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Road to Sochi

Mountain Edition - March 6th, 2014

Mar 5, 2014

Today, we’ll bring you the latest with the investigation into the murder of Aspen native Nancy Pfister.

Republicans and Democrats are whittling down the contenders for state and local elections this fall.

Aspen’s first recreational pot shop starts selling buds… and we find out how much Carbondale has made on marijuana taxes.

And we hear from a Paralympic coach who arrived in Sochi this week. With the international tensions in nearby Ukraine, we’ll hear how safe athletes are feeling.

Getty Images-AFP-Pierre-Philippe Marcou

Aspen athlete and Nordic skier Noah Hoffman competed yesterday in the last day of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. The US Ski Team praised Hoffman’s performance in the taxing 50 kilometer race. Afterwards, Hoffman told NBC News he felt good about how the event went.  As the crowd cheered in the background, Hoffman explained he’s focused on the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea: “This is definitely a step in the right direction for me, and looking forward to progress in the World Cup Circuit and coming back in four years and winning a medal here.”

Mountain Edition - February 20th, 2014

Feb 20, 2014

The Thompson Divide prompted conflicting statements by environmental groups and Garfield County this week. Avalanche danger has been sketchy lately because of certain unusual factors.  And if a snow slide happens inside a ski area, turns out the resort isn’t to blame. A Basalt advisor wins an award for her work with female investors. We say goodbye to a member of the Aspen Public Radio family, lost too soon.  And, we’ll wrap up our coverage of Aspen area athletes going to the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Roger Witney/USSA

This week marks the end of our Road to Sochi series. For 22 weeks, we’ve followed a dozen local athletes as they worked their way toward competing in the Winter Olympics. Most didn’t make it because of injuries and fierce competition. Still, four athletes are there, competing for Team USA. Today we take a look back at the twelve athletes and their quest for an Olympic chance.

Mountain Edition - February 13th, 2014

Feb 13, 2014

A new report says there isn’t enough natural gas in the Thompson Divide to make it worth drilling. But the industry argues there aren’t enough facts to say if the leases would be a bust…

A new marijuana task force is meeting for the first time today. The goal is to monitor the effects of recreational pot on the Roaring Fork Valley.

The City of Aspen’s utility wants to run on 100-percent renewable energy and its enlisted the help of a government laboratory to help them get there. Aspen will inch closer to its renewable goal when it starts taking power from a new hydro plant in Ridgway later this month.

Local teenagers are getting a lesson on slam poetry. Two performance artists are visiting schools this week, teaching kids how to write and deliver “spoken word” poetry.

Finally, a Durango biathlete is competing in Sochi tomorrow. Her story is a unique one - she owes her Olympic bid to her twin sister.

Facebook/Twin Biathletes

On Friday, a Colorado biathlete will compete in her first Olympic event in Sochi and her bid for an Olympic medal is thanks to her twin sister. Durango’s Lanny Barnes initially didn’t make Team USA, her sister did. But, in January, Lanny’s sister decided to give up her Olympic spot so Lanny could compete. Since then, the sisters have received loads of press from around the world. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen reports.

Mountain Edition - January 30th, 2014

Jan 30, 2014

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.

ESPN

Aspen athlete Torin Yater-Wallace is heading to the Olympics next month and, he’ll be ushering in a new discipline: Ski Halfpipe. The 18-year-old has been a standout ever since he began training with the local ski club in grade school. This season, he’s coming back from injuries suffered early in the season but, he says he’s feeling confident about the Olympic Games. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen reports.

Mountain Edition - January 23rd, 2014

Jan 23, 2014

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.

Mountain Edition - January 16th, 2014

Jan 16, 2014

The first purchases of recreational marijuana in the Roaring Fork Valley happened this week. People lined up outside the Doctor’s Garden in Carbondale on Wednesday.

While weed becomes legal for adults 21 and older, parents are worried about the effects retail pot might have on teenagers, if it gets into their hands.

