Your Evening News - February 3rd, 2015

Feb 3, 2015

Lance Armstrong Cited for Hitting Parked Cars

A former pro cyclist is expected in court soon following two tickets issued for allegedly hitting two parked cars on Aspen’s west end in December, leaving the scene and trying to get his girlfriend to take the rap. The Aspen Police Department says Lance Armstrong concocted the story because he didn’t want to attract media attention. Anna Hansen is not expected to be charged after recanting her false statements to police. The Aspen Daily News reports Armstrong has hired Denver attorney Pamela Mackey. She represented NBA star Kobe Bryant in the 2003-04 sexual assault case he was facing in Eagle County. Armstrong has not spoken to authorities about the incident. It happened after he attended a party at the St. Regis, where he reportedly consumed alcohol.  Armstrong is expected in court on March 17th.

RFTA Reviewing Comments on Access Plan

The Roaring Fork Transportation Authority will likely consider extending the comment period for its controversial plan. RFTA has gotten a strong reaction to its December draft access plan including accusations of stealing or limiting access to private property.  

The latest round of questions came today during a work session by the Garfield County Commissioners. The Board took public comments, which included Rex Shuster. He was visibly upset about RFTA’s survey of property along its railroad corridor. That shows two hundred feet of adjacent federal land that appears to swallow up family land.

“My parents bought that property in 1947. When the Coal Subdivision was developed. And now you’re showing it comes up clear to the first house. There’s two houses on that property, so there’s one whole house that’s history now, if this is true.”

RFTA’s team working on the plan point out that federal land has been in place for decades and was made public in 2009. It’s per national guidelines, but RFTA’s goal is to not take personal property. Officials instead aim to iron out that conflict and preserve how things operate now.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the public comment period deadline on RFTA’s website was incorrect. The cut off so far is through this Sunday February 9th. RFTA’s board will decide next week whether to extend it.

Vonn Takes Third at World Championships

In Beaver Creek Vail, the first results are coming in from the Alpine World Ski Championships which started earlier today. Austria’s Anna Fenninger won the super-G title. That follows her Olympic gold last year in Sochi in the same division. Tina Maze of Slovenia and Lindsey Vonn rounded out the top three positions. The championships will decide winners in eleven different disciplines and finish up on February 15th

Aspen City Council Considers Health Spending

Aspen City Council continued a conversation last night about funding health and human service organizations. Right now, the City doles out $400,000 annually to various charities.

The council’s conversation centered around whether additional dollars should be pulled from another pot of money and if the method currently used for choosing worthy organizations should continue. Right now Pitkin County decides where the money goes.

Mayor Steve Skadron suggested pulling additional dollars from a tax dedicated to the Wheeler Opera House.

“This is how I think it should go: should new incremental money come into our pool of contributions, I believe that money should have a focused outcome. I think the focus should be on uniquely Aspen problems.”

He’d like to support seniors in need, substance abuse, mental health and suicide. The conversation will continue later this month when councilman Dwayne Romero is present.