Elise Thatcher

Reporter

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

Ways To Connect

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.

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.

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