over the median on Blue River Parkway, where it turned onto its side, according to a Summit Fire & EMS Facebook post.

No one was injured.

The Jeep was the only other vehicle involved in the crash, according to Silverthorne spokesperson Kim Jardim. She said the Jeep spun when it was hit but that the driver was able to continue driving and pull off on Exit 205.

Taylor Sienkiewicz

4. Breckenridge Grand Vacations gondola lot development passes final planning commission hearing

The master plan for the Breckenridge Grand Vacations development on the Gold Rush and North Gondola lots passed its final hearing with the planning commission and is now moving onto Breckenridge Town Council for approval.

Changes from the plan’s third preliminary hearing Sept. 21 were simply to remove language from the master plan for items that the applicant and commission agreed were more appropriate for site-specific planning.

The commissioners and the applicant also discussed the latest updates to the master plan’s point analysis, a system used for reviewing development applications. Town staff and planning commission award positive points for aspects of planning projects that contribute to town goals and negative points for those against town goals or code.

Previously, the master plan had received three negative points in architectural compatibility for plans to use up to 50% non-natural materials. Planning commissioners were wary of this because there aren’t many details about what each individual building would look like at the master-plan level, so the applicant decided to remove the language so it can be assessed at the site-planning level.

Lindsey Toomer

5. 1st vaccinated Summit County resident dies from COVID-19

A 72-year-old Summit County man died Oct. 10 from COVID-19, according to a news release from the Summit County Public Health Department. The man was fully vaccinated but had underlying health conditions, according to the release. He is the first vaccinated resident to die from the virus.

Prior to the man’s death, Summit County has had five residents die from the virus since the pandemic began, including:

  • An 89-year-old man who died April 25, 2020, from respiratory failure due to COVID-19
  • A 71-year-old woman who died Nov. 18, 2020, from respiratory failure due to COVID-19
  • A 47-year-old man who died Dec. 7, 2020, from respiratory failure due to COVID-19
  • A 50-year-old man who died May 4 from respiratory failure due to COVID-19
  • A 70-year-old woman who died Sept. 21

No specific cause of death was provided for the two most recent deaths, which took place at St. Anthony Summit Hospital. Of the deaths caused by the virus since the vaccine has been widely available, two people were not vaccinated, and one was.

Summit Daily News staff report

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