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Tuesday, December 7th - Larimer County Commissioners Announce 2004 Awards... The Board of Larimer County Commissioners on Monday recognized two outstanding local contractors... This is the fourth annual presentation of the Larimer County Building Department’s ‘Recognition Award Program for Professionalism’ which honors contractors, architects and engineers for teamwork and customer-focused service... This year’s recipients are Mike Davis of Mike Davis LLC, of Fort Collins and Hillery Parrack of Parrack Hillery Builders Inc, of Estes Park... In addition, the Board of Larimer County Commissioners also presented four Environmental Stewardship Awards for 2004... These awards annually honor the environmental efforts of county residents, businesses, organizations and agencies... Winning programs are innovative and proactive, and demonstrate exceptional effort and concern for stewardship of the environment... The county’s Environmental Advisory Board reviews the nominations and makes recommendations to the Board of Commissioners... Begun in 1995, and now in its 10th year, this year’s four recipients bring the total number of awards given to 32... This year 13 nominations were received... This year’s four recipients are Gary Householter and his dog Timber, for a unique human-canine relationship; Vicky Jordan, for environmental education activities at Wellington Jr. High School; Jon and Susanne Stephens, for land stewardship activities on their Rocky Mountain Lazy J Bar S Ranch; and Lafarge Northern Division, for commitment to citizen outreach in conjunction with their Kyger sand and gravel operation... Our congratulations to all of the 2004 winners!!! Complete information on these awards can be found below...

Comet Machholz Makes Appearance In Our Skies... Recently discovered in August of 2004, "Comet Machholz" is now visible in our late night skies... The still faint object is barely visible with the naked eye, hence binoculars or a small telescope are recommended... Machholz currently looks like a fuzzy greenish-blue snowball and can be found just below the familiar winter constellation of Orion in the southern skies... This comet will stay with us for the next couple months brightening as it approaches the Sun... Below is a photo of the Comet taken at 2am this morning along with a locator map to aid in viewing...

Comet Machholz appearing like a fuzzy snowball in our southern sky early Tuesday morning Map generated with Starry Night® software showing location of Comet Machholz tonight at Midnight MST

Monday, December 6th - Let The Contest Begin... As of today the, "2004 Light Up The Mountain", Christmas display contest if officially underway with our first entry coming in from Ron and Karen at 56 Mica Ct, on Storm Mountain... We would also like to announce that we are expanding our entry area to include not only residents on the mountain , but also residents living in Glen Haven, the Big Thompson Canyon, and along CO 43 including the Retreat... Join in the fun and enter your display today!!!

Saturday, December 4th - Be Alert For Northern Lights After Dark Tonight... A Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) was hurled towards Earth yesterday by an eruption of sunspot 708... This was a M-Class Solar Flare similar to the one that sparked the fantastic display on November 7th... While there is no way to predict how intense this display will be, or if any at all will occur this far south, there is good cause to keep watch as there is a 10% chance of a major geomagnetic storm occurring and producing Northern Lights in our evening skies tonight... Should a storm and display occur, an Active Aurora Alert will be posted on this site... Latest Update: As of 10pm, the CME has arrived but no signs of auroral activity in our area has been reported... High clouds are now moving in, substantially degrading viewing conditions over Storm Mountain... 

Nov 6th CME that sparked Auroras in our area Dec 3rd CME expected to arrive here tonight

Info and Graphics:

All Dressed Up For Christmas... For anyone who has been around this area during the winter holiday season, there isn't much doubt that "Christmas in the Rockies" is a wonderful time of the year... Take a walk through the streets of Estes Park during the evening hours and you may find yourself transported to a magical Christmas village like those seen on Christmas Cards and written about in fairy tales... Beautiful displays adorn the windows of local merchants as a feeling of Christmas joy fills the mountain air... This not a fantasy, but a very real scene for local residents and winter visitors... We are truly blessed to live a such a remarkable place as we do...

