Dear Neighbors of Grand County:

The impact of the East Troublesome Fire has been devastating.  The fire moved 26 miles in approximately 3 hours and reached Grand Lake on the evening of October 21.  Our parents had less than 90 minutes to prepare but had already determined that if fire were to reach the property, they would go to the basement, in an area they believed safe.  What they hadn’t anticipated was a pyro cyclone with sustained winds over 70 MPH. Our parents called their son, Glenn, at 9:30PM.  They were calm and resolute in their decision to stay together in a home they loved and shared with everyone who’d venture to the high country.  They were together, felt safe, and placed their trust and faith in God’s hands.  Only minutes later, the home was consumed.

The property was reached by search and recovery units of Grand County on Friday afternoon and they were able to retrieve our parents remains.  They were found, arm in arm.  Miraculously, the only things not consumed in the fire were two trees and their Flag Pole.  My Mom loved that flag flying over the meadow.  The trees were planted shortly after they retired in the early 90’s, one for Marylin and one for Lyle.  For years, they reminded their children of a desire to have their ashes spread under those trees as a final resting place.  

Our family will be forever grateful to the men and women who worked tirelessly to protect our beloved Grand County.  Specifically, we’d like to thank Sheriff Brett Schroetlin, Fire Chief Kevin Ratzmann, Tawnya Bailey, Jordan Ball, Troy Nelson and the Color Guard from American Legion Post 88, Granby/Grand County.  Collectively, they led an effort to allow our family to return to our property and assisted us in retrieving the tattered remains of a large flag our parents had raised on their 50’ flag pole.  Together, we raised a new flag that now flies again, high over the meadow.  In addition to a display of the love our family has for nation and community, it also serves as an indication of our commitment to work together in literally rising from the ashes in the months and years ahead.

Our loss is great, but we find comfort in knowing Lyle and Marylin left together after a 68 year marriage.  They loved Grand County and enjoyed 48 years of their time together amongst their friends in the mountains.  They will be sorely missed but leave us an example of love and service

With much love and appreciation

The Hileman Family


Good Morning Commissioners,                                                       Nov 1. 2020

Merrit Linke

Kristen Manguso

Richard Coimino

I am writing to you because I think you should be aware of how your reckless disregard by not wearing a mask at this last commissioner’s meeting will affect both the election and the health of the public.

I am an Election Judge Poll Worker for the 2020 election in Grand County.   I was informed last night that I might have been exposed to covid 19.  This is because one of our County Commissioners has tested positive for the covid-19 and did not wear a mask at our last Commissioner’s meeting Oct 27th.  Representatives from the Clerk & Recorder’s Office were present at this meeting and may have been exposed, which puts all poll workers at risk.  I have been working as an election judge processing ballots this past week.   Now I have to decide and as well as my fellow poll workers, whether I should continue to work on this very important election and risk exposing myself and others.

I hope you understand that the simple act of wearing a mask to the meeting could have prevented whole situation. Please wear a mask to protect others!

I sincerely hope the commissioner that has tested positive for covid -19 has a speedy recovery.

Sincerely ,

Heidi McNinch


Letter to the Editor:

Thanks to the outpouring of support by our Grand County community, the Fraser River Valley Lions Club hosted another successful golf tournament Sept. 25th.  A full field of 108 golfers joined together to raise money for our community and have some golfing fun at Pole Creek. Special thanks to our Title Sponsor Byers Peak Realty for their support. Golden Hole Sponsors: Joe Royyakkers/Wealth Management Services, Shea Murphy/ReMaxPeak2Peak, Blue Federal Credit Union, The Trash Company, International Dark Sky and Friends of the Lions. Food Sponsors were American Liberty Mortgage, Mountain Parks Electric and Alpine Lumber. Many local businesses and individuals joined together to sponsor holes and helped to donate to the cause. Our online auction had 39 interesting items and thanks go to all those who participated and donated items. Special thanks to Bob Fanch (Devil’s Thumb Ranch) who provided our keynote auction item. And without the many volunteers, who work behind the scenes to help, this event wouldn’t have happened. Thanks to all!  

—Roger Odneal 

LionsGolf2020 Tournament Chairman

Fraser River Valley Lions Club


To the Editor

The East Troublesome Fire has rocked our Grand County Community. Our hearts go out to everyone that was affected and continues to be affected by this devastating wildfire. A message from Mary Ann Kersteins, Animal Control Officer at Grand County Animal Shelter:

“I want to thank everyone who has reached out to us in regards to how they can help the animals at the shelter and all the displaced animals. I have done my best to reply to everybody but I may have missed some people. I know you all understand why. Just know that we greatly appreciate all of your generosity and kindness that you have given to the Grand County animals. We have a wonderful community and we have had such an outpouring of love from all over this world. We are forever grateful and want you all to know that!!”

Mary Ann Kersteins

Grand County Pet Pals


While reading Melissa McWilliams rant in her letter to the editor in the Oct. 2 WP Times, I was overwhelmed by the number and magnitude of the problems that assail us daily.  By count, she details 49 individual problems we must  confront every day, problems that barely allow me to  rise off my pillow each morning.

These issues are not to be trivialized but she may have left out  a few.  It isn’t my duty to minimize her concerns  or to add to them but she should also be anxious about:  fire ants, nasal congestion, electromagnetic pulses (EMP) from nuclear detonations, chapped lips, democratic politics and the “dirty dozen” harmful fruits & vegetables.

Alternatively, Melissa could take a more positive approach and daily count the things she has to be grateful for,—living in a beautiful county in a beautiful state, untracked powder, excellent medical care and good health, access to good food, a funny joke with a clever punch line, a warm fire on a cold night, a loving trusting pet and the companionship of friends, neighbors and relatives in the greatest country on earth.

Focus on the positive, work to “fix” the negatives as you perceive them and be very appreciative of what you already have.

Pete Peterson