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Your Morning News - January 8th, 2015

Jan 8, 2015

RFTA Looks to Expand Parking for Riders

The Roaring Fork Transportation Authority is trying to solve the problem of overflowing parking lots at its bus stops. RFTA’s Board of Directors will consider possible solutions at its meeting today.

Parking lots for bus riders fill up fast in the Roaring Fork Valley. By 8am on weekdays lots in places like El Jebel and Carbondale are packed.

RFTA officials point to positive growth in ridership since the Bus Rapid Transit system started in 2013. Three new parking lots - in Carbondale, Glenwood Springs and New Castle are planned. In the meantime, RFTA must find a way to free up spots for transit users. Michael Hermes is Director of Facilities for RFTA.

“There are activities going on at the park and ride’s not related to transit such as ridesharing and patrons of adjacent businesses parking there. So, other uses are taking up spots that are intended for transit users.”

The board will discuss whether RFTA should take enforcement measures to keep drivers out who aren’t intending on taking the bus. RFTA manages more than 800 parking spots in its system from Rifle to Aspen.

Local Senior Health Program Honored

A health program for seniors in the Roaring Fork Valley has won statewide recognition from the Colorado Department of Public Health. Classes with the Well and Wise program are designed to help those 55 and older keep their balance and avoid falls. The goal is to improve health for seniors is Eagle, Pitkin, and Garfield County while making it easier to live independently. Last year, more than 200 seniors took part in the program.

Aspen Sales Taxes are Up

The City of Aspen continues to see gains in its sales tax collections. In the latest report for November, the resort town saw a 2% increase in retail sales tax collections over the same month in 2013. The revenue is 10% above year-to-date collections relative to 2013. The industries posting the largest monthly gains were accommodations, liquor and marijuana, and clothing. The construction and utilities sectors saw declines.

X Games TV Coverage Announced

ESPN announced its television coverage for the Winter X Games in Aspen, yesterday. The sports network along with ABC will televise 16 hours of live competition with additional coverage on ESPN-3 and across digital platforms. The coverage starts Wednesday, January 21st with the Women’s Ski Superpipe Final.

Police Seek Suspect in Colorado NAACP Bombing

The FBI is looking for a person of interest in an explosion outside the local chapter of the NAACP in Colorado Springs.  

The device exploded Tuesday morning outside the building that houses the offices of the civil rights organization and one other business.  A gasoline can was placed next to the device, but did not explode. There were no injuries and minor damage to the building.

Amy Sanders with the FBI says they’re investigating.

“Potential hate crime or domestic terrorism are possibilities among multiple potential motives for this crime.”

Authorities say they’re looking to speak with someone described as a white man around 40 years old in relation to the incident. They’re asking anyone with information to call the FBI Denver tip line.