APR Local News

Local news from the Roaring Folk Valley

Your Morning News - December 16th, 2014

Dec 16, 2014

Aspen Planners Consider Mark Hunt Proposal on Lodging

Planning officials in Aspen are considering whether to allow certain exceptions for one of the development projects Mark Hunt is involved with. The Chicago businessman has purchased more than a dozen properties in town in recent years.

The project would be built on Main Street, where a Conoco gas station is now. Aspen’s planning and zoning commission is reviewing a laundry list of exceptions that Hunt is asking for. Aspen Senior planner Sara Adams says one is canceling what’s called impact fees.

“So that comes to a total of about $91,400, roughly, in impact fees.”

Hunt is also requesting a height increase, more than doubling the amount of floor space, eliminating the required two to three affordable housing units while leasing more than twenty parking spaces in the Rio Grande Parking Plaza rather than building more parking for guests.

The proposed building would be three stories tall with a gable roof and a rooftop deck. The rooms would be on the smaller side. Hunt has said the effort is to boost the affordable lodging in Aspen. Again, city planner Sara Adams

“First floor is retail, restaurant, lodge lobby. Second and third floor are all lodge rooms. You know a hundred and seventy to a hundred and eighty square feet, average size, bunk beds.”

In the basement there would be amenities like a bar and a Turkish steam bath. The proposal is goes before the Planning and Zoning Commission tonight. Members will decide what recommendations to make to City Council which will consider the proposal. Another Hunt development that’s very similar will be considered in January.

Creative Commons/Brad Flickinger

The Aspen Community School is one of the top-ranked schools in the state, according to a new analysis. The school near Woody Creek, ranked six out of 500 middle schools.

The organization Colorado School Grades releases its report card annually. Nearly 2000 public schools are ranked. The group uses data from the Colorado Department of Education and a formula that looks at academic achievement, academic growth and gaps in education.

ACS Gets High Marks in State Rankings

The Aspen Community School is one of the top-ranked schools in the state according to a new analysis. The school near Woody Creek ranked 6th out of 500 middle schools. The organization Colorado School Grades releases its report card annually on nearly 2,000 public schools. The group uses data from the Colorado Department of Education and a formula developed at the University of Colorado Denver to come up with its rankings. The formula looks at a school’s academic achievement, academic growth and gaps in education. In 2014, the Aspen Community charter School received an “A-plus” for grades six through eight. Other schools in the Roaring Fork Valley received grades. The Aspen High School scored a “B-plus” and Roaring Fork High School in Carbondale received a “C,” as did Glenwood Springs High School. Bridges High School in Carbondale was one of the lowest scoring high schools in the state. A link for the full list can be found here.

Non-Profit in the Spotlight: Chris Klug Foundation, Part 3

Dec 15, 2014

In 2002, Robbie Wade passed away from a skateboard accident. He was 19 years old and was an organ donor. His accident profoundly affected his family and the Aspen community. Robbie's father, Bob Wade, speaks about Robbie's decision and the impact his story has had on the community and organ donation awareness. Beth Slater, the Executive Director of the Chris Klug Foundation also contributes.

Learn more about organ donation and the Chris Klug Foundation at www.chrisklugfoundation.org.  

Your Morning News - December 15th, 2014

Dec 15, 2014

Captain Dubois Remembered in Rifle

About 900 people attended the funeral in Rifle yesterday of Air Force Captain William Dubois. The New Castle native died December 1st when his F-16 crashed in Jordan on a mission to attack ISIS targets. The Post Independent reports airplanes from an air force base in Nevada blasted over Rifle High School in a missing man formation to honor the 30-year-old. Dubois was twice named the top fighter pilot in his class. The funeral was held at the high school where Dubois graduated in 2003.

Your Evening News - December 12th, 2014

Dec 12, 2014

Fracking Fluids Study

Scientists are trying to learn a lot more about effects of oil and gas drilling and a new report is looking chiefly at fracking fluids.

Researchers with Colorado State University looked at the most toxic chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing. Scientists reviewed all the existing research to see how those chemicals travel in the natural environment, how long they last, and whether they post a risk to human health. They found that most of the more toxic chemicals are also used in other industrial and commercial work. More than half are particularly dangerous to humans, or could be over time. And they’re most likely to pollute the environment during surface spills.

Scientists also came up with recommendations for urgently needed research. One example is what happens to the chemicals when they’re injected deep into the ground.

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

This week the White River National Forest released an oil and gas plan. But, does that settle the matter on drilling in the Thompson Divide?

The City of Aspen continues to refine a new lodging incentives ordinance. At the same time, the council is asking the city management to give them better information.

The State of Colorado is not messing around when it comes to regulations and medical pot shops.

Could Aspen’s Little Annie’s return from the grave… again?

Your Morning News - December 12th, 2014

Dec 12, 2014

Parking Scam Investigation Nets Big Numbers, Many Cards

More than 4,000 debit cards were used in a massive Aspen parking fraud scheme between September 2013 and November 2014. Aspen’s Police Department has released an update on the case. According to a credit card processing company, nearly 200 of the cards had more than a $1,000 worth of charges used to get free parking in downtown Aspen. Police Spokeswoman Blair Weyer says investigators are using the new information to pinpoint who was gaming the system.

Your Evening News - December 11th, 2014

Dec 11, 2014

Aspen Seeks Input on New Bike/Pedestrian Plan

The City of Aspen is updating its Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan and seeking public input. When the plan was conceived 20 years ago, several new trails were the result.

The original plan led to improvements like trail connections and new trails such as the East of Aspen trail and the Ute Avenue Trail. A lot has changed since the original master plan was drawn up, says City of Aspen Senior Project Manager Tyler Christoff. He says it’s time for a revision.

Good afternoon and welcome to Mountain Edition.

Conservation groups are cheering an oil and gas plan that closes much of the Thompson Divide to future drilling.

Controversial changes like square footage and building height could be left out of new regulations for lodges in Aspen.

And, food scraps are being composted at some high-end Aspen hotels.

A statewide water plan is unveiled in Denver. And, the state capitol is getting a major upgrade.

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