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Alex Hager

Reporter

Alex comes to Aspen from KDLG, the public radio station in Dillingham, Alaska. There, he served as a “fish reporter,” producing nightly broadcasts for a fleet of boats in the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery. Living in a town of 2,500 people that was only reachable by plane and boat taught him about the profound value that public radio can bring to a community. His Alaskan reporting escapades included a bush plane trip to a tiny fishing village on the South Peninsula, in-depth breakdowns of salmon biology, and conversations with mining executives about the Pebble Mine project. 

Before his time in Alaska, Alex spent four years at Elon University in North Carolina. There, he was a reporter for Elon News Network, where he covered just about every beat for just about every medium. Highlights include stories of Venezuelan students watching their country’s crisis from afar, a week of breaking news reporting on Hurricane Florence, and coverage of UNC Chapel Hill’s Confederate statue controversy. 

While at Elon, Alex also worked as a sports correspondent for the Burlington Times-News, covering ACC football and basketball as well as Carolina Panthers NFL football. 

When he’s not in the office, Alex enjoys hiking, practicing Spanish, playing basketball, and reading poetry. He was born and raised in Connecticut. 

Courtesy of Pitkin County

Work begins Monday to hold back erosion along a stretch of the Crystal River, where Pitkin County Open Space and Trails says the river is undercutting the Crystal Trail.

The construction site is at highway 133 and Thomas Road, south of Carbondale, where the Crystal River bends toward the highway. The project will see heavy machinery in the river to modify the river channel, stabilize the bank and plant native vegetation.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Presidents Day weekend marks one of the busiest on the calendar for Roaring Fork Valley hotels, and this year is no exception.

The Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association says the long weekend lines up with Valentine’s Day and attracts Front Range visitors looking for a romantic getaway. Lisa Langer, the chamber’s director of tourism promotion, says she heard from about nine hotels that plan to be at or near capacity for part of the weekend.

 

via Google Streetview

 

Carbondale is moving forward with plans to reduce traffic and improve bike and pedestrian access on 8th Street, which intersects Main Street near the end of downtown. The town says people raised concerns about narrow sidewalks and limited access for bikes on a street with plenty of car traffic in residential areas.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

In the Roaring Fork Valley, it can be tough for people to find a place to live. Finding a place that is affordable and close to their workplace is harder still. That housing crunch means that businesses can have trouble retaining workers.

City of Glenwood Springs via Facebook

Glenwood Springs holds a ribbon cutting ceremony for the 27th Street Bridge at 2 pm. Wednesday. The bridge reopened in late December after months of construction and delays. Now, the city says things are running smoothly so far, and all that remains are a few finishing touches.

Courtesy of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

 

Novel coronavirus, a respiratory illness, has been making headlines around the world, leading to fears about its spread. Pitkin County health officials say risk of contracting the virus is low, especially for those without a history of travel to areas where it is being spread.

Danny Eastwood via Creative Commons

The Town of Snowmass Village signed a resolution in support of a state bill that would repeal language banning local governments from regulating plastics. 

Existing language, signed into law in 2017, preempts local governments from requiring or prohibiting “the use or sale of specific types of plastic materials or products or restrict or mandate containers, packaging, or labeling for any consumer products.”

Creativity103 via Creative Commons

A recycling dropoff center in Basalt shut down on Friday after Pitkin County pulled funding, and Basalt and Eagle County couldn’t pay new higher rates to keep it open. Now, the town and Eagle County will host a pair of events where people can bring hard-to-dispose of items, such as large electronics, paint, motor oil, tires and yard waste. 

 

Wyatt Orme / Aspen Public Radio

Before the 2020 census opens for online responses in March, local officials are making an effort to reach the Valley’s Latino community. 

According to estimates from a 2017 census survey, almost a quarter of people in the Roaring Fork Valley said they were Hispanic or Latino. That study shows 28% of the population in Garfield County as Hispanic or Latino, 30% in Eagle County and 10% in Pitkin County.

City of Aspen

The City of Aspen is moving forward with an updated budget and timeline for the next phase of affordable housing at Burlingame Ranch. The planned development would include 79 affordable condos adjacent to the existing Burlingame Ranch, which is across from Aspen Pitkin County airport.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Aspen native Alex Ferreira repeated as champion in the men’s ski superpipe at X Games on Sunday night. The 25-year-old has now won five total medals at X Games Aspen. He said skiing in front of a hometown crowd helped push him to victory.

