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Eleanor Bennett

Morning Edition Host/Reporter/Producer

Eleanor officially starts August 4th, 2020.

Growing up in the valley listening to KAJX in her parents’ car on the way to school, Eleanor learned the power and urgency of community storytelling. She was further captivated by the medium while interning at APR after graduating from Middlebury College in 2015.

From there, Eleanor moved to New York where she covered issues of climate justice and women's empowerment for SiriusXM Radio and launched several podcasts from soup-to-nuts. Eleanor recently finished a project interviewing hundreds of New Yorkers about their dreams and fears for an interactive audio-visual exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum by the photographer and muralist, JR.

Making these kinds of personal connections with people from all walks of life and creating empathic spaces for them to tell their stories fuels her work. Eleanor is delighted to be back home in the Rocky Mountains working with the Aspen Public Radio team and local residents to shine a light on the critical issues that shape our valley.
 

Allison Johnson / Roaring Fork School District

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the valley, local schools are having to rethink their plans for the winter months. As of last week, nearly 250 students were quarantined in the Roaring Fork School District and the entire Roaring Fork High School moved to online learning for the week after several staff were exposed to the virus. 

“It’s very disruptive, the pivoting back and forth between distance learning and in-person learning,” said the district’s superintendent Rob Stein.


Eleanor Bennett / Aspen Public Radio

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

 

A menos de dos semanas del día de la elección, muchos en Colorado están enfocándose en un grupo creciente de votantes latinos que podrían ser una gran parte de la decisión del resultado. Según el Centro de Investigación Pew, los votantes latinos son el mayor grupo demográfico de votantes no blancos este año, constituyendo el 16% de los votantes de Colorado en 2018. Y sin embargo, los latinos han estado históricamente subrepresentados en los cargos políticos en los valles del Roaring Fork y del Río Colorado.

Eleanor Bennett / Aspen Public Radio

 

With election day less than two weeks away, many in Colorado are looking to a growing group of Latino voters who could be a big part of deciding the outcome. According to the Pew Research Center, Latino voters are the largest non-white voting demographic this year, making up 16% of Colorado voters in 2018. And yet, Latinos have been historically underrepresented in political office in the Roaring Fork and Colorado River Valleys.

David Hiser

To coincide with the 50th anniversary of Hunter S. Thompson’s historic race to become sheriff of Pitkin County, the new documentary, “Freak Power: the Ballot or the Bomb,” debuts on Friday, Oct. 23. While the film chronicles the gonzo journalist’s 1970 campaign in Aspen, parts of it feel eerily similar to today.

Eleanor Bennett / Aspen Public Radio

As temperatures rise and wildfires continue to burn across the West, many in Colorado are turning their attention to fire prevention. There's a woman who comes to the Roaring Fork Valley every year known as the "goat gypsy." Lani Malmberg and her herd of 1,200 Spanish cashmere goats help with fire mitigation, land restoration and weed control on private and public lands across all 13 Western states. 

Voces Unidas de las Montañas

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

Todos los votantes registrados en Colorado recibirán por correo el “libro azul” oficial.  La guía bipartidista se usa para ayudarle a los votantes a descifrar los problemas complejos y a veces confusos de la papeleta.  Pero si su primer idioma es el español puede ser que no corra con suerte.

Voces Unidas de las Montañas

Pueden encontrar la versión en español aqui

 

All registered voters in Colorado will receive an official “blue book” in the mail. The bipartisan guide is used to help voters decipher complex and sometimes confusing ballot issues. But if your first language is Spanish, you may be out of luck. 

  • Independence Pass Closed Near The Summit For Rockfall Safety Work On Sept. 30 And Oct. 1 
  • The Red Brick Center In Aspen Has A New Exhibition Featuring Works By Local Artists
  • Colorado’s Recent COVID-19 Spike Appears To Be Leveling Off, But It's Too Early To Celebrate 
  • Public Land Use Decisions Are Under Scrutiny Following The Removal Of The Director At The Bureau Of Land Management

  • Colorado’s Colleges And Universities Will Allow Students To Apply For Free On October 13
  • It's Especially Important To Get A Flu Shot This Year, But Less Than Half Of Americans Typically Get The Vaccine
  • Drug Overdose Deaths Have Increased In Colorado During The Pandemic
  • Colorado Continues To See A Surge In People Wanting To Sign Up To Be Poll Workers

Mateo Lozano / Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition

Efforts to wind down the 2020 Census by Sept. 30 have been blocked for now as a federal judge in California has ruled that the U.S. Census Bureau must continue through October. Though, the Trump administration is appealing the order to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. 

