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Updated: 2 years 36 weeks ago

Greeley police still investgiating death after apparent traffic crash early Monday

Tue, 06/06/2017 - 17:21

The Greeley Police Department and the Weld County Coroner's office are investigating the death of one person after an apparent traffic crash in south central Greeley early Monday morning.

Sgt. Joe Tymkowych, spokesman for the department, offered few details about the incident, citing the ongoing nature of the investigation, but he did confirm police responded about 5:15 a.m. to the 2800 block of 30th Street on report of an apparent traffic crash. Tymkowych said the crash involved only one vehicle, but he declined to specify the make and model.

He added the investigation is ongoing and more information will become available later.

Prep Roundup for June 5

Tue, 06/06/2017 - 05:17

Legion A

Fort Collins — Eaton already was leading by one, but a seventh inning double solidified Eaton's 5-2 win against Fossil Ridge on Monday.

With the bases loaded, Travis Cunningham hit a three RBI double to clear the bases in the seventh, according to coach Todd Hernandez. The extra insurance was nice, as Fossil Ridge scored a run of its own in the bottom of the inning.

Pitcher CJ Blaskowski led the team from the rubber throughout the seven-inning affair, allowing only two runs.

"Blaskowski hit his spots and the defense backed him up," Hernandez said.

Eaton 002 000 3 — 5

Fossil Ridge 100 000 1 — 2

Eaton — CJ Blaskowski (W, 7H, 2ER, 2BB, 2SO) and Ryder Rich. 2B – Travis Cunningham; RBI – Cunningham (3), Blaskowski.

Staff reports

Complete with bushy beard and mullet, Blackmon leads Rockies

Tue, 06/06/2017 - 05:17

DENVER — The center fielder for the Colorado Rockies features a scraggly beard, impressive mullet — pronounced "mu-lay," he proudly says — and a personality that's as quirky as it is meticulous.

His teammates have favorite Charlie Blackmon stories — how he misplaced his car after returning from a road trip only to realize he left it at the airport. Or how he knew a batting cage distance was off a smidge, and proved it by counting the steps.

"He's weird," fellow outfielder Carlos Gonzalez said. "He's doing weird (stuff) all the time. But that's Charlie Blackmon."

Idiosyncrasies and all, Blackmon's become one of the best leadoff hitters in baseball. He also has one of the catchiest walk-up songs in the game — the '80s pop tune "Your Love" by The Outfield.

Blackmon was recently named the NL player of the month after hitting .359 with five triples, six homers and 22 RBI. His 42 hits tied the team record for May held by Dante Bichette (1995) and Todd Helton (2000).

To think, Blackmon doesn't even feel locked in yet, either.

"If you're not bad, but you're better than bad — that's where I'm at (hitting-wise)," said the 30-year-old Blackmon, whose team (36-23) has spent a majority of the season leading the NL West. "I'm just trying not to be bad."

He's known for being goofy, investigative and sometimes forgetful. He once tested the gas gauge on his Jeep Cherokee — the one he's had forever — and ran out of fuel in the process, leading teammate DJ LeMahieu to help him out. Third baseman Nolan Arenado recounted the time Blackmon carpooled back from the airport after returning from a road swing only to remember his car was still there.

"Charlie is a little bit different," Arenado said. "He has his own style to the game. That's also what makes him who he is. He's quirky. But when it comes time to lock in, and he puts on the uniform, he's a different animal."

About that beard — he began growing it in 2013 and, funny enough, it now even has a Twitter account in its honor.

Now, about that mullet — he said in a recent interview on MLB Network's "Intentional Talk " that he goes with the French pronunciation for the word — hence, "mu-lay" — and that he's going to grow it "as long as it takes."

Simply Blackmon being Blackmon.

In high school, Blackmon was also a left-handed pitcher and was picked by the Marlins in the 28th round of the 2004 draft. A year later, he was selected in the 20th round by the Red Sox after a season with Young Harris College in Georgia. He attended Georgia Tech, where he switched from the mound to outfielder full-time and was taken by the Rockies in the second round in 2008.

