Elise Thatcher

Reporter

Elise Thatcher is a reporter with Aspen Public Radio since 2013. 

Ways To Connect

Good afternoon and welcome to Mountain Edition.

The Roaring Fork Valley is awash with fall colors this week.

Basalt puts together a commission to decide on a way to revitalize old town.

Health insurance rates are going down next year for some residents in the Glenwood Springs area. And that’s partly because some doctors and hospitals have agreed to get paid less.

U.S. Senate candidates in Colorado battle it out for the women’s vote in the November election.

And we look at the 35th annual Aspen Film Fest, opening this weekend.

Colorado Medical Society

Health insurance in the Roaring Fork Valley will be cheaper next year for some residents. The average premium will cost about seven percent less. For someone paying three hundred dollars a month, that’s about twenty dollars less for each payment. One reason for that is some doctors and hospitals are treating patients for less. And the state’s top association for physicians is worried that may have unintended consequences.

Colorado Division of Insurance

Health insurance in the Glenwood Springs area will go down by nearly ten percent next year. That’s on average, and it’s compared to an overall average increase of about one percent across Colorado. State officials gave final approval for the lower rates this week. This comes after concerns about especially high insurance in the Roaring Fork Valley, and an earlier flawed attempt to let consumers review rates beforehand. 

Fall Colors In Full Swing

Sep 22, 2014
Bill Grasse

This week is likely the best time in Colorado for seeing the most brilliant fall colors. Aspens and other trees are turning gold, orange and red, and drawing throngs of tourists. The Roaring Fork Valley is listed this autumn in two major travel guides as a top destination for seeing the leaves change. APR’s Elise Thatcher stops by one iconic location.

Elise Thatcher

The Colorado Department of Transportation has gotten a lot of attention for asking for money. The agency’s put in requests to local governments up and down the Roaring Fork Valley in recent weeks, all for raising funds to replace the Grand Avenue Bridge in Glenwood Springs. Although only Garfield County has fully committed chipping in a certain amount, the promise of some kind of help from Pitkin County, Glenwood Springs, and others has made a difference. CDOT recently checked in with the main funders of the project, and got the green light to keep moving ahead, in part because of that local support. CDOT Program Engineer Joe Elsen is leading the effort, and talks with APR’s Elise Thatcher.

Good afternoon and welcome to Mountain Edition.

Ahead of the mid-term election in November, polls differ on who’s ahead in Colorado’s most contested races.

The Colorado Department of Transportation is asking local governments to help pay for Glenwood’s Grand Avenue bridge. Garfield County has agreed to contribute millions.

Colorado Mountain College administrators are turning their focus to what kids are learning before they walk in the door.

And, a new preschool program serving low-income kids is using lessons about the brain to encourage learning.

Elise Thatcher

The Aspen Community Church has a new leader. Reverend Mike Nickerson has settled in after about two months on the job, and is excited to be in the Roaring Fork Valley. Nickerson, who goes by "Pastor Mike," has lived in a variety of places, most recently on the Front Range and the Pacific Northwest. At previous churches, he’s been successful at bringing in new members, and he says he’s already noticed there’s a spiritual undertone to the Valley. Nickerson talks with APR’s Elise Thatcher.

Elise Thatcher

Colorado Mountain College is turning its focus to what kids are learning before they walk in the door. Right now more than half of incoming students are severely lacking in certain subjects, usually math and English. So now the community college… the largest such network in the state… is working on finding a way to improve what kids are learning in elementary, middle, and high school. It’s part of a larger effort to better serve mountain communities.

CDOT

A new Grand Avenue Bridge is one step closer to becoming a reality. Garfield County Commissioners have voted to contribute three million dollars towards the project -- the first big check from a local government. The support is becoming essential for the project-- and Commissioners were quick to say the Upper Roaring Fork Valley should also pitch in. 

Jim Elwood, outgoing Director of the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport.
Aspen-Pitkin County Airport

Aspen Airport Director Jim Elwood has moved on to new horizons. After leading Pitkin County’s airport for more than a decade, he’s taken the helm at Jackson Hole Airport. Elwood led the Aspen air hub through many challenges, including resolving runway extension problems and helping draft the first master plan in two decades. The Aspen-Pitkin County the airport is now conducting a national search to find a new Director. Elwood talks with Aspen Public Radio’s Roger Adams.

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