Your Morning News - November 25th, 2014

Nov 25, 2014

New Snowmastodon Research Released

A new volume of research documents in detail the Ice Age fossil find in Snowmass Village. The Denver Museum of Nature and Science announced yesterday the so-called Snowmastodon Project Science Volume is being published in an international journal.

Fourteen papers by 47 authors from the United States and abroad contributed to the work. Snowmastodon Project co-leader Dr. Ian Miller says it represents a new benchmark for understanding climate change in the American West.

In 2010 and 2011, scientists recovered tens of thousands of bones from Ziegler Reservoir in Snowmass. The site is most notable for containing the remains of 35 American mastodons.

Teens Face Fines/Jail for Damaging Lakebed

A group of teenagers is facing fines and possible jail time after driving four vehicles into a muddy lakebed on the White River National Forest. Forest Service officials report the vehicles were stuck in the lake bed at Dinkle Lake at the base of Mt. Sopris in late October.

Before the stuck vehicles were removed, they caused significant resource damage to the lake bed. All of the drivers were issued citations totaling more than $2,200. The charges could include up to one year in jail.

Cottonwood Pass Closes for the Season

Interstate-70 is now the only official way to and from the Roaring Fork Valley to Eagle and Vail.

The Eagle County Road and Bridge Department announced yesterday afternoon Cottonwood Pass has closed for the winter season.  

Local Non-Profit Ready to Serve Up an Annual Community Dinner

The organizers of the annual “Farm to Table Community Meal” in Aspen expect about 1,000 people to attend.

The free community meal is held just before Thanksgiving every year at the Aspen High School commons. The non-profit “Aspen Tree” organizes the all-organic meal and works to get all of the ingredients from local sources.

Eden Vardy is the Executive Director of Aspen Tree. He says the meal brings together all of the demographics of Aspen.

“The fun thing about the meal for me is that we’ll have folks there who can actually really use a meal and are grateful for it. And they’ll be sitting next to folks who come from a much more affluent background.”

The meal starts at 5 o’clock today.

Immigration Lawyer Concerned About Scammers After Obama Announcement

In the wake of President Obama’s Executive Action on immigration, one law firm in Glenwood Springs is putting out a warning. Like experts around the country, they’re afraid unauthorized consultants, or notarios, will take advantage of people wanting to apply for temporary legal status.

Even though President Obama announced plans to expand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program and shield parents of U.S. citizens from being deported. Many of these programs won’t go into place for several weeks.

That’s why Glenwood Springs immigration lawyer Jennifer Smith started warning her clients about so-called notaries or those who practice law without a license.

“Because there is a massive amount of people who will be eligible for these programs, there is a small gap in that not every private attorney is ready to jump in. So there will be other people who are not licensed attorneys who don’t have the best intentions in mind who may try to come in and fill that gap.”

She says many times notarios give people misleading or bad information. To clear up confusion her office will offer advice at no charge on December 5th.

Many of those applying for deferred action will likely be on the Western Slope, where there’s the largest concentration of immigrants in the state. According to an analysis from Rocky Mountain PBS, Eagle County has the highest number of immigrants statewide. And, ski country counties tend to rank high.

State to Study Benefits of Medical Marijuana

Colorado wants to know whether medical marijuana could help combat PTSD, Parkinson’s disease, or a range of other maladies.

The state’s Health Board will decide whether to spend millions of dollars in medical marijuana cash on eight studies. The money comes from application fees for medicinal pot shops. Research proposals include reviewing the effects of pot on chronic pain and certain kinds of epilepsy in kids.

Most of the study ideas come from researchers with the University of Colorado Medical School in Denver. There’s ten million dollars on the line, set aside by state law for objective scientific research. It’s possible all the proposals on the table could get funded. The State Health Board will decide in Mid-December.