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Your Evening News - January 28th, 2015

Jan 28, 2015

CMC Holds Local Associates Level Tuition to Zero Increase

Tuition for locals will be the same at Colorado Mountain College this academic year. The board of trustees approved a zero increase on associate-degree-level courses for those who live in the district. Those who are in-state but out of district will be an extra $6.50 per credit hour at the associates-degree level while residents of Chaffee, Grand and Jackson Counties will pay $6 extra per credit hour. The biggest increase comes for those paying out-of-state tuition, who will see a $56 per credit hour increase. A news release from CMC says the school remains one of the most affordable in the state. At the same time, the board of trustees are expected to work over the next few months on comprehensive and strategic plans to improve student access and achievement through changes to the school’s financial aid programs.

Local McKennis Picked for U.S. Alpine World Ski Championships

Glenwood Springs skier Alice McKennis was named to the U.S. Alpine World Ski Championships Team today. The announcement means McKennis may race at Beaver Creek next week — against athletes like Lindsey Vonn.

Over the past few years McKennis has been battling a debilitating leg injury. The 25-year-old didn’t race in last year’s Sochi Olympic Games instead, deciding to focus on recovery.

She says the announcement didn’t come as a surprise because she’s had a good season. Still, coming back from two broken legs and four surgeries feels good, she says.

“It’s been a long time coming. It’s been two years of work since then to just try to get back to where I was before that. I actually think I’m skiing technically better than I was in 2013. So, I’ve managed to improve in that amount of time, which has been cool.”

Time trials leading up to the world championship races determine who gets to compete in the downhill discipline. Only four U.S. women are chosen. Opening ceremonies are on Monday.

City of Aspen Divisions Under Audit

The Wheeler Opera House, Aspen’s recreation department and other municipal offices are going under the microscope. That’s because the city of Aspen is undergoing an audit — prompted by last year’s revelation of a years-long parking scam.

The Denver firm, Colorado Independent Consultants Network, will be reviewing how money is handled at those and other city departments. They include the Aspen Golf Club, the city’s finance department, and, of course, the parking department. City finance director Don Taylor explains auditors will be reviewing procedures at all five locations and interviewing staffers who take in money.

Taylor says the goal is to test and evaluate what’s already in place to make sure revenue collection is done properly. That includes an especially close review of the parking department and why workers there failed to stop a glitch that cost the City as much as $800,000 in lost revenue.

The audit will cost the city nearly $50,000. The goal is to have the results by the end of February. Officials will consider extending the deadline if more time is needed.

Statewide Board Talks Suicide Prevention

Colorado’s statewide suicide prevention commission met on Jan 23. One member was recently a longtime resident of the Roaring Fork Valley, and hopes to repeat efforts here and in other parts of the state.

Judge Jonathan Shamis is now a Lake County magistrate, but was previously the executive director of Alpine Legal Services. He says he saw significant changes while doing suicide awareness training with the Aspen Hope Center.

The process that they’ve used in terms of bringing the community together and trying to create a priority and a focus is something that to me is a model certainly for the rural regions, that in some ways also even for the Front Range,” Shamis says.

The statewide commission kicked off last fall and meets again this spring. It comes as nonprofits, mental health providers and businesses have stepped up efforts even more to prevent suicide in the Roaring Fork Valley.