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After a temporary closure, the Badger Basin Gas Station and Convenience Store is open in Hartsel.

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Blue skies persisted for most of the day, huge crowds filled the festive streets of Fairplay from start to finish and the 72nd edition of World Championship Pack Burro racing added another memorable chapter to its already storied history.

On the Long Course, after 29 grueling miles and five hours and 22 minutes of racing, the two top contenders dueled side-by-side down Front Street to a virtual photo finish.

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Colorado Gov. Jared Polis spent the second day of his Power the Comeback Tour with several stops in Park County on July 27. The purpose of the tour is to convey that Colorado is open for business and accessible to all people, including people with disabilities.

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Looking the part

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It’s been two long years since World Championship Pack Burro Racing has made its way to Fairplay.

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The quest of The Middle Way horse sanctuary to keep three wild mustangs together was realized and now all three horses; grandmother, mother, and daughter are together in their forever home in Garo.

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Since last year’s  Park County Fair was scaled down significantly due to COVID-19, one might expect a little organizational rust for this year’s 101st edition of the highly-anticipated event.

But this planners and organizers didn’t miss a beat, and the 2021 version of the fair was as good as ever.

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The unexpected temporary closure of the Badger Basin Gas Station, Convenience and Liquor Store in Hartsel caused confusion and some difficulties for travelers and locals who depend on the gas supply last weekend.

“I gave two cans of gas to a lady traveling with three children,” Terrie Dalessandro, Hartsel resident, said.

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Throughout its storied, 101-year history, the Park County Fair has been a highly-anticipated, well-attended and locally revered event.

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Deer fawns learn at an early age to stay hidden in dense cover for much of the day until their moms come back in the evening to nurse them. They are not orphaned, as some might think at first glance.

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This dog was not allowed inside the petting zoo but found a very comfortable location just outside the fence and rested peacefully there for some time despite a considerable amount of commotion going on nearby.

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The Hartsel Fire Auxiliary sponsored its First Annual Car Show as a fundraiser July 3 at the Ranch of the Rockies pavilion. Classic cars, shiny new cars, four wheel jeeps, trucks and motorcycles were all featured the event, which drew over 100 people.

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Special Events Coordinator Julie Bullock could be seen racing from one place to the next, organizing and assisting volunteers and staff throughout the entirety of Sunday’s Fourth of July celebration sponsored by the Town of Fairplay.

In fact, had Bullock harnessed those efforts and applied them to the  Burro Buster 5K Race held earlier in the day, she would have almost certainly finished among the leaders.

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Julian Daknis and fellow members of the popular local band Split Window braved the rainy weather and entertained the crowd in attendance at Brat-T-Gras in Fairplay Saturday, June 26. Brat-T-Gras was the first sponsored event produced by the Town of Fairplay since the onset of COVID-19 in Mar…

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After record heat and dry conditions persisted throughout most of June, a substantial cool-down and an abundance of rainfall occurred last weekend throughout the area. As seen here, there was even a dusting of snow sitting atop the highest mountain peaks on Guanella Pass early Monday morning…

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During the second reading and approval of a new camping ordinance, Park County commissioners made a few minor changes June 22.

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PARK COUNTY — The Colorado Department of Transportation will begin bridge replacement operations July 6 on U.S. 285 over South Fork of South Platte. The project, located in Park County, has multiple locations: U.S. Highway 285 at mile post 172.2 to 173.5, Colorado Highway 9 at MP 63, and U.S. Highway 24 at MP 47.5. Zak Dirt Inc. has been selected as the contractor for this project. Work is expected to be completed in the fall, weather permitting.

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Doe and fawn make their way through tall grass on a warm summer day in Park County.

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Lake George Fire Protection District recently hosted another joint departmental training at their Station One facility in Lake George. Florissant Fire Protection District secured the training and reached out to Susan Bernstetter, Chief at LGFPD, to collaborate together and offer the Propane …

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Park County is suffering from “an unprecedented departure of staff” within its Building Division and is scrambling to perform its usual functions following the sudden departure of a department head, two field inspectors and administrative staff members.

The shortage of manpower within the Building Division, which falls under the umbrella of Development Services, comes at the most inconvenient time possible, because demand for construction plan reviews and field inspections is at its peak during the summer months.

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A total of 826 COVID-19 cases have been reported in Park County since the pandemic began, and there were still eight confirmed active cases in the county as of June 14 according to the official Park County website, www.parkcounty.us.

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The Hartsel Community Library volunteer team has been busy building and placing “little library” boxes at both Eleven Mile and Spinney Reservoirs.

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South Park City Museum in Fairplay is an authentic re-creation of an 1880s Colorado boomtown. Most of its structures and exhibits range in time from 1859 to about 1890. With its new Dredge Office exhibit, the museum timeline has expanded into the 1940s.

Gold dredging was a huge part of Fairplay and South Park history, according to  Erin Pulsipher, curator of the museum. And that’s why, when the former Dredge Office of South Platte Dredging Company was donated to the museum by owner and area resident Amanda Woodbury, it was decided that the exhibits inside would represent South Park’s dredging history.

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The Platte Canyon Area Chamber of Commerce will once again sponsor Bailey Day after the cancellation in 2020 due to COVID-19. Bailey Day 2021 will occur Saturday, June 19, from 10 a.m. - 8 p.m., with activities for every member of the community. The event will take place on Main Street in Ba…

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Jim and Daphne Myers, owners of Sasquatch Outpost in Bailey, recently went to extrordinary measures to provide both transportation and housing for a pair of new Bailey residents.

The Bigfoot family, also known as the Sasquatch family, arrived on a trailer May 31, and was delivered by Warn and Shari Peterson. The Petersons said their cargo had been the topic of lively conversation for many curious travelers along the way from Ohio, where the Sasquatches were constructed by a company called Unit 70 Studios in Columbus.

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Mama moose has her hands – or hooves – full taking care of new-born twins. She’s seen here letting them roam, but not far.

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It might appear as if summer events in Park County are back in full swing and that it’s business as usual for all parties involved. But in reality, it is business as usual with the added weight of what could be referred to as a slight COVID hangover.

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The sketch plan phase of the Morning Air Planned Unit Development, owned by Salzamar Properties, LLC, was approved by the county commissioners May 25.

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Michael Wishowski, South Park High School student, signed with Presentation College in Aberdeen, South Dakota to play baseball.  In the picture from left to right, top row:  Allison Wishowski, Lindsay Wishowski, Kyle Graff, Gretchen Panicucci.  Bottom row: Bill Wishowski, Michael Wishowski.

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It has been roughly 642 days since the brutal murder of Maggie Long sent shockwaves of grief, anger and fear throughout the small mountain community of Bailey.

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June 15 marks the second anniversary of Mountain Essentials, located at 520 on Fairplay’s historic Front Street. Mountain Essentials is owned and operated by Nicole McChesney.

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May 15, paramedics Katie Hind and Alisha Wiltse received a call from radio dispatch that a woman in Fairplay was having contractions a minute apart and might be only 28 weeks along in her pregnancy.

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In an apparent surprise, Zoe Ann Holmes, Administrator of Lake George Charter School, submitted her letter of resignation to the school board during their meeting May 19. It was further learned that several teachers subsequently resigned as well.

Numerous attempts have been made to determine the cause of the upheaval to no avail. Contact was made with Jennifer Geffre, president of the board, who told The Flume after discussing the matter with her attorney they would cooperate and answer questions submitted in writing.

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Velma B. Johnston, later known as “Wild Horse Annie,” in the 1950s brought attention to the plight of wild horses and burros. In 1971, The Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act was signed into law and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) began a program of capturing some of the animals and …

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Even with 14 months of mask-wearing and social distancing in the rearview mirror, COVID-19 concerns still linger in Park County.

But with the successful distribution of vaccines thanks to a number of aggressive measures taken at the national and local levels, those concerns are waning sharply and should subside even more over time.

Perhaps the best evidence of that is reflected in the number of public summer events scheduled to take place in Park County in the coming months, most all of which were cancelled in 2020.

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Nostradamus was an astrologer and a physician, but gained fame and a loyal following for his poetic prophecies and his astonishingly accurate foretelling of future events.

Similarly, Saam Golgoon is widely recognized as the mayor of Alma and a tireless community volunteer, but he recently demonstrated some impressive future-telling prowess of his own.

 In an article published in the March 26 edition of The Flume entitled ‘The state of Alma,’ Golgoon warned that privately owned land near Alma could be closed to public access if land-owners we so inclined.

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Five local fire departments, two air tankers, a Type II helicopter and a host of U.S. Forest Service personnel combined to snuff out a fire that claimed 45 acres May 1 near the unincorporated community of Jefferson.

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Some of the faces have changed, but Fire Adapted Bailey is carrying on with its important work to protect the community from the ever-growing threat of wildfires.

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Living in Park County poses a myriad of unique challenges for many senior citizens.

The absence of a single hospital or assisted living center within the county is chief among them and the distance to the nearest grocery store and other businesses can also be problematic for those lacking transportation.

Most recently, however, according to new Park County Senior Coalition Executive Director Jennie Danner, isolation and lack of social interaction in the wake of COVID-19 has been perhaps the most imposing challenge of all for local seniors.

“Reducing isolation and increasing connection will be our most immediate priority,” Danner said. “We have a lot of fun activities and special outings planned for the near future, and we look forward to stepping up our outreach efforts and socially reconnecting our seniors.”

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The new display case of Ute relics at Pikes Peak Historical Society’s Museum. See story on page 1. (Photo submitted by Carolynne Cummings Forster)

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“Gasoline prices are indeed high and destined to go higher, for a variety of reasons. Everyone would be well advised to plan accordingly,” writes David Blackmon, an independent energy analyst/consultant, in the March 25, 2021 issue of Forbes magazine.

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This young Park County moose, as well as its twin sibbling, were bedded down beneath the willows during portions of last weeks series of snowstorms. The twins are generally accompanied by their mom, but she was nowhere to be seen on the morning of April 18. According to DJ Hannigan, the twin…

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If you are a Park County resident who does not have high-speed internet access at your place of residence or business, that might be changing sooner rather than later.

If you do happen to enjoy the luxury of high-speed internet access, you should probably thank the people who have worked so diligently in recent years as part of the Park County broadband initiative.

The purpose of the Park County Broadband Advisory Board, as stated on the Park County website www.parkco.us, is to advise the Board of County Commissioners and other county staff and officials on how to enhance telecommunications in Park County in order to facilitate economic development, attract new residents, and improve, manage, and keep abreast of telecommunications trends and developments that affect or relate to telecommunications in Park County.

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The conditional use permit hearing for a proposed Twisted Pines RV Campground was continued from March 30 to April 6 due to an internet outage. The outage disconnected those attending the hearing by Zoom. (See “CUPs allow commercial activity on zoned land,” The Flume, April 2 2021.)

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