Your Evening News - December 17th, 2014

Dec 17, 2014

Snowmass Ski Area Changes Under Review

The White River National Forest released a draft Environmental Assessment for changes at Snowmass Ski Resort.  The Aspen-Sopris Ranger District reviewed what’s being called winter recreation enhancements proposed by Aspen Skiing Company. They include the replacement and realignment of the High Alpine Chairlift, and boosting snowmaking. The changes could also include glade and trail projects. Official notice will be published in the Glenwood Springs Post Independent. The comment deadline will be thirty days later.

Bus Service Ramps Up Between Denver & Glenwood Springs

Glenwood Springs is showing off a new regional bus service tomorrow. Called “Bustang,” the line connects the city with the Front Range.

Glenwood Springs will be the furthest stop WEST on what’s officially called the Interregional Express or “I-X”. The line continues east to Denver’s Union Station with a one way ticket costing about $28. Passengers can then connect to busses up to Fort Collins or south to Colorado Springs as well as other public transportation. Coach busses will fit 50 passengers offer Wifi, bike racks, and bathrooms. CDOT says service starts early next year but has not set a fixed date.

Colorado Grants $8 million for Medical Pot Studies

The largest state funded study into medical uses of marijuana is being funded. The Denver Post reports Colorado's Board of Health has approved up to eight-million dollars in grants to pay for eight studies. The study areas include use to treat childhood epilepsy, post-traumatic stress disorder, Parkinson’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease, pediatric brain tumors and spinal pain. The point of the studies is to see if the evidence points to cannabis as a useful medicine for those ailments. The state still has an additional million dollars in research money available that it could use to expand approved studies or start new research. The grant funding comes from registration fees patients pay to be on the state's medical marijuana registry.

Study: Teen Pot Use Drops as Legal Landscape Changes

The annual Monitoring the Future survey found teen marijuana use across the country decreased slightly in 2014. The Denver Post reports when all age groups are studied, teens reporting ever having used marijuana dropped by 1.4% and teens reporting using the drug in the past month dropped by 1.2%. Two other measurements also declined. Use by middle and high school students is now at its lowest point in the past four to six years. But, it remains at or above the study’s ten-year average. While the survey was not Colorado-specific, it found that about 30% of teens said they had used marijuana in their lifetimes and about 14% had used in the previous month. The Monitoring the Future study has been conducted every year for the past 40 years. The national survey fits with a Colorado survey released this year that also found slight drops in marijuana use, even as perceptions of marijuana's harms also decreased.

Teen Gets 10 Years for Killing Father in Gypsum

A 14-year-old Gypsum boy will be in prison for the next decade after killing his father this spring. The Vail Daily reports he pleaded guilty in Eagle on Tuesday and will be formally sentenced later this week. Investigators say the teen shot his 50-year-old father twice in the head then left his body in the house for six days. The son also called his father's boss to report he was sick and would be off work for a few days. Investigators say the boss became suspicious and alerted authorities. The teen will serve seven years in a youth prison before being transferred to a state correctional facility for adults when he turns 21.