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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. 

Grassroots TV

Ballots have been mailed to most Aspen residents who will elect their next mayor and fill two city council seats in the municipal election on Tuesday, March 2. There are eight candidates running for the two open council seats. Incumbent Mayor Torre is running for a second, two-year term and faces a single challenger, artist Lee Mulcahy. 

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Cuando una operación minera se extiende a través de centenares de acres, un cierto impacto medioambiental es inevitable.  Quienes se oponen a la expansión de la mina de piedra caliza de Rocky Mountain Industrials (RMI, por sus siglas en inglés) cercana a Glenwood Springs, dicen que su propuesta de abarcar más de 400 acres llevaría ese impacto más allá de lo que ellos consideran aceptable.   

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Transformar una mina de piedra caliza de menos de 20 acres en una de más de 400 acres no es tarea sencilla.  No solamente se requiere maquinaria costosa y pesada para mover tierra, también implica dinero y persistencia para despejar un largo trayecto de obstáculos regulatorios antes que la expansión sea permitida legalmente. 

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

When a mining operation spreads out across hundreds of acres, some environmental impact is inevitable. Opponents of the Rocky Mountain Industrials limestone mine expansion near Glenwood Springs say its proposed footprint of more than 400 acres would push that impact beyond what they consider acceptable.


Bruce Gordon/EcoFlight for Aspen Public Radio

Taking a limestone mine from less than 20 acres to more than 400 is no small feat. Not only does it require expensive and heavy machinery to move the earth, it also takes money and persistence to clear a long road of regulatory hurdles before an expansion is allowed in the eyes of the law.

 


Almost half a million Coloradans have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. While that number indicates a promising start on the road to the state’s pandemic recovery, advocates say vaccine distribution has been marred by inequity. 


Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

The rate of new COVID-19 cases in Pitkin County has dropped sharply over the course of the past two weeks. That number is steadily declining from a peak on Jan. 15, when the county’s two-week incidence rate was the highest in the state by a significant margin. 


Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Pitkin County has the highest incidence rate of COVID-19 in all of Colorado, nearly double that of the next highest county. Those alarmingly high numbers have sparked strict public health measures and strained contact tracers – but experts cannot pin down what’s driving the spike.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

The pandemic took a heavy toll on Aspen’s tourism industry during the December holidays, usually the airport’s busiest time of year. In the two-week period around Christmas, the number of arriving passengers at Aspen-Pitkin County airport was down 53% from the year before. 

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

A new health order in Pitkin County will ban indoor dining and tighten restrictions on hotels and rental units beginning Sunday. The new rules, voted into effect by the Board of Health on Monday, come as the county’s soaring coronavirus rates rank second-worst in Colorado. 

Courtesy of Aspen Valley Hospital

Roaring Fork Valley health leaders say high levels of local demand for coronavirus vaccines are outpacing new shipments of doses from the state. That is partially due to recent and sudden changes to the state’s priority guidelines, which made people 70 years of age or older eligible for the vaccine.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Months of dry weather have left much of the Roaring Fork Valley in critical levels of drought, even after snow in December. The region has not been so dry this time of year since 2002. The Roaring Fork River and many others across the state are below normal levels of flow, which is unlikely to change without an extraordinarily wet winter.

Kwon Juhno / Unsplash

Updated at 8:40 a.m. Thursday

As of Wednesday night, less than 100 homes remained without natural gas following a widespread outage that began Sunday night affecting 3,500 customers. More than 170 technicians with Black Hills Energy spent the last several days restoring service and relighting appliances.

Colorado Avalanche Information Center

Snowpack in the Roaring Fork Valley is particularly ripe for avalanches this year thanks to an abnormally dry spell. Colorado is already considered the nation’s most dangerous state for avalanches, and unstable snow across the state has already led to a number of deaths this year. 

