APR Local News

Local news from the Roaring Folk Valley

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.


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.

Non-Profit in the Spotlight: Community Health Services, Part 1

Jan 5, 2015

Liz Stark, the executive director of Community Health Services, shares the organization's mission, programs, and what makes it unique to the Roaring Fork Valley. The organization provides direct care to anyone who walks through the door (insured or uninsured), including vaccinations, pre-natal care, and common tests. But the group has also taken on the challenge of assisting the newly insured under the Affordable Care Act, and helping individuals get the most out of their coverage.

Your Morning News - January 5th, 2015

Jan 5, 2015

Avalanche Injures Aspen Mountain Guide

A skiing tour guide for Aspen Mountain Powder Tours will not be returning to work today. The employee injured his knee when he was caught in an avalanche just outside Aspen Mountain’s ski area boundaries on New Year’s Day. That was in a location where the cat skiing operation is allowed to operate. Jeff Hanle is spokesman for the Aspen Skiing Company which owns and operates the powder tours. Hanle says the company does not plan to release the employee’s name.

“We don’t ever release an injured person’s name. There’s HIPAA laws and rules that don’t allow us to do that in most cases. And in this case the employee did not want to be identified. So we’ll respect his decision.”

Hanle says he’s not aware of any similar accidents in previous years.  Aspen Mountain Powder Tours will operate as usual today. The area of the avalanche had been closed after the incident last Thursday, but could be in use this week or later in the season as avalanche conditions permit.

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

Finding an affordable place to live is not just an Aspen thing. The Roaring Fork School District and Carbondale are working together on something similar for teachers.

Colorado’s U.S. Senator Michael Bennet plans to reintroduce a bill to keep future drilling out of the Thompson Divide. But, does it have a chance in the Republican controlled Congress in Washington?

Aspen Valley Hospital and its Non Profit partner have worked out their differences. But, is that the end?

Your Evening News - January 2nd, 2015

Jan 2, 2015

Basalt & Development in 2015

2015 promises to be another action-packed year for development planning in downtown Basalt. Town officials say last year was about “setting the base.” Now, things may start taking shape.

Town officials and community members have been envisioning what may be built on about thirteen public and private acres downtown. Last month, a committee charged with coming up with ideas presented its findings to Town Council.

Now the elected leaders will consider next steps. Town Manager Mike Scanlon says there’s a lot to go over.

“What do we want to do in terms of formalizing all this work that was done in 2014, into a planning district? Do we want to go to a form-based code for the downtown area? Do we just want to establish a special downtown area district? And then, how do we start taking some of those public pieces and work on them? So, getting the parks to a standard and a quality that we would expect.”

Already, a development group has shown interest in building on 2.3 acres downtown. Lowe Enterprises told town officials it envisions building a boutique hotel and some residential units.


Aspen resident and cross-country skier Noah Hoffman says he plans to race in the world championships this year after suffering a broken fibula in November. The 25-year-old distance skier fell at a World Cup race in Finland and he’s been recovering ever since. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen caught up with him late last month.

Noah Hoffman of Aspen is the U.S. Ski Team’s top distance skier. The World Championships are in Sweden in late February.