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Your Morning News - February 6th, 2015

Feb 6, 2015

Carbondale Fire Hires Former Board Member As Consultant

Carbondale’s fire department is hiring multiple consulting firms to help the cash-strapped district get back on track. 

The Carbondale and Rural Fire Protection District is dealing with a rapidly dwindling budget. One of the consulting firms contracted to help is run by a former fire board member who lost in the most recent board election. Mark Chain Consulting LLC, along with Lamont Planning Services, will receive more than $53,000 to lead community involvement, surveys, outreach and review financial matters.

President of the fire district board, Gene Schilling, says the firms were selected because, “the best for what the fire district needed for the master plan.”

The other consulting firm is based in Florida. In total, the district plans to spend more than $86,000 on the effort.

Wheeler Exec. Director Job Opening Attracts 81 Applicants

Two key leadership positions in Aspen City Hall are closer to being filled. The director of parking and the executive director of the Wheeler Opera House have been open for months while city officials find the right candidate. 

The job posting for a new parking director closes today. So far 21 people have applied. The posting for the Wheeler top job closed last week. A total of 81 applications were submitted from both local and national applicants, according to the city. That job pays between $80,000 and $111,000  a year. The director of parking has a salary range between $66,000 and $91,000.

The parking director post has been vacant since October, when Tim Ware was demoted to a supervisor job in the city’s ice facilities department. That was after the discovery of around $800,000 in lost revenue as a result of a multi-year parking scam. Gram Slaton left the Wheeler as its director in December.

AVSC's Nordic Bonfire Set For Saturday

The Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club’s Nordic program is preparing for its largest fundraiser of the year. The 30th annual Nordic Bonfire Dinner will be held on Saturday night. 

The fundraiser is a “progressive dinner” that takes participants on skis and snowshoes from food station to food station around the Aspen Golf Course. Last year 300 people attended, raising $10,000 for the club.

Next to the club’s alpine offerings, the Nordic program is relatively small, with just 160 kids. Julia Budsey, 17, says she’s an endurance athlete who runs cross-country in the spring.

“It translates really in the winter onto the snow with our Nordic skis. It’s a similar environment to running. The community’s so welcoming, it’s so fun to be around,” she says.

The team has some of the best Nordic athletes in the country. One skier is competing in Junior World Championships right now in Kazakhstan.

Nordic program director Maria Stuber says the kids are dedicated athletes.

“The work ethic that we get on the Nordic team is like none you’ll find anywhere else. These are kids who want to work hard whether anyone’s watching them, or not,” she says.

The bonfire dinner began as a fundraiser for the Aspen Snowmass Nordic Council but eventually shifted its focus to AVSC. The event starts at 6 p.m. on Saturday.

Alice McKennis Out In Downhill Race

Glenwood Springs ski racer Alice McKennis won’t compete in today’s women’s downhill contest at the World Alpine Ski Championships at Beaver Creek. The 25-year-old didn’t make the cut in Thursday’s training run. Four of her teammates will compete, including Julia Mancuso and Lindsey Vonn.

Bode Miller Takes Hard Fall

Long-time alpine ski racer Bode Miller took a rough fall at the World Alpine Ski Championships at Beaver Creek on Thursday. The Olympian and world champion hooked his left arm on a gate during the men’s super giant slalom contest. Head U.s. men’s coach Sasha Rearick says Miller spun around after hooking his arm.

“Instantly, when a crash like that happens, your emotions go directly to whether he’s going to be okay. Right away, when you see something like that live, your emotions go straight to the athlete,” he says.

Miller received first aid on the course and was able to walk out of the finish area. He was taken to Vail Valley Medical Center. The 37-year-old was trying to become the second oldest World Championships medalist.