Bryan Alvarez-Terrazas is a program associate at the Aspen Community Foundation (ACF), which is part of the Aspen to Parachute Complete Count Committee (A2PCCC). He said the once-in-a-decade population count has a huge impact on the Roaring Fork Valley and the state because it’s used to determine federal funding for local schools, hospitals and nonprofits as well as to divvy up the number of seats Colorado gets in the House. 

  • Recent Wildfire Smoke In The Roaring Fork Valley Has Been Coming From Out-Of-State Fires 
  • The Westbound Deck Of I-70 Reopens Friday, Sept. 25 In Glenwood Canyon
  • The State Is Winding Down A COVID-19 Health Equity Initiative Governor Polis Formed To Tackle Racial Disparities
  • A New Study Suggests Wildfire Smoke Is More Dangerous Than Other Air Pollutants For Asthma Patients         
     

  • Colorado Is Bringing Nearly 400,000 Fish To Alpine Lakes, Including Some In The Roaring Fork Valley
  • Some School Districts In Colorado Struggled To Balance Their Budgets Even Before The Pandemic
  • Hotels In Colorado Saw Occupancy Rates Increase Again Last Month
  • The State's Emergency Rent Fund Has Paid Out About $7.5 Million To Cover Housing Costs For People During COVID-19

  • Registration Is Now Open For The Aspen Music Festival And School’s After School Music Classes
  • Colorado Health Officials Say COVID-19 Cases Have Increased For The Third Consecutive Week
  • Many Colorado Workers Will Be Forced To Take Days Off Without Pay Because Of Budget Shortfalls Due To The Pandemic
  • Large Numbers Of Migratory Birds Have Dropped Dead Across The West.

     

Grizzly Creek Fire Facebook Page

A recent study from the University of Colorado Boulder found that forests in the southern Rocky Mountains are becoming less resilient in the wake of wildfires. 

“In the last fifty years, fires have, on average, become larger. And with larger fires, we have larger areas that are tree-less,” said the lead author of the study Kyle Rodman.

  • A Recent Study Provides A Window Into What Forests Will Look Like In The Wake Of The Grizzly Creek Fire
  • Economists Say Colorado’s Budget Picture Is Improving, But Their Latest Forecast Includes Several Warnings
  • New Researcher Suggests There Could Be Fewer Aspen Trees In Colorado Because Of Climate Change

  • The Roaring Fork School District Has Announced New Plans For Resuming In-Person Learning 
  • Fire Restrictions Have Dropped Down To Stage 1 In Both Pitkin And Eagle Counties
  • Colorado Has Seen Plenty Of Wildfires This Year, But Nothing Like The Catastrophic Fires Still Burning Along the West Coast 
  • Senate Democrats Are Pushing The FCC To Expedite Progress On Broadband Connectivity In Native Communities 

  • Pitkin County Has Seen An Uptick In New COVID-19 Cases Over The Past Two Weeks
  • A Colorado Poll Found That Less Than Half Of Respondents Are 'Very Likely' To Get A COVID-19 Vaccine Once It's Available
  • People Who Work At Or Manage Marijuana Businesses No Longer Have To Be Colorado Residents

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.

Charles Curtis / Aspen Fire Department

The Aspen Fire Department is holding a virtual memorial service on GrassRoots TV to mark the 19th anniversary of 9/11. Aspen Fire Chief Rick Balentine is the lead organizer and will be speaking as part of the program, along with Aspen Mayor Torre, local veteran Lt. Col. Dick Merritt, Rabbi Mendel Mintz, artist Patricia Blanchet Bradley and many others. 

  • The Aspen Fire Department Is Holding A Virtual Remembrance To Mark The Anniversary Of 9/11 
  • Governor Polis Has Plans To Use Emergency Funds For The Grizzly Creek Fire Area 
  • A Denver Judge Will Decide Whether To Delay Distribution Of Colorado’s Voting Guide 

  • Grizzly Creek Fire Updates 
  • Conspiracy Theories Are Popping Up Everywhere These Days, Especially In Our Region
  • Colorado High Schools Sports Officials May Allow Some Outdoor Sports This Fall 

Colorado Center of Excellence for Advanced Technology Aerial Firefighting

Firefighters working on the Grizzly Creek Fire that sparked over four weeks ago in Glenwood Canyon have been using new technology to help them. This includes everything from drones that drop small plastic spheres known as Dragon Eggs that contain potassium permanganate for burn operations to mapping software that allows aircraft to superimpose infrared footage with topographical maps to more precisely detect the fire perimeter and new burn activity. 

  • Firefighters Use New Technology To Contain The Grizzly Creek Fire
  • Schools Are Grappling With How To Connect Low-Income Students With Internet Access
  • Colorado Voters Will Get Another Chance To Watch A Debate Between Senate Candidates

        

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.  

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