APR Local News

Local news from the Roaring Folk Valley

Your Morning News - January 9th, 2015

Jan 9, 2015

Family Honors Dead Skier with Alpine Race

An alpine racing event will be held in Aspen this weekend that honors a young competitive skier who died after skiing into a mine shaft. Eleven-year-old Wilder Dwight was skiing outside the ropes on Aspen Mountain in 1986 when the accident happened. Since his death, the race has been held annually. This year, his niece will participate.

“My mom has mentioned a lot of stories about him actually skiing and sometimes he’d get a little out of control and get his pass taken away for speeding, and going too fast down some runs.”

Fourteen-year-old Ellie Oates of Aspen has grown up hearing about her uncle. Now she’s racing in the Super-G race series that attracts athletes from around the country. Besides stories of speed, she says her mom has told her about Wilder’s caring side.

“At the start of a race, if some kid didn’t have a pair of gloves my mom would say he’d be that kid to share his clothing. I try to make the best out of that and put that into my idea of life, and helping other people.”

Oates has been racing for two years and says slalom is her best event. The races at Tiehack on Saturday and Sunday are hosted by the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club. They’re qualifying events for junior championships.

Your Evening News - January 8th, 2015

Jan 8, 2015

Environment Foundation Awards Over $95,000

A non-profit connected to the Aspen Skiing Company and aimed at environmental causes is releasing over $31,000 in grants to local efforts.

A news release from the Environment Foundation says the money will be split between six groups working on youth education. Those receiving the grants include the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, Basalt Middle and High School and the Waldorf School of the Roaring Fork.

An additional $64,000 is being sent to seven additional organizations focused on energy efficiency, limiting the impacts of drilling on the Western Slope and maintenance and expansion of trials in the Roaring Fork Valley. In total, the Environment Foundation is donating more than $95,000 to 13 projects. The money was raised by Ski Co employees and was matched by various companies and area non-profits.

Good afternoon and welcome to Mountain Edition.

The upper Roaring Fork Valley saw a dramatic rescue this week, after three elk fell into an icy pond.

A local ski guide gets caught in an avalanche; it’s a reminder that avalanche season is in full-swing.

A new climate report shows Aspen has seen temperatures warm over the last several decades.

Much larger fines are looming for oil and gas companies who don’t follow the law.

And, Basalt inches closer to deciding how to redevelop parts of downtown.

Your Morning News - January 8th, 2015

Jan 8, 2015

RFTA Looks to Expand Parking for Riders

The Roaring Fork Transportation Authority is trying to solve the problem of overflowing parking lots at its bus stops. RFTA’s Board of Directors will consider possible solutions at its meeting today.

Parking lots for bus riders fill up fast in the Roaring Fork Valley. By 8am on weekdays lots in places like El Jebel and Carbondale are packed.

RFTA officials point to positive growth in ridership since the Bus Rapid Transit system started in 2013. Three new parking lots - in Carbondale, Glenwood Springs and New Castle are planned. In the meantime, RFTA must find a way to free up spots for transit users. Michael Hermes is Director of Facilities for RFTA.

“There are activities going on at the park and ride’s not related to transit such as ridesharing and patrons of adjacent businesses parking there. So, other uses are taking up spots that are intended for transit users.”

The board will discuss whether RFTA should take enforcement measures to keep drivers out who aren’t intending on taking the bus. RFTA manages more than 800 parking spots in its system from Rifle to Aspen.

Your Evening News - January 7th, 2015

Jan 7, 2015

Explore Offer Comes from a National Nonprofit Group  

A collection of national nonprofits that fight for such causes as the environment, social justice and consumer protection might be the new owner of Aspen’s Explore Bookstore soon. The Aspen Times reports the group known as the Public Interest Network has a contract to buy Explore Booksellers and the attached restaurant for $5 million. In order for the deal to go through a Texas bankruptcy judge must approve it in the case of Samuel Wyly who owns the store. Over the past 30 years, the Public Interest Network has held events in Aspen and been fans of Explore. Officials with the group say the survival of an independent bookstore meshes with its mission. The Texas judge is expected to review the offer today. If approved, the sale of Explore is expected to close on January 16th.

