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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. 

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. 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. 

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Pitkin County is seeing a slight uptick in new COVID-19 cases among residents, the first steady increase since a spike in late July. The county has recorded fourteen new cases in the past fourteen days. Aspen Valley Hospital posted a fourteen-day positivity rate of 3.11%, well below the hospital’s threshold for concern, but the highest positivity rate in over a month.

Kirsten Dobroth/Aspen Public Radio

Governor Jared Polis Extends Colorado Mask Mandate

Monday, Sept. 14 - Governor Jared Polis extended Colorado's statewide mask mandate for another 30 days over the weekend. The extension is set to expire on Oct. 12, but could be extended again, as it has been twice since it was originally adopted in July.

Courtesy of Roaring Fork Transportation Authority

The Roaring Fork Transportation Authority is receiving a $13 million grant toward the construction of its new regional transit center in Glenwood Springs. The grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation is the second batch of federal funding RFTA has received this year, following $11.48 million from the Federal Transit Administration.

 

 

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

More than a million federal dollars could be sent to Glenwood Springs for emergency builds around watershed infrastructure. The National Resources Conservation Service approved the first batch of $5 million in Emergency Watershed Protection funds last week, with funding headed to Garfield, Mesa, Larimer and Grand Counties. 

Alex Hager/Aspen Public Radio

Garfield County Encouraging People To Get Tested After Labor Day Weekend

Wednesday, September 9 - Garfield County Public Health is emphasizing the need for people with one or more COVID-19 symptoms to seek testing as soon as possible. In a release, the county said many people traveled or were exposed to visitors over the long holiday weekend.  

Courtesy of Anto Sweetapple

The scheduled start of the Colorado ski season is only about three months away – and with snow falling on the tops of nearby peaks just this week, it’s hard not to wonder what a winter on the slopes is going to look like during a pandemic. 

Katalin Domoszlay

COVID-19 Case Numbers Remain Low, But Fall And Winter Bring Uncertainty

Friday, September 4 - New cases of COVID-19 in Pitkin, Eagle and Garfield counties are among the lowest they have been since the beginning of the pandemic, according to local health officials. Online COVID-19 status trackers for both Aspen Valley Hospital and Valley View Hospital said they are at "comfortable" levels of virus activity.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Imagine you’re sitting at home one day and the notice comes in – a wildfire is bearing down on your house and you have to evacuate. In the course of the next few minutes, you have a to pack a bag and hit the road. What do you bring? 

Alex Hager/Aspen Public Radio

Colorado Rolls Out Enhanced COVID-19 Data Website  

Monday, August 24 - Last week, the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) rolled out a new COVID-19 website. The site features an enhanced data dashboard, which includes information about hospital bed availability, demographic breakdowns of COVID-19 cases in the state and percentages  of patients needing hospitalization, ventilation or ICU treatment. The new website can be found here.

U.S. Forest Service

You can find an English-language version of this story here.

El Incendio de Grizzly Creek es más de 29,000 acres y sigue creciendo. Un incendio forestal de tal tamaño requiere una gran cantidad de gente y equipo, pero con docenas de incendios que arden a través del oeste, ¿cómo se dividen los recursos de las agencias nacionales de bomberos para las personas que los necesitan?

U.S. Forest Service

Pueden encontrar la versión en español aqui.

The Grizzly Creek Fire is more than 29,000 acres and still growing. A wildfire that size requires a lot of people power and equipment, but with dozens of fires burning across the west, how do national fire agencies divvy up resources to the people who need them?

U.S. Forest Service

It’s been a week since the Grizzly Creek Fire first sparked in Glenwood Canyon. In the last seven days, the fire has burned 25,007 acres and is 0% contained. There were no new evacuation orders announced over the weekend, and as of Sunday, nearly 650 people were battling the fire. 

Alex Hager/Aspen Public Radio

Friday, August 21 - Governor Jared Polis announced updates to the state's online COVID-19 data dashboard, including simplified navigation and the addition of datapoints involving hospital bed availability. Polis also announced Friday that the statewide "last call" for serving alcohol at bars would be extended to 11 p.m. starting Saturday night. Previously, Polis had set a statewide last call at 10 p.m. in an effort to limit late-night coronavirus transmission at bars.

Grizzly Creek Fire

The Aspen Public Radio news team spoke with Grizzly Creek Fire Public Information Officer Jennifer Russell and Renelle Lott of Garfield County, and compiled a list of resources and answers to listeners' questions regarding the Grizzly Creek Fire, which sparked in Glenwood Canyon on Monday, August 10. A time-stamped updates page regarding the fire can be found here.

