APR Local News

Local news from the Roaring Folk Valley

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. 

Your Evening News - January 12th, 2015

Jan 12, 2015

State Health Officials Observing Possible Ebola Case

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment says a person who traveled to an Ebola-affected country in Africa is under observation following fever symptoms in Denver. Doctor Larry Wolk is Executive Director of the state department. In a news release he says the person came to Denver Health overnight and will be monitored and evaluated. The person is believed to be at low-risk for ebola, but they will be tested for the disease. Health officials say they are exercising extreme caution.

Marci Krivonen

During this year’s Winterskol celebration in Aspen, two large snow sculptures towered above passersby on the Mill Street Mall. Artist Thomas Barlow created the works. The Basalt-based artist has created more than two dozen snow sculptures at festivals and events across the globe. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen caught up with him mid-sculpt on Friday afternoon.

Artist Thomas Barlow thoughtfully slices his chainsaw through a large block of snow. The snow sprays on Barlow’s black jacket and sunglasses.

Non-Profit in the Spotlight: Community Health Services, Part 2

Jan 12, 2015

Community Health Services spends a lot of time thinking about us - you... me... and everyone else in the Roaring Fork Valley. Executive Director Liz Stark explains the organization's large-scale programs that cover the entire valley. Jordana Sabella, the Public Health Planner for Community Health Services, works closely with the City of Aspen, Senior Health Services, and Pitkin County to identify key health issues unique to the valley including access to care, a growing senior population, mental health and substance abuse, and radon awareness. 

Your Morning News - January 12th, 2015

Jan 12, 2015

Basalt Police Seek Suspect in Robbery

Basalt Police are looking for a man who robbed a liquor store in Old Town. Jimbo’s Wine and Liquor on Basalt Center Circle was robbed just before 10 o’clock Friday night. The suspect was wearing a stocking cap and a black ski mask. He took out a knife and told a store employee to open the cash register then left with the cash.

Police describe the suspect as a white male, about five-foot-eight with a medium build and brown eyes. The department is reviewing video surveillance and encouraging anyone with information to contact them.

Your Evening News - January 9th, 2015

Jan 9, 2015

Easier Complaint System for Oil & Gas Operations

It’s now easier to file a complaint about oil and gas operations. Colorado regulators today announced a streamlined complaint system they say is more transparent.

Regulators say the previous process wasn’t transparent enough and that translated into wasting staff time. Workers were focused on filling out forms and sometimes multiple staff members were working on the same complaint without even knowing it. Dave Kulmann is Deputy Director of Field Operations for the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. He says with the tremendous boom in oil and gas activity on the Front Range, there’s been a change in the kind of complaints, too.

“The complaints are more complex. They’re multiple issues within one complaint, so it’s taking longer for us to actually process and resolve a complaint and communicate the results back.”

Kulmann describes the new complaint process as part of the agency’s evolution to do a better job keeping an eye on the industry.

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