“Everybody wants me to win and wants me to do well.” Ferreira said. “And I can feel the energy. I can feel the aura. I can feel my mom and my friends and they just want me to do well. It rubs off, it really does.”

 

 

via Creative Commons

 

Skiers, snowboarders and fans from all over the world are convening in Aspen for the X Games. The crowds at Buttermilk have boosted Glenwood Springs businesses as well. 

 

Jeremy Gilley, director of sales at the Hotel Colorado in Glenwood Springs, says they’re completely booked on Friday and Saturday, and reservations are up almost 75% from an average January weekend.

 

Aspen Historical Society

Aspen Public Radio’s new reporting project Rocky Mountain Why? starts with what you’re curious about when it comes to life in the Roaring Fork Valley. Why was Aspen nicknamed Fat City? Is it true that the Roaring Fork Valley produces more potatoes than Idaho? And why is the HOV lane on the right side of Highway 82? Our news team does the digging, then shares the answers with our community.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

The best in the world of snow sports have descended on Buttermilk Mountain for the X Games. British-American Skier Gus Kenworthy is a two-time X Games medalist and says this weekend in Aspen is the sport’s biggest stage.

via Wikimedia Commons

 

 

On Wednesday, the Pitkin County Board of Commissioners will consider raising the minimum age to purchase tobacco to 21. Under the new measure, the county would fine retailers $1,000 if they are caught selling to underage people.

Courtesy Sunlight Mountain Resort

Sunlight Mountain is opening up new runs for the first time since 1993, as part of a four million dollar expansion. The Glenwood Springs resort will open five new runs this season, adding 500 vertical feet to the mountain’s East Ridge section. 

via Google Earth

Wednesday and Thursday night, the City of Aspen is hosting public open houses to gather input input on an affordable housing development at the Aspen Lumberyard near the Aspen Airport Business Center. 

Previous meetings gave the city guidance on what kind of facilities will be included in the project. Public input and conversations with city council identified desires for housing, parking space, childcare facilities and easy access to public transportation.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Four teams carved elaborate snow sculptures in downtown Aspen over the weekend, competing in Wintersculpt, part of the Wintersköl celebration. One team made up of students at Aspen Middle School called themselves “Need for Green."

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

The 43rd annual Aspen Gay Ski Week kicks off Sunday. Over the decades, it’s evolved, and this year, that means an increased push to welcome families. Kevin McManamon, AspenOUT executive director, says 25 families will attend Gay Ski Week this year. He stressed the importance of creating a space where LGBTQ people with kids can come to connect.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Aspen played host to plenty of visitors between Christmas and New Years, with upwards of 90% of hotel rooms booked in that time frame. While the busy holiday period made for crowded roads and sidewalks, Aspen police say it didn’t lead to a significant increase in traffic accidents.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

A driver was charged this week after striking and injuring a person on Aspen’s pedestrian mall on Christmas Eve. Aspen assistant police chief Bill Linn says the city has considered erecting barriers to prevent similar incidents in the future, but says there are reasons why it has not done so yet.

Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club

Aspen Mountain was home to some star-studded ski racing Monday during the 10th running of the Ajax Cup. Sixteen teams competed in the annual charity race, a fundraiser for the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club.

via City of Glenwood Springs

The Roaring Fork Transportation Authority is making some upgrades to its maintenance facility in Glenwood Springs, right across the street from the West Glenwood Park and Ride. The renovations will more than double the building’s capacity for repairs.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Last week, the Aspen Pitkin County airport unveiled a series of upgrades just in time to accommodate holiday travelers.

Airport administrators moved their offices across the street, making way for 109 new seats in the lounge and expanded floor space. In hopes of easing traffic congestion, the airport also added 100 new parking spaces and a cell phone waiting lot.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Holiday crowds are are descending on the valley by the thousands. Aspen Chamber lodging data from the end of November showed 70% rooms already booked for Christmas Day, with a peak of 79% booked on December 28th.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Across the nation, upgrades are coming to the way wireless signal reaches the phone in your pocket. Small cell technology, as it’s called, will lead to the installation of lots of new transmitters. Due to a combination of state and federal regulations, Aspen will not have much control over that process when the cells come to town.

Vaping360 via Creative Commons

Colorado has the highest rate of youth electronic cigarette use in the nation, and use among high schoolers in Pitkin County is among the highest in the state. Now, the county is considering measures to change that.

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