Elise Thatcher

Reporter

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

Ways To Connect

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.

Christopher Mullen/Glenwood Springs Post Independent

   Valley View Hospital issued a statement Thursday afternoon saying doctors are treating a number of patients with symptoms similar to a virus making the rounds in Denver.  Valley View Executive Director Stacey Gavrell released the statement, which says, quote: “While a number of patients have had respiratory symptoms that could be the EV-D68, they have not been confirmed.”

Good afternoon and welcome to Mountain Edition.

So far it looks like the Roaring Fork Valley is holding off a nasty virus that’s raising concerns in Denver. 

Bears are causing some problems, we hear what police in Basalt are doing about it.

One of the visible leftover structures from the recession in the Upper Valley may disappear later this year.

And more people are showing interest in farming Pitkin county open space land.

Climate change reports are frequent-- we check on one about water in the Valley.

We’ll get the details on how Aspen’s airport could get quieter and say “goodbye” to long time airport director Jim Elwood.

Centers for Disease Control

Health officials in the Roaring Fork Valley say they’re not worried about a severe respiratory illness making the rounds in Denver and other states. Doctors in Denver have treated thousands of patients, some of them confirmed cases of a rare virus called Enterovirus D68 (or EV-D68). 

As of Wednesday afternoon, representatives of Eagle and Pitkin counties said they were not aware of any cases.  Garfield County reported one case, but then said there wasn't enough information from Valley View Hospital to confirm. Requests to Valley View on Thursday were unanswered.

Mead & Hunt, 2013 Fly Green/Fly Quiet Annual Report

There more newer, quieter private jets touching down in Aspen compared to ten years ago. That’s part of an ongoing, and unusual, effort by the airport to cut down on plane noise. And private pilots have played an important role.

Pitkin County

Pitkin County is being asked to help pay for a bridge in Glenwood Springs. The well worn and narrow Grand Avenue Bridge is ten years past its life expectancy… is getting unsafe to drive across and may not survive major erosion from the Colorado River. But, the cost of the project is going up, and now the Colorado Department of Transportation is asking nearby local governments to cover it. CDOT representatives made a formal plea to Pitkin County Commissioners at a meeting in Aspen on Tuesday.

Western Water Assessment

There are lots of reports about climate change these days-- and a recent one takes a close look at how rising temperatures could affect water in Colorado. The report finds temperatures are likely to go up by several degrees by 2050… and that likely means less water. The findings come as water experts across Colorado are already planning for a future with less water. Locally, nonprofits are tracking temperature changes in the Roaring Fork Valley. Jeff Lukas is the lead researcher on the latest water and climate change study. He’s with Western Water Assessment, a CU Boulder program funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Lukas talks with APR’s Elise Thatcher about what temperature changes could mean for rain and snow in the Roaring Fork Valley.

Rocky Mountain Crisis Partners

Mental illness is a major issue in the Roaring Fork Valley, and around Colorado. As part of his administration’s plan to help more people get help for untreated illness, Governor John Hickenlooper announced a new statewide mental health hotline last month. Bev Marquez is the CEO of Rocky Mountain Crisis Partners, the organization running that new hotline. Marquez talks with Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher about the response so far—and whether residents in the Roaring Fork Valley should call the statewide hotline or a local hotline first.

    

Good afternoon and welcome to Mountain Edition.

As community leaders look ahead to the ski season, they’re thinking about marijuana now and how to keep tourists from overdosing.

The State of Colorado is also planning education campaigns around legal pot and using tax revenue from marijuana sales to fund those efforts.

A new report shows students in Colorado are missing too many days of school and it’s reflected in their test scores.

We get the latest numbers on just how busy Aspen was this summer was, business and traffic in town were up.

There’s been an uptick in concerns about a plan to replace the Grand Avenue Bridge in Glenwood Springs, we’ll find out why.

That’s all coming up on Mountain Edition... right now.

Elise Thatcher

Replacing the Grand Avenue bridge in Glenwood Springs is at the top of the list for state highway projects next year. The state has allocated almost a hundred million dollars. As Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher reports as the project draws near, not everyone in Glenwood is happy about it.

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