APR Local News

Local news from the Roaring Folk Valley

Gina Von Hoof/matthewshepard.org

Gay Ski Week is well underway in Aspen. The annual event features skiing, parties, comedy and film but it’s not just about fun. There’s an underlying emphasis on advocating for LGBTQ causes.

The non-profit that runs Gay Ski Week, Aspen Out, raises money for groups like the Matthew Shepard Foundation. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen spoke with Robin Wood-Mason, Deputy Director of the Foundation and Kevin McManamon, President of Aspen Out.

Your Morning News - January 15th, 2015

Jan 15, 2015

Fishing Tournament Canceled

Unseasonably warm temperatures have canceled an ice fishing tournament near Rifle. The Rifle Chamber of Commerce announced yesterday the Mountain Air Mechanical Ice Fishing Tournament will not be held this weekend.

The tournament was to be held at Rifle Gap State Park. But, ice conditions weren’t conducive due to the weather. The Post Independent reports this is the third time in 17 years warm weather has canceled the competition.

El Capitan Climbers Successful

An Estes Park man and his partner have successfully completed a free climb of the Dawn Wall on El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. The Denver Post reports Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson finished the 3,000 vertical foot ascent yesterday.

The effort took the men 19 days. Every night was spent in suspended tents on the granite rock face. The pair’s effort makes history as the first-ever free ascent of Dawn Wall.

Basalt Police

Basalt Police continue to look for a suspect who robbed a liquor store with a knife Friday night. This week they released photographs. 

Just before 10 o’clock Friday night, a man robbed Jimbo’s Wine and Liquor downtown. Police report the man took out a knife and told a store employee to open the cash register. He got away with close to $1400.

On Monday the department released three images captured on a surveillance camera at Jimbo’s. Greg Knott is Chief of Police.

Your Evening News - January 14th, 2015

Jan 14, 2015

Aspen May Have to Build More Government Office Space

The City of Aspen is trying to decide where to put its workers. There’s not enough existing space for them including the police department. Tomorrow, the City is holding the last in a series of open houses on the issue.

Workers are severely cramped, plus Aspen is losing lots of office space due to rental agreements. City employee Jack Wheeler is overseeing how to solve the problem. He says there isn’t enough office space for the City to rent in Aspen. So, building is the only viable option.

“We went through several different iterations, we presented them to Council, Council and the public pointed at two distinct options. Both options that we’re pursuing include police facility at 540 Main.”

That’s city property next to the Pitkin County Plaza Building.

The difference in the plans lies in whether to renovate and expand city hall or effectively create a new city hall near the Pitkin County library by renovating and expanding existing city buildings there.

Either wouldn’t be in place until sometime 2018. So, Wheeler is also juggling an interim plan.

On today's show, the Aspen Hall of Fame with this year's inductees are Joe and Judy Zanin, George Madsen, and Dick Butera.

The guests on the show are members of the board Lorna Pederson and Jeanette Darnauer.

From the Aspen Hall of Fame website:

Facebook/Marble Distilling Company

In the spring, Carbondale will welcome its first new hotel property in several years. The Marble Distilling Company plans to open a distillery and luxury hotel on Main Street. The owners think it will attract a new demographic and keep visitors in town longer. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen explains.

Connie Baker is Co-owner of Marble Distilling Company. She’s guiding me through the 7000 square foot building that’s still under construction.

Your Morning News - January 14th, 2015

Jan 14, 2015

Accident Leads to Contaminated Water

A truck accident has led to diesel in drinking water for some residents in the Rifle area. Garfield County officials said last night they were notified by the Colorado Department of Public Health about the problem. According to the county, a truck rolled in the area, leaking sixty gallons of diesel into an irrigation ditch. Although an environmental clean-up crew is on-site, possibly fifteen gallons escaped farther downstream where the Cottonwood mobile home park is. As of Monday, three to four residents there reported diesel in their drinking water. The Colorado health department is handling the incident.

Your Evening News - January 13th, 2015

Jan 13, 2015

BLM Seeks Bigger Burns

The Roaring Fork Valley could see one of the biggest prescribed BLM burns yet. That’s if a project by the Bureau of Land Management gets approved. The agency wants to do larger scale controlled burns. The agency sent out 700 mailers, and just twelve people showed up to a public meeting on the matter yesterday.

The BLM wants to burn more than 900 acres next to El Jebel and is taking comments on the proposal. Like similar projects, the goal is to minimize fire hazard by burning trees and bushes in a managed way. Courtney Whiteman handles Public Affairs with the BLM.

“There’s a lot of mature plant growth up there, which happens as we control the fires, and last night most of the discussion centered around the safety of the burns and how they’re conducted.”

Whiteman and a BLM fire expert say at Monday’s meeting they answered common questions about planning and safety. The agency is taking comments through part of February. The earliest the burn could start is this spring, and would be done in increments.

Your Morning News - January 13th, 2015

Jan 13, 2015

City of Aspen to Mail Ballots for Next City Election

Voters in Aspen will use mail-in ballots for the next election in May. Aspen City Council decided to make the switch to automatic mail-in ballots.

A majority of council members voted in favor of the mail ballots, saying allowing more convenience and expanding voting participation is a good idea. Council Member Ann Mullins was one of those voting in favor of expanding beyond a polling center.

"Things change, people, they’re traveling, their schedules are different. It is a small town, but it’s not a small town while everybody’s here, on that day, able to go to the polls.

Voters can still cast a ballot early or on Election Day at City Hall. That will be the only vote center in Aspen.  If a runoff election is necessary, it would also be based on mail-in ballots. The State of Colorado moved to all mail-in ballot elections starting last year. Those are carried out by county election officials. Cities and special districts can make their own decision on whether to follow suit.

Aspen City Council dipped its collective toe into reviewing three major lodging proposals. Officials came closer to approving a fourth, calling it an example of how building should be done in Aspen. That’s after an hours long meeting at City Hall last night. 

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