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Meet Steamboat’s youngest-ever city council member

Dakotah McGinlay, 26, is the youngest City Council member to ever hold office.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Springs Pilot & Today

Dakotah McGinlay understands the Steamboat Springs housing crisis in a way no other city council member does. When she ran for council in 2021, she was the only candidate or current council member to be renting her home, rather than owning it.

But, in an experience many impacted by the city’s lack of housing will never have, McGinlay’s mother was able to help her purchase a condo in District 3, which McGinlay represents, so she could continue representing her district without fear of being forced out due to cost or lack of housing.

McGinlay said she is incredibly grateful for the help and recognizes it’s a privilege many don’t have.

“I’ve always felt very privileged in life, not only living in America, but having the type of parents that I do and the opportunities that I do,” McGinlay said. “It’s privilege in a very strong sense, but also my awareness of that and wanting to really level with people, I couldn’t do what I’m doing without the community.”

At 26 years old, McGinlay is the youngest person on record to have been elected to Steamboat Springs City Council.

As a young person in the community, many of McGinlay’s close associates rent their housing and work in the service industry, which she believes has given her an inside perspective on speaking for a traditionally underrepresented group.

McGinlay grew up on the Front Range, then attended community college in Denver before finishing her education at Colorado Mountain College in Steamboat, where she earned a degree in sustainability studies.

She chose Steamboat and CMC because of its proximity to outdoor recreation and agriculture, both of which she is heavily interested in. After graduating from CMC just one month ago, she hopes to begin working in agriculture, sustainability or social services.

When she first moved to town, McGinlay did not envision herself in government. Two years after arriving, McGinlay saw ads asking for people to run for city council, and she decided to go for it.

“I didn’t necessarily think I would win, but now here we are,” McGinlay said.

McGinlay beat Walter Magill, a longtime local and former city council member, by over 100 votes, which she said surprised her at the time.

Her success, she believes, came from months of knocking doors, handing out flyers and having face-to-face conversations with constituents, many of whom were not used to having their voices heard.

“I wasn’t sure if I would be the best candidate to take on those challenges,” McGinlay said of the issues facing the city. “But I think that the community saw that I have a lot of heart and a lot of patience and a lot of dedication to our community.”

Chris Ray, McGinlay’s partner and campaign manager, said the two met years ago through mutual friends. As Ray, peer recovery specialist at The Health Partnership, was going through his own recovery process, he and McGinlay connected over sobriety and taking mental health seriously.

Throughout the campaign process, Ray said he and McGinlay focused their efforts on making real connections with people, rather than quickly shaking hands in exchange for votes.

“We just kind of started that grassroots foundation of social media posts, and using our resources and connections throughout the community to get posted,” Ray said. “She’s always searching for ways to help her community out.”

McGinlay has made mental health and sobriety resources for the city a priority. When council voted to allow alcohol consumption in all parks, except for those with playgrounds, McGinlay asked other council members if they could find a way to support both restaurants wanting to sell alcohol and people in recovery lacking resources to get and stay sober.

“Drug addiction and substance use disorder are big struggles in our community,” McGinlay said in a Dec. 16 interview. “We really push ourselves hard, we work hard, and right along with that can come a path to alcoholism, because it’s normalized here.”

As the youngest member of council, McGinlay is aware she “has a lot to learn,” but her passion for helping and being willing to learn have guided her decisions in her three months since taking office.

“I have the floor, so it will just take some time for me to fully step into that confidence,” McGinlay said.

Council President Robin Crossan said he believes McGinlay, though young, has a bright future ahead of her leading the city.

“She’s willing to make the phone calls, to start to dig deep, to try to understand issues, and I believe that in the future, as she is now, she will become an even greater presence for our community,” Crossan said in a Friday, Jan. 28 interview. “She understands that she has a lot to learn, and she is willing to do it.”