Your Morning News - January 7th, 2015

Jan 7, 2015

New Healthcare Enrollment Numbers

More than 3,000 people in Pitkin, Garfield, and Eagle counties have signed up for private health insurance since November 15th.

3,330 residents of the three counties signed up between November 15th and December 15th. That’s for health care coverage starting in 2015 according to the online health insurance marketplace, Connect for Health. Megan Burch is overseeing the effort to help residents in the Roaring Fork Valley and Eagle County sign up for health insurance.

“We’re really thrilled with the enrollment numbers to date, and they’re tracking very closely to our goals for this second enrollment period.”

The difference is Garfield County is about seven hundred people short of that overall goal. So Burch’s office is planning more outreach and events there to help residents sign up for health insurance.

Your Evening News - January 6th, 2015

Jan 6, 2015

Climate Report: Temperatures Rising in Aspen

A new report on climate change in the Aspen area shows an increase in temperature and a rise in the number of frost-free days. The report was compiled as part of an effort to prepare the resort town for a changed climate.

The Climate Resiliency Plan looks at Aspen’s climate history. It shows Aspen saw a one-degree Fahrenheit increase from 1940 to 1979, and since 1980 a 1.5 degree increase. The report also shows a steady increase in the number of frost-free days. James Arnott with the Aspen Global Change Institute authored the report.

“This is one of the pointers that gets us to thinking about recreational seasons, such as a shortening of the winter and a lengthening of the summertime season.”

The plan pinpoints where Aspen may be vulnerable to climate change in the ski industry, for example. The report is a first step in an effort to engage community members in building a plan that finds ways to adapt to warming in the future.

ourtownplanning.org

Later this month Basalt Town Council will consider “next steps” for downtown redevelopment. In 2014, a community-wide planning process began for 13 public and private acres. In the fall, a committee began culling the community’s ideas and eventually came up with recommendations on how they envision downtown. This year, the ideas may begin to take shape. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen spoke with Mike Scanlon, Basalt’s Town Manager.

The Town is eyeing future redevelopment on the Pan and Fork, Lion’s Park and Clark’s Market properties.

Your Morning News - January 6th, 2015

Jan 6, 2015

Snowmass Considering Krabloonik Transfer

The Snowmass Village Town Council is considering amending the lease for a dogsledding operation. The town owns land where Krabloonik Fine Dining and Dogsledding is located. A Snowmass couple purchased the company late last year but still needs to have their names formally added to the lease. The changes come after the original owner of Krabloonik was arrested and charged with animal cruelty. Last night, the Town Council discussed ways of changing the lease to make sure dogs are treated properly now. Snowmass Village Mayor Markey Butler.

“We must demonstrate that we are doing the best that we possibly can to assure not only the local community but the entire community of those who come as our guests, and who appreciate dog sledding that we’ve got the best in class.”

The Snowmass Town Council will take up the matter again later this month.

Your Evening News - January 5th, 2015

Jan 5, 2015

2 Elk Resuced, 1 Dies in Icy Pond

Law enforcement and firefighters responded to a call Monday morning, of three elk trapped in a frigid pond near Aspen.

Rescue crews in wetsuits worked for over two hours using chainsaws to cut a wide escape route in the ice. The elk were trapped in a pond on private property off of McLain Flats Road. Eventually two elk, a bull and a cow, were able to escape. The third elk drowned.

Kevin Wright with Colorado Parks and Wildlife says he’s concerned about the health of the bull elk that didn’t scamper off, but rather sat along the pond once he was freed.

“They expended so much energy just swimming around in circles and trying to get out - just basically pure exhaustion. He looks awfully “shocky” to me. We’ll see if he’s able to get up, move off and make it.”

Parks and Wildlife will continue to monitor the two elk. Meanwhile the property owner was fined for placing two bales of hay next to the pond where the elk were feeding before they broke through the ice.

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