Aspen Public Radio

Your Evening News - December 10th, 2014

Dec 10, 2014

State Oil & Gas Task Force Meets in Rifle

A special meeting on drilling convenes in Rifle today. Colorado’s Oil and Gas Task Force will be taking public comment in Rifle. The group was created by Governor John Hickenlooper as part of a grand compromise this summer over ballot measures and fracking. It has representatives from around the state, and is meeting for the fourth time. The Task Force is supposed to come up with recommendations on any changes to oil and gas regulations or how they’re carried out. So far there are no formal recommendations, but the task force has until the end of February. Today’s Rifle meeting is being streamed online and continues through tomorrow.

Your Morning News - December 10th, 2014

Dec 10, 2014

Aspen Hires New Executive Director of the Housing Authority

The City of Aspen is naming a new Executive Director of the Aspen Pitkin County Housing Authority. Michael Kosdrosky of Denver was named to the post. He will start in mid-January. Kosdrosky has a B.A. in Political Science from Ashland University, and a MPA from the University of Colorado School Of Public Affairs. Kosdrosky stated his career in the public sector as a Legislative Manager and Policy Advisor in the Ohio House of Representatives.

Your Evening News - December 9th, 2014

Dec 9, 2014

Environmentalists Praise White River National Forest Drilling Plan

The White River National Forest released a “conservation-minded” plan Tuesday for future oil and gas drilling. Conservation groups are cheering the plan, saying it protects much of the contested Thompson Divide. The long-awaited plan maps out where future oil and gas leasing can happen on the 2.2 million acre White River National Forest. It calls for closing more than 1.2 million acres to oil and gas leasing including much of the contested Thompson Divide area near Carbondale. The Thompson Divide Coalition is working to protect that area. Executive Director Zane Kessler calls the plan “a good step.”

“We’re excited that the Forest Service has taken a very strong, conservation minded lead on this.”

More work needs to be done, he says, because 100,000 acres already leased on the Divide won’t be affected by the Forest Service plan. The plan only applies to future leasing.

Your Morning News - December 9th, 2014

Dec 9, 2014

Lodging Discussion Continues at Aspen City Council

Aspen City Council has decided to move forward with considering changes to the city’s lodging regulations. The agreement took place last night, during Council’s last regular meeting of the year. Like a similar meeting last week, council members decided to continue looking at some affordable housing or fee flexibility for small lodges. Again, controversial changes for square footage, building height, or free market residency, were left by the wayside.

Your Evening News - December 8th, 2014

Dec 8, 2014

Eagle, Pitkin Counties See Fewer Assistance Fraud Cases

Officials say they are already seeing success in stopping residents from taking advantage of social services in Eagle and Pitkin Counties. This comes after a new focus on reviewing public assistance cases. In January, Eagle County dedicated two employees to review cases where residents are getting certain benefits. It’s modeled off of programs elsewhere, like Garfield County and the Front Range. The workers review every qualifying case in Pitkin and Eagle Counties. Rita Woods is Fiscal and Operations Director with Health & Human Services. She says most people on assistance do need it.

“But it’s our job just to insure that taxpayer confidence, in our fiscal fiduciary, that we’re checking to make sure the right people are receiving the right benefit at the right time.”

Her office points to a recent fraud case as evidence of the program’s success. An Eagle resident has pleaded guilty to using food and medical assistance even though she didn’t qualify.

Your Morning News - December 8th, 2014

Dec 8, 2014

"Summit for Life" Raises at least $172K

The Chris Klug Foundation has raised more than $172,000 in the Summit for Life fundraiser this weekend. The organ transplant awareness organization says a record number of participants were on Aspen Mountain, Saturday night. Though soft snow made walking more challenging at times, the number of people hiking and skinning on skis was significantly more than last year. Final fundraising totals won’t be out until late this week.

HWY 133 Construction Coming to an End

Your Evening News - December 5th, 2014

Dec 5, 2014

ACES is Aces with Charity Reviewer

The Aspen Center for Environmental Studies has gotten more phone calls and emails than usual today. That’s because the charity has been chosen as one of the best of its kind in the country. The national nonprofit reviewer Charity Navigator has listed ACES as the top botanical garden, park, or nature center. That’s in an online Holiday Giving Guide, put together by the well-respected charity review. ACES CEO Chris Lane found out about the accolade from a reporter with the Aspen Times.

Your Morning News - December 5th, 2014

Dec 5, 2014

Krabloonik to Get New Owners

There are officially new owners of the Valley’s troubled dog sled operation. Danny and Gina Phillips have completed paperwork for buying Krabloonik Fine Dining and Dogsledding, based in Snowmass Village.

The couple, also in Snowmass, is taking over the operation. It’s been on unsteady ground since the founder, Dan MacEachen was charged with animal cruelty. That was late last year and MacEachen is expected to stand trial in May.

Your Evening News - December 4th, 2014

Dec 4, 2014

Snowmass Village Takes Public Comment on Council Replacement

The Town of Snowmass Village is taking public comment on its effort to fill a fifth town council seat. Voters last month elected Markey Butler as Snowmass Village mayor, so the council seat she previously held became available. On Monday, town council members interviewed eight citizens interested in filling the seat. Now it’s up to the community to narrow the pool before the council votes for a candidate on December 8th. Butler said in a statement the council is calling on the community to help identify which candidate is a good fit on council and a good representative for the community. The interviews with the eight candidates can be seen online at tosv.com. Feedback must be submitted to the town via email before Monday’s meeting.

Bad Flu Circulating in Colorado

Colorado’s health department is warning the flu season could be especially bad this winter. That’s because a certain strain has been showing up more often. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Employment says influenza A is more likely to send someone to the hospital and it’s been the culprit for most cases this year.

There’s been a bump in people getting sick from the strain at nursing homes and assisted living facilities. In other years, Influenza A has caused more hospitalizations and deaths.

The Health Department is recommending signing up the flu vaccine to best avoid it, although officials also admit about half of the flu viruses showing up are not in this winter’s flu shot.

Your Morning News - December 4th, 2014

Dec 4, 2014

Big Bike Race Comes Back to Aspen

Aspen will be included in the USA Pro Challenge once again.The route for the 2015 cycling race was announced live on Denver’s 9news this morning. The race starts on August 17th in Steamboat Springs and moves through Arapahoe Basin and Copper before it arrives in Aspen. From Aspen, the cyclists head to Breckenridge.

Aspen has hosted the race several times. In August of this year, it started in Aspen/Snowmass.

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