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Pitkin County moved to "Red Level" restrictions Tuesday after exponential increases in local rates of coronavirus. Under the new rules, personal gatherings can only happen with people in the same household, offices and gyms are capped at 10% capacity and restaurants are limited to 25%. Last call is at 9:30 p.m. and they must close at 10 p.m. 

Courtesy of Valley View Hospital

The first batch of coronavirus vaccines has arrived in the Roaring Fork Valley, heralded by many as the beginning of an end to the global pandemic that has infected thousands in the area, and created nearly a year of frustration and hardship for local businesses and their employees.

Courtesy of Dr. Brooke Allen

Throughout the Roaring Fork Valley, rates of new COVID-19 cases continue to rise. New cases transmitted over Thanksgiving are just beginning to trickle into county data, exacerbating virus rates that were already higher than any other point in the pandemic.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

J-1 visas, which normally bring more than 800 seasonal workers to the Roaring Fork Valley each year, are still on hold following an executive order from President Donald Trump in June. Some local businesses were holding out hope that J-1 workers could come at the beginning of the new year, as the order was originally set to expire at the end of December.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Karen Koenemann, Pitkin County public health director, will spend her last day in the position on Friday, Dec. 4. She has held the position since the department's inception in early 2017. Koenemann spoke with Aspen Public Radio about the ups and downs of guiding the department through the pandemic. 


Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Coronavirus rates appear to have slightly slowed their breakneck rise in all three Roaring Fork Valley counties, but local health experts say it may only be a momentary blip amid virus levels that are still worse than any other phase of the pandemic.

Alex Hager

The ski mountains are open and Christmas is less than a month away. In Aspen, many businesses reliant on tourists and the dollars they bring during the snowier months will face a bevy of new challenges in a mid-pandemic winter.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

State health officials are urging Coloradans to avoid meeting with family and friends for Thanksgiving festivities, as indoor gatherings could exacerbate already-high levels of the coronavirus.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Surging rates of COVID-19 in Pitkin County pushed the area into the “orange” level of the state’s COVID-19 meter, a multi-tiered gauge used to impose restrictions on counties where the virus is worsening.

On track to move one level higher on the meter, Pitkin County is imposing its own set of rules – slightly stricter than the state requires – to avoid the mandatory shutdown of businesses that comes with the “red” level.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

For the first time since Coronavirus ended the season early in March, lifts will be taking skiers and snowboarders up Aspen Mountain and Snowmass this week. Both mountains are set to open on Wednesday, but pandemic safety measures will make the experience look a bit different.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

New cases of COVID-19 continue to stack up in all three Roaring Fork Valley counties, making the pandemic more intense now than at any other point since it began. The area is creeping closer to new mandatory restrictions handed down from the state.

Screenshot from Governor Jared Polis on Facebook

In a speech Friday afternoon, Gov. Jared Polis delivered some stern warnings  for the state as it goes through its most challenging throes of the pandemic. 

Garfield County Public Health

All three counties in the Roaring Fork Valley are experiencing their highest rates of COVID-19 since the pandemic began in March. Public health officials and hospitals are concerned about a grim winter ahead, with holiday gatherings and travel threatening to worsen already-unprecedented levels of the virus.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

 

All three counties in the Roaring Fork Valley are experiencing their highest rates of new COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began about nine months ago. Area hospitals are worried that increasing spread of the virus could bring an overwhelming burden in the coming months and bracing for a grim road ahead.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Pitkin County Public Health director Karen Koenemann announced plans to resign, effective Dec. 4. She has served as director since the department’s creation in early 2017, and is leaving this job to work for a health nonprofit in her home state of Alaska.

Lauri Jackson / Aspen Public Radio

Updated at 11:45 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 5

State Sen. Bob Rankin has won his reelection bid after a close content between him and Democratic challenge Karl Hanlon. Hanlon called Rankin to concede Thursday morning. There were about 1,000 votes separating the two men, according to the latest, unofficial returns. 

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