Eagle County

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.

CDOT

A new Grand Avenue Bridge is one step closer to becoming a reality. Garfield County Commissioners have voted to contribute three million dollars towards the project -- the first big check from a local government. The support is becoming essential for the project-- and Commissioners were quick to say the Upper Roaring Fork Valley should also pitch in. 

Christopher Mullen/Glenwood Springs Post Independent

   Valley View Hospital issued a statement Thursday afternoon saying doctors are treating a number of patients with symptoms similar to a virus making the rounds in Denver.  Valley View Executive Director Stacey Gavrell released the statement, which says, quote: “While a number of patients have had respiratory symptoms that could be the EV-D68, they have not been confirmed.”

Centers for Disease Control

Health officials in the Roaring Fork Valley say they’re not worried about a severe respiratory illness making the rounds in Denver and other states. Doctors in Denver have treated thousands of patients, some of them confirmed cases of a rare virus called Enterovirus D68 (or EV-D68). 

As of Wednesday afternoon, representatives of Eagle and Pitkin counties said they were not aware of any cases.  Garfield County reported one case, but then said there wasn't enough information from Valley View Hospital to confirm. Requests to Valley View on Thursday were unanswered.

Creative Commons/Flickr/401(K) 2012

Pitkin County staff and elected leaders will meet with the State’s top insurance official this week about pricey health insurance. A Kaiser Health News report says Colorado’s “rating area eleven” that covers Pitkin, Eagle, Garfield and Summit Counties, is the most expensive insurance market in the country. Pitkin County Manager Jon Peacock says they’d like to see solutions.

Office of Senator Mark Udall

Summit County is angling for an Act of Congress. Not just any act-- one that allows the County to buy a chunk of Forest Service land. The idea is to use it for affordable housing... an unusual plan in Colorado.

The next time you drive through Summit County on Interstate 70, look southeast, towards Dillon Dam Road and Dillon Reservoir. Forty acres there could become home for local residents. County Commissioner Dan Gibbs, a big supporter of the plan, says the land has “lost its forest character.”

New Fire Mitigator for Pitkin County

Jun 25, 2013
Gilad Rom / Creative Commons

Later today, (Wed 6-25-2013) the Pitkin County Board of Commissioners will meet its new fire mitigation manager, Jerry Peetz. The position is the county’s latest move to ensure citizens are prepared should a wildfire occur. Aspen Public Radio’s Rebecca Kruth reports.

People tend to wait to mitigate when the danger of wildfires is already high.  So says Joe DiSalvo. Sheriff of Pitkin County.