Top 5 stories on, week of June 16 |

Top 5 stories on, week of June 16

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

1. Kaiser Permanente leaving Frisco and Vail

Colorado’s High Country will have one less health insurance and health care option by the end of the year. Kaiser Permanente Colorado is pulling out of Summit and Eagle counties, the health care provider confirmed. Kaiser partially blamed hospitals in Eagle and Summit counties, saying they have been “unreasonably opposed to contracting with us,” a marked shift from the 10-year commitment Kaiser made four years ago when it said those contracts might not matter. Kaiser also pointed fingers at Front Range hospitals for its troubles there. The Colorado Hospital Association countered that Kaiser is responsible for its own problems. Kaiser serves approximately 4,400 members in Summit and Eagle counties, less than 5% of the Eagle/Summit County market and less than 1% of Kaiser’s total membership in Colorado.

2. Colorado man catches record fish the size of a 7-year-old child

Matt Smiley was fishing the Flaming Gorge Reservoir which straddles the Utah-Wyoming border when he caught the big one. A Fairplay, Colorado, resident, Smiley’s fish caught on May 4 was recognized as the Utah state record for a catch-and-release lake trout, measuring 48 inches. He weighed it at just under 53 pounds and almost let it go without measuring it. “I had been wanting to catch a fish over 50 pounds for a long, long time,” said Smiley. “I was pretty sure it was over 50 pounds, looking at it, but when we (weighed it), I was so excited. I put it back in the net and had it over the side of the boat, getting ready to let it go, and my buddy in the boat with me stopped me. He was like, ‘Man, we’ve got to measure that fish, do you have a tape measure in here?’ I’m like, ‘I don’t even care, man, I broke 50 pounds, I’m good with it.’ He’s like, ‘No, that’s the longest fish I’ve ever seen, you need to measure that thing.’ ”

Just to get an idea of its size, an average boy in the month he turns 7 has a height of 48 inches and weight of nearly 51 pounds, according to the National Center for Health Statistics of the Centers for Disease Control.

3. Arapahoe Basin Ski Area extends to June 28-30, hopes for July 4

It’s the season that never ends this year as Arapahoe Basin Ski Area last week announced it would be open for another extension, from June 28-30. In the announcement, A-Basin officials said they still do not know if the ski area would be able to open on the July Fourth holiday, but to “stay-tuned.” The last time A-Basin was open for skiing on the Fourth of July was 2011.

4. Local couple fell ill at Dominican hotel where 3 tourists died

A string of American tourist deaths at a hotel in the Dominican Republic has flung a Colorado couple into the center of attention a year after the two became ill while staying at the hotel. Kaylynn Knull of Monument and her boyfriend Tom Schwander of Dillon were vacationing at the Bahia Principe Hotel La Romana in the Dominican Republic last June when the couple became severely ill. They believe the illness came on as a result of exposure to harmful chemicals being sprayed on plants around the resort, though the hotel refuses to cooperate in identifying the substance, according to Schwander. The couple is in the process of suing the hotel to determine what chemicals they might have been exposed to during their trip, and as more Americans continue to get sick and die at the hotel, Schwander and Knull’s story has found new life.

“We’ve been doing this for a year,” Schwander said about their efforts to hold the hotel accountable. “It sucks people had to die for people to care.”

5. Breckenridge Brewery takes lease dispute to court, pitting owner against the brewery’s original founders

About to lose the building it’s called home for nearly 30 years, Breckenridge Brewery is taking its case to court with claims the landlord reneged on a contract to renew the brewpub’s lease. Filed in Summit County Court, the lawsuit accuses the brewery’s landlord, a company called Breckenridge Brewery Real Estate, of accepting terms outlined for a new lease in a February email exchange that detailed important items such as rental rates and a time frame for the new lease, which would have kept Breckenridge Brewery at 600 S. Main St. for the next five years. One of the people attached to Breckenridge Brewery Real Estate, Richard Squire, is an original founder of the brewery, and he vehemently disputes the lawsuit has merit. Rather, he frames the case as a beer giant’s attempt to ride roughshod over the little guy.

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