Your Evening News - January 8th, 2015

Jan 8, 2015

Environment Foundation Awards Over $95,000

A non-profit connected to the Aspen Skiing Company and aimed at environmental causes is releasing over $31,000 in grants to local efforts.

A news release from the Environment Foundation says the money will be split between six groups working on youth education. Those receiving the grants include the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, Basalt Middle and High School and the Waldorf School of the Roaring Fork.

An additional $64,000 is being sent to seven additional organizations focused on energy efficiency, limiting the impacts of drilling on the Western Slope and maintenance and expansion of trials in the Roaring Fork Valley. In total, the Environment Foundation is donating more than $95,000 to 13 projects. The money was raised by Ski Co employees and was matched by various companies and area non-profits.

Safeway to Help Smokers Quit in State Program  

Health officials announced today the Safeway pharmacy in Glenwood Springs is part of an anti-smoking effort.

In order to help more smokers to kick the habit, pharmacists will ask all customers about their smoking habits. It’s part of an effort with the Colorado Quitline, a state anti-smoking hotline. Safeway is the first pharmacy chain to take part in such an effort after participating in a similar successful program in California. One hundred Safeway pharmacies statewide are taking part in the effort.

The Colorado Quitline has assisted over 300,000 callers over the past 15 years.

Jury Duty Scan Targets El Jebel Residents

Residents in the Roaring Fork Valley are reporting a scam about jury duty.

The Eagle County Sheriff’s office says several people in El Jebel have complained about hearing from a fake representative of the Sheriff’s office. They’re being falsely warned of a warrant out for their arrest for allegedly missing jury duty. The scammer then urges residents to pay $5,000 on a prepaid card in order to get rid of the warrant.

The Eagle County Sheriff’s office is cautioning residents to avoid sending money especially without checking with law enforcement first.

Fees Up for Ski Areas

Ski areas in the White River National Forest paid a record amount in fees for operating during the previous winter. More than $15 million were paid to operate on Forest Service land last ski season. That’s an increase of more than $2 million from the previous season.

Fees for each resort in the Roaring Fork Valley vary widely even those within the Aspen Skiing Company. The fee for Aspen Mountain was more than $80,000 while Snowmass came in at $1.4 million. Bill Kight is with the White River National Forest and says the formula for determining the fees is very complicated, but one factor is how big the ski area is. The money collected goes straight to the treasury in Washington, D.C.

The biggest fee in the Forest went to Vail Mountain which will pay the Forest Service more than $5.3 million.