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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

On Tuesday, voters in fourteen states will pick their preferred democratic candidate to face off against likely GOP nominee President Donald Trump in November’s general election. Colorado is among the states holding a primary on Super Tuesday.

Aspen Public Radio analyzed a year of individual contribution data from the Federal Election Commission, a government agency that keeps track of campaign finance information.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Housing can be tough to find in the Roaring Fork Valley, and the list of properties gets shorter when it comes to finding places that accept pets. 

Charissa Carvell, a dog trainer at Colorado Animal Rescue in Glenwood Springs, knows this situation all too well. People will come to the rescue to surrender their cats and dogs because they can’t find housing that will take their pets.  

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

As of Wednesday, this winter’s snowpack is nearly exactly the same as it was last year. 2019’s skyrocket in snowfall totals did not begin until the first week of March. Russ Schumacher, a climatologist at Colorado State University, says that jump isn’t likely to repeat.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Colorado Parks and Wildlife says it received 5,369 total bear calls from April 1 through Dec. 31 of 2019. On Wednesday, the agency released the latest statistics from its modernized tracking system. CPW said there are likely an equal number of human-bear interactions that go unreported.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Firefighters say a falling ice dam was likely to blame for a structure fire in Aspen last weekend. Ice dams tend to form in the late winter when snow on rooftops melts and refreezes near the edge of the roof, creating large, heavy chunks of ice.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Tuesday night, Snowmass Town Council discussed the latest plans for a redevelopment of Snowmass Center. This week’s meeting focused largely on parking. Some council members, including mayor Markey Butler, said current plans don’t include sufficient parking. 

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.

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