Photos: Balloons take flight at Steamboat Springs Middle School

On Friday, Jan. 28, sixth-graders at Steamboat Springs Middle School launched balloons they created in their science class into the cool mountain air. The event happens annually at the school and gives students a chance to get outside and see how the creations they made take flight.

On Jan. 28, 2022, Peyton Bender and Makenzie Sabet, as well Piper Mouttet (not shown), chase down the hot air balloon they created in their science class. The balloon launch, which involves filling the colorful paper balloons created by students with hot air, is a regular event at the school and helps teach the students about convection.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today
Bennett Colvin, a science teacher at Steamboat Springs Middle School, lights one for the air heaters prior to a balloon launch on Friday, Jan. 28, 2022. It was a chance for students to test the hot air balloons they created and learn about convection at the same time. The launch is a yearly event at the school.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today
Sixth-grader Storm Berg watches a balloon climb into the cool mountain air near the Steamboat Springs Middle School on Friday, Jan. 28, 2022. The balloon launch is a regular event at the school and helps teach the students about convection.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today
Sixth-graders Izzy Kelly and Vivian Sloop watch as their balloon climbs into the cool mountain air near Steamboat Springs Middle School on Friday, Jan. 28, 2022.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today
Sixth-grader Roxy Jarrett takes a moment to get a selfie with a Yeti during a balloon launch Friday, Jan. 28, 2022, at Steamboat Springs Middle School.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today

Sailors basketball teams win at Eagle Valley

Daniel Raper, a senior on the Steamboat Springs basketball team and Aspen senior Shae Korpela battle for a rebound during a game on Jan. 11 at Kelly Meek Gym.
Shelby Reardon/Steamboat Pilot & Today

Earlier this week, the Steamboat Springs High School basketball teams earned a pair of victories on the road against Eagle Valley.

The Sailors girls started the night off with a 57-45 win over the Devils. Steamboat had the lead the whole way, outscoring Eagle Valley 19-9 in the opening quarter.

The girls are now 5-10 overall and 4-1 against Western Slope teams. Steamboat is third in the league behind Summit, who is also 4-1, and Glenwood Springs, who is 5-0.

The Steamboat boys followed with a 50-31 win. They are now 8-6 overall including 4-1 against league opponents.

The Sailors played at Summit on Friday night and host the Tigers Wednesday, Feb. 2.


Steamboat Springs 57, Eagle Valley 45

SS 19 12 15 11 – 57

EV 9 15 9 12 – 45


Steamboat Springs 50, Eagle Valley 31

Steamboat hockey teams drop two straight

Sailors junior Andrew Kempers falls into the net upon scoring his third goal of the game during the Steamboat Springs hockey team home opener against Mullen on Jan. 8 at Howelsen Ice Arena.
Shelby Reardon/Steamboat Pilot & Today

The Steamboat Springs High School hockey team lost two straight games this week, first a 4-1 loss at Glenwood Springs, followed by a 3-1 loss to Resurrection Christian.

Steamboat is the better team compared to Glenwood, as the Sailors defeated them 3-0 earlier this season. But penalties got the better of the Sailors who had to kill off 30 minutes in the box, racked up through 11 infractions.

Heck Stephensen scored on a pass from Giovanni Demussis to take a 1-0 lead in the first, but Glenwood scored two each in the second and third. Three of the four goals came on power plays.

Steamboat cleaned up its act against 5A team Resurrection Christian, committing five penalties and spending 10 minutes in the box.

The Sailors put up 33 shots compared to the Cougars’ 22, but Resurrection Christian found net more often for the win.

Steamboat played Colorado Academy on Friday, Jan. 28.

Tuesday, Jan. 25

Glenwood Springs 4, Steamboat Springs 1

SS 1 0 0 – 1

GS 0 2 2 – 4

First period

SS – Heck Stephensen (Giovanni Demussis), 11:05

Second period

GS – Ross Barlow (Aiden Senn), PP, 4:11

GS – Kaleb Holm (Barlow), PP, 4:59

Third period

GS – Holm (Senn), PP, 1:53

GS – Barlow, 15:29

Thursday, Jan. 27

Resurrection Christian 3, Steamboat Springs 1

SS 0 0 1 – 1

GS 0 1 2 – 3

First period

No scoring.

