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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.
 

Hayden Cleverly

 

Valley resident Hayden Cleverly recently launched a new brand called Democrastreet Wear, or “DEMSW” for short. It includes items like swimsuits that say “Nasty Voter” and coffee mugs printed with “Voting is Sexy.”

  • Grizzly Creek Fire Updates 
  • State Officials and Fire Managers Offer Insight On When I-70 Will Reopen
  • Glenwood Springs Fire Chief Says Areas South of I-70 Are Not In Imminent Danger
  • GreenLatinos Call For Equity In Colorado's Response To Climate Change
  • Colorado Voters Will Decide Whether To Lower The State Income Tax 

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.

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. 

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. 

 

The BettyFlies Foundation, which provides flight school scholarships to students in the Roaring Fork Valley, hosts their “2020 Virtual Rendezvous” Wednesday starting at 6pm. Retired NASA astronaut and artist Nicole Stott will be featured, along with local youth Isaac Musselman, founder of the Basalt Aeronautics Club. 

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.

John Bennett

This weekend, protesters gathered throughout the Roaring Fork Valley to call attention to systematic racism and police violence in the wake of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis. 

Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died on Memorial Day after police officer Derek Chauvin, who is white, pinned him to the ground and kept his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes. 

In Aspen on Saturday, hundreds of local protesters marched through the rainy streets in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

Eleanor Bennett / Aspen Public Radio

Longtime local resident Maria works in housekeeping and lives in a shared mobile home in El Jebel. She said she’s worried about paying her $300-a-month rent this summer. (We’re not using her full name because she’s undocumented.)

(HS)2 / Colorado Rocky Mountain School

As schools everywhere are faced with the dilemma of cancelling summer programs amid the pandemic, ‘High School, High Scholar,’  known as '(HS)2' at Colorado Rocky Mountain School, or CRMS, in Carbondale is going virtual. 

Amy Maron

 

Roaring Fork Valley resident Bob Rugile has been taking it upon himself to clean the streets of downtown Basalt since he moved here in 1993, and the pandemic hasn’t slowed him down.

 

“What I like is that Basalt is relatively small and one person can make a difference,” Rugile said. 

 

Matt Greenlund / Thimble Fox

 

To help stop the spread of coronavirus, some Roaring Fork Valley residents are doing more than just wearing masks themselves. They're making them for frontline workers and the community. 

 

Connect For Health Colorado

 

Due to COVID-19, Colorado has extended the emergency enrollment period for health insurance until the end of month. Thursday is the last day for residents who are currently uninsured to enroll in health insurance. 

ALEX HAGER / ASPEN PUBLIC RADIO

 

 

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to decide whether the Trump administration has the authority to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program any week now. This could have a huge impact on DACA recipients in the Roaring Fork Valley.

 

Julio Diez

 

Aspen-based company Detailing HQ usually provides cleaning and paint touch-ups for cars. But now, owner Jake Greene is offering disinfecting services for essential businesses and workers on the frontlines of COVID-19.

Robin and Steve Humble

 

The Town of Basalt has asked the Colorado legislature to require insurance companies to reimburse small businesses for losses due to COVID-19. That's if those restaurants had “business interruption insurance.” It’s a type of property or casualty insurance required by most landlords that covers income lost to an event, like a fire or storm.

Eleanor Bennett / Aspen Public Radio

A group of 40 mid-valley volunteers have started the “Corona Helpline” pickup and delivery service. Outgoing Basalt Mayor Jacque Whitsitt is the lead organizer. 

“I think folks will initially ask their friends or family to help them, but not everybody has that,” Whitsitt said. “We’ve had a great response from the people that we have helped.” 

 

Valley View Hospital

In crises like the Coronavirus pandemic, Roaring Fork Valley residents turn to first responders for help. But healthcare workers and emergency response teams need support too. 

As a nurse in the critical care unit at Valley View Hospital, Gail Rounce knows the anxiety of caring for COVID-19 patients firsthand. 

 

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