Elise Thatcher

Reporter

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

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Aspen City Council is taking up what to do with Aspen’s former Art Museum. Council will be considering proposals in the coming weeks. There are five contenders vying for the city-owned building, also called the Old Power House. Council will be reviewing them in a series of work sessions beginning Monday and continuing through March 17th. Some meetings will include a public hearing. The City says its possible Council may decide not to go with any of the five.

Officials say radon has been detected in the Pitkin County Library in Aspen. A spokesperson said Thursday afternoon it was not found in public areas, but does affect a break room and office, as well as a storage room in the lower level of the building. Officials say staff do not spend much time there. The radon levels showed up in testing to get ready for the library expansion.

The Board of Education for the Roaring Fork School District met Wednesday night. Officials are tackling a contentious decision, about superintendent contracts for next year. 

Welcome to Mountain Edition.

A warrant is issued this week for a Carbondale man accused of killing his wife.

A long-time local and avid skier dies in an avalanche outside the Aspen Mountain ski area boundary.

And, a popular watering hole is closing in Aspen this spring.

Bus drivers in the Valley are voting to unionize. They’re concerned about wages.

Governor Hickenlooper’s oil and gas task force released its findings. They’re getting mixed reviews.

Roaring Fork Transit Authority

Full time bus drivers for the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority are voting on whether to unionize. If approved, it would be the first time in more than a decade for drivers to be a part of a union. 

Ed Cortez was selected by other bus drivers to lead the union vote. He’s been a full time driver for two and a half years, and describes what it was like getting behind the wheel. 

“Well, initially I was very nervous, very intimidated. Slowly but surely I realized that I really loved driving.”

A big reason is getting to know riders from all backgrounds-- from regular folks to politicians.

The Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) says there is an arrest warrant issued for Arturo Navarrete-Portillo (DOB: 11/14/68) of Carbondale for his alleged role in the death of his wife, Maria Carminda Portillo-Amaya (DOB 05/26/1984), last week. Navarrete-Portillo faces charges of first degree murder for the crime occurring on February  16, 2015.

Aspen Pitkin County Housing Authority

  A subcontractor has been dropped from a complex lawsuit over an Aspen affordable housing development. A judge has approved the change, because of the subcontractor's settlement with Denver-based Shaw Construction. At issue is faulty siding at Burlingame Ranch, west of Aspen. The condo association there sued the maker of that siding. Then other companies were brought into the suit, like Shaw Construction, who in turn sued the subcontractor, Studmaster Framing Incorporated.

Elise Thatcher

Memorial benches have been a long tradition in Aspen. But about a dozen that have been living in Galena Plaza now need a new home. The benches honor members of the community, whether they’re long time locals, part timers, or have otherwise spent time in Aspen. Thirteen benches need new homes because they’ll uprooted for a construction project on Galena Plaza.

Will Grandbois / Post Independent

Law enforcement has released the name of a woman who died in Carbondale earlier this week. Authorities say Maria Carminda Portillo-Amaya died on Monday. She was thirty years old, and the victim of a homicide. Portillo-Amaya’s name was released after her family worked with the Garfield County Coroner. There was also forensic testing for fingerprints, carried out by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Department of Homeland Security. The man suspected of killing the victim is still in a hospital in Grand Junction, receiving treatment for injuries sustained in a truck accident in Carbondale.

Welcome to Mountain Edition.

After a brutal car accident, a Carbondale man confesses to killing his wife. A homicide investigation is underway.

An Aspen teenager appears in court after a controversial arrest.

And that arrest sheds light on a radio communication problem for law enforcement around the Aspen schools.

Rafting companies praise the idea of a national monument along the popular Arkansas River.

The City of Aspen starts cutting down trees to fix a leaky parking garage.

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