Second period

RC – Wyatt Bolling, 1:56

Third period

RC – Josh Rudrow (Alexander Paul), 5:50

SS – Max Kenney (Andrew Kempers), SH, 8:39

RC – Jack Naber (Camden Martin), 9:52

The Record for Thursday, Jan. 27

Thursday, Jan. 27

11:18 a.m. Steamboat Springs Police Department officers were called about an incident of trespassing at Ace Hardware in the 2000 block of Curve Plaza.

12:17 p.m. Officers responded to an animal complaint at Howelsen Park.

2:20 p.m. Officers responded to a report of harassment in the 800 block of Lincoln Avenue.

5:59 p.m. Officers were called to a reported animal bite in the 1000 block of Anglers Drive.

9:26 p.m. Officers received a report of underage drinking at Colorado Mountain College.

Total incidents: 47

• Steamboat officers responded to 18 cases including calls for service and officer initiated incidents such as traffic stops.

• Sheriff’s deputies responded to 13 cases including calls for service and officer initiated incidents such as traffic stops.

• Steamboat firefighters responded to 12 calls for service.

• Oak Creek Fire District firefighters responded to three calls for service.

• North Routt Fire District firefighters responded to one call for service.

The Record offers a glimpse of police activity and is not a comprehensive report of all police activity. Calls such as domestic violence, sexual assaults and juvenile situations typically do not appear in The Record.

Obituary: Andrew T. Estes

November 1, 1940 – January 27, 2022

Andrew T. Estes, a longtime resident of Yampa Colorado passed away on January 27th, 2022. There will be a funeral service held on Tuesday, February 1st, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. at the Yampa Bible Church (White Church). A viewing will be held from 9:30 a.m. til 10:00 a.m. Immediately following the church service, a grave side service will be held at the Yampa Cemetery. For more information please call the Yampa Valley Funeral Home (970)879-1494.

Obituary: Jennifer Petrilli

– January 24, 2022

On Monday January 24th, 2022, Jennifer (Goodpasture) Petrilli, Loving Mother, Wife, Daughter, and Sister passed away at the age of 45 after a courageous more than 2-year battle with Leukemia. Jen dedicated her career to helping others working as both an ICU nurse and a Clinical Nurse Specialist overseeing the Cardiac Units for UCHealth in the Northern Colorado region. Her unwavering faith guided her to join Trinity Lutheran Church where she contributed to the community through youth group leadership, mutual ministry and mission trips among other volunteer activities she felt close to her heart. She enjoyed traveling, discovering new and revisiting familiar places, her favorite being the family cabin in Southern Colorado where many memories have been made. Spending time with family and friends was what she cherished above all, whether it was cheering at a game or simply talking about the day’s events she made the most of her time with those she loved. A friend to all who knew her with a contagious smile and a selfless heart she dedicated every day to making a positive impact on the lives of those around her. Jen is survived by her husband Randy and their children (Kayla, Adam, Payton, Kailyn and Rylee), her Parents Tom and Jan, brother Josh, several cousins and her niece (Aspen). A Celebration of Life Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, February 19th at Immaneul Lutheran Church, Loveland, Colorado, 1pm. In Lieu of flowers donations may be made in Jennifer Petrilli’s name to Small Choices Foundation (Denver), Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Rocky Mountain Chapter, Trinity Lutheran Church of Loveland or an organization of the Donor’s Choice. Please leave the family a memory of Jennifer or a condolence at www.VesseyFuneralService.com

Brother’s Custom Processing sells to ranching family who hopes to expand operations

Deborah Fitch, left, poses for a photo with Dave Satterwhite, who recently sold Brother's Custom Processing in Craig to Fitch's family.
Courtesy photo

It’s “just that time of life,” supposed Dave Satterwhite.

