APR Local News

Local news from the Roaring Folk Valley

White River National Forest

The White River National Forest released a “conservation-minded” plan Tuesday for future oil and gas drilling. Conservation groups are cheering the plan, saying it proposes closing nearly all of the Thompson Divide to future leasing. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

Your Evening News - December 9th, 2014

Dec 9, 2014

Environmentalists Praise White River National Forest Drilling Plan

The White River National Forest released a “conservation-minded” plan Tuesday for future oil and gas drilling. Conservation groups are cheering the plan, saying it protects much of the contested Thompson Divide. The long-awaited plan maps out where future oil and gas leasing can happen on the 2.2 million acre White River National Forest. It calls for closing more than 1.2 million acres to oil and gas leasing including much of the contested Thompson Divide area near Carbondale. The Thompson Divide Coalition is working to protect that area. Executive Director Zane Kessler calls the plan “a good step.”

“We’re excited that the Forest Service has taken a very strong, conservation minded lead on this.”

More work needs to be done, he says, because 100,000 acres already leased on the Divide won’t be affected by the Forest Service plan. The plan only applies to future leasing.

Your Morning News - December 9th, 2014

Dec 9, 2014

Lodging Discussion Continues at Aspen City Council

Aspen City Council has decided to move forward with considering changes to the city’s lodging regulations. The agreement took place last night, during Council’s last regular meeting of the year. Like a similar meeting last week, council members decided to continue looking at some affordable housing or fee flexibility for small lodges. Again, controversial changes for square footage, building height, or free market residency, were left by the wayside.

Your Evening News - December 8th, 2014

Dec 8, 2014

Eagle, Pitkin Counties See Fewer Assistance Fraud Cases

Officials say they are already seeing success in stopping residents from taking advantage of social services in Eagle and Pitkin Counties. This comes after a new focus on reviewing public assistance cases. In January, Eagle County dedicated two employees to review cases where residents are getting certain benefits. It’s modeled off of programs elsewhere, like Garfield County and the Front Range. The workers review every qualifying case in Pitkin and Eagle Counties. Rita Woods is Fiscal and Operations Director with Health & Human Services. She says most people on assistance do need it.

“But it’s our job just to insure that taxpayer confidence, in our fiscal fiduciary, that we’re checking to make sure the right people are receiving the right benefit at the right time.”

Her office points to a recent fraud case as evidence of the program’s success. An Eagle resident has pleaded guilty to using food and medical assistance even though she didn’t qualify.

Chris Klug, Olympic bronze medalist, liver transplant recipient, and the founder of the Chris Klug Foundation, shares his story and discusses organ donation today.

Learn more about the Chris Klug Foundation, organ donation, and how you can get involved at www.ChrisKlugFoundation.org

Your Morning News - December 8th, 2014

Dec 8, 2014

"Summit for Life" Raises at least $172K

The Chris Klug Foundation has raised more than $172,000 in the Summit for Life fundraiser this weekend. The organ transplant awareness organization says a record number of participants were on Aspen Mountain, Saturday night. Though soft snow made walking more challenging at times, the number of people hiking and skinning on skis was significantly more than last year. Final fundraising totals won’t be out until late this week.

HWY 133 Construction Coming to an End

aspenpitkin.com

The landfill in Pitkin County is nearing the end of its life and one new program may keep it open longer. Organizers of what’s called the SCRAPS program are working with individuals and restaurants to compost food waste. It’s estimated 30 percent of the County’s compacted trash stream is food waste that could be composted. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen has more.

Your Evening News - December 5th, 2014

Dec 5, 2014

ACES is Aces with Charity Reviewer

The Aspen Center for Environmental Studies has gotten more phone calls and emails than usual today. That’s because the charity has been chosen as one of the best of its kind in the country. The national nonprofit reviewer Charity Navigator has listed ACES as the top botanical garden, park, or nature center. That’s in an online Holiday Giving Guide, put together by the well-respected charity review. ACES CEO Chris Lane found out about the accolade from a reporter with the Aspen Times.

Welcome to Valley Roundup, a look at the week’s news with various writers and editors in the valley.

This week the Aspen City Council decided on a new plan to increase the number of lodging beds in town. But, is anyone happy with the plan?

It looks like the economy has recovered as there is very little vacancy in the commercial core of Aspen.

Does Pitkin County need bigger bike lanes? We might just get them.

A local service man, Captain William H. DuBois is being remembered.

Glenwood Springs wants to get tough on unlocked trash.

Your Morning News - December 5th, 2014

Dec 5, 2014

Krabloonik to Get New Owners

There are officially new owners of the Valley’s troubled dog sled operation. Danny and Gina Phillips have completed paperwork for buying Krabloonik Fine Dining and Dogsledding, based in Snowmass Village.

The couple, also in Snowmass, is taking over the operation. It’s been on unsteady ground since the founder, Dan MacEachen was charged with animal cruelty. That was late last year and MacEachen is expected to stand trial in May.

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