All those innings on the mound pay dividends now because he said he has an understanding of what a pitcher might be thinking in certain counts. Ever ask him about his days as a pitcher?

"We don't," Arenado said. "He's so good at hitting. We all want to know why he's hitting so good."

That's easy — scrupulous work. Blackmon has manager Bud Black throw him sliders in the cage, just to hone his swing on breaking pitches. Blackmon also diligently watches film.

Then there's his soft-toss routine, where he hits underhanded throws to hone his timing. First baseman Mark Reynolds never thought it was all that complicated until spending a session with Blackmon at spring training a year ago.

"I guess his timing was off or something," Reynolds said. "He stepped (the distance) off from home plate to the L-screen and said, 'No, we're a step off. It needs to be 10 steps.' I'm like, 'What is this guy doing? It's just flips.' He's got his intricacies and his strange things that he does, but it works for him."

There's a method to his precision, too, because he wants to be the variable in the equation and nothing else.

"They don't pitch from 70 feet and sometimes 50 feet," Blackmon said. "I'll do the adjusting. I don't want the cage to be the adjustment. … There are very specific reasons I do my things."

It's working. He's hitting .328 and leads the majors in hits (79) and triples (eight).

His style doesn't work for everyone.

"That's what I tell everybody: If I do it, I would be super ridiculous," Gonzalez said, laughing. "They'd be like, 'What happened to you? You need to go to treatment. You've changed.' If it's Charlie, it's like, 'Oh, he's good. It's Charlie Blackmon doing it.'"

Photo story: Centennial Library hosts sidewalk chalk event Monday

Tue, 06/06/2017 - 05:17
Easton Timm, 7, carefully draws his chalk design on the sidewalk during the sidewalk chalk event on Monday at Centennial Library, 2227 23rd Ave., in Greeley. The event supplied chalk and drawing books for kids and adults alike to help in decorating their sidewalk in front of the library. This is among the many day programs offered by High Plains Libraries, go to for more information on other events through the summer.


Sarah Miskimins stretches her leg as she works on completing her chalk rainbow during the sidewalk art event on Monday at the Centennial Library, 2227 23rd Ave., in Greeley.


Phynix Stull, 5, works through the morning on his chalk creation during the sidewalk art event on Monday at Centennial Library, 2227 23rd Ave., in Greeley.

Preds even series with 4-1 win at home

Tue, 06/06/2017 - 05:17

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Frederick Gaudreau sure is doing his best to earn his own locker with the Nashville Predators with a Stanley Cup Final debut for the ages.

An undrafted free agent playing just his sixth postseason game, Gaudreau scored the go-ahead goal 3:45 into the second period and Pekka Rinne made 23 often-spectacular saves as the Predators beat the Penguins 4-1 on Monday night to even the series at 2-2.

It's now a best-of-three sprint to the Stanley Cup, and Nashville is riding a wave of momentum after outscoring the defending champions 9-2 in the Games 3 and 4 of their Final debut. Game 5 is Thursday night in Pittsburgh.

Gaudreau, a 24-year-old rookie, only has a chair in the Predators' locker room, but he now is the second player in NHL history to score his first three career goals in a Stanley Cup Final, joining Johnny Harms with the 1944 Blackhawks. Calle Jarnkrok, Viktor Arvidsson and Filip Forsberg also scored for Nashville, which improved to 9-1 at home and roared back after dropping the first two games of the series on the road.

"We were in a tough hole against a really good team, came home and took care of the home games with the help of all our great fans," Rinne said. "It's a great feeling. We played two really good games."

Sidney Crosby scored his first goal in the series after not getting a shot on goal in Game 3. The goal was his first in the Stanley Cup Final since June 4, 2009, a span of 12 games. The goal came after he was held without a shot for only the fifth time in his career in the playoffs.

The Penguins now have lost two straight for the second time this postseason. They also lost Games 5 and 6 against Washington. Goalie Matt Murray lost consecutive games for the first time in his young career.

