Carolyn Sackariason

News Director

Born and raised in the suburbs of Minneapolis, Carolyn Sackariason started her journalism career in 1995 as a reporter for a daily newspaper in Fairmont, Minnesota. After a short nine months of covering that small-town farming community, she jumped at the chance to move to the Roaring Fork Valley and become a reporter at the Aspen Daily News.

She eventually was promoted to editor and remained at the helm until she was tapped to be the publisher of the Snowmass Sun in 1999. Sackariason was there until 2001 when another opportunity presented itself. The owner of the Daily News and its former general manager asked her to come to Santa Monica, Calif., and start a daily newspaper there. She remains co-owner of the paper, which is now in its 13th year. She moved back to the valley in 2006 and worked briefly at The Aspen Times as a reporter and business editor. But independent journalism called her back to the Daily News, where she went through her second stint as editor in 2010.

This is her first foray in radio and took the job of news director of Aspen Public Radio in January 2015.

When she is not toiling away in the studio and on the beat, Sackariason spends her time on the mountains, hiking and skiing, and rafting the Colorado and Roaring Fork rivers in the summer, along with her daily morning golf rounds.

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

The Aspen City Council this week chose a brewery/business incubator/TV station to be the new tenant at the old art museum.

The long dormant Buffalo Valley property outside of Glenwood Springs looks like it will become an apartment complex.

A new aerial fire center is coming to the Rifle airport. And the citizens of that town may just get a dose of fluoride in their water.

Aspen Snowmass/Jeremy Swanson

The Aspen Skiing Company closed 30% of the terrain on three of its mountains Wednesday. Aspen Public Radio’s Carolyn Sackariason reports.

There’s been at least four nights where temperatures did not allow for the snow to freeze, causing instability on the steep stuff. Company spokesman Jeff Hanle.

Employees in the District Attorney’s office have relocated offices after high levels of radon were detected in the basement of the courthouse. Routine testing revealed elevated levels of the naturally occurring gas where the DA’s office and Aspen Police Department are located. Office space on the 2nd floor of the Pitkin County Courthouse Plaza building has been made available while testing and mitigation are underway.

Join Aspen Public Radio for a live broadcast of a Town Hall Meeting on the “Keep Aspen Aspen” ballot referendum, Wednesday March 25th from 5:30-7:00pm from the Belly Up Aspen.

This moderated forum is open to the public and will feature proponents and opponents of the measure along with Michael Kinsley – an architect of the slow growth zoning in Pitkin County.

The town hall is free to attend or listen live worldwide through Aspen Public Radio, on-air or on-line, for this special event.

aspensciencecenter.org

When the Aspen City Council makes a decision tonight on who will occupy the old Powerhouse building, how much the tenant will pay in rent will not be a factor. Aspen Public Radio’s Carolyn Sackariason reports.

Who ever is chosen among the five finalists for the space on Mill Street will have to negotiate rent and other financial matters with city officials. The Aspen Art Museum paid the city just one dollar a year to occupy the space.

Assistant City Manager Barry Crook says the lease details were intentionally omitted from the selection process.

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

The City of Aspen just got the results of an audit of a multi-year parking scam. Elected officials wonder if they should look at other departments as closely.

After three months of analyzing and negotiating, the Roaring Fork School District finally inked contracts with its superintendent and assistant superintendent.

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

RFTA bus drivers voted to unionize this week. It looks like better wages are on the horizon.

What can be done, if anything, about the valley’s dwindling workforce, low wages and high cost of living?

Meanwhile, over-use of the national forest is once again at the forefront of conversation. Expect to see more rangers patroling the Hanging Lake trail in Glenwood Canyon.

President Obama has recommended that police officers around the country wear body cameras. Is that necessary here?

And elected officials on the lower end of the valley are wondering whether they should continue to protect the Rio Grande trail for a future rail line.

Joining this week are Curtis Wackerle, Managing Editor of the Aspen Daily News, Randy Essex, Editor of the Glenwood Post Independent and Brent Gardner-Smith, executive director of Aspen Journalism and Michael Miracle, editor of Aspen Sojourner magazine.

Law enforcement agencies in Aspen have been breaking a law that’s been on the books for 23 years, or at least the spirit of it. As Aspen Public Radio’s Carolyn Sackariason reports, the law is meant to limit pollution.

