Latest News – February 18
**UPDATED: Developing News **
5 p.m. Update:
Lake County Schools were dismissed as usual with no incidents, according to Superintendent Wyman. Please see below for primary report.
Also in a follow-up interview with Chaffee County’s PIO Laura Smith it was reported that at this point the x-ray revealed that there was nothing suspicious with the device (see video interview below) and the investigation has been handed over to the Buena Vista Police Department. Highway 24 been re-opened and the kids from Buena Vista schools have been dismissed as usual.
It’s nice to have a Happy Ending!
Leadville Today was informed today at 11:45 a.m. by Wendy Wyman, Superintendent of Lake County Schools that all Lake County Schools are currently in a Lock Out status. While there is no immediate threat to students or schools there is an ongoing police situation in Buena Vista, so as a precautionary measure Leadville schools have gone to Lock Out status. Parents of school children have been alerted via the standard procedures. Wyman stated that they are monitoring the situation – which does not pose any threats here locally – and school officials do not anticipate that this will disrupt classes or normal end-of-day dismissal. Stay Tuned.
Here’s the latest information about the BOMB situation in Buena Vista as of Noon.
10th Mtn Day, Gordon Tribute Friday at Ski Cooper
This Friday, Feb. 21 Ski Cooper will host the Annual Tenth Mountain Division Day. Veterans and descendants of veterans of the Tenth Mountain Division will meet at the Ski Cooper Lodge in the morning and conduct their annual Ski-In, traversing down the mountain at noon with flags flying.
This year, the ceremony will also include a special tribute to John Gordon. As an honorary member of the 10th, Gordon gave many years of his life to friends and guests of Ski Cooper as a member of the ski school and ski patrol. He died in a motorcycle accident last July.
After the Ski-In, shortly after 12 noon, a group will assemble in front of the Ski Cooper Children’s Center where a plaque in Gordon’s honor will be dedicated. The public is welcome to this celebration of a good friend to many of the members of the Tenth Mountain Division as well as the Leadville community.
Brief Background of 10th Mountain Division
For those who may not know, during the winters of 1942 to 1944, fourteen thousands soldiers learned and refined ski and outdoor survival techniques on Cooper Hill, present day Ski Cooper.Back to The Future. Ski Cooper has a deep heritage as training ground for WWII Tenth Mountain Division Soldiers. This photo depicts the new and old soldiers during the annual Ski-In Tribute in honor of the veterans.
Construction of the U.S. Army’s Camp Hale began in April 1942, north of Tennessee Pass outside Leadville. On November 16, 1942, the Mountain Training Center moved from Camp Carson in Colorado Springs to Camp Hale where it faced the task of filling out its two final regiments – the 85th and 86th to complete the division. This was the only division of the U.S. Army trained specifically for mountain warfare up to that point in American military history. The mission behind Camp Hale was to develop the ability to survive and fight in any weather, on any terrain, under any conditions. Eight months later it would pay off.
It had been five years since Germany had invaded Poland, when a troop of men from the Tenth Mountain Division scaled 2,000 vertical feet of rock and ice during the night and under the noses of the German army camped on Riva Ridge. They arrived at the top in dense fog and when it lifted, the German soldiers were taken completely by surprise.This honorable collection of medals was on display during last year’s celebration.
The Tenth Mountain was responsible for breaking through the German line, allowing Allies to penetrate north. While the victory was sweet, the casualties were great; 990 members of the 14,000-man division died in the Italian Campaign in the winter of 1945. Today, the Tenth Mountain Memorial stands at the entrance to Ski Cooper as a reminder to those men who fought in Italy to preserve our freedoms.Tenth Mountain Division Memorial at the entrance to Ski Cooper. Photo: David Hahn.
After World War II, the same terrain that drew the Army to Colorado for warfare training brought thousands of 10th Mountain Division skiers back to its slopes. Tenth Mountain men founded Vail, Aspen, and Arapahoe Basin. However, Leadville is the place that the Tenth Mountain Division soldiers still remember as home in the mountains. The love and generosity that the Leadville community poured out to them during a very difficult period in our country’s history will always remain in their hearts.
Library Honors Tenth Mtn with Film on Wednesday
It’s movie night at the Lake County Public Library tomorrow, Wednesday, Feb. 19 at 6 p.m. as they show the film: “The Viking Battalion: The Story of the 99th Infantry Battalion.” This FREE event will be held in the Amex room and is sponsored by the Friends of the Library.