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Today's News

  • 1-acre wildfire contained north of Empire

    Crews battled a wildfire Saturday near timberline north of Empire.

    The fire, approximately 0.8 acres in size, did not endanger any buildings.

    The Clear Creek Fire Authority, members of the Clear Creek Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Forest Service responded to the blaze, which was under control by Sunday.

  • A trash-talking, beer-drinking good time on the field

    By Matthew Van Deventer
    For the Courant
    IDAHO SPRINGS — If you try too hard playing co-ed slow-pitch softball, your team might not do so well. Instead, it may behoove you to focus on a little friendly trash talk, drinking beer, having fun and playing ball.
    On Aug. 20 at the Idaho Springs Ball Fields, it was the final night of regular-season play in the Clear Creek Metropolitan Rec District co-ed league before the postseason tournament where one of five teams will try and snatch the title from three-time defending champion Bad Influence.

  • Arneson embraces game he once despised

    Reed Arneson used to say that he would never touch a football. All he wanted when he was younger was more time with his dad, R.G., a former offensive guard at the University of Nebraska.
    He wanted to just play, not watch, football like his dad. Now, the 18-year-old Clear Creek High four-year starter couldn’t imagine his life without the game as a part of it.
    “I couldn’t picture my life any other way. If I got home before 7 o’clock, I wouldn’t know what to do with my life,” Arneson said.

  • School board should reassess its value

    In last week’s column, I noted Mark Twain’s dismissive attitude toward school boards. Needless to say, Twain was eviscerating.

    Unlike my literary hero, I have been on both sides of the school board table, having negotiated a master contract in Summit County in my capacity as teacher association president and having served on the Clear Creek board. During those experiences, I dealt with some who brought to mind Twain’s epithet. But I primarily collaborated with stellar, thoughtful citizens who focused on creating sound educational policy.

  • For Jack and Zack, the triple crown

    A Clear Creek County donkey recently captured the prestigious triple crown of burro racing, the first time in 15 years a local animal has held the title.

    Runner George Zack and 18-year-old burro Jack won the 29-mile Burro Days in Fairplay to the summit of Mosquito Pass on July 26; the 12-mile Buena Vista Gold Rush Days Pack Burro Race on Aug. 2; and the 20-mile Boom Days Pack Burro Race in Leadville on Aug. 9.

    For the tenacious donkey and the Broomfield resident, the third time was the charm, having narrowly missed out on the triple crown twice before.

  • Texas officer to become Springs’ next police chief

    Chris Malanka, a lieutenant in the Austin, Texas, police department, will become Idaho Springs’ new police chief on Oct. 1.

    The Idaho Springs city council officially hired Malanka at its meeting Monday night. He will be paid $80,000 a year.

    “Council felt that he was a good fit for the community, (and) he was very energetic,” said Mayor Mike Hillman. “He had researched our community and what was going on and some of the things we have envisioned for the future, (and) he was very excited, very enthusiastic about it.”

  • Cash crop

    Editor’s note: Clear Creek County is home to a budding recreational marijuana industry — an industry that has blossomed statewide since recreational sales became legal on Jan. 1, 2014. Since then, the state has received $76 million in fees and taxes from this burgeoning business. This is the third installment of a series that is tracing the marijuana process from seedling to sale, and will follow the money that flows into state coffers.

  • School district enrollment expected to remain steady

    The Clear Creek School District’s decade-long enrollment decline seems to be waning, according to enrollment predictions for the new school year.

    “We are expecting our enrollment to be very similar to the 2014-15 school year,” Superintendent Roslin Marshall said.

    Willie Leslie, the district’s business manager, echoes that, predicting a total enrollment for the three elementary schools, the middle school and high school of 886, compared with last year’s 890.

  • Fire Authority eyes purchase of three ATVs

    Members of the Clear Creek Fire Authority board may spend about $23,000 to buy three all-terrain vehicles to help fight wildland fires and work at special events.

    The board discussed buying two single-seat ATVs and one "side-by-side" ATV, as well as trailers to carry them, at a regular board meeting Aug. 12. Fire officials were instructed to look at prices from more vendors on the equipment being discussed and to bring more information to the board's September meeting.

  • ATV use may be permitted on stretch of North Empire Road

    It may soon be legal to drive all-terrain vehicles on a 3-mile segment of county road near Empire, based on recent discussion by the county commissioners of a possible new rule there.

    The commissioners on Aug. 11 approved on first reading an ordinance to allow off-highway-vehicle use, most commonly all-terrain vehicles, on North Empire Road, which is a county road.

    No ATVs currently are allowed on county roads. North Empire Road runs between Empire, where such use is allowed, and U.S. Forest Service land, where it's also permitted.