Top 5 stories on week of July 29

Compiled by Heather Jarvis
Traffic on Highway 9 navigate under smoky air near Frisco, Thursday, Aug. 2. Wildfire smoke is creating unprecedented levels of toxic air pollution in Summit and across Colorado.
Hugh Carey /

Editor’s note: Social Call is compiled from comments on stories posted to the Summit Daily’s Facebook page.

“Put wildfire mitigation on ballot by itself and I would say great, but this is a big tax increase for non-related issues. I say no.” — Deanna Ehrhardt Carew on “Summit County calls for new $8.8M tax stream to pay for wildfire mitigation, mental health services”

“More damage has been done to my property by long term tenants than short term renters. Late night parties? Anyone that says “locals” don’t do that obviously has never had 5 seasonal employees living in a two bedroom condo next door. And as far as regulations on what someone can and can’t do with their own property, With all the regulations, is it really their property?” — Adam Caswell on “Breckenridge to revamp rules for short-term rentals”

“Anyone who thinks that adding more fees and regulations to private property owners is going to somehow help more low income housing become available is going to be disappointed” — Nick Møller on “Breckenridge to revamp rules for short-term rentals”

“Fix it, for once and all. That’s the job this sheriff signed up for. It shouldn’t take years.” — Chris Logan on “Summit County Jail hopes to change culture around mental health and medical issues”

“Well when those patients end up in the ER it will still cost. And unfortunately a ton more than the prevention provided with wellness. Way to pass the buck KP.” — Joy Woodworth on “Kaiser Permanente Colorado says it will no longer be a Medicaid provider in Frisco”

“Maybe if Medicaid reimbursed in a timely manner providers wouldn’t have to drop them. Can’t keep your doors open if your not getting paid.” — David Heck on “Kaiser Permanente Colorado says it will no longer be a Medicaid provider in Frisco”

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

1. Hiker dies after heart attack on Quandary Peak

A 67-year-old Wyoming man died last week after suffering a heart attack while hiking up Quandary Peak. David Law was with a group of friends intending to summit Quandary when he collapsed at the side of the trail, a half mile up. Paramedics from Red, White and Blue fire district performed advance life support on the hiker and he was wheeled back to the trailhead in a litter, where he was pronounced dead.

2. Wildfire smoke in Summit County and the rest of Colorado is toxic and unprecedented

The thick haze in the air — the product of wildfires from across the state — is not good for our health. Recommended ways to avoid the smoke don’t exactly fit with the Summit County summer lifestyle either. Basic precautions include avoiding going outdoors, avoiding vigorous exercise, closing windows and avoiding outdoor activities, according to Dr. Carl White, pediatric pulmonologist at Children’s Hospital Colorado in Denver.

“When you look at the recommendations to avoid the smoke, it’s basically just run and hide,” he said. Not exactly the easiest advice to heed in the warmest months of the year in the mountains.

Health problems range from irritated eyes and coughing to acute or chronic conditions like heart attacks, strokes or cancer. Children are particularly susceptible to negative effects of the smoke. White said the healthiest time to be outdoors to exercise when air quality is bad is the hour after a late afternoon rain during monsoon season. Outside of that, you may be risking your health.

3. Breckenridge to revamp rules for short-term rentals

Breckenridge is looking to update its current regulations on vacation rentals. While most towns in Summit County are still in looking to implement new rules, Breckenridge has been ahead of the curve after implementing its first set of regulations a number of years ago. Proposed changes the town is now considering include a new fee schedule, requiring a local point of contact and measures designed to ensure safety and access for inspections, among other items. The new fee structure is designed to defray the town’s administrative cost and not generate any kind of profit. Breckenridge is also looking at mandating all short-term rentals in town come with a local point of contact, or someone who can address complaints on site within a one-hour timeframe 24/7. Town council is poised to vote on the new regulations on first reading Aug. 14.

4. Kaiser Permanente Colorado says it will no longer be a Medicaid provider in Frisco

Kaiser Permanente Colorado said last week it has notified about 2,500 patients that it will no longer serve as a Medicaid provider in some areas of the state. The northern, southern and mountain service areas affected by the decision include Frisco, Fort Collins, Loveland, Colorado Springs and Pueblo. The health care provider said it made the changes in Medicaid services because it is committed to seeing Medicaid and the second phase of the state’s Medicaid Accountable Care Collaborative succeed.

5. Police identify suspect in Montezuma hit-and-run

The suspect in a hit-and-run accident that took place near Montezuma last month has been identified as 34-year-old Dillon resident William Taylor Cobban. According to court documents, Cobban allegedly struck a runner while driving on Montezuma Road, picked him up and dropped him off on Hunki Dori Court near the River Run Village at Keystone Resort on July 14. Cobban told the victim he needed to leave because he “had some beers.” He was contacted by law enforcement officials in Montezuma, where he apparently admitted he had been drinking, and he was taken to jail. During transport he told the trooper that he did not see the bicyclist and that he must have jumped out of the woods, seemingly unaware that he hit a runner, and not a bicyclist.


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