"It's hard to win when you score one goal," Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said. "I thought tonight of all nights, we generated the most chances of the highest quality."

Nashville tapped country singer Dierks Bentley as the latest star to sing the national anthem, while Jason Aldean waved the towel to rev up the crowd. Former NBA star and TV commentator Charles Barkley also was on hand, accepting NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman's invitation to watch in person, and Carrie Underwood admitted she didn't get Predators captain Mike Fisher, her husband, a birthday present on Monday — holding out hope that a Stanley Cup championship celebration would do the trick in coming days.

"That's all I wanted for my birthday," Fisher said after the Predators cruised to another easy win.

Craig Smith, who had two of Nashville's first six shots, ricocheted a puck off Murray's pads that Jarnkrok tapped in at 14:51 to start the fans yelling. Pittsburgh lost a challenge for goalie interference.

Just 66 seconds later, Crosby tied it up for Pittsburgh on a dazzling breakaway. He skated in on Rinne, holding the puck, faking a slap shot and then slipping one past the goalie for his eighth goal and 24th point of the playoffs. He also moved into 20th all-time in NHL playoff points but the Predators clamped down after that.

Rinne kept it tied in the early minutes of the second first with a stop of Jake Guentzel before a big save on Chris Kunitz on a breakaway. And then came Gaudreau's goal, which was confirmed only after the horn sounded and officials reviewed the play. They ruled Gaudreau's wraparound attempt slid the puck just over the line before Murray stopped it. Referee Dan O'Halloran announced it as a goal, giving Nashville a 2-1 lead 3:45 into the second.

"I heard it on the bench that it was possibly in the net," Gaudreau said. "I wasn't certain. When I heard the horn, I sort of thought it was in."

Crosby had another breakaway nearly midway through the period, and Rinne stopped him not once, but twice. Then the goalie slid to his right stopping Guentzel with an assist from Nashville defenseman Roman Josi.

"It's a game of execution," Crosby said. "They capitalized on our mistakes and we have to do the same."

Arvidsson made it a 3-1 Nashville lead with his first goal since the end of the first round. James Neal started the play, getting the puck to Fisher who fed the puck up to Arvidsson while falling to the ice. Arvidsson beat Murray under his glove, putting the puck just inside the right post at 13:08.

Forsberg sealed the win with an empty-netter with 3:23 left.

Bracewell farm to celebrate 100-year anniversary this weekend

Tue, 06/06/2017 - 05:01

When Judy Firestien talks about the history of her family's farm, it doesn't sound rehearsed, but she knows it well.

This year is the centennial anniversary of the Von Trotha-Firestien Historic Farm at Bracewell, and Firestien will celebrate with an open farm Saturday. It's not an open house, as Firestien and her mom, Ruth, still live in the homes. But they want to share the farm with anyone who wants to visit.

The farm isn't as large as it used to be. Firestien's cousin Mark still farms corn and hay on 50 acres of land. At its peak, the farm had about 200 acres.

But the farm remains one of the few properties left in the town most people only know about if they're from the area. Firestien's mailing address is in Greeley and the phone number is from Windsor.

The property is on the National Register of Historic Places list, which includes the likes of Independence Hall and the Statue of Liberty. As is the case with many places on the list, Firestien decided to apply for the listing when a possible road expansion would have cut her home in half.

"The historical society was interested because everything is pretty much where it started," Firestien said.

That prevented the road from running through the property.

Although the farm is 100 years old this year, Firestien can't apply for the Centennial Farm designation from Colorado. Part of the requirement is a family must own the farm for 100 years. The Firestien family didn't officially own the farm until 1966.

"We have a few more years to go," Firestien joked.


Bode and Claude Von Trotha were brothers who settled on the land in 1916. They weren't the original owners, but the operation under their control used improved irrigation practices and grew sugar beets, a big cash crop at the time.

"I don't think there was a farmer who didn't raise them then," Ruth said.

Firestien's great-grandparents, Peter and Sophia Firestien, worked for the Von Trotha brothers. In fact, Firestien's house is now Judy's.