Courtesy of Charlotte Hanks / Defiance Rafting Company

Everyone within sight of Glenwood Canyon on Monday knew there was trouble brewing. A tremendous plume of smoke shooting up into the midday sky was not a good sign during a historically hot and dry summer.

Grizzly Creek Fire Facebook Page

Wednesday, September 9 3 P.M. Moisture has helped further moderate the fire. Personnel are mostly away from fire lines until conditions on the ground dry to allow better access. Suppression and suppression repair activities will resume as conditions dry. Managers anticipate those conditions to happen over the weekend.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

No New Cases In PitCo In Last Six Days, But Epidemiologists Warn Against Complacency

Friday, August 14 - There hasn’t been a new coronavirus case reported among Pitkin County residents for the past six days. New case numbers in Eagle and Garfield counties are also down. In Thursday’s Pitkin County community meeting, epidemiologist Josh Vance said those decreases are in line with national and statewide trends, but no reason to get complacent. 

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Pitkin County’s COVID Emergency Relief Fund has distributed $2.28 million in assistance since the pandemic took hold in March. At the end of June, the program was suspended. Officials said it was designed as a short-term emergency program while other aid organizations built capacity for longer-term help. 

via Pixabay

When local health staffers are alerted to new cases of coronavirus in Pitkin County, they work with infected people to figure out where they might have picked it up. 39% of cases in the county are considered “community spread,” meaning the infected person does not know where they were exposed to the virus.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Thursday night, Pitkin County commissioners discuss the future of Aspen-Pitkin County airport in a special meeting. They will review recommendations set forth in the final report from the ASE Vision Committee, an advisory group of experts and community members. 

via Glenwood Springs Fire Department

UPDATED Friday, 6:00 p.m. -  The Mile Marker 111 fire has been contained. Fire crews are wrapping up their work on scene. I-70 is open with no more expected delays. 

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Pitkin County is using a study of cell phone data to figure out who is most likely to spread COVID-19 within the county. 

The numbers are a combination of how many people from a specific place are in Pitkin County and how prevalent the virus is in their home region. 

Kirsten Dobroth/Aspen Public Radio

Governor Polis, Treasurer Young Urge For Additional State Funding In Stimulus Package

Tuesday, August 4 - Governor Jared Polis and Colorado Treasurer Dave Young today sent a letter to the state's congessional delegation advocating for additional funding for Coloradans in the next stimulus package. Governor Polis and Treasurer Young stressed the importance of additional federal funding for essential services in the state as Colorado continues to mitigate the public health and economic effects of the pandemic. Areas highlighted by Governor Polis and Treasurer Young in need of financial assistance include food programs for children and families, support for child care and early childhood education, families experiencing homelessness because of the pandemic and assistance for ranchers and farmers.  The letter comes as leaders in Washington D.C. continue to debate what will be included in the next federal stimulus package.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

For a ski rental shop at the base of Aspen Mountain, winter means big business when the resort opens. But right now, it’s pretty hard to say exactly what challenges will come with a mid-pandemic ski season.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Earlier this month, the Trump administration weakened the National Environmental Policy Act, a 50-year-old rule meant to limit the environmental impact of large development. Trump says rolling back the regulations will eliminate “red tape” and speed up infrastructure projects, but opponents of the move say it paves the way for big industry to get away with development that could harm the environment.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

LIFT-UP Food Pantry Continues Distribution Into August

LIFT-UP will continue to distribute food via mobile distribution using drive-thru sites in Carbondale, Glenwood, New Castle, Parachute, DeBeque and Rifle.  Some sites will be moving locations as schools begin to re-open.  The schedule will continue as one-day-a-week per community, with longer distribution times while rotating each week between mid-afternoon and early evening.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

When ski lifts in Aspen and Snowmass stopped spinning in March, so did the area’s economy. Pitkin County businesses went into an early offseason and have experienced a staggered reopening under new restrictions.

martinalonso4895 / Creative Commons

Aspen City Council considered allowing “marijuana lounges” at a work session last night, but councilmembers largely agreed that now is not the time to consider such a measure. 

Courtesy of Aspen Valley Hospital

Aspen Valley Hospital’s COVID-19 testing operation has been a key part of upvalley virus control plans. Dave Ressler, Aspen Valley Hospital CEO, explained how testing people without symptoms fits into those plans during Thursday’s livestreamed community meeting.

Alex Hager/Aspen Public Radio

Eagle County May Be Forced To Forfeit Public Health Variance

Friday, July 25 - Trends in the local spread of COVID-19 may threaten Eagle County’s ability to maintain its public health order variance from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Last week, the state health department notified the county that local disease rates were outside the levels allowed by the variance. 

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