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Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Garfield County recently adopted a new set of regulations that could be applied to mining projects. The new rules – called 1041 regulations – could shape the development of the controversial Rocky Mountain Industrials (formerly Rocky Mountain Resources) expansion near Glenwood Springs. 


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It's Cinco de Mayo in Sandpoint, Idaho, and a downtown pub is giving away free meals to families in need. Not many people are out. A few are wearing masks. Outside the pub, a teenager is playing the Beatles' song "Yesterday" on his violin.

via Pitkin County Public Health

Pitkin County health officials said they are on track to move to phase two of a reopening plan as early as May 27. The county needs to see certain patterns in health data to enter that phase. In Thursday’s board of health meeting, county officials and Aspen Valley Hospital staff said they have not seen a new COVID-19 case since early April, neighboring counties are posting low case numbers and the staff at the hospital is almost entirely healthy.

via Pitkin County

Pitkin County’s next public health order goes into effect on May 9 as part of a three-phase plan to return to normal life. Thursday, the county board of health said it could move to the second phase as early as May 27, if certain criteria are met.

This week the governors of Colorado and Nevada joined West Coast states in something called the Western States Pact. Its stated aim is to bring together states with a “shared vision for modifying stay at home orders and fighting COVID-19.” 

The U.S. now has at least three such regional collaborations. 

via Pitkin County Public Health

Pitkin County health officials laid out the specifics of the next public health order and the county’s contact tracing operation in an emergency public health meeting on Thursday. The next public health order will closely align with the state’s latest policies, but include a few specific exceptions.

via City of Aspen

Tuesday night, Aspen City Council will review a set of zoning guidelines for wireless facilities. Federal and state rules do not allow local governments to exercise much control over the installation of “small cell” infrastructure, which is a component of 5G technology. Aspen’s guidelines are designed to control the aspects of size, design and location that are within the city’s purview.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

The first rollbacks to restrictive statewide orders go into effect on Monday, April 27. Colorado Governor Jared Polis announced a transition to a new “Safer-at-Home” policy. The measures include a gradual return normal life, with a timeline for retailers and other businesses to reopen with specific precautions in place. Some rules will differ by county as local governments set their own pace for a return to normal life.

Screenshot from GrassRoots TV

Pitkin County officials laid out a new plan to find COVID-19 cases and slow the spread of the virus in a virtual community meeting Thursday. Karen Koenemann, the county’s director of public health, outlined the “Box it in” strategy, which will use testing, quarantining, contact tracing and isolation as a means of combating coronavirus. 

Courtesy of Pitkin County Incident Management Team

Pitkin County is running a small-scale pilot program of its COVID-19 antibody testing on Friday at Aspen Village fire station. Testing is not yet open to the public; the county says Friday’s trial run will be used to gauge the accuracy of its blood tests and the efficiency of its mobile testing operation.

There was the hiker who broke his leg, then refused to put on a mask before the alpine rescue team helped him down the mountain. There were the snowboarders and skiers packing together into cars to drive up to a closed ski area. Or the people howling at the full moon, over open flames.

Bruce Snelling, undersheriff with Clear Creek County in Colorado, said all of these incidents have happened in recent weeks. And until Saturday, there wasn’t too much he could do about it. But now, the county’s public health order lays out some harsh penalties for non-residents using county roads to get to the backcountry: a fine of up to $5,000 or up to 18 months in the county jail.  

Screenshot from GrassRoots TV

Pitkin County has received its shipment of 1,000 new COVID-19 blood tests. Officials said they “still have a bit of a process” before the tests are released for use by the public and did not specify who will be eligible for testing. In Thursday's online community meeting, the county said does not plan to charge for the tests and will use them to gather data about the presence of the virus in the community.

Molly Dove / Aspen Public Radio

Results from Basalt's Tuesday election are in...mostly. Bill Kane won the mayoral election by 381 votes and the town clerk is waiting to announce the winners of the council race. 

Basalt town clerk Pam Schilling said there are 56 ballots that are either remaining to come in from overseas or need signature verification. Once those are in on or before April 15, town officials will announce the new council members. 

Elise Thatcher / Aspen Public Radio

Basalt voters may have to wait a bit longer than usual to find out the results from Tuesday's election, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. Bill Infante, Bill Kane and Rob Leavitt are running for Basalt mayor. Glenn Drummond, Tiffany Haddad, Elyse Hottel, David Knight, Jennifer Riffle and Kirk "Dieter" Schindler are vying for three open town council seats. 

Screenshot from GrassRoots TV

Aspen Valley Hospital is only seeing a “slight volume” of patients with symptoms of COVID-19, according to an update from CEO Dave Ressler in Thursday’s Pitkin County virtual community meeting. Since the beginning of the outbreak, the hospital has admitted 18 patients. One is still in the hospital, and “all but two” of the other patients were discharged to recover at home.

