Pitkin County

Marci Krivonen

A plan to reconfigure the airfield at the Aspen Airport cleared its latest hurdle on Tuesday. The Board of Pitkin County Commissioners gave initial approval to an “Airport Layout Plan.” Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen reports.

The County will send the preferred plan to the Federal Aviation Administration, which is requiring the airport to make safety improvements. Most of the commercial aircraft that serve the airport are being phased out and their replacements have longer wingspans. So modifications, like a wider runway are needed.

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.

Voters continued to stream into the Pitkin County Clerk’s Office in Aspen this afternoon. Filled-in ballots can be dropped off there and people can vote on-site until 7 o’clock tonight. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen caught up with some voters who talked about their top concerns.

Facebook/Patti Clapper

Update (10/31/14):

The Democrat running for Pitkin County Commission refused to comply with a probation order placed on her by the Colorado Board of Nursing.  That’s according to new information uncovered by the Aspen Times.

Marci Krivonen

Pitkin County held the first of two open houses on Thursday, introducing the public to future changes at the airport. The commercial jets that fly into Aspen now are being phased out so, the airport has to find a way to make the new, bigger jets fit. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen explains.

Elise Thatcher

If someone has a heart attack-- or breaks a leg-- in the Aspen area, there’s a small fleet of ambulances ready to pick them up. Even if the  person is up a dirt road near Independence Pass or on top of Aspen Mountain. But there’s a key part of that access that’s becoming a big problem. And the ambulance district is asking for a half million dollar budget increase to pay for it.

Rob Ittner

Pitkin County voters will see one contested local race when they receive their mail ballots later this week. In the race for District One in Pitkin County, former commissioner Patti Clapper is challenging incumbent Rob Ittner. In our first report on the race, Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen sits down with Rob Ittner.

How the candidates handle growth appears to be the top issue in the race. Ittner, who has held the seat for four years, says he is pro-growth, but also agrees with the county’s land use code. It’s a document he says smartly regulates development.

Jose Antonio Navas/Creative Commons/Flickr

The Pitkin County Clerk and Recorder is already fielding inquiries after a U.S. Supreme Court non-decision on Monday opened the door for same sex couples to wed. The high court’s refusal to take up the issue impacts Colorado. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen explains.

County clerks across the state will begin issuing marriage licenses for same-sex couples likely in a matter of days. Colorado Attorney General John Suthers says a ruling by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals to strike down gay marriage bans will apply in Colorado.

Marci Krivonen

ESPN is asking Pitkin County to consider allowing alcohol and fireworks at the upcoming X Games. An official from the network went before county commissioners on Tuesday with the requests. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen explains.

ESPN officials say they want to enhance the X Games experience at the base of Buttermilk. That’s the site where athletes test their skills on the superpipe and throw tricks on jumps and rails.

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. 

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