Top 5 most-read stories last week: Judge suspended, speed flier dies and identified, Longevity series begins |

Top 5 most-read stories last week: Judge suspended, speed flier dies and identified, Longevity series begins

Chief Judge Mark Thompson is photographed in the courtroom during a hearing at the Summit County Justice Center in Breckenridge on Tuesday, April 28.
Liz Copan/Summit Daily News archive

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

1. Colorado Supreme Court suspends 5th Judicial District Judge Mark Thompson for 30-day period without pay

The Colorado Supreme Court issued Aug. 29 an unpaid 30-day suspension of 5th Judicial District Judge Mark Thompson related to a misdemeanor disorderly conduct conviction in January

Thompson will be suspended without pay from Oct. 15 to Nov. 13.

Thompson pleaded guilty to a Class 2 charge of disorderly conduct on Jan. 14 in exchange for the dismissal of a felony menacing charge after he threatened his stepson with an “AR-15 style rifle” in July 2021. The opinion cited Thompson’s guilty plea and his admission of breaking two judicial conduct rules.

— Luke Vidic

2. Deceased paraglider identified as Front Range resident, former Naval Special Warfare Operator

The man who hit a tree and died while attempting to speed-fly — an advanced form of paragliding that involves quicker descents — from Peak 6 toward Copper Mountain on Aug. 27 has been identified as a Front Range resident. 

Summit County Coroner Regan Wood identified the man as Zacharia Bolster, 26, of Arvada. His official cause of death has yet to be determined and is pending an autopsy. The coroner’s office said Bolster was a former Naval Special Warfare Operator.

His body was located in the “Sky Chutes,” and his speed wing was found tangled in a broken-off tree canopy.

At 9:38 a.m. on Aug. 27, members of Summit County Rescue Group were paged for a missing paraglider. Bolster’s flying partner had called 911 after attempting to call Bolster’s cell phone several times, the Summit County Rescue Group reported in a news release.

— Luke Vidic

3. Speed flier dies after launching from Peak 6

A speed flier died the morning of Aug. 27 after launching from Peak 6, according to Summit County Search and Rescue. 

At 10:29 a.m. on Aug. 27, four team members of the team were paged to the top of Peak 6 from the Breckenridge side to search for the speed flier that had been reported missing. Speed flying is a recreational sport of gliding down a slope or mountain. It uses a similar canopy to a paraglider, but it is much smaller in size and designed to be faster. 

Simultaneously, Flight For Life’s Lifeguard 2 flew over the area and spotted the missing person’s body from the air. From there, the Lifeguard 2 team landed and hiked down to the deceased. According to Summit County Search and Rescue, the victim’s speed wing was found tangled up “with the broken-off top of a tree.”

Three members of the search and rescue team flew to the top of Peak 6, with Lifeguard 2 carrying technical gear and ropes to help the terrain vehicle crew evacuate the body. 

Eliza Noe

4. Cancer at elevation: How does living at high elevations impact someone’s chances of developing cancer? Summit County experts weigh in

Joel Wexler has made quite a few friends during his five years as a full-time Keystone resident, but it’s his black Labrador retriever, Gussie, of whom he’s most fond. 

She’s been by his side for a majority of his 13-year journey of frequent cancer screenings. In 2009, doctors were concerned about elevated levels of prostate-specific antigens, so they watched his health closely until he was ultimately diagnosed with cancer in 2021. 

From the moment Wexler met Gussie, about a decade ago, the pair has been inseparable. Wexler can be spotted riding his fat-tire bike or trekking through snow-covered landscapes, Gussie following close behind.

On days like the one when Wexler updated his will, when the threat of cancer can make life feel overwhelming, it is Gussie who lifts his spirits the most.

— Jenna deJong

5. May’s big rig rollover cost Silverthorne thousands of dollars — now, the town is seeking ways to recover its losses

Thousands of dollars in costs to local municipalities and a criminal charge of reckless endangerment resulted from May’s overturned semitractor-trailer in Silverthorne. To local authorities, dealing with the public safety concerns and resulting emulsified oil spill meant sending a message, but the driver’s company is asking for understanding for the driver’s mistake.

The total cost of clean up for the town of Silverthorne was $7,425.70, Silverthorne Police Chief John Minor said. That tally was billed to the towns’ and county’s designated emergency response authority, Summit Fire & EMS. The fire district may, in turn, bill the responsible trucking company’s insurance for the cost, Minor said.

The Summit County Sheriff’s Office did not bill the incident to Summit Fire & EMS, Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons reported.

The crash and clean up caused nearly 10 hours of traffic delays around Exit 205 on Interstate 70 in Silverthorne, lasting until about 7 p.m. The crash occurred around 9 a.m that morning.

— Luke Vidic

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Summit Daily is embarking on a multiyear project to digitize its archives going back to 1989 and make them available to the public in partnership with the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection. The full project is expected to cost about $165,000. All donations made in 2023 will go directly toward this project.

Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.