2014 Winter Olympics

With just eight days until the Olympics start in Sochi...the Aspen community sends off four local athletes who will compete.

Health care prices in the Valley have been rising for years. Now, a handful of local employers are trying to improve worker’s health--and bring down costs.

Basalt’s setting a path for its future...in a non-traditional way. It’s using a method called “crowd-sourcing” to gather input on urban planning.

A new group in Aspen wants to make it easier for young people to stay in Aspen. City council approved the Next Generation Advisory Commission this week.

And, as Colorado’s population grows, the state’s water supply can’t keep up. A Basalt organization is involved in a statewide water plan.

Terrain parks are ubiquitous at ski resorts around the country. Now, there’s an effort to make them safer.

Finally, Aspen’s Torin Yater-Wallace is heading to the Olympics. The freeskier is recovering from injuries...but, says he’s ready to compete.

The X Games are in full swing, with eye popping jumps and bright lights. And, it’ll be on the calendar for five more years, thanks to a new agreement.

Hometown favorite Gretchen Bleiler is competing in this week’s event-- her last X Games before she retires.

Aspen Police say a so-called skimming device was discovered at a local ATM. We’ll find out what that means for locals.

Cell service can be a real pain in Snowmass Village. But improving coverage can be tricky.

We’ll hear how a state senator hopes to expand broadband internet in the Valley….

Whether there’s more snow coming any time soon…

And the long view from a decorated athlete... about his experience at the Olympics.

Jack Dempsey/AP

Aspen athlete Chris Klug knows a thing or two about participating in the Olympics. The three-time Olympic snowboard racer no longer competes but fondly remembers his time on the international stage. Klug defied the odds, earning a bronze medal in the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City after receiving a liver transplant. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen sat down with him recently to talk about what the rising stars in snowsports can expect in Sochi.

Colorado made history this week when retail marijuana stores around the state opened for business. People traveled across the country to stand in line at several Denver-area businesses.

Here in the Roaring Fork Valley, retail pot shops will open later this year. In the meantime, law enforcement is getting ready.

Aspen resident and Nordic skier Simi Hamilton also made history-- but in a totally different field. He’s the first American male to win a World Cup stage race. The win gets him closer to the Olympics.

Paying for health insurance is really expensive in the Roaring Fork Valley compared to most other places in Colorado. Now, Governor Hickenlooper says he may get involved in lowering premiums.

Garfield County believes the state did a bad job setting up the prices for those premiums. But some experts say insurance officials didn’t break the rules. We’ll hear from one expert who’s asking why medical care is so high in the Valley and other resort communities.

Finally, sometimes the the road to Sochi is especially difficult. Ski racer Wiley Maple’s efforts were cut short after an old injury flared up.

Congressman Scott Tipton looks back on 2013 and the legislation he supported. Our Roger Adams also asks him about 2014 - when campaigning goes into full swing for the next election.

Also today, figure skater Jeremy Abbott wants 2014 to be his Olympic year. He’s focusing his sights on Sochi. And, we caught up with where it all started: the Aspen Ice Garden.

Seatbelts could have prevented some major injuries in a bus rollover that happened in October. That’s when A RFTA bus crashed near Carbondale.

The Pitkin County Jail is working on a set of policies for sexual assault. It’ll serve as a model for rural jails across Colorado.

Turns out, the higher you go in elevation...the bigger your brain gets. This brain swelling may be keeping high school athletes safer.

One of the largest citizen science efforts in the world kicks off on Sunday. The annual Christmas bird count includes volunteers in the Roaring Fork Valley.

And, Aspen’s Olympic history stretches way back. It begins when the first ski runs were being cut on Aspen Mountain...in the 1930’s. We’ll have more in the Road to Sochi.

Marci Krivonen

The 2014 Winter Olympics are less than two months away and local athletes are preparing. Ski racer Alice McKennis has a good shot at making Team USA if she can overcome a serious injury. Earlier this year the New Castle native crashed at a race in Germany. Late last month in Copper, she made some serious headway. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

On a recent cold day in Copper, ski racer Alice McKennis suits up. She buckles her boots, puts on a back protector and dons a tight-fitting speed suit.

Federal agents on the Front Range today are raiding medical marijuana dispensaries and grow operations with the help of local authorities. We’ll have the latest.

A new method for handling criminals is ramping up in Pitkin County. Instead of incarceration, a new wellness program is being tried for people who fit the bill.

As the Greater Sage Grouse’s habitat disappears across the West, federal officials are deciding how strongly to protect some of its Colorado habitat. Local stakeholders are watching closely.

College students around the country are getting an inside glimpse into the social workings of the Roaring Fork Valley...through a book called “The Slums of Aspen.”

A Wall Street Journal reporter explores the early movers and shakers in developing fracking - one of them is a former Aspen resident.

Finally, the fastest distance Nordic skier in the U-S grew up in Aspen. We profile Noah Hoffman in the Road to Sochi series.

Energy planners gathered in Carbondale this week to compare notes and strategize about funding.

The Town of Basalt approves a home for senior citizens. Now, there’s an effort underway to recruit residents.

Snowmass Village takes a stab at cutting greenhouse gas emissions. The town has some of the highest per capita in the nation.

An independent study finds the Roaring Fork Valley’s mass transit system means big savings for residents.

We find out whether Lance Armstrong had anything to do with death threats against the national agency to prevent doping.

We’ll wrap up with the latest from our Road to Sochi series. Olympic hopeful Meg Olenick aims to be one of the first compete in a sport new to the winter games.

megolenick.com

Twenty-five year-old Meg Olenick  grew up skiing in Aspen, trailing her two older brothers. When they started doing tricks at the terrain park, Olenick followed suit. Soon, she was competing in slopestyle skiing around the world. The discipline is new to the Winter Olympics in 2014 and Olenick wants to be part of history in the making. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen reports.

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