Screenshot from GrassRoots TV

Aspen Valley Hospital has admitted 10 patients with symptoms of COVID-19 since the outbreak began. Two are currently at the hospital; one is in critical condition. In Pitkin County’s online community meeting Thursday, Dave Ressler, the hospital’s CEO, said patient volumes are light but they are seeing sicker patients than before.

Garfield County

Pitkin and Garfield Counties are working together to expand broadband to remote areas of their counties by creating the Garfield Pitkin Broadband Authority Board. 

At the joint work session on Tuesday, Pitkin County and Garfield County approved moving forward with the formal creation of the board, which will be responsible for the long-term operations of the fixed-wireless broadband service. 

Tammy Terwelp / Aspen Public Radio

Governor Jared Polis has issued a public health order with new, aggressive measures to slow the spread of COVID-19.

 Gatherings and events are now limited to no more than 10 people.  Retail stores are allowed to remain open with fewer than 10 people in the store at once. Restaurants can still have take-out service, but only five or fewer people can wait for food at a time.   The new order will run through April 17. 

via Pitkin County

Health officials and community leaders livestreamed answers to questions from residents about COVID-19 during a Pitkin County community meeting Monday. Local leaders emphasized the importance of social distancing to stem the spread of the virus, and they provided updates on topics ranging from testing for coronavirus to getting food to people who need it.

The Pitkin County Incident Management Team and Pitkin County Public Health Department are hosting a virtual community meeting on Monday, March 16 at 3 p.m. MST. 

Participants can watch the Community Meeting at https://zoom.us/j/571198559​ Meeting ID: 571 198 559.

It will also be streamed by Grassroots and Pitkin County.

You can also listen only to the meeting by calling (669) 900-6833 or (929) 205-6099, meeting ID 571198559# 

Molly Dove / Aspen Public Radio

Editor's Note: This interview is part of a series on the Basalt mayoral race that takes place on April 7. Aspen Public Radio Morning Edition host and reporter Molly Dove sat down with all three candidates, Bill Kane, Rob Leavitt and Bill Infante in their favorite place in Basalt.

Molly Dove / Aspen Public Radio

Editor's Note: This interview is the second in a series on the Basalt mayoral race, taking place on April 7. Aspen Public Radio Morning Edition host and reporter Molly Dove sat down with all three candidates, Bill Kane, Rob Leavitt and Bill Infante, in their favorite place in Basalt.

Basalt mayoral candidate Rob Leavitt sits in a wooden chair sipping on hot tea alongside the Roaring Fork River in Willits. Looking straight ahead across the river, he points out the lot is empty and he wants to keep it that way. Encouraging slow growth in Basalt is one main reason why he is running for mayor.

Molly Dove / Aspen Public Radio

Editor's Note: This interview is the first in a series on the Basalt mayoral race, taking place on April 7. Aspen Public Radio Morning Edition host and reporter Molly Dove sat down with all three candidates, Bill Kane, Rob Leavitt and Bill Infante, in their favorite place in Basalt. 

Sitting at a small table in CC's Cafe, Kane, a Roaring Fork Valley resident for 46 years, said his previous experience as Basalt's town manager, paired with other leadership and communication experience, makes him the best candidate to be mayor.

City of Glenwood Springs / Facebook

The City of Glenwood Springs is holding its first virtual town hall Tuesday to discuss the city’s infrastructure and 2020 projects.

Jonathan Godes, the mayor of Glenwood Springs, says it will allow more residents to be informed by getting information directly from the city council.

City of Champaign Police Department

The Town of Carbondale released the names of the four finalists for the chief of police position Tuesday. 

The four candidates are Lee Damuth, Sean Dugan, David Shaffer and Kirk Wilson. 

Final Application of Basalt River Park / Town of Basalt

The Basalt River Park project has been long-debated, but a plan for the campus could be finalized as early as Thursday at town council's meeting. 

The proposed $1 million project includes public portions, like the park itself and an outdoor area for concerts and other events. It also includes privately-funded commercial spaces and 24 residential units, both affordable and market-rate. 

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Tuesday night, Snowmass Town Council discussed the latest plans for a redevelopment of Snowmass Center. This week’s meeting focused largely on parking. Some council members, including mayor Markey Butler, said current plans don’t include sufficient parking. 

via Google Streetview

 

Carbondale is moving forward with plans to reduce traffic and improve bike and pedestrian access on 8th Street, which intersects Main Street near the end of downtown. The town says people raised concerns about narrow sidewalks and limited access for bikes on a street with plenty of car traffic in residential areas.

City of Glenwood Springs via Facebook

Glenwood Springs holds a ribbon cutting ceremony for the 27th Street Bridge at 2 pm. Wednesday. The bridge reopened in late December after months of construction and delays. Now, the city says things are running smoothly so far, and all that remains are a few finishing touches.

Elise Thatcher

Colorado is holding its first presidential primary in 20 years on March 3.

Ballots were mailed to registered voters on Feb. 10. If you are a registered as a Democrat or Republican, you will receive that party's ballot. If you are not registered with a party, you will be sent both party's primary ballots and will be allowed to only return one. 

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