Welcome to Valley Roundup, a review of the top news stories in the valley in the past week.

The City of Aspen just got the results of an audit of a multi-year parking scam. Elected officials wonder if they should look at other departments as closely.

After three months of analyzing and negotiating, the Roaring Fork School District finally inked contracts with its superintendent and assistant superintendent.

There has not been a sentence handed down yet for a Basalt woman charged with killing another driver. The sentencing hearing for the case is unusually long. Twenty-one year-old Indiana student Meleyna Kistner was on a road trip last August when she died on Highway 133. She and her boyfriend were on a sharp curve south of Carbondale, when they were struck by Christine Tinner, of Basalt. Tinner has pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors, both for careless driving.

Elise Thatcher

Planning officials with Snowmass Village have finished their review of the latest with Base Village. Developers are proposing changes to the project, which require another round of oversight. Commissioners finalized recommendations on Wednesday for key issues to keep in mind on the project,  as well as directives for what the applicant should do now.

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The current superintendent of schools for the Roaring Fork School District will stay on board. The decision comes after contention in the community.

Since the recession, Basalt has gained back low-paying jobs. A report details a tough scenario for home ownership.

Dozens of people went before Aspen City Council this week, weighing in on their favorite proposal to occupy the former Aspen Art Museum.

Tension remains between animal advocates and the new owners of Krabloonik Dog Sledding in Snowmass Village.

Roger Adams

After three months of meetings, the Roaring Fork School District has finalized superintendent contracts. Superintendent Diana Sirko will stay on for two more years, as will Assistant Superintendent Rob Stein. Then, Stein will become Superintendent for the three years after that. He’s also Chief Academic Officer. The plan, first proposed in December, galvanized parents who preferred one over the other. 

Flickr/hmclaird

Elected officials in Basalt heard results Tuesday from a study done on affordable housing. A Denver-based research group looked over wages, housing costs and job growth and delivered mostly negative findings. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

Suzanne Wheeler-DelPiccolo is principal of Basalt Elementary School. She says finding affordable housing is a constant challenge for her staff of teachers.

"When you hire new people, as a principal, I’ve helped people look for apartments and find places to live because it’s that challenging," she says.

Elise Thatcher

The new owners for Krabloonik Fine Dining and Dogsledding are working out the details for their lease with the local government. The business is on Snowmass Village town property. Local animal advocates want to make sure there are specific requirements in the lease for treating the dogs well, like making sure they’re off tether more often. Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher took a look at the issue and has this story.

Tracy Olson/Flickr

The City of Aspen is putting more financial safeguards in place. The move comes after an audit and Tuesday’s City Council meeting. Council wants a closer eye on money, and finances, handled by city staff. A review of what happened during a recent parking scam revealed a number of things. One was the Finance Department turned off a notification system that might have alerted everyone to the parking scam.  Another was City officials couldn’t find a copy of the former parking meter contract until this week. Employees found it after digging through a Truscott storage area.

aspenfilm.org

The non profit Aspen Film announced Wednesday its co-directors are leaving. After 20 years at the helm, married couple Laura Thielen and George Eldred are stepping down. 

Thielen and Eldred have been part of Aspen Film for more than half of the non-profit’s existence. It formed in 1979 to educate and entertain through film. Each season it holds major movie events. Thielen says she and Eldred have worked hard to bring Aspen Film to where it is today: financially healthy and well-regarded.

Today on CrossCurrents - Annie Denver and Karmen Dopslaff on John Denver's Aspenglow Fund, which has been quietly supporting environmental and educational causes in the Roaring Fork Valley and around the world.

http://www.rmi.org/winter_2014_esj_rmi_in_brief_john_denver_aspenglow

Also, Aspen Public Radio is pleased to announce the receipt of a grant from The John Denver Aspenglow Fund at the Aspen Community Foundation to support news coverage, outreach, and education on the environment.

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