Highlights from the Herald Democrat

10 Years Ago

Controversy swirls around bike race, festival

by Ann E. Wibbenmeyer

Herald Staff Writer

June 10, 2010


Ken Chlouber, founder of the Leadville Trail 100, does not want the Rocky Mountain Bike Festival to be held during the 100-mile bike race on Aug. 14.

“They are a parasite on the hard work we have done,” he told the Lions Club at its meeting on June 3.

He asked the club not to serve beer and bratwursts at the festival. At a previous club meeting, the Lions Club voted to host the beer tent for the festival upon the request of the festival organizer, Carol Johnson, with Miles Ahead Events, Inc.

By serving at the festival, said Chlouber, the Lions Club would then, as a local club, be competing with the Leadville Trail 100, another local organization.

In all the years of hosting races, which started in 1983 with the first 100-mile run, Chlouber has had the goal of bringing more money into the Leadville community, he later told the Herald.

He said that all the money spent at the festival will leave Leadville.

Mayor Bud Elliott assured at the city council meeting on June 1 that Johnson had the Leadville sales tax code for the vendors.

At Boom Days, said Chlouber, few of the vendors actually turn in the sales tax from that event, so this event would not be much different.

On a business level, said Chlouber, the festival would be in direct competition with the sponsors of the Leadville Trail 100. Specialized, the official bike of the 2010 mountain bike race, should be the only bike in town that weekend, according to Chlouber.

The official beer for the race is Sierra Nevada, and the Lions club serving a different beer would be in direct competition with that sponsor, according to Chlouber.

At its last meeting, the Lions Club decided to honor its commitment with the bike festival. No motion was made to reverse the decision from the previous meeting.

“It’s a matter of integrity,” said Jim Fogerty with the Lions Club. The club said it would serve beer and bratwursts, and the club should keep its word, he added.

According to Johnson, some bike festival sponsors were called by Chlouber over the weekend following the Lions Club meeting.

At least one sponsor, she said, has backed out of the event.

The festival is in its third year, having been held in Denver the first two years.

Four weeks ago Johnson first started to think about changing the festival, she said.

It was a few days later when a vendor pointed out to her that spectators of the Leadville Trail 100 bike race had little to do after the beginning of the race.

Johnson received all the proper permits and permission from Lake County and Leadville before changing the Web site to reflect the new venue, she said.

She approached the Leadville Trail 100 when first investigating bringing the festival to town.

At the time, according to Chlouber, he told her not to come that weekend and that if she chose a different weekend, he would help her. His offer was to hold the festival at the new 24 Hours of Leadville event. She insisted on the Aug. 14 date, he added.

The permits Johnson received included a conditional use permit from Leadville, which was approved at the City Council meeting on June 1.

Chlouber said at the Lions Club meeting that the item was a last-minute addition to the agenda, which didn’t allow for public comment. He has requested the item be put back on the city agenda for the June 15 meeting.

Johnson also leased the land near Leiter field from the county for the event.

“The county leases property to anyone who abides by the rules and pays the money,” said Commissioner Mike Bordogna. The county had no grounds to deny the event the lease.

Johnson said her interest in bringing the festival to Leadville is to support the bicycling community while also supporting the local community. This is why she asked the Lions Club to serve.

The festival, she said, will also benefit the Cloud City Wheelers, the bike club based in Lake County.

The festival will include vendors from the bike industry, including non-profit organizations that help the disabled enjoy the sport. There will also be vendors that build custom bikes. Bike demos and tours will be offered as well.

In her correspondence with the Leadville Trail 100, Johnson offered booth space to the Leadville Trail 100 race sponsors for half price or free, depending on their level of sponsorship.

She also offered to give the Leadville Trail 100 Legacy 10 percent of the door revenue. The festival costs $5 per adult for entry. Another 10 percent of this revenue goes to Livestrong.

The festival will open Friday at 9 a.m. and close that evening at 5 p.m. On Saturday, the festival will open again right after the start of the bike race and will be open until 6 p.m.

It will be set up next to Leiter Field near Leiter and West 5th streets.

Herald said to have paranormal activity

by Marcia Martinek

Herald Editor


It’s official; the Herald Democrat building is certified as being the scene of paranormal activity. In fact the certificate is posted on our front door as we think that the tourists will find it interesting.

