Looking back: 2015 in review

It’s that time again to take a moment to review the past year before taking a deep breath and moving on to a new one. Here are some of the events the North Forty News recorded during the past 12 months. Fortunately, no major natural disasters were included.

In January the Mountain Schools were honored as a district of distinction for exceeding expectations in academic growth over a three-year period. Principal Matt Marietta noted that their success was due to a strong, dedicated staff and supportive parents. A feature story on Wellington Realtor Lou Kinzli described his fascinating life journey. Jeff Thomas shared helpful hints concerning highway signs.

February’s paper shared a story about Polly Brinkhoff, life-long mountain dweller and grandmother of Wellington’s Mayor Jack Brinkhoff. The aftermath of the High Park fire was addressed in the first of six community forums. An editorial described the lack of transparency regarding violence and weapon-related incidents in our schools. Lawmakers were looking into lifting the veil of secrecy. LaPorte residents voiced concerns about flood-plain restrictions at a meeting with county commissioners.

In March it was noted that a big new window replaced plywood that covered the opening at the Bellvue Grange — suddenly there was light! Local company, Mouco Cheese, and T-shirt entrepreneur and college student Colin Beard were featured. The community was saddened to learn of the death of 16-year-old Victoria “Torry” Archibald in a train accident. Soaring Eagle Ecology Center received a grant to study air quality.

Firefighter Donn Maynard retired in April and, true to tradition, got a ride home to Cherokee Park from Poudre Fire Department colleagues. Red Feather Lakes fourth and fifth grade teacher Kasey Ross received a Tuesday Teacher award from K99 Morning Guys and nature/science writer Gary Raham informed readers about chickens and CSU mosquito research.

In May LaPorte’s friendly trash picker-upper, Paul Gustafson, was featured and pictured riding his three-wheeled vehicle. An Odyssey of the Mind team from Livermore Elementary School was headed to the world finals. A High Park fire forum addressed recovery for families with huge losses. Bella’s Market meat manager was featured. A herd of bison were preparing to go to a new home on the Soapstone Prairie and town trustees wrestled with Boxelder Stormwater issuses.

In June writer Jeff Thomas reflected on the cool, rainy month of May and Poudre High School student body presidents, current and from 50 years ago, met to talk about the school’s 50th reunion.

In July we learned that frequent aerial spraying of the eastern Colorado wheat crop was necessary to fight stripe rust. Glade Reservoir appeared to be one step closer to being built, but opponents asked for more review time. North Forty News announced a change to a subscription-based paper.

August saw the budget for the Boxelder Stormwater project expanding and detailed the effect of the project on the James Day family farm. The Rist Canyon Fire Department turned 40. Author Sandra Dallas celebrated Pioneer Days with Red Feather elementary students. If you were thinking about keeping bees, an NFN article told you how to do it.

Manhattan’s mining past was chronicled in the September issue. CLP was beefing up their athletics with new ideas and old traditions. The Enterprise Zone was expanded and nature/science writer Gary Raham told us to eat plants, exercise and care for our body’s microbes. Lory State Park reopened its equestrian cross country course.

In October Susan and Duane Kniebes’ 1,500 page book in three volumes was reviewed. It identifies 158 local cemeteries and remote burial places in the county. The Wellington Food Bank announced an expansion of open hours. Bingham Hill Cemetery received a facelift from volunteers, Buckeye Community held a quilt festival and prints of animal tracks were noted as an educational tool at Wellington Middle School.

At last the bison herd arrived at their new home in Soapstone in November. Fire Station Four, destroyed in the High Park Fire, was rebuilt and reopened. Bella’s Market sold to Ridley Family Market. Ingrained Bakery, an addition to the Wellington business community that recently opened, was featured.

In December two Rist Canyon Fire Department volunteers, Mike Thompson and Jordy Levick were honored. Accessible Nature, by locals Sally Roth and Matt Bartman, was reviewed and other features covered the historic Brewster barn in Bellvue, the anticipated opening of Old Colorado Brewery in Wellington and a three-generation family making plans to move in together.

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