Garfield County

Marci Krivonen

The month of April is when the Greater Sage Grouse does an elaborate dance to find a mate. The chicken-like bird lives in northwest Colorado and other western states and it’s population is shrinking. The largest conservation effort ever is underway to improve the bird’s habitat and prevent a federal “endangered” listing. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen visited the largest breeding grounds in the state, where the birds gather each year for their courtship dance.

Facebook/U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security

A spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security confirmed special agents with the department were in the Mid-Valley this week. Federal vehicles were seen in the Willits and El Jebel areas. 

A former Garfield County employee is going before a judge this morning. Robin McMillan is charged with stealing from the Clerk and Recorder’s office. The District Attorney’s office says she stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from her work. McMillan faces a class three felony of theft of one hundred thousand dollars up to a million dollars. She’s also charged with a class five felony for embezzlement.

Scott Davidson/Flickr/Creative Commons

On February 10th, law enforcement responded to a domestic violence call at a residence near Parachute. They discovered a woman whose face was bloodied from being struck repeatedly. Later, the suspect - her husband - was shot to death by authorities after a high speed chase on Interstate 70. The fatal incident was one of two in Garfield County in February, where domestic violence played a role. As Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports, the problem of domestic violence is growing in parts of our region.

Roger Adams

The largest natural gas company in Garfield County announced layoffs on Monday. WPX is eliminating 11 of 231 positions at its office in Parachute. Twenty-five employees at the company’s Denver office are also losing their jobs. Company-wide, WPX is laying off 83 people. It operates in three major basins: in New Mexico, North Dakota and Colorado.

Your Morning News - January 30th, 2015

Jan 30, 2015

Garfield County to Online Auction Surplus

Garfield County hopes to make some extra cash from surplus equipment like cars or furniturde. The County is in its first round of an online auction for no-longer needed items. Chief Procurement Officer Jamaica Watts explains that Eagle County and other comparable governments are already using the service.

“The public can go on and register, they can put in bids, they can put in proxy bids. We can actually watch it in real time and know what’s going on. It’s kind of like eBay.”

Garfield County can also make sure the price doesn’t go below what the items are valued at. Officials believe this will be more affordable, effective and transparent than the previous method of storing items for long periods of time, and selling at a regular auction.

Setting it up online is technically free, but does require staff time. Buyers also pay an additional 10% of the price to the County. Garfield County is in the middle of its first auction. Watts says the response has been bigger than expected, so far, with multiple bids for several vehicles.

Your Evening News - January 21st, 2015

Jan 21, 2015

Aspen Reviewing Powerhouse Plans

The five finalists to fill a city owned building in Aspen will find out in March whether they’ve been chosen. The City is in its final stretch of its process to find a tenant for the Old Power House.

The finalists for the space include a brewery, a science center, a media “powerhouse,” a performance and event center and a proposal called “The Gathering Place.”

Right now, the groups are answering a series of questions such as how they would use the building, whether it’ll create center of community and if there’s a market for the services offered. Assistant City Manager Barry Crook says City Council prioritized the criteria.

“How would you produce a memory making experience that would have a visitor relating their visit to others in an enthusiastic way? Why is this location necessary to your plan? How would you activate the grounds, integrate it with the existing trail system and the river?”

The previous tenant, the Aspen Art Museum, paid just a dollar a year in rent. City Council hasn’t decided whether a new tenant will be charged the same price. Council is scheduled to choose a new tenant by the end of March.

Your Morning News - January 19th, 2015

Jan 19, 2015

First Aspen Council & Mayoral Candidates Announce

The first candidate for an open Aspen City Council seat has emerged.

Former Affordable Housing chief Tom McCabe has confirmed he plans to run for city council in May. McCabe retired as Director of the Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority last October. McCabe says he would bring his expertise on how the city operates and likely focus on housing issues. He served one term on Aspen City Council in the early 2000s.

It is also likely Aspen's Mayoral race will have a challenger in the ballot. Former city councilman Torre told Aspen Public Radio this weekend that his intention is to run in the May election. He plans to formally announce his candidacy next month. It would be Torre's fifth attempt at the Mayor’s office.

Elise Thatcher

This winter, Garfield County is partnering with doctors to get people to test their homes for radon. The naturally occurring gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer, and nearly half of Garfield County homes have levels higher than what’s considered safe. 

Valley Roundup - January 16th, 2015

Jan 16, 2015

Welcome to Valley Roundup, a review of the top news stories in the valley in the past week.

The lodging review continues in Aspen and for the city council, this week, it was a mixed bag.

Meanwhile, the city employees reviewing those plans are looking for a new home of their own.

A proposed pot growing operation faces the NIMBY wrath in Silt.

Do we love the Maroon Bells too much and is that a problem?

Should Garfield County voters have the chance to vote for commissioners by district instead of at large?

Aspen and Glenwood Springs are going all mail balloting this spring

And what’s the lowdown on uphilling? That’s a conference coming on that topic.

Pages