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Ken Krehbiel

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is reporting a handful of rare black bear sightings in the heart of winter. Warm weather in January and February got a few bears up and moving, and looking for food. 

Good afternoon, welcome to Mountain Edition.

Bus drivers in the Roaring Fork Valley vote to unionize.

Aspen law enforcement is violating a no-idling ordinance.

A Carbondale man accused of murdering his wife appears in court.

An Aspen teenager pleads guilty to pot-related charges.

A major employer in Garfield County announces layoffs.

High profile fatalities in Garfield County highlight a problem with domestic violence.

A more detailed avalanche report is out, about the accident that killed a long time Aspen local.

Facebook/RFTA

There's few unions in the Roaring Fork Valley-- and now, there's another.Full-time bus drivers with the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority have voted to unionize. Ballots were counted in Denver on Wednesday by the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. The final count didn’t begin until the mail arrived late at Colorado’s labor agency after 3pm. Heavy snow had delayed the delivery. Driver Ed Cortez was waiting breathlessly, with a representative of the Amalgamated Transit Union.

Law enforcement agencies in Aspen have been breaking a law that’s been on the books for 23 years, or at least the spirit of it. As Aspen Public Radio’s Carolyn Sackariason reports, the law is meant to limit pollution.

If you walk by the offices of the Aspen Police or Pitkin County Sheriff on any given night, you might notice the sounds and smells of idling car engines.

A former Garfield County employee is going before a judge this morning. Robin McMillan is charged with stealing from the Clerk and Recorder’s office. The District Attorney’s office says she stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from her work. McMillan faces a class three felony of theft of one hundred thousand dollars up to a million dollars. She’s also charged with a class five felony for embezzlement.

Marci Krivonen

Pitkin County’s Open Space and Trails Board will look over recommendations Thursday that would allow agricultural producers to work county land.

Pitkin County purchased the Glassier Open Space near Emma for $10 million. Now, the county is offering up about half of it to local farmers and ranchers for a nominal fee.

Colorado Bureau of Investigation

A suspect arrested for first degree murder and domestic violence in an alleged homicide in Carbondale was taken to jail on Wednesday.

Arturo Navarrete-Portillo was released from a Grand Junction hospital and transported to the Garfield County Jail, where he’s being held without bond. The Carbondale man is charged in the death of his wife, Maria Carminda Portillo-Amaya, who was found with knife wounds in an apartment on February 16th.

Roaring Fork Transit Authority

Full time bus drivers with the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority have voted to unionize. Ballots were counted in Denver today by the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. The agency has confirmed the results. 65 drivers voted for unionization, with 22 against.

pitkinostprojects.com

Pitkin County is considering management changes in its latest update plan for the popular Rio Grande Trail. The plan examines the upper half of the 42 mile trail, from Emma to Aspen.

Under the plan, signs would be updated, trail connections, such as from the Aspen Village neighborhood to the trail, would be improved and a policy for special events may be developed.

thebittenword.com/Flickr/Creative Commons

A local Epicurean group is researching what kind of “food hub” is right for the Roaring Fork Valley and now Pitkin County is chipping in. 

The Roaring Fork Food Policy Council is the behind the food hub idea. Food hubs strengthen regional food systems by simplifying the way producers get their products to consumers. A hub could include an online farmers’ market, a small demonstration farm or an online information sharing site that links consumers with local food.

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