Mountain News 

Can father’s outrage be understood, forgiven?

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. — A tentative agreement has been reached on the punishment to be meted out to a Denver-area man who assaulted a 16-year-old girl on the slopes of the Steamboat Ski Area.

The man, Randell Berg, 52, had attacked and punched the 16-year-old girl, a snowboarder, after the girl collided with Berg’s 8-year-old daughter. Witnesses said Berg punched the girl several times in the head and neck while yelling profanities. Berg told police that, after making sure his daughter was OK, he "just lost control."

In an agreement with the district attorney’s office, Berg is to plead guilty of misdemeanor third-degree assault. He is to be given a year of probation, take eight hours of anger management classes, perform 80 hours of community service, and serve a two-day jail sentence.

Prospectors said Berg’s criminal history was minimal, as he had only been convicted of misdemeanor disorderly conduct nearly 30 years ago. The county judge, James Garrecht, said he thought the punishment was lenient, but indicated he will approve the deal, once given supporting documents. "No one should ever be assaulted on a ski slope," he said. "It’s outrageous a grown man would attack a woman. It’s even more outrageous for that woman to be a young girl."

Berg’s attorney, Larry Combs, said Berg admitted his guilt without hesitation, and is humiliated by his actions. "He’s never treated someone so badly in his life."

Why did he do it? "He has explained to me that it was just a flash of anger that he couldn’t control," the lawyer explained. "Some would say it is the natural instinct of a father fearing of his daughter’s safety."

The attorney further said that Berg had never been observed acting in anger. "He’s not impulsive by nature."

Gondola to link Breck, ski area

BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. — Vail Resorts has pulled the trigger on a major investment in transportation at Breckenridge. Partnering with the town, which is chipping in $6.7 million, the ski company is committing $13.3 million toward a gondola.

That gondola will result in a more seamless experience for Breckenridge visitors, preventing the need to ride buses from the town’s parking lots to the various base areas. As such, notes The Denver Post, the traffic congestion that is a hall mark of Breckenridge should ease, although the new system does nothing to improve the clogging of Highway 9 from Breckenridge to Frisco, where motorists using Interstate 70.

Colorado still on record pace

DENVER, Colo. — Mother Nature still seems to be in charge in the ski industry. Those ski areas with great snow this year are doing wonderfully in terms of skier visits.

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