APR Local News

Local news from the Roaring Folk Valley

Skiers and riders will get their fix a little early thanks to mother nature. The Aspen Skiing Company announced today it’s opening Aspen Mountain Saturday, five days earlier than planned.

A snowstorm that blanketed the Roaring Fork Valley over the weekend brought more than 21 inches to Aspen Mountain. The Aspen Skiing Company says it will open Saturday with the most vertical feet in the country and top-to-bottom skiing and riding over 120 acres of terrain.

Elise Thatcher

A suicide prevention organization is unveiling a new campaign tonight. The Hope Center, now based in Basalt, is also hosting an expert on healing communities.  Michelle Muething is Executive Director of the small nonprofit, which offers a hotline and counseling for people with suicidal thoughts. Muething says the new effort is called the "Erase the Stigma" campaign, and it’s based on feedback gathered since last spring.

AVSC

Heavy snow and cold temperatures allowed a new Aspen training venue for skiers, snowboarders and adaptive athletes to open earlier than expected. AVSC’s Stapleton Alpine Training Venue opened Saturday. That’s at Aspen Highlands. 

Organizers call the venue “world class” and one of the best early season training grounds. It will cover 35 acres and feature downhill courses, moguls, jumps and rails. It’s meant for alpine racers, freestyle skiers and snowboarders, adaptive athletes and most of all, for the 2300 kids the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club serves. 

Jeremy Voss, the Principal of Basalt Middle School, speaks about the importance of scheduled after-school programs for Middle School students and how ACCESS Roaring Fork has given his students new opportunities outside of sports and other school-related activities. Beth Wysong is a former teacher and ACCESS liaison. She says the connection ACCESS is making between the community and students is crucial for maintaining healthy communities. 

Learn more about ACCESS Roaring Fork at www.accessrf.org

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

This week brought the first big snow in the valley just ahead of ski season and with the flakes also comes Free Parking in Aspen as the investigation into the parking scam continues.

In Glenwood Springs, the city and county are battling over a new facility to help get those packages there overnight.

Also, it’s health care season, the time when employers alert their staffs to new changes for the new year. But, is there something bigger that needs to change?

And an Aspen conference is looking at tourism and building a more dignified approach marijuana just as the nearby town of Paonia says "No" to recreational pot.

Joining us this week are Curtis Wackerle, Managing Editor of the Aspen Daily News, Randy Essex, Editor of the Glenwood Post Independent and Andy Stone, former editor of and now columnist for the Aspen Times.

Good afternoon and welcome to Mountain Edition. Wintry weather descends on the Roaring Fork Valley this week closing Independence Pass and prompting locals to break out their cold weather gear. Two Roaring Fork Valley residents are renamed to the U.S. Ski Team. Aspen holds its annual Veterans Day service. The Forest Service highlights crowds over-loving backcountry spots, big employers move forward with a plan to make their workers healthier, and politicians in Denver put their ducks in a row after a surprising election.

Marci Krivonen

The committee that’s reviewing ideas for downtown redevelopment in Basalt received a letter from local businesses last week. The business owners are concerned they’re not being included in the process.

The letter is signed by five property owners with land in the heart of downtown. The group charged with visioning redevelopment, the Downtown Area Advisory Committee, has included the private parcels in their consideration.

Getting your blood checked can mean making an appointment, getting to a doctor’s office, and fees. But for older folks in Pitkin County, regular senior health fairs make it much easier. They’re part of a wider variety of fairs put on by Aspen Valley Hospital, which hosted one on a recent Friday.

Five employers efforts to improve health care and lower insurance costs is shifting into high gear. The group, known as the Valley Health Alliance, has a new Director and was part of a forum yesterday. Details on what the Alliance may try in the next year were discussed-- and mental health will be at the top of the list.

Marci Krivonen

About 200 people recognized veterans on Tuesday during a ceremony near the courthouse in Aspen. A list of names of Aspen veterans who have died was read as part of the observance. 

The on-looking crowd stretched out from the Veteran’s Memorial Site to Main Street as friends and family members shared words about their vets. Aspen Mayor Steve Skadron said a debt is owed to those who protect our freedom.

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