Elise Thatcher

Reporter

Elise Thatcher joined Aspen Public Radio in 2013. Previously she worked as a freelancer, covering Southwestern Colorado, as well as with Colorado Public Radio, National Public Radio, KBOO Portland, and KWCW Whitman College. Elise is an award-winning journalist who relishes digging deep into complex issues, as well as covering day to day stories. When away from the microphone, she enjoys rock climbing, mountain biking, backcountry skiing, and other outdoor opportunities.

Ways to Connect

The Schenck Family

  Teachers and students at Aspen’s Middle School are still adjusting to life without Kellie Schenck. She passed away on May 20th, at the age of 46, after a long battle with cancer. Schenck taught fifth grade for more than twenty years, inspiring a legion of students and fellow teachers. On Sunday, family and friends are holding a community celebration in her memory at the Benedict Music tent in Aspen. Principal Craig Rogers was a friend and colleague from the early years, and spoke with Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher.

Elise Thatcher

Today is a big day for a new Carbondale resident. The sculpture called “Sewing the Future,” is being dedicated. The twenty foot tall piece is planted in the middle of Carbondale’s new roundabout on Highway 133. Created by artist James Surls, it shows needles, a tree, and other elements arranged in a vase.

Jon Fredericks/LANDWEST

The Roaring Fork Valley Regional Planning Commission will review a proposed housing development in El Jebel today. It’s a project that could bring needed affordable homes to an area seeing barely any inventory and skyrocketing prices. Aspen Public Radio's Elise Thatcher continues our series on the housing shortage today with an exploration of new proposed developments, and some already in the works.

Elise Thatcher

  The Roaring Fork School District has a problem. There isn't enough room in schools for all their students, and some buildings are in bad shape. The District may ask voters this fall for money to fix those issues. The measure would also make sure the District can keep something called a BEST grant. Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher talks with Assistant Superintendent Shannon Pelland about the grant and the possible fall funding measure. The District is expected to decide this summer whether to put the measure on the ballot.

Elise Thatcher

Replacing the Grand Avenue Bridge will not have  a significant impact on the Glenwood Springs community. That's the finding after a federal review of the plan to replace the aging structure.

https://twitter.com/bertmyrin

  

Voters have chosen a winner for Aspen’s last City Council seat. Bert Myrin handily won in a runoff election that ended Tuesday night. In preliminary results, Myrin snagged 65% to Mick Ireland's 34%.

GrassRoots TV

Last night, Aspen City Council approved a second affordable lodge proposal by prolific land owner Mark Hunt. Councilmembers gave the go-ahead for what’s called Base 2. It would replace a Conoco gas station on Main Street, and off-site parking has been a point of contention.

Pitkin and Garfield Counties are trying to figure out why 911 systems went down during a communications blackout last week. Pitkin County Emergency Dispatch Director Bruce Romero wants answers on a couple of issues. First, why wasn’t it possible to at least call 911?

Elise Thatcher

Attorneys and marijuana advocates gathered in Aspen this weekend. The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML, has been meeting in Aspen since the early 90s. Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher has this snapshot of the event.

Eagle County

  Starting today, there are parking changes at the Eagle County Regional Airport. Free parking at the airport has been an attractive option for some flying out of the Roaring Fork Valley area. That goes away today for what the airport calls its "close-in" lots. 

Carbondale & Rural Fire Protection District

The Carbondale & Rural Fire Protection District is sending out 3500 surveys, which can also be filled out online. The District says they’ll be confidential, and should take less than 10 minutes. 

US Fish and Wildlife Service

The Interior Department unveiled nearly a hundred tailored plans for improving the bird’s habitat across eleven Western States. That includes restricting what people can do in certain areas. Greater Sage Grouse populations have been struggling, and Garfield County Commissioners have their own plan in place to help the birds.

Elise Thatcher

Governor John Hickenlooper will be a part of the Aspen High School commencement ceremonies on Saturday afternoon. The governor, a Democrat, will deliver the keynote address at the Benedict Music tent for the Class of 2015.

Memorial Day kicks off the week, and the Roaring Fork Valley gets walloped by a communications blackout.

Aspen city council still can’t decide on a proposed affordable lodge. There could be a midvalley collaboration to increase childcare and affordable housing.

Carbondale’s marijuana industry continues to expand, as the Roaring Fork School District hopes to bring down the number of kids using pot.

Aspen’s mayor gets back from Italy with a new sister city. We get the latest for this year’s wildfire outlook, and the Hope Center celebrates 5 years.

On Tuesday night, Carbondale Town Trustees considered yet another aspect of marijuana in the midvalley. They approved $20,000 for the Roaring Fork School District for mental health counseling, and to educate kids and parents about pot. Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher talks with with the District’s Chief Academic Officer, Rob Stein.

Elise Thatcher

Carbondale’s marijuana industry is growing, and once again, the Doctor’s Garden is at the forefront. In 2014, the business opened the first retail marijuana store in the Roaring Fork Valley. Now, a new branch of that business has gotten the go-ahead to extract marijuana oil and make edibles with it.

  CenturyLink has restored cell coverage after a severe outage in Aspen and the midvalley. Service problems were especially affecting Carbondale residents. Centurylink spokesman Sara Spaulding says service was restored before 10 a.m. She sent this update earlier Wednesday morning.

Elise Thatcher

Officials in the midvalley are trying to find a way to join forces on two big issues: childcare and affordable housing. Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher was at an unusual collaborative meeting last night and has this report.     

Today is Memorial Day, and recent changes for veterans aim to make it easier for former service members to get medical care in rural areas, like the Roaring Fork Valley. Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher has this update.

Pitkin County

  Pitkin County is looking at buying more property. The County says it’s considering purchasing the Deer Creek Ranch parcel in Snowmass Canyon. The nearly 40 acre property is listed for sale at $2.9 million but the County is looking at offering $2.5 million. If purchased, it would be managed by the County’s Open Space and Trails program.

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