View of Estes Park coming into town on Hwy 34 at dawn The world famous Staley Hotel all dressed up for Christmas

Friday, December 3rd - Hidden Valley Re-Opens Today... At 10:30am this morning a ribbon cutting ceremony took place officially re-opening the Hidden Valley area of Rocky Mountain National Park... Park Superintendent Vaughn Baker and Estes Park Mayor John Baudek were both in attendance at the event geared not only to re-open the area, but also to honor the many workers and volunteers who helped bring this project to completion... The Hidden Valley area has been closed for the past two years for a major restoration/reconstruction project...The $2.8 million dollar project features new facilities including public restrooms, warming hut, and ranger station as well as removal of old buildings and equipment and restoring the area to a more natural setting... The goal is to provide both a safer snow-play area, as well as add facilities for expanded summer usage while protecting the natural beauty of the area... Another key feature of this restoration project was the daylighting of Hidden Creek which was previously hidden literally in culverts through this area... This exposing of the stream gives a more natural appearance and is expected to aid in bringing water to wetlands in the Park... Hidden Valley Ski Area originally opened in 1949 and operated as a ski area until 1992 when the ski operations were shut down... 

New warming hut, ranger station and restroom facilities at Hidden Valley in RMNP Park Superintendent Vaughn Baker and Estes Park Mayor John Baudek cut the ribbon reopening the area

Venus and Mars Shine In Morning Sky... Area residents who were up early today could see both Venus and Mars shining brightly in the eastern sky... The pair can be seen the next few days just before sunrise... The multiple star Zubenelgenubi can also be seen just below Mars...

Venus and Mars rising over Palisade Mountain before sunrise

Thursday, December 2nd - Local Money Order Scam Alert... The Estes Park Chamber of Commerce reported Wednesday that they have been given a report from the Estes Park Police Department on a money order scam. Local business owners have been receiving e-mails from attempting to scam them into giving them refunds on a fraudulent check/money order... Do not send any money to this person... The names that this person has used are Tracey Jones and Tracey AMA... For more information or to make a report on this issue contact the Estes Park Police at 586-4000...

Wednesday, December 1st - Stolen Truck Recovered Thanks To Concerned Citizen... The Larimer County Sheriff wants to thank all who have called in regarding the rental truck stolen this week in Larimer County, Colorado... Due to the vigilance of a concerned citizen, who had been watching the news and reported their sighting to the Loveland Police Department, we were able to locate the Penske Rental truck in Loveland, at St. Louis and SE 8th St... We appreciate everyone’s help and hope we’ll get a similar response in the future... The truck has been processed by the Larimer County Sheriff’s investigations team and returned to the victim at approximately 1:00 P.M. today.   The truck had been emptied, with very little of the victim’s property remaining... Investigators are currently following up on any leads...

Sheriffs Ask For Help In Search For Stolen Rental Truck... Larimer County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a report of a missing Penske rental truck and trailer taken during the night from Canal Drive in Fort Collins sometime between 6:00 P.M. on Sunday, November 28 and 9:00 A.M. on Monday November 29, 2004... The white Penske van is an enclosed box style 2004 Ford E350 with an Indiana license plate of 306879... The trailer is a flat bed two axle car hauler with Utah license 51064K... The victims stated that the rental truck and trailer contained all of their personal and household belongings as they are in the process of relocating... Anyone with information relating to this incident is asked to call Larimer County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Steve Koenig at 498-5168...

Larimer County Business Index Unveiled... Compass of Larimer County now features the Larimer County Business Index, information and assistance to a new group of Compass users - businesses and job seekers in Larimer County... The Compass Business Index assists users in starting or expanding businesses, relocating, or connecting with existing business resources... The project complements the information provided by other business groups, such as Chambers of Commerce, by providing a comprehensive array of information, sites, and tools for doing business in Larimer County... This new online Business Index, at, is the latest joint project of the Larimer County Division of Health and Human Services and United Way of Larimer County... Compass,, is a Larimer County government web site, containing a variety of data about important social, economic and environmental issues in Larimer County... A joint effort of Larimer County government and the United Way of Larimer County, the Compass website is constantly being updated and added to, making it a continuous living report on the quality of life in Larimer County...

News posts from previous weeks are located in our "News Archive" which can be found by clicking the button below:

Storm Mountain Net

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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Last modified: December 08, 2004