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Your Morning News - November 24th, 2014

Nov 24, 2014

Drilling to Begin on the Roan Plateau 

The Bureau of Land Management, environmentalists, and the energy industry reached an agreement on Friday regarding a proposal to drill for oil and gas on the Roan Plateau near Rifle.

The Carbondale-based Wilderness Workshop was one of the ten conservation and sportsmens’ groups involved in the lawsuit. On Friday they released a statement saying they’re extremely pleased with the outcome.

Carbondale and Rural Fire Protection District Money Matters

The Carbondale and Rural Fire Protection District is running out of money...but it must figure out how to pay for firefighters and ambulance services. The district is charting a new path after losing forty percent of its funding and a tax proposal last fall. There’s a proposed 2.6 million dollar budget on the table now, and it’s getting reviewed by the district’s board of Directors. Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher spoke with Carbondale Fire Chief Ron Leach. The budget gets a final vote on December 9th.

Aspen’s Victorian Era Buildings History Website

Tonight, Aspen City Council will get a look at a new website showcasing Aspen’s historic Victorian era properties. City staff pulled old photographs and information from their archives to create the site. Nearly 250 properties are featured.

Most of them are residential but others, like the Pitkin County courthouse and the Aspen Community Church, are buildings still visited today by the public.

Historic Preservation Officer for the City Amy Simon says the properties include a brief history on the website and a map from the time period.

“These are properties that have been identified as historic for some 40 years in the community and a lot of the information about the properties has been stored at City Hall. We wanted to make it a lot easier for anyone to get ahold of it and to learn something about town.”

A year ago City staff created a similar site featuring modern era properties. Simon thinks the new site will be visited by historians, locals, property owners and local government leaders.

Winternational Comes to Aspen

Some of the world’s top women alpine ski racers are training in Aspen this week, in preparation for the FIS Ski World Cup this weekend. The so-called Winternational takes place on Aspen Mountain, starting on Saturday.

Olympic gold medalist Mikaela Shiffrin will race...as well as Julia Mancuso who has four Olympic medals. The races also include top international athletes from 19 countries. The races kick off with Giant Slalom on Saturday morning.

A New Online Tool for Health Care Information

Coloradans have a new online tool to help them use health care effectively and save money.

It’s a website called “Covered U.”

The Colorado Consumer Health Initiative launched the site after national surveys showed confusion about buying and using insurance. Adam Fox says one goal of the site to increase health literacy.

“It’s really important to start kind of establishing a baseline of knowledge on how health insurance works and that’s really what this website is designed to do.”  

The website lets visitors compare insurance options. It also calculates estimated costs of care.... and outlines co-pay differences between going to an emergency room, an urgent care clinic or the doctor's office.