The Von Trotha brothers didn't have someone to pass the farm along to in their family, so they offered it to the Firestiens.

Years later, when Ruth married Peter and Sophia's grandson, Wilbert "Chuck," they asked the Von Trothas about a place for them to live on the farm. The idea of building a new home was obvious, but the Von Trothas were resourceful and decided to move a house that wasn't being used just up the street in their field.

"It hadn't been used except for a hired man's house," Ruth said. "The house had been sitting empty for quite a while. They moved it up here and redid it."

Ruth still lives in the house.

Even Judy's house, while original, wasn't built with new material. Remaining brick from a few old silos were used.

Even though the Von Trotha brothers didn't have someone to pass the farm on to, their lineage didn't stop with Bode and Claude.

Not too long ago, Judy said, someone with Texas plates drove into the property just to look around.

It happened to be a relative of the original owners.

— Samantha Fox is a reporter for The Fence Post. She can be reached at, (970) 392-4410 or on Twitter @FoxonaFarm.

Weld County Tributes for June 6

Tue, 06/06/2017 - 05:01

Helen Lesser Floth Heimbegner

Aug. 8, 1917-June 3, 2017

Age: 99

Residence: Greeley

On June 3, 2017, the Monarch butterfly appeared along with one single red rose symbolic of our precious Mother's favorite things as God called her home. Every prayer has been answered.

Words are meaningless when it comes to writing about our Mom, Helen. Her life example, just eight week's shy of 100 years, touched many lives and her imprint on hearts is endless. 

Her life was simple, not complicated allowing her generous spirit to flow with streams of life. The warmth of the sun, a gentle breeze, a cloud formation and the soft floral scents in the air brought her joy. 

She was an avid reader, a brilliant homemaker, a seamstress, a lighthouse to protect her family and a friend to those in need.  Now that her life on earth has come to a close, we will still find her in the whisper of the leaves as we walk down the street, the aroma of a fresh cup of coffee, and the fragrance of life itself.  She will forever be the cool hand on our brow when we aren't feeling well, our breath in the air on a cold winters day and the sound of the rain that allows us to sleep. 

She is the map we will follow with every step we take; she is our first and forever home on earth. Her legacy will remain for many years to come. In the words of Edwin McKain…

"These are the moments I thank God I'm alive, 

And these are the moments; I'll remember all my life.

I've got all I've waited for and I could not ask for more."

Mom was born, Aug. 8, 1917, in Moreno, Colo., to Elizabeth Catherine Schissler, mother, and Henry Lesser, father, both whom were born in Russia. Her grandparents, Samuel Lesser, born Jan. 28, 1836 and died on Jan. 13, 1924, and "thus aged 87 years, 11 months, 16 days" was also born in Russia. His wife, Mom's grandmother, died in Russia 43 years prior.                   

She married John Floth on Sept. 15, 1937. Together they had four children, Jon Jr., Judy, Jeanette, and Jayne. John Sr. preceded her in death in 1981 along with her only son, Jon Jr. who also died in 1981. She tirelessly sacrificed her own needs for those of her family cherishing her strong German faith and roots, along with the courage that only God can allow to see her through.                  

In January 1985 she married George Heimbegner, who died on April 3, 2003. They enjoyed a wonderful friendship together spending many hours walking, being with friends and family, and traveling.

The family would like to extend their special thanks to Helen's caregivers, Pam, Rebecca and Janie.

Helen is survived by her daughters, Judy Simmons (Rob), Jeanette Roe (Bob) all of California and Jayne Shields (John) of Eaton; grandchildren, Jesse, J.D., Josh, Chelsea, Bonnie and John; great-grandchildren, Dominic, Greta, Conner, Luke, Mallory and Jordan; brother, Samuel Lesser and a loving extended family. 

She was preceded in death by her husbands, John Floth and George Heimbegner; son, Jon Floth Jr.; five brothers and three sisters.  

Services to celebrate Helen's life will be held with visitation at 2 p.m. Wednesday, June 7, 2017, followed by her funeral service at 3 p.m. at Our Savior's Lutheran Church, 1800 21st Ave., Greeley.

