** BREAKING NEWS **
Lake County Emergency Manager Mike McHargue has ordered all Leadville and Lake County residents to stay put and do not attempt to go out on the roads – no matter what kind of vehicle you have! People are getting stuck by the dozens and plow operators and emergency personal are experiencing some challenges in getting around due to stranded and stuck vehicles. So if you’re home stay there and if you’re already at work, stay there, as all resources are at work trying to clear the snow. Please adhere to this caution and stay tuned to the Lake County Office of Emergency Management Facebook Page for updates!
District Closes Schools for Day Per LCOEM Request.
Per the recommendation of the Lake County Emergency Manager, the Lake County School District (LCSD) will be closed today, Friday, Jan. 31, due to adverse weather and significant snowfall. After conferring yesterday with various county and city entities, as well as the district operations and management department, the school district was planning a two-hour delay today with a 10 a.m. start time for school. One of the main drivers of this decision was to have schools open as a safe place for students to be in case parents were required to be at work.
However, extreme weather conditions and hazardous road conditions this morning made it too hazardous for school buses to transport students. Upon conferring with Lake County Emergency Manager Mike McHargue about road conditions in the city and the county, LCSD Superintendent Wendy Wyman made the decision to close all schools at about 8:30 a.m. this morning. Parents were notified via an emergency broadcast, and staff were notified via established phone trees. Notification also went out to local media outlets.
Sayer-McKee Roof Collapses from Heavy Snow
The roof to the iconic Sayer & McKee building at 615 Harrison Avenue in downtown Leadville collapsed last night under the weight of the recent heavy snow. Officials were called to the scene last night (Jan. 30) at approximately 8:15 p.m. according to Lake County Public Information Officer Betty Benson.
Emergency crews including the Leadville/Lake County Fire & Rescue, Leadville Police, Leadville Street Dept, Lake County Road and Bridge and Lake County Sheriff Deputies were at the unoccupied building late into the night managing public safety concerns.
There were no injuries reported and the electricity has been disconnected. Excel Energy also was called in to determine that there were no gas leaks involved with the building and emergency patrols were ordered throughout the night.
Morning commuters and residents should know that Harrison Ave. between 8th and 6th Street is OFF LIMITS to vehicle and pedestrian traffic due to hazardous conditions. A structural engineer and the building inspector for the City of Leadville will be on scene in this morning to evaluate the building and the 2 historical building on either side.
No traffic will be allowed on Harrison Ave. in the morning.
The light of day doesn’t hold out much hope for the iconic Harrison Avenue business.
MORNING UPDATE: This morning the Lake County Office of Emergency Management posted on their Facebook Page:
The expectation for today is to have the structural engineer and building inspector check out the Sayer McKee building and 2 adjoining buildings to determine what must be done to stabilize the area. The biggest concern is the possibility of the facade on the Sayer McKee building blowing up and sending broken pieces of glass into the area in front of this building. Until that is determined and a fix can be put in place, the street from 6th to 8th will be closed to vehicle traffic. 6th to 7th is closed to pedestrian traffic. This is subject to changing conditions and the police on scene will make the final determination.
In every situation be cautious of snow falling off any roof. There was approximately 12″ of snow last night creating huge cornices that could fall down at any time. The snow is wet and very heavy and will come down with great force. You don’t want to be under it.
Harrison Avenue will be opened as soon as it is deemed safe. Additional information will be posted as quickly as it is known. More snow is expected today.
Winter Storm Warning from 1/31/2014 3:52 AM to 2/1/2014 5:00 AM MST for Lake County.
Background on Sayer McKee
The historic one-of-a-king drugstore started its journey on historic Harrison Avenue back in 1936 at its original location across the street, but had moved to its present location at 615 Harrison Avenue in 1959 with a lot of “Grand Opening” fanfare. It’s pharmacy was state-of-the-art for its time.
During its heyday, Sayer & McKee Drugstore was often described as one of the best in the state, carrying the finest goods of any city department store. In fact, for many Leadville and Lake County longtime residents Sayer’s fills their youthful memories with trips to the soda fountain and time spent in the aisles picking out that perfect Christmas gift.
However with the onset of big box discount stores marching their way into the consumer’s playing field in the 70s, the store faced sizeable challenges in competing with lower prices and endless selection. But for many locals, it was the exemplary customer service, particularly of longtime owner Tony Hren, which kept them coming back time and again to historic Harrison Avenue.
