Nina has been reporting for VPR since 1996, primarily focusing on the Rutland area. An experienced journalist, Nina covered international and national news for seven years with the Voice of America. She has also served as a foreign correspondent in Germany, for both the VOA and Marketplace.

Your Morning News - February 10th, 2015

Feb 10, 2015

Basalt May Take Out Loans for New Underpass

The Town of Basalt may take out short-term loans in order to pay for a new underpass at a busy Highway 82 intersection. A pedestrian underpass is planned at Basalt Avenue, near RFTA’s Bus Rapid Transit stop.

The project is projected to cost $4.8 million with contributions from CDOT, RFTA and possibly other local governments. Basalt plans to go before the Elected Officials Transportation Committee next month. Town Manager Mike Scanlon says the project has been on Basalt’s radar for years.

“It was the number two project in 2004 and I think it’s always been that high. It’s just that nobody’s put the effort and financing together.”

He says the underpass will improve safety and provide a better connection between Old Town and southside Basalt. Construction could start this fall. Basalt Town Council will consider using loans or “certificates of participation” at its meeting tonight.

Elise Thatcher

A video of a student being arrested Friday has gone viral throughout the Roaring Fork Valley. Aspen Police say the juvenile had marijuana, and resisted arrest.

A video captured by a nearby student went viral over the weekend. It shows two police officers and a citizen taking down the teenager who is screaming. Police stand by how the arrest was handled and want the community to know the use of force by the officer was appropriate. However, there’s growing criticism by members of the community on how Aspen Police handled the situation.

Elissa Nadworny is a digital journalist on the NPR Ed Team. She writes for the blog, shoots photos and videos and works with the team on their digital strategy.

Prior to coming to NPR, Nadworny worked at Bloomberg News, reporting on the White House. For Bloomberg, she's covered stories on immigration, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's return to the U.S. and the president's health. You can still occasionally catch her reporting from 1600 Penn on the weekends.

Your Evening News - February 9th, 2015

Feb 9, 2015

Aspen Police Chief Responds on Teen Arrest Video

A video of a student being arrested Friday has gone viral throughout the Roaring Fork Valley. Police say the juvenile had marijuana, and resisted arrest. Aspen Public Radio’s Carolyn Sackariason spoke with Aspen Police chief Richard Pryor about what happened.

A 16-year-old was taken down by two police officers and a civilian in a bus shelter near Aspen High School on Friday. That was after Officer Adam Loudon says he observed that the student had marijuana. He allegedly resisted arrest. The incident has some in the community saying it was excessive force. Chief Pryor defends his officers’ actions, saying officer Loudon attempted to talk to the boy but his behavior led to an elevated response.

“I can understand the angst in the video creates amongst some in the community. In terms of the contact, there’s no cooperation, there’s no willingness to engage in dialogue, there’s nowhere to go. That’s where things start to get really difficult for both sides.”

Pryor says his office is looking into revealing more information about what happened before the altercation.

Isabelle Selby

Anthony Doerr is the author of The Shell Collector, About Grace, Four Seasons in Rome, Memory Wall, and the new novel All the Light We Cannot See. Doerr’s fiction has won four O. Henry Prizes and has been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories, The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories, and The Scribner Anthology of Contemporary Fiction. He has won the Barnes & Noble Discover Prize, the Rome Prize, the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, an NEA Fellowship, the National Magazine Award for Fiction, three Pushcart Prizes, the Pacific Northwest Book Award, three Ohioana Book Awards, the 2010 Story Prize, which is considered the most prestigious prize in the U.S. for a collection of short stories, and the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award, which is the largest prize in the world for a single short story.  His books have twice been a New York Times Notable Book, an American Library Association Book of the Year, and made lots of other year end “Best Of” lists. In 2007, the British literary magazine Granta placed Doerr on its list of 21 Best Young American novelists.

Doerr lives in Boise, Idaho with his wife and two sons.

YouTube/Lauren Glendenning

Aspen Police say a routine patrol midday Friday escalated. An officer ended up calling for back-up and arrested a high school aged student. That was after the officer spotted the offender having pot in his possession. The student resisted arrest and a tussle ensued. A video captured by a nearby student went viral over the weekend. It shows two police officers and a citizen taking down the teenager who is screaming. Police stand by how the arrest was handled and want the community to know the use of force by the officer was appropriate.

Molly Dorais is the Director of Admissions at the Colorado Rocky Mountain School. She discusses the school's unique curriculum and programs, and the types of students who attend CRMS. The school is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization, so tuition goes directly into the school's programs, faculty, and facilities. While the price tag might shock prospective students and their families, Dorais discusses CRMS's generous financial aid program. 

To learn more about the Colorado Rocky Mountain School, visit www.crms.org

West Slope Back On Drought Index

In the dry month of January, snowpack levels in nearly every river basin in Colorado declined. In the Roaring Fork Valley, not only did the amount of snow diminish but drought conditions returned. 

The U.S. Drought Monitor released Thursday puts the Western Slope in the “abnormally dry” category, including the majority of Eagle and Pitkin Counties and all of Garfield County. “Abnormally dry” is the least severe of five categories.

Pages