Elise Thatcher

Colorado Division of Insurance

Health insurance in the Glenwood Springs area will go down by nearly ten percent next year. That’s on average, and it’s compared to an overall average increase of about one percent across Colorado. State officials gave final approval for the lower rates this week. This comes after concerns about especially high insurance in the Roaring Fork Valley, and an earlier flawed attempt to let consumers review rates beforehand. 

Elise Thatcher

The Colorado Department of Transportation has gotten a lot of attention for asking for money. The agency’s put in requests to local governments up and down the Roaring Fork Valley in recent weeks, all for raising funds to replace the Grand Avenue Bridge in Glenwood Springs. Although only Garfield County has fully committed chipping in a certain amount, the promise of some kind of help from Pitkin County, Glenwood Springs, and others has made a difference. CDOT recently checked in with the main funders of the project, and got the green light to keep moving ahead, in part because of that local support. CDOT Program Engineer Joe Elsen is leading the effort, and talks with APR’s Elise Thatcher.

Good afternoon and welcome to Mountain Edition.

Ahead of the mid-term election in November, polls differ on who’s ahead in Colorado’s most contested races.

The Colorado Department of Transportation is asking local governments to help pay for Glenwood’s Grand Avenue bridge. Garfield County has agreed to contribute millions.

Colorado Mountain College administrators are turning their focus to what kids are learning before they walk in the door.

And, a new preschool program serving low-income kids is using lessons about the brain to encourage learning.

Elise Thatcher

The Aspen Community Church has a new leader. Reverend Mike Nickerson has settled in after about two months on the job, and is excited to be in the Roaring Fork Valley. Nickerson, who goes by "Pastor Mike," has lived in a variety of places, most recently on the Front Range and the Pacific Northwest. At previous churches, he’s been successful at bringing in new members, and he says he’s already noticed there’s a spiritual undertone to the Valley. Nickerson talks with APR’s Elise Thatcher.

Elise Thatcher

Colorado Mountain College is turning its focus to what kids are learning before they walk in the door. Right now more than half of incoming students are severely lacking in certain subjects, usually math and English. So now the community college… the largest such network in the state… is working on finding a way to improve what kids are learning in elementary, middle, and high school. It’s part of a larger effort to better serve mountain communities.

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.”

Mead & Hunt, 2013 Fly Green/Fly Quiet Annual Report

There more newer, quieter private jets touching down in Aspen compared to ten years ago. That’s part of an ongoing, and unusual, effort by the airport to cut down on plane noise. And private pilots have played an important role.

Rocky Mountain Crisis Partners

Mental illness is a major issue in the Roaring Fork Valley, and around Colorado. As part of his administration’s plan to help more people get help for untreated illness, Governor John Hickenlooper announced a new statewide mental health hotline last month. Bev Marquez is the CEO of Rocky Mountain Crisis Partners, the organization running that new hotline. Marquez talks with Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher about the response so far—and whether residents in the Roaring Fork Valley should call the statewide hotline or a local hotline first.

    

Good afternoon and welcome to Mountain Edition.

As community leaders look ahead to the ski season, they’re thinking about marijuana now and how to keep tourists from overdosing.

The State of Colorado is also planning education campaigns around legal pot and using tax revenue from marijuana sales to fund those efforts.

A new report shows students in Colorado are missing too many days of school and it’s reflected in their test scores.

We get the latest numbers on just how busy Aspen was this summer was, business and traffic in town were up.

There’s been an uptick in concerns about a plan to replace the Grand Avenue Bridge in Glenwood Springs, we’ll find out why.

That’s all coming up on Mountain Edition... right now.

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