The building, which stands at 5,184 feet, has remained unoccupied since the drugstore’s closure in November 2012, aside from a brief business venture this past Fall, which never got off the ground. The current owner of the building is Sharlene Hren.
Leadville Today will provide updates as they become available.
Panther Nordic Team Stay Strong thru Season
The Panther Nordic team traveled to Steamboat Springs on January 25 for a classic race. The air was warm and the snow was cold – a perfect day for a ski race.
Skiers Joe Koch (left) and Matt Seibel (right) breaking stride at the Nordic Race in Steamboat Springs on Jan. 25. Photo: Vicki Koch.
The middle school race consisted of a three-kilometer loop that features some long climbs in the second half of the course.
The Lake County Middle School (LCMS) team led off. Caroline Benney had her best classic race of the season, finishing 20th out of 44 finishers. Molly Lenhard was right behind in 21st. Courtney Crenshaw continued her improvement and placed 30th. Hannah Holm rounded out the team in 40th after a strong effort. Overall the team was 5th out of 11 schools.
Zayden Tifte digs his poles in, continuing his first-year on the Nordic Team. Photo: Vicki Koch.
Joe Koch had a superb race – one of the best of his career – to place 14th out of 53 skiers in the middle school boys race. Sam Frykholm was next across the line in 28th, followed closely by Zach Coffin in 30th. Matthew Seibel and Tyler Crenshaw were 36th and 38th place respectively, notching solid finishes. Zayden Tufte continued his excellent first-year campaign with a 41st, Matt Koch skied a solid race for 47th, and Travis Kerrigan was 50th. The boys were 6th as a team.
Coach Jeff Spencer was ecstatic with his team’s performance, saying, “We worked all week on going fast by relaxing and focusing on technique. The kids skied the long hill really well and gave a great effort today.”
The high school course was one long loop through the rolling hill of the north part of the trail system. This course suited many of the Leadville skiers well.
Kimberly Vierczhalek continued her excellent season with her best finish so far in 13th. Hannah Lufkin skied with Vierczhalek for large parts of the course and finished a minute behind in 22nd. Whitney White had an excellent race to place 28th, but she just missed the qualifying line by 10 seconds. The trio was 5th as a team, their highest finish of the season.
The high school boys saw Ethan Greiner and Andrew Coffin lead the panthers with 26th and 27th place finishes. Ryan Morrison was the next finisher in 31st, and Charlie Koch was close behind in 38th. Trevor Kerrigan skied well despite not skiing all week to place 54th, and Simone Baccialle notched his highest finish this season in 59th. Cheyenne Mendoza continued his improvement with a 66th place finish. The team tied for 8th place overall.
Lake County Panther Zach Coffin placed 30th at the meet. Photo: Vicki Koch
“We had some great races today, especially on the girls’ side, but I know we can ski better. I’m looking forward to having all four of our top boys skiing well on the same day, which hasn’t happened yet,” Coach Karl Remsen noted after he saw the results.
Tomorrow February 1, the Nordic team team will be racing the last regular season race of the season at a skate race in Minturn. Good Luck Panthers!
Leadville Flame Soccer Team Places 4th in Nationals!
Congratulations to the Leadville Flame for their amazing performance at the Disney-ESPN-Wide Wide World of Sports 3v3 National Soccer Championships. This tournament is the largest youth soccer tournament in the world, hosting over 300 elite youth soccer teams with 2000 matches played in 3 days near Orlando, FL on Jan. 18 – 20, 2014. The Leadville Flame place 4th at Nationals!
From left to right: Coach Kevin Cannell with players Julian Cannell, Uriel Bujanda, Omar Hernandez, and Abby Holm as they receive their Silver Division 4th place metals and trophy. Photo: The Leadville Flame.
“I am so proud of our players. It was their first National event, and they didn’t let the pressure get to them,.” said Coach Kevin Cannell. “They just went out and played national championship level soccer.”
The Leadville Flame, is an Elite Under 12 Soccer Club coached by Kevin Cannell.
The World Championship will be held this summer. “We are hoping to receive an invitation to return to Disney World this summer for the World Championships. Wish us luck!” said Coach Cannell.