Satterwhite, whose family has owned and operated Brother’s Custom Processing, one of Craig’s primary meat processing plants, for about 20 years, said it was a bit hard to process the fact that his family business was changing hands.

But the time had come, he said, to sell Brother’s, and he was pleased to have found a buyer who plans to carry his legacy forward and keep his family involved in the near term.

In fact, new owner Deborah Fitch plans to expand on what the Satterwhites have done over the last two decades. Fitch, a rancher out of Parshall — near Kremmling — bought the processing plant with her husband and eldest son. The Fitch family owns a number of Western Slope businesses including restaurants and a butcher shop. This Moffat County addition felt like a perfect opportunity for the growing enterprise.

“Dave wanted to retire and he told us he thought we’d be a good choice to carry it on,” Fitch said. “We’ve been working on it a while, and it closed this month. Hopefully we do as good a job as he has.”

For Fitch, the opportunity to connect local ranchers to consumers is more than just a business — it’s a passion.

“Our mission is to keep local ag alive,” she said. “We want to provide a high-quality product while keeping the old-school style alive, so to speak.”

Brother’s, Fitch said, has built its successful business on the back of relationships with area ranchers, and that’s something the new owners intend fully to build upon.

“We won’t change that at all,” she said. “If anything, we’d like to increase capacity here. We’re ranchers, too, and I know, when my livestock is ready to go and be processed, it’s ready. To be able to provide that service, we’re just trying to continue what Brother’s has done and potentially be able to start increasing it.”

That will hopefully include plant expansion, Fitch said.

“We’re working with the family — I’ve got to say, the nicest family ever. I love them,” Fitch said. “They’ve got great ideas and we’re going to try to move on them — not make changes in a negative way, but do something positive.”

Fitch said expansion would include hiring new people, but pointed out that the existing employee base is absolutely top-notch.

“They are amazing,” Fitch said of the team at Brother’s. “Absolutely wonderful humans, and a lot of talent. It’s a noble craft to provide food for your community, and that’s what they do. The more I get to know them, the more I adore them. If we can expand the plant, create more jobs — I’d call them careers, really, it’s a career path — the USDA inspector was telling me these multi-generational plants, like the Satterwhites, sometimes people don’t want to take it over and they have to close. We want to keep the old-school style going. It’s valuable to me.”

Whether new products come out of the plant with the changes is uncertain, though it seemed possible. But what was certain to Fitch is the plan to continue to grow the business in a place she and her family have come to love.

“I love this county,” Fitch said. “I honestly think there’s not a person here that I’ve met that hasn’t been nice and wonderful. The feeling here, it’s such a wonderful community, and we actually feel really lucky to be here. Everybody has been welcoming. It’s so positive. It’s a really good place.”

14th Judicial District studying pretrial services

When arrests are made in the 14th Judicial District, judges are limited in how they can respond due to a lack of pretrial services in the area. That may soon change as the district conducts a study to determine what pretrial services could look like in Grand, Moffatt and Routt counties.

Pretrial services consist of a supervision and support network for individuals while they await the outcome of their cases. They offer another option besides keeping people in jail on high monetary bonds or releasing them on personal recognizance.

“It looks similar in that you may have face-to-face contact with a pretrial agent the same way you would a probation officer,” District Attorney Matt Karzen said. “(The services) would be potentially applicable at any point from the time of arrest and release to the time the case is finished.”

Karzen said pretrial services help provide extra accountability while allowing people to receive additional help, such as mental health care or substance abuse treatment. Currently, judges can set conditions for bond, but there’s no way for the court to enforce them.

He estimated the services would be beneficial in an average of 30% of cases per year, though the survey will help quantify the need in the district.

“There is a notable portion of the population charged with crimes that do (need these services) for one reason or another,” Karzen said. “There are few people in this jurisdiction that need to be incapacitated in the manner equivalent to being jailed prior to being convicted of a crime.”

