Tag Archives: Brad Rachele Palmer Leadville

Leadville News – December 16

Flags Fly for Fallen Marine in Leadville Today

Residents and visitors will see the flags out on Leadville’s Harrison Avenue today and pause to think: Why? Why does Leadville display its flags on December 16?

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NEVER FORGOTTEN. Flags are flown on historic Harrison Ave in Leadville every December 16 to honor Marine Nick Palmer who gave his life for the country. Pictured here placing a flag is Nick’s mother Rachele, who with her husband Brad Palmer and a small group of volunteers make sure the flags are displayed in remembrance of their son. Photo: Leadville Today/Kathy Bedell.

If you’ve lived in Leadville for any length of time, the name Nicklas J. Palmer will answer that question.  For it was on this date, in 2006, that 19-year-old Marine Lance Crpl Nick Palmer from Leadville was killed in the line of duty in Fallujah, Iraq. Since that horrific day when the news of Nick’s death reached home, there have been countless tributes to this young man’s courage and valor. In addition to the annual flag display every December 16 in Leadville, there’s another tribute that hundreds of motorists drive past or on every day: Fallen Heroes Highway.

In 2010, the stretch of Colorado Highway 91 between Leadville and Copper Mountain, connecting Lake and Summit Counties was renamed the Fallen Heroes Highway, with the passage of Resolution 10-040. An effort driven by Nick’s parents, Rachele and Brad Palmer of Leadville, the highway’s re-dedication was supported by then State Representative Christine Scanlan and State Senator Mark Scheffel who helped secure the road’s dedication.

There are now two signs that commemorate the roadway’s re-naming, the first sits near the juncture of Highways 91 and 24, north of Leadville, and the second is installed off Highway 91 just south of the Copper Mountain parking lots. Along with the signs, a plaque is also installed under each one, listing the names of additional fallen heroes, including military and first responders


Lake County Public Works Director Brad Palmer installs the plaque at the Fallen Heroes Highway sign below the Summit County highway sign near Copper Mountain. Photo: Leadville Today

During the October 2016 ceremony, a second name was engraved on the plaque, honoring Pilot Patrick Mahany who died in July 2015. Readers may recall the Summit County emergency responder whose Flight for Life helicopter crashed into the parking lot of St. Anthony Summit Medical Center in Frisco shortly after take-off. Mahany was a Vietnam veteran who first started flying helicopters shortly after he joined the military in 1970.

For these families the loss of a loved one, especially during this time of year, can be painful. So as you notice the flags waving in honor every December 16 or make note of the Fallen Heroes Highway as you make the daily drive to work or ski, take pause. Offer up a prayer for peace, and for the safe keeping of all first responders who sacrifice a lot so that communities and the people who live there can stay safe and protected.

For each and every fallen hero, Thank You for your service and sacrifice for all who live in Leadville Today! RIP Nick, you are missed!

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A crowd of emergency responders, veterans, officials and residents gathered at the Fallen Heroes highway memorial sign on Highway 91 on October 7, 2016. The event marked the unveiling of the new plaques which have been placed at each sign on the Leadville and Copper Mountain locations to commemorate, by name, local Fallen Heroes. Photo: Leadville Today/Brennan Ruegg



Leadville News – November 13

Literacy, Student Athletes Top School News

Happy Monday! The forecast calls for more blue skies and sunshine with a high of 49 degrees in Leadville Today. The only chance of snow is noted for later in the week; it’s pretty dry for mid-November. For students in the Lake County School District, it’s also a short week before their long Thanksgiving break, so here’s some school #NewsYouCanUse.

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Promoting Literacy With Book Baskets!

The Rocky Mountain High Reading Council (RMHRC) will be holding their annual Book Basket Raffle on December 13, 2017 from 4 – 6 p.m. at West Park Elementary, just in time for holiday gift giving! 

book basket

Buy a raffle for the book basket fundraiser – or – create your own and donate it to Leadville’s Rocky Mountain High Reading Council. Help keep books in kids’ hands!

Please help promote literacy in Lake County by donating a book basket or buying raffle tickets.  Tickets are a $1 a piece or six for $5. Please contact Mona Cloys at LCHS, Beth Basler at Lake County Intermediate School or Judy Fabian at West Park for tickets.  Donated book baskets can be brought to West Park for wrapping. 

If you are interested in being part of the RMHRC or have any questions about the book basket raffle, please contact Mona Cloys at 719-486-6980.  The RMHRC is Leadville’s local Colorado Council of the International Reading Association which is a professional organization of educators and community members dedicated to the promotion and advancement of literacy. Thank you for your continued support!

Palmer Award Presented at Fall Sports Banquet

Every fall, the Nick Palmer award is presented to an outstanding athlete that has demonstrated excellence in academics, shown leadership in their sport, classroom and community; sportsmanship on and off their respective field of play as well as devotion surrounding their sport. The award is named after Nick Palmer (see below), a Lake County High School (LCHS) graduate and football player. Palmer also served in the Marines and gave his life in service to the country.

Palmer Award _Joe Koch

Lake County High School volleyball player Caitlyn Ayers (center) is presented the Nick Palmer Student Athlete of the Year Award for 2017 by Brad (left) and Rachele (right) Palmer at last Thursday’s Fall Spots Banquet.

“As always, it is our pleasure to meet these athletes during our interview process, ” said Rachele Palmer (nick’s Mom), who presented the award with her husband Brad at the LCHS Fall Sports Banquet last Thursday, Nov. 9 in the high school auditorium. “We are continually amazed at the quality these individuals display and how they represent the positive nature of what Leadville has to offer to the world; it says a lot.”

The three student athletes who were nominated were Joe Koch for cross country, Bryce Allen for football, and Caitlyn Ayers for volleyball. While it was noted that each had demonstrated the qualities outlined in the award’s criteria, in the end it was Ayers who rose to the top. Congratulations, Caitlyn Ayers on being named the Nick Palmer Fall Athlete of The Year for 2017!

Congratulations to all the student athletes who were awarded many other citations and plaques at the LCHS Fall Sports Banquet!

What is the Nick Palmer Award?

Nick Palmer graduated from LCHS in 2005 where he played football, exemplifying strong leadership qualities both on and off the field. After graduation, Nick joined the United States Marine Corps. He was killed in action December 16, 2006 while on patrol in Fallujah, Iraq. He was just 19 years old.


Marine Nick Palmer

It was a former LCHS football coach who thought it would be honorable to begin a tradition to dedicate an athletic achievement award to an outstanding athlete that maintains the same dedication to their sport in which Nick exemplified within his sport. So in 2007 the Nick Palmer Award was created and Nick’s #53 jersey was retired during the homecoming halftime ceremony and remains on display in the LCHS foyer.

“As time goes on, those who knew Nick have left the halls of Lake County High School,” explained Rachele Palmer, Nick’s mother, “and new classmates will have the opportunity to know of Nick and his qualities through this award. So as each year passes and new nominations are made, there will be the need to pass on to those up and coming athletes what it is that has inspired the conception of this award.”