Memorial contributions may be made in Helen's name to "High Plains Library District" in care of Adamson Life Celebration Home, 2000 47th Ave., Greeley, Colo. 80634.  Condolences may be shared with the family at

Frank Chavez

April 27, 1936-May 21, 2017

Age: 81

Residence: Greeley

Frank Chavez, 81, of Greeley passed away on May 21, 2017, at Fairacres Manor in Greeley.

Frank was born on April 27, 1936, in Texas.

Frank is survived by his son, Frank Jr.; and granddaughter, Margarita.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife; and daughter, Vickie Chavez.

A Life Celebration visitation was held from 5-7 p.m. Thursday, June 1, 2017, at Adamson, 2000 47th Ave. A Life Celebration Mass was held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, June 2, 2017, at Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church, 1311 3rd St., Greeley, Colo. 80631.

To leave condolences with Frank's family visit

Katherine "Katy" Heimbuck

Jan. 31, 1930-May 30, 2017

Age: 87

Residence: Greeley

Katherine "Katy" L. Heimbuck, 87, of Greeley passed away Tuesday, May 30, 2017, in Greeley. She was born on Jan. 31, 1930, in Gilcrest to Henry and Mary (Kisler) Green. She was the youngest of six children.

She graduated from Kersey High School in 1947. She married Carl Heimbuck on Aug. 23, 1947. Katy and Carl were married for 64 years before he passed away in 2011. While her children were young, she worked for Tasty Foods sorting potatoes. Then she worked for Baily Manufacturing and later she worked at Eastman Kodak, retiring in 1989.

Katy and Carl loved to travel in their trailer and visited numerous states and Canada. They both were avid fishermen. Katy made their own marshmallow bait, which caught lots of trout. During the 1960s she was quite the bowler, winning several team titles.

One of her biggest passions was playing bridge. She played whenever she could, and often said that she didn't know what she would do without her bridge ladies. She enjoyed watching the Rockies and was always doing needlework. Katy was very accomplished at quilting, crocheting, and cross-stitching. We will miss her very much, and will treasure the various homemade items she left for us.

Katy is survived by her children, Keith (Jeanne) Heimbuck, Roger (Ida) Heimbuck, Barbara (Rick) Zimmerman and Karen (Jan) Fritch; 10 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren; sister, Lillian Allen; and sisters-in-law, Betty Heimbuck and Evelyn Green.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Carl; three brothers and one sister.

Funeral Service: 1 p.m. Friday, June 9, 2017, at St. John's United Church of Christ, 3815 20th St. Viewing will be one hour prior to service. Interment will follow at Sunset Memorial Gardens, 3400 28th St., Greeley.

Memorial contributions may be made to "St. John's UCC" or "Northern Colorado Honor Flight" in care of Adamson, 2000 47th Ave., Greeley, Colo. 80634.

To leave condolences with Heimbuck's family, visit

Weld County towns hosting summer festivals

Tue, 06/06/2017 - 05:01

With summer knocking on our doorstep, various towns across Weld County are gearing up to host live music, parades, fairs and much more.

Here is a schedule of Weld summer festivals:

» Ault Fall Festival — Aug. 4-6. For more information call (970) 702-3005.

» Brighton Summer Fest 2017 — June 3. For more information call Gary Montoya at (303) 655-2217.

» Dacono Carbon Valley Music and Spirits Festival — Aug. 5. For more information call Valerie Taylor at (303) 833-2317.

» Eaton Days — July 3-9. For more information call (970) 702-6401 or email

» Evans Heritage Day — Sept. 16. For more information call (970) 475-1170 or email

» Fourth at Firestone — July 4. For more information call (303) 531-6254 or email

» Fort Lupton Family Festival — Aug. 18-20. For more information call 1-800-857-2546 or email

» Frederick Miners Day — Sept. 16. For more information call (720) 382-5500.

» Grover Earl Anderson Memorial Rodeo — June 17-18. For more information call (970) 895-2350.