A trial in Aspen this week leads to an acquittal for a brew pub in Aspen. The Aspen Brewing Company was cited for noise violations.

Rainbow flags along Aspen’s streets mark Gay Ski Week in Aspen. This year, there are more participants than ever before. And, a group ceremony for civil unions will wrap up festivities.

As ski equipment improves and people are skiing faster, ski resorts are working harder to educate people. Aspen-Snowmass is focusing on ski safety.

Finally, the U-S cross country team is doing well this season. And, some think there’s a chance the team could medal. That hasn’t happened for more than 30 years.

Road to Sochi: U.S. Cross Country Team "Strongest Ever"

Jan 13, 2014
nordic.usskiteam.com

History could be made at next month’s Winter Olympics in cross country skiing. Ski experts say the United States’ cross-country skiing team is the strongest it’s ever been. And, two of its members are from Aspen. This month, Noah Hoffman and Simi Hamilton learned they’re heading to Sochi. Hoffman specializes in distance racing. Hamilton excels in sprints. The United States hasn’t picked up a medal in cross-country skiing since 1976. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen reports.

The Crash Reel

As the Olympic Games get closer, the competitions are heating up. The Aspen-area athletes competing in ski racing, cross-country skiing, figure skating, snowboarding and freeskiing will find out soon whether they’ve made Team USA. Some local athletes compete in the halfpipe like snowboarder Gretchen Bleiler and freeskiers Torin Yater-Wallace and Alex Ferriera. Skiing Halfpipe is a new discipline at the upcoming Olympics. Just like many competitions, this event can be dangerous and even fatal. A new documentary features 2010 Olympic hopeful Kevin Pearce who crashed during training and suffered a traumatic brain injury. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen reports.

Mountain Edition - January 2nd, 2014

Jan 2, 2014

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.

www.xgames.espn.go.com

As the Olympic Games inch closer, athletes are competing in qualifying events around the world. Professional snowboarder Gretchen Bleiler has her sights set on Sochi. This would be the last Olympic Games for the 32-year-old Aspen resident who’s already competed in two. This season, she’s coming back from a serious injury. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen reports.

Mountain Edition - December 19th, 2013

Dec 20, 2013

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.

Leary O'Gorman

As the Olympic Games get closer, athletes like figure skater Jeremy Abbott are working hard to make Team USA. The three-time U.S. champion and Aspen native has yet to deliver on the world stage. Abbott wants 2014 to be the year he takes a medal. With only two spots open on the U.S. men’s figure skating team, the competition is tough. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen reports.

Mountain Edition - December 12th, 2013

Dec 12, 2013

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.

Aspen Historical Society/Tony Gauba collection

Over the last several weeks, we’ve heard from nearly a dozen athletes working toward competing in the 2014 Winter Olympics. That’s a big number and it isn’t uncommon. For decades, Aspen’s been either a hometown or training grounds for Olympic athletes. Since the 1930s, nearly thirty athletes with ties to Aspen have competed in the Olympic Games. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen reports.

Mountain Edition - December 5th, 2013

Dec 5, 2013

A whopper of a snowstorm dumped more than a foot of white gold along the Roaring Fork Valley.

The Town of Basalt is facing angry residents who don’t want to be forced out of their homes.

South of Carbondale, citizen scientists are using backpacks to get more data on air pollution

And other residents there are grappling with more layoffs at the Elk Creek coal mine. It’s been all but closed up.

A New Castle native is hoping to overcome a big injury and make it to the Winter Olympics.

And we’ll hear from a seasoned athlete about what it’s like to compete in the Olympics and take home a medal.

Twitter/Alex Ferreira

Aspen native Alex Ferreira was asked to be on the U.S. Ski Team before he graduated high school. The 19-year-old freeskier competes in the halfpipe and the 2014 Olympics would be his first. Right now, he’s splitting his time between training, competing and studying. He’s enrolled in college in Utah, and he says it keeps his life balanced. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen reports.

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