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Friday, October 15th - 2005 County Budget Available For Review... The proposed Larimer County budget for 2005, at $238,250,297, is now available for public review and comment... This budget reflects a decrease of 5.4% from the 2004 Revised Budget and an increase of 2.2% over the 2004 Original Budget... The Proposed Budget reduces levels of services in certain areas and increases others... However, it maintains emphasis to three areas: Law Enforcement and Public Safety; Roads and Bridges; and saving for future facilities... The complete budget can be reviewed by following the link below...

Thursday, October 14th - Abandoned Vehicle Vandalized... A vehicle that has apparently been abandoned by it's owner was severely damaged early Wednesday morning by vandals... The auto, which has a rope tied to the front bumper, has been parked at the entrance to the Berg Ranch on FDR 128 for a week now... Vandals broke all of the windows out of the vehicle and beat the body with a bat or similar object...

Vandalized vehicle at entrance to Berg Ranch on FDR 128

Early Voting Begins Monday... Would you like to vote early, before Election Day? Larimer County offers five early voting sites... Early Voting sites will be open weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on October 18-29, 2004 for the General Election... Be sure to take your driver's license or other identification with you... If you have moved and not changed your address, you can change your address and vote at the same time... Complete information on early voting can be found by following the link provided below...

Wednesday, October 13th - Voters Advised To Confirm Registration... In an attempt to sabotage this year's election, several entities have been accused of tampering with voter registrations... The worst case uncovered so far is in Nevada where Voter Outreach, an independent registration group, was allegedly found to be throwing Democratic registrations in the trash in an apparent attempt to alter the outcome of the elections to favor the Republican Party... This has turned out to be the most underhanded election year in recent memory with the Republicans and their supporters pulling out all stops in their bid to win in November... Democrats have also been accused of voter fraud but to a lesser extent... As a safeguard against fraud, all individuals who have recently registered are advised to contact your County offices to verify that your registration is properly in the system and to avoid unpleasant surprises at the polls... Larimer County residents may confirm their registration via the link below...

Fahrenheit 9/11 To Be Shown At Estes Park Library... Michael Moore's controversial film, "Fahrenheit 9/11", is scheduled to be shown at the public library in Estes Park on Friday, October 15th at 2:00pm... To anyone who truly understands what it means to be an American, Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 should be seen as a triumph of patriotic freedom... For more information contact the Estes Park Library at: 970-586-8115

Tuesday, October 12th - Possible Resolution Reached In Bus Stop Controversy... It has been reported this afternoon that the Estes Park School's have agreed to allow the parents the option of using either stop for dropping off and/or picking up students... It should be noted that the Larimer County Sheriff has verified that the children being in the road is in violation of Colorado's pedestrian law and that parents run the risk of being ticketed for allowing their children in the traffic portion of the road... It was also stated by deputies that the stop at the intersection of CO 43 and FDR 128 is, in their professional opinion, extremely hazardous and that common sense should dictate why there should never have been a bus stop located there ever, pointing out that:

1)  A bridge is the first portion of a roadway to ice up.

2)  The optics at and around the stop are very poor.

3)  Bottle-necking at the bridge creates a natural hazard and congestion.

4)  This location forces parents and their children to potentially break the State pedestrian law.

A letter regarding this issue was sent home with students today and can be found below:

Superintendent States Bus Stop Never Changed... In response to our inquiry about the bus stop for students attending Estes Park Schools, Superintendent Miller stated," The Park R-3 School District places an extreme priority on the safety and well-being of all of our students. According to our Director of Transportation, Tony Paglia, and the bus driver for that particular route, that bus stop has always been in the present locations and not recently changed as indicated in your story." This statement is incorrect as on both Thursday, October 7th and Friday, October 8th  students were indeed picked up at the intersection of Hwy 34 and CO 43, a change from the previous location at the intersection of CO 43 and FDR 128 and which was reportedly approved by Estes Park School's Transportation Department...

Correction: Students attending Estes Park Schools were not picked up on Friday, October 8th as previously reported, as there was no school... 

Bus Stop Moved Back Indefinitely... The Bus Stop for students of Estes Park Schools has been moved back to it's previous location at the intersection of CO 43 and FDR 128... This is reportedly due to an disgruntled parent who stated, "It's too hard for me to get up early enough to reach the stop at Hwy 34 and CO 43"... We find it sad that the safety of the children has to be jeopardized due a parent's laziness... The reality is that the safer stop which provides parking and keeps the children off the road, is no more than 30 seconds further than the unsafe stop which has children going into the road, with traffic, on a bridge, over a river, to get to the bus... Tony Paglia, of the Estes School Transportation Department, approved this return to the unsafe situation reportedly against the recommendations of other parents and the bus driver for the route... It was also reported that two children almost got struck by a vehicle again today while running across the bridge to the bus, as there are no shoulders and they must be on the paved part of the road over this bridge... It should also be noted that a Loveland student attending Estes Park Schools is still being picked up at the safer stop, with local parents not being allowed the option of their children being picked up there... Estes Park District Superintendent, Jeffery A. Miller, has been contacted for a response...

Bus stop at intersection of CO 43 and FDR 128 with red line showing path children travel to reach bus. Parking is along roadside and across bridge. Bus stop at intersection of Hwy 34 and CO 43 with red line showing path children travel to reach bus. Parking is in pull-off on right, away from road.

Heavy Metal Detected In Big Thompson River... It has been recently reported that the heavy metal, "Selenium", has shown up in tests of the Big Thompson River in two separate locations... The exact location and source of the contaminations is not known at this time... While the main suspect is run-off from irrigated fields, the possibility of a connection between the Selenium contamination and the known chemical run-off from FDR 128 has been suggested by some residents of the Storm Mountain Area... 

Sunday, October 10th - Photos Featured On News 4 Website... A selection of photos of the "Fall Colors" in the Drake area and RMNP taken by photographer, and SMN owner, Darrell Spangler are being currently featured in the "Colorado Colors" section of CBS News 4's website... You can view the photos via the link below...

Moon Joins Venus In Morning Sky... The crescent Moon this morning joined our sister planet Venus in the eastern sky making for an awesome scene... The photo below was taken along FDR 128 at 6:20am today...

Moon, Venus, and Regulus in eastern sky this morning

Saturday, October 9th - "River Forks Stage Stop" To Reopen... The historic, "River Forks Stage Stop" on Hwy 34 in Drake is tentatively scheduled to reopen on November 1st... The River Forks Restaurant and the new, Stage Stop Cafe', will both be serving residents and tourists with quality, reasonably priced meals... More details will be posted as they become available...

Fall colors surround the historic, "River Forks Stage Stop"

Disclaimer: Stories and other content are submitted by independent sources and do not represent the opinions or views of Storm Mountain Net, nor it's employees... All stories are posted without bias to their content... While every attempt is made to be concise in our reporting, Storm Mountain Net is not responsible for any incorrect information...



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Copyright 2004 Storm Mountain Net
Last modified: October 15, 2004