» Kersey Days Festival — Aug. 11-12. For more information call (970) 372-7378.

» LaSalle Days — July 14-17. For more information call (970)-284-6931.

» Mead Bike Parade — July 4. For more information call (970) 535-4477.

» Milliken Beef and Bean Day — July 12. For more information call (970) 587-2678 or email

» Nunn Harvest Festival — Aug. 18-19. For more information call (970) 381-0934.

» Platteville Harvest Daze — Aug. 18-20. For more information call (970) 785-2245 or email

» Severance Days — Aug. 18-19. For more information call (970) 686-1218 or email

» Windsor Harvest Festival — Sept. 2-4. For more information call (970) 674-2899 or go to

Greeley weather forecast and conditions for Tuesday

Tue, 06/06/2017 - 05:01

Weld County will see partly sunny and dry conditions to start this Tuesday, with a better chance of showers and thunderstorms this afternoon. High temperatures will be a bit cooler, near 77 in Greeley. Winds will be gusty from the north. The chance of storms diminishes tonight and low temperatures drop to the low-50s under mostly cloudy conditions. Wednesday begins mostly sunny and mild, with a slight chance for a few late-day showers. Highs will be in the low-80s. Thursday and Friday are expected to be hotter, in the upper-80s and low-90s.

Tribune Opinion: When our elected leaders play politics with health care reform, we all lose

Tue, 06/06/2017 - 05:01

By now, we've all seen the basic elements of the debate unfold.

In fact, we've seen it more than once. In less than a decade, Americans have witnessed as both political parties have each tried to reform the way we deliver, consume and pay for health care. Each side has tried to find a system that worked, and each side has failed. Or, at least, each side hasn't succeeded.

Nominally, Republican efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare are ongoing, but with a recently passed House bill seemingly dead on arrival in the Senate, the prospects for real, meaningful reform seem grim.

It's in the context of the most recent debate about health care reform that we heard from two Weld County residents with something at stake in the debate and insights into health care solutions.

Mitzi Moran is CEO of Sunrise Community Health, which provides health care to, among others, many of the most needy in Weld County and across northern Colorado. She said the Affordable Care Act wasn't perfect, but she worries the current reform effort — dubbed the American Health Care Act — could offer a cure that's worse than the disease.

For example, she pointed out, Obamacare allowed states to raise the qualifying income rules for Medicaid, which Colorado opted to do. It raised the income bar so a single person earning $16,000 per year or less or a family of four with an income of $32,700 per year or less could qualify for Medicaid.

In 2010, about 20 percent of Weld residents were uninsured. As of 2015, that number dropped to 8.5 percent. For Sunrise, about 50 percent of its patients were uninsured. When Medicaid expanded, that number dropped to about 25 percent. Because Sunrise was able to bill those now-insured patients for care, Sunrise could grow. The community health center has added 130 jobs since 2010, expanded buildings and renovated programs. The money was reinvested back into northern Colorado, she said.

Rep. Ken Buck, a Windsor Republican who voted for the AHCA in the House, said Obamacare isn't really working as designed and must be changed.

"We were promised full coverage by the Affordable Care Act and have about 26 million people uninsured now," Buck said. "We have people who can't afford the deductibles."

For his part, Buck said cuts, such as the ones proposed to Medicaid, are necessary.

"It is clear we have healthy, able-bodied men and women who can join the workforce who are not in the workforce, and we have got to cut benefits and incentivize employment in this country," Buck said.

We think both Moran and Buck have good points. Indeed, they help illustrate the daunting task lawmakers face when it comes to reforming health care. Unfortunately, despite the challenges and the sober, pragmatism meeting those challenges demands, too many in Congress seem focused on scoring political points. Much of the debate has focused on whether one side or the other will fulfill a campaign promise, and which side can gain more from failure.

Regardless of who wins this debate, we know who the losers are: consumers of health care.

It remains to be seen what Congress and the White House will do, but we hope they will get their eye on the ball and do what's best for those who need health care in our country.

— The Tribune Editorial Board