25-50-100 years ago | AspenTimes.com

25-50-100 years ago

The Aspen Times announced that kindergartners would join the older kids for skiing Wednesday afternoons in 1958. (Courtesy Aspen Historical Society)
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Never before in the history of Pitkin county has such interest in the finding of a jury been manifested as in the Taylor case just closed. From 6 o’clock Friday evening, when the jury went out, till 3:30 Monday afternoon, when the jury came into court and announced that an agreement was impossible, the interest was intense. The first question on arising in the morning and the last question asked at night was, “Has the jury reached a verdict?” …

After being seated Foreman Brown arose and addressed the court:

“We have acted on your instructions and believe it is absolutely impossible to reach a verdict. We haven’t changed in forty-eight hours.”

The Court ” “Not much use in staying out any longer if you are so positive about it.” …

Upon the jury being dismissed yesterday afternoon, The Democrat was reliably informed that the balloting stood 10 for conviction and 2 for acquittal; Brown and Roberts voting for acquittal.

Because some of our citizens have complained of the action of the city council in making a wholesale reduction in the number of arc lights about town, a few of our officials have taken it to heart.

Of course, it was an experiment and it was a difficult matter to determine the proper places where the lights might be cut out.

In the way of suggestion:

The light might be taken from in front of Marolt’s place on Cooper avenue and placed at the corner of Hopkins avenue and Spring street, at what is known as the Mollie Gibson crossing. A light is badly needed at this place as many of our miners go this route to and from their work on Smuggler mountain.

A lamp placed at the corner of Hopkins and Mill street would be a great help in indicating to a stranger in our city the way to the Hotel Jerome.

Another light at the corner of Main and Galena would be a great convenience not only to those who attend evening services at the Catholic church, but to those who might wish to find the courthouse after nightfall.

Main street is short on light and a light placed on the hill at Third street would be duly appreciated by our citizens living on the mesa, as all use this thoroughfare coming to town and returning to their homes. …

Our city fathers should walk about their city after dark to learn for themselves where lights are needed.

The Wednesday afternoon activities program on Jan. 29 added about 18 tiny tyro skiers to the roster.

For the first time, kindergarten students have been included in the instruction program, which begins at