Giving judges the option of pretrial services also helps to address some of the flaws with the monetary bond system, which Karzen called problematic.

“The only option a judge has is to categorize somebody’s threat level by imposing a big price tag on their freedom, prior to conviction,” he said.

Karzen pointed to the success pretrial services have seen in other areas and at the federal level, noting the services have led to lower recidivism rates and higher success with court appearances.

According to the Prison Policy Institute, a Washington county implemented a similar pretrial services program as the one Karzen described, which resulted in the reoffense rate dropping 20%.

“Without incarcerating people, you are providing a measure of supervision and accountability you can reduce the risk to public safety that is presented by some people who are charged with a crime, but are out on bond,” Karzen said.

Each of the four counties in the district, as well as the DA’s Office, will contribute funding for the survey. Grand County’s commissioners approved up to $10,000 for the survey on Tuesday.

Karzen said he expects the results of the survey sometime in the summer.

Steamboat Dance Theatre steps into 50 years

Dancer Nicole LeDuc performs during a rehearsal for the 2017 Steamboat Dance Theatre Annual Concert. The beloved annual performance will return Feb. 3, 4 and 5.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today

It was 1972 when seven local dancers had the idea to host a community dance performance. That show brought the start of Steamboat Dance Theatre, and now, that same organization that began with 12 members is celebrating 50 years.

From the first show throughout the past five decades, the organization has grown significantly. Now with an average of 130-150 members each year, Steamboat Dance Theatre offers a wide array of dance programs and performances with the goal of enriching, enhancing and educating the community.

Best known for their dynamic annual concert, this year’s event will not disappoint. The theme for the show is “Turn the Beat Around,” which, artistic director Gina Toothaker explained, literally means to change up the beat in a song or dance.

“There’s a bit of that happening this year,” Toothaker said. “We’re using some music that you would never expect and we’re trying to do all different things.”

It’s a theme that allows for reflection on the past 50 years of concerts, said executive director Kristen Jespersen. “How (our concerts) have led us to today and this year, and it’s also a mantra for this point in time (and) how we are using dance to get us through the hardships that the past two years have created.”

With 15 different pieces, no one dance is the same, and there’s a little bit of everything from belly dancing and African dance to contemporary, jazz, hip hop, tap and — if you’re familiar with the annual concert — likely much more.

Footage from past concerts will be featured in video installments, and a revival of past choreography will take the stage in one piece. Another piece will be in a music video format as a nod to their wildly successful virtual concert last year.

With many members wearing multiple hats, Jessica Whalen is a board member, co-producer, dancer and choreographer. Her goal for this year, she said, was to be as inclusive as possible.

“I wanted anyone — at any ability level — to be in the dance because I think that goes back to what Steamboat Dance Theatre is all about,” Whalen said. “It’s about being inclusive and being an organization that gives you the opportunity to meet new people.”

So she choreographed a high energy, all-inclusive piece, where, she said, she felt like she was dancing with all of her friends. With 25 dancers, it’s the largest piece in the show.

And while there are always surprises in every annual concert, Jespersen said that the audience can expect the same fun, creative performance that Steamboat Dance Theatre has been known for over the past 50 years.

For Toothaker, who has been with the organization since 1986, the biggest takeaway is the talent.

“Over all of these years, there’s been so much talent that has come to Steamboat or grown up here,” she said. “From former professional dancers to first timers on stage — to have everyone dancing together is really cool. We have something in this community that is very unlikely to exist anywhere else. I’m really proud of being involved in something that has such a long tradition.”


What: Steamboat Dance Theatre’s Annual Concert

When: 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 3, and Friday, Feb. 4, and 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 5.

Where: Steamboat Springs High School Auditorium, 45 Maple St.

Info: Purchase tickets online at SteamboatDanceTheatre.org. Tickets are available for both in-person and virtual format.