As a new year begins, it may be an appropriate time to take a moment to look back and take note of the events that were at the forefront of North Forty News coverage in 2014.
The year started out with “thief and forger” Michael Labarbera, 24, escaping through the ceiling of Bella’s Liquor Store and dropping into the adjacent Bella’s Market. He fled the scene uninjured before sheriff’s deputies arrived but was apprehended later. Jeff Thomas’s front page story expressed the critical need for federal funds to repair flood damage to ditches, reservoirs and diversion structures.
In February the town of Wellington added eight paid firefighters to their ranks and the Main Street project announced a public forum. Jeff Thomas and Doug Conarroe wrote a special report on safety in the public schools.
Mental health issues in Poudre School District was a focus in March along with the announcement of the first new development in a very long time in Red Feather Lakes. The town trustees continued to explore the possibility of an independent police department for Wellington.
A downtown assessment of Wellington was announced in April. Glacier View sub-division sought a tax increase, area bird poisonings were investigated, Zion Lutheran Church turned 100 and candidates for town trustee were profiled.
In May a large turnout for the mayor/trustee election was noted along with a Buckhorn Canyon flood update, a celebration of the 80th anniversary of the discovery of the Lindenmeier site and the announcement of a new fire station for Rist Canyon.
Fracking issues emerged in June. The Glacier View fire chief resigned, Wellington asserted its wish for a voice as Poudre School District made future plans and there was an unheard of tornado in Red Feather Lakes. Wellington Farmers’ Market made plans to open.
By July the bare shelves at Bella’s Market were obvious, high water on the Poudre River caused three deaths and Sunnyside, a commercial project in Bellvue, became a concern to residents.
A plan to raise water rates was news in August. The problem of cattle thefts was discussed, an out-of-control Rainbow Family gathering in the hills was an issue and Bella’s Market owner, Sam Mancinci, did not appear as scheduled at a Wellington trustees meeting.
Disc golfers had a chance to show their stuff at an annual tournament in Wellington in September. Reid Pope, property owner in Bellvue, filed an ethics complaint and the town trustees heard and dismissed a request for a marijuana shop in town.
Bumper wheat crops brought bumper prices in October. Repairs to Buckhorn Road were slow coming and high home prices in Fort Collins were pushing buyers toward Wellington neighborhoods.
In November Jeff Thomas reported on the need for a cohesive plan for mass transportation in northeastern Colorado because of the rapidly growing and changing population.
At year’s end a body was found on CR 74E, Mountain Lions Club members added a new panel to the Veterans Memorial in Red Feather Lakes Community Park and the issue of a high school in Wellington was the focus of a Chamber of Commerce meeting with Poudre School District Superintendent Sandra Smyser.
That’s (some of) the news the North Forty saw fit to print.