If you walk by the offices of the Aspen Police or Pitkin County Sheriff on any given night, you might notice the sounds and smells of idling car engines.

YouTube/Lauren Glendenning

The attorney who represents the teenager who was taken down forcefully in Aspen last month believes the police officer did not have probable cause to arrest him. Aspen Public Radio’s Carolyn Sackariason reports.

Instead of fighting the charges of underage marijuana possession and resisting arrest on the argument that Aspen Police officer Adam Loudon didn’t have probable cause to handcuff the high school student, he pleaded guilty on Monday.

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

Aspen lost another longtime local in avalanche. And this week marks the first anniversary of the murder of Aspen native Nancy Pfister.

Municipal elections are coming up in Glenwood Springs and Aspen. This year, it’s all mail-in. But in Aspen, you can still vote in a traditional way at two polling places.

Meanwhile, Aspen City Council is countering a citizen ballot measure on development limitations. Will it just confuse voters more?

Elise Thatcher

This spring’s municipal election in Aspen could cost twice as much as previous ones. That’s in an effort to increase voter turnout. The majority of Aspen City Council earlier this year decided to hold an all mail-in ballot election. The theory is that more people will vote from the comfort of their homes, rather than going to a polling place.

The future owner of the space where Finbarr’s Irish Pub and Kitchen is located says he plans to keep it as a bar and restaurant. Karim Souki says he is looking for an operator to run a place where locals will come. When the establishment will open is unknown, but it could be months after Finbarr’s April 2nd closing. That’s partly because the adjacent “speakeasy” space needs to be remodeled and will be part of the new restaurant.

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

Business is booming this winter season. Occupancy is up in local hotels and so is the average room rate - surpassing $500 a night.

Carbondale saw its first murder in 12 years and the murderer confessed to killing his wife while being airlifted to a hospital in Grand Junction.

The Aspen community continues to debate constitutional rights and excessive force after a teenager was taken to the ground and arrested for suspected marijuana possession.

YouTube/Lauren Glendenning

Four charges were filed today against a 16-year-old Aspen high school student. The charges are Resisting Arrest, Obstructing a Peace Officer, Underage Possession of Marijuana and Underage Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

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

Controversy continues to swirl around the forceful arrest of an Aspen High School teenager suspected of possessing pot.

Meanwhile, a Silt man's dreams of becoming a businessman selling marijuana edibles at a New Castle high school were stymied after one of his teenaged customers got sick.

In downtown Aspen, a few changes happened in the commercial real estate world. The Hotel Jerome made history when it sold for over $70 million.

And city council approved an affordable lodge on the other side of town.

How confused are tourists with the city of Aspen's parking rules?

Spring is around the corner and so will be the presence of bears. Should a spring bear hunt be brought back?

And local bus drivers are looking to unionize.

Joining me this week are Curtis Wackerle, Managing Editor of the Aspen Daily News, Randy Essex, Editor of the Glenwood Post Independent, Michael Miracle, the editor of Sojourner magazine and Andy Stone, former editor and columnist of the Aspen Times.

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.

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.

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

An infamous celebrity athlete attempted in vain to keep his name out of national headlines. But an incident in an Aspen neighborhood prevented that from happening.

And, a third party has entered the fray of finding a new superintendent for the Roaring Fork School District.

Will voters in Aspen be asked to redirect a real estate transfer tax to fund health and human services?

The city sales tax report for 2014 is in. It appears the Aspen economy has more than rebounded. Aspen Public Radio’s Carolyn Sackariason reports.

People in Aspen shopped more, drank more, ate more and consumed pot more in 2014 than the previous year.

That’s according a recently-released sales tax consumption report, which shows economic activity within the city of Aspen last year is up 10 percent over 2013. That amounts to nearly $624 million in commerce.

Pitkin County Library

Later this month the Pitkin County Library will begin its multi-million dollar expansion project. In order to save time and money, the plan is to move about one-third of the collection to the old Aspen Art Museum. Aspen Public Radio's Carolyn Sackariason has more.

Head librarian Kathy Chandler is hoping that a new tenant for the museum space will not be ready to move in by April. That’s when she wants to move library operations to the empty building on North Mill Street.

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