It all started (the certification process, that is) a few weeks ago. The Cloud City Paranormal Society meets in Sherry Randall’s cookie shop, Cookies with Altitude, which is next door to the Herald office but in the same building. Karen Bailey, who specializes in animal and spirit communications, had become aware of a woman dressed in Victorian attire in the shop—an angry woman who happened to be left handed and didn’t like the fact that Randall has set up her shop for someone who is right-handed.

In any case, it was time for an investigation.

There are several tales of haunting experiences at the Herald. Mostly they’ve come from former editor Chris McGinnis, who has told me about staying late at the building, hearing footsteps on the basement stairs, and then finding no one else in the building.

Now to the investigation.

Randall, along with Karen Bailey, her husband Keith, and Bill and Nancy Montag, members of the paranormal society, gathered at the building after dark on a Saturday night. They were equipped with cameras, digital and video, a cell phone with the Ghost Radar application, a tape recorder, a device used for checking if there is electrical current in an outlet, a temperature recording device and walkie-talkies.

Karen Bailey said that as she was driving to the office that night, she kept seeing coffins lined up. She was not aware that when the building was built in 1895, it first served as the Nelson Mortuary.

The rules were that no one could be alone, and initially the two men headed down to the basement while the women stayed up in the bakery.

In the Herald basement Keith Bailey and Bill Montag had several interesting experiences.

In one, they had been measuring the temperature, around 54-55 degrees down there, and suddenly started feeling very cold. The temperature had plummeted down to 42 degrees which is, they said, a sign of spirits. They asked the spirits to make it warmer and the temperature went back up into the 50s. They supplied video of the temperature gauge fluctuations.

At another point, they heard footsteps on the basement stairs and were anticipating that someone would be arriving down there. When no one showed up, they called on the walkie-talkie and learned everyone was still in the bakery and had not been on the stairs. The footsteps on the stairs were picked up by the tape recorder as well as what they feel is a voice saying “hello.”

Upstairs, at one point in the evening, the three women began feeling sick when standing in the back of the building, especially Nancy Montag. Later they switched places and the women went to the basement. Everything was done in the dark.

The members of the paranormal society kept being drawn to the series of rooms on one side of the basement where the newspaper morgue is located. Francis Bochatey, former owner of the paper, once said that there was embalming chemicals and equipment located back there, and it was assumed that’s where the embalming took place. The investigators didn’t learn this until sometime later. Karen Bailey said she kept picking up the word “judge.”

The photos taken that night by the investigators, in some cases, showed orbs, which some believe represent spirits. The investigators were interested enough that they have asked to return to the basement in a few weeks at midnight.

The Herald building, after being built as a mortuary, became a furniture store, and the Herald purchased it in 1924. It’s probably safe to assume some temporary buildings occupied the space before 1895. The abstract for the property, which goes back to 1879, shows the first owner of record to be one Ed Frodsham, several months before he was lynched due to his activities as a claim jumper.

Anyone wishing information about the Cloud City Paranormal Society can call Keith Bailey, (720) 486-7924.

Telemedicine to save time, travel

by Ann E. Wibbenmeyer

Herald Staff Writer

June 24, 2010


Patients can now make appointments with doctors at St. Anthony Central Hospital without traveling to Denver to attend the appointment.

The telemedicine technology was installed at St. Vincent Hospital in Leadville as well as three other rural sites in Colorado: Buena Vista, Lamar and Del Norte.

A press conference was held Tuesday morning to kick off the use of the technology, as well as demonstrations with its use.

Lieutenant Governor Barbara O’Brien was among the speakers during the conference held in Denver at St. Anthony’s Central Hospital.

The demonstrations of the technology were done by Dr. Jeff Sippel with Centura Health at the hospital in Denver. The patients for the demonstrations were located in Leadville.

Many of the doctors that are scheduling appointments with the telemedicine are ear nose and throat specialists, and one neurosurgeon.

As the technology is used more, said SVH CEO Dave Zaitz, more doctors will sign up to use it. SVH is on the front end of its use.

Having the equipment will also help the rural hospital recruit doctors to town, as it will lessen the isolation of the area. Doctors at SVH can also see patients that are not in Leadville.

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