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Very few of us exude a quiet confidence and a high level of competence in all that we do. Even fewer of us are able to maintain a consistently kind, caring disposition – even under trying circumstances.

Sandra Jean Hagan was one of the few who could, and that’s just part of the reason a huge void and many heavy hearts have been left in her wake since her passing on Nov. 8, 2020. Hagan was 64.

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COVID-19 vaccinations have officially made their way to Park County, and a public statement was released by Park County Public Health last week confirming the good news.

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Just as they were for the entirety of the 2020 fall semester, Park County schools will remain open to on-campus attendance for the upcoming spring semester, according to school officials within the Platte Canyon School District RE-1, Park County School District RE-2 and Guffey Community Char…

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FAIRPLAY, Colo. - Colorado Parks and Wildlife is asking the public for help in identifying the person who killed a moose near Kenosha Pass.

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What are some of Park County’s most influential people saying when asked to share thoughts and recollections about 2020?

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This year was challenging, to say the least, for existing businesses in South Park due to the pandemic and subsequent forced closures. Sadly, some businesses closed their doors permanently, including, but not limited to, Dream Stream Cafe in Fairplay and Bla Bla Blah Cafe in Lake George. Other businesses expanded and a few new ones opened for the first time.

Otto’s Cart and Kiki’s Peak Produce kept locals and travelers alike fed with fresh food in Alma. The Al-Mart General Store provided its goods and also implemented special anti-virus cleaning procedures early this year.

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DJ Hannigan captured this inspiring photograph Dec. 29 on the North Fork of the South Platte River near Bailey. (Photo by DJ Hannigan/The Flume)

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From kindergartners in Mrs. Seller’s class at Edith Teter

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Bailey’s Christmas Tree. 

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The Guffey Community Charter School did not have their Winter Program this year, but they found a way to celebrate the holidays anyway. On the last day of school before the two week winter break, Sarah Garoutte hosted Santa’s Workshop at the school in the morning. The community donates items…

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The Town of Fairplay has been planning various aspects of Fairplay Forward for more than a decade, and is proud to announce that the project, and the accompanying website, is finally off the ground.

The primary objective of Fairplay Forward is to develop a community-driven strategy to be used to guide the physical and economic development of the downtown and the rest of Fairplay.

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Park Alliance for Young Children is a non-profit organization in Park County that was developed by leaders in the early childhood community. Park Alliance for Young Children was initially developed to fulfill Colorado mandates for oversight committees related to early childhood programs. The…

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The first reading of a proposed ordinance regulating short term rental properties and requiring a license to operate one was held Dec. 10.

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This group of resilient female mule deer weather a Park County snowfall. (Photo by DJ Hannigan/The Flume)

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Anyone can now receive a free COVID test at the Bailey Library’s lower parking lot, 350 Bulldogger Road, most Mondays from 8 a.m. - 2 p.m., Park County Public Health Director Lynn Ramey told the county commissioners Nov. 25 during her weekly update.

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The Colorado Department of Transportation publicly announced its plans to remove the traffic signal at U.S. Highway 285 and Park County Road 43A in a press release dated Nov. 9.

The press release stated that “Removal of the traffic signal at CR 43A allows traffic on U.S. 285 to flow through the area, removing the traffic backups currently occurring.” The press release also stated the removal of the light would provide for safer and more efficient routes, decrease possible crash locations at the intersection and would free right turns at CR 43A allowing for improved traffic flow.

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Aspen, on left, was deemed the dog that most resembled Santa at Saturday’s Christmas celebration in Fairplay. Aspen won a large dog bowl and lots of treats from High Paw Pet Supplies, Dog Works K9 Fitness and Eagle Rock Ranch. (Photo courtesy of Town of Fairplay)

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James and Patricia Mastroianni received approval for a minor subdivision, called Beautiful View, from Park County commissioners Dec. 3. Commissioner Ray Douglas declared that he knew the applicants, but it would not influence his vote.

Their 40.7-acre lot located on Old Sawmill Road was subdivided into two lots. It is north of Deer Creek Valley Ranchos on Park County Road 43.

The larger lot is 32.5 acres, and contains their home. They plan to sell the smaller lot that is 8.2 acres.

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What does it take to provide every third-  through eighth-grade student in the Fairplay schools with a unique outdoor educational experience embedded within the traditional school day?

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At this stage in their young lives, these bighorn sheep are just beginning to find their footing within the treacherous gorges of Mount Evans Wilderness area near Guanella Pass. (Photo by Kelly R. Kirkpatrick/The Flume)

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Tragedy struck in Park County Nov. 27 when an 11-year-old girl was killed in a sledding accident on Park County Road 60 near Grant.

According to reports, the deceased girl and three other youths were being pulled on sleds via tow straps behind a pickup truck that came to an abrupt stop after one of the youths came off her sled.

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It’s not just mindless turkey-talk to suggest that Thanksgiving is even more meaningful, and that the holiday takes on even greater significance, amid the backdrop of challenging circumstances or trying times.

If we accept that axiom, then Thanksgiving 2020 should be far more meaningful and carry much more significance than most. After all, no matter how we slice this turkey, 2020 has served up heaping portions of adversity and has provided a perfect recipe for civil and political unrest almost from the start.

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At the beginning of October, the Park County commissioners were hoping to apply for the least restrictive of Colorado’s five levels of COVID response and protection.

It is called “Protect Our Neighbors,” level green, and allows for larger numbers in group gatherings outdoors as well as indoors.  

Instead of being able to go to PON as anticipated a month ago, the county moved up from Level Blue Cautious to safer at home, Level Yellow Concern on Nov. 16.

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Dumb deer? Somehow, someway, they always know when it’s hunting season! (Photo by DJ Hannigan/The Flume)

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There has been a considerable amount of discussion in political circles over the last few days regarding what constitutes a mandate for winners of electoral races.

According to Wikipedia, a mandate in politics is “the authority granted by a constituency to act as its representative. The concept of a government having a legitimate mandate to govern via the fair winning of a democratic election is a central idea of representative democracy.”

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Judging by the scene at voting locations accross Park County on Nov. 3, one might be misled into thinking there was very little interest at all in this year’s elections.

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The Flume is proud to be a part of Red, White & Bailey, whereby American flags are provided to local businesses and proudly flown year-round.

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Local wildlife photographer DJ Hannigan generally has a way of keeping his subjects at ease in their natural habitats while he rolls off award-winning shots. However, this particular Park County ground squirrel seems to be an exception to the rule. Hannigan said he wasn’t sure what the squir…

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Having been severely limited in terms of family outings and community events for the past seven months, Platte Canyon-area youth are probably looking forward to Halloween even more than usual this year.

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Those who opt to vote in person at the polls Tuesday will have a full slate of candidates and propositions to consider.

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Sebastian Jules Lundquist is a native-born Colorado boy who climbed Mount Bierstadt this last fall at age seven with his Dad and Mom on a very cold and windy day. This was his first 14teener and just a walk in the park with his youth and energy. Congratulations Sebastian. He is the grandson …

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The historic Hartsel Community Center gets updates, thanks to the help and donations of volunteers and the Conservation Trust Fund. See story, page 8.  (Photo by Lori Bennett/The Flume)

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In 1974, the Park County Sheriff’s Office was at a loss to identify a man found dead off County Road 62 near Grant, Colo. His body was discovered by hikers, and was situated at the base of a towering rock formation on the south side of Guanella Pass.

No clues were ever found at the scene to assist in identifying the man, but fingerprints and dental records were obtained as part of an autopsy. That information failed to match with regional missing persons cases, so newspapers, including The Flume, published articles about the discovery in hopes of drumming up leads.

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The South Park cross country team and coaches gathered for an impromptu photo Oct. 8 at the South Park Invitational Meet in Fairplay. The coaches are Head Coach Bryan Shane and Assistant Coach Nina Asher. (Photo courtesy of Beverly Rafferty)

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Park County residents are prepared for wind, dust, snow, fires, gravel, potholes, hail and more when they travel in the county. Few are prepared for an airplane landing unexpectedly on a gravel road. 

When Rey Ortiz, Hartsel resident and former Army aircraft mechanic, left his home Oct. 7, he did not expect that shortly thereafter he would see a small airplane land right in front of his truck, but that is exactly what happened. 

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With election day looming less than a month away, Park County District 2 Commissioner Richard Elsner and challenger Richie Frangiosa faced off in a cordial but spirited public debate Oct. 6 at Platte Canyon High School.

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There I was, minding my own business, when a moose trio entered our yard. Just passing through, like real quick, not stopping to eat the aspens (this time). (Photo by DJ Hannigan/The Flume)

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The Park County Sheriff’s Office generally receives about 600 calls per week, running the gamut from motor vehicle accidents and ATVs on county roads, to shots fired and illegal campfires. 

Such calls are all part of a normal day’s work for Sheriff Tom McGraw and his deputies, and all varieties of calls require timely response and are taken extremely seriously.

But lately, there has been a dramatic increase in a particular type of call that ranks amongst the least favorite for responding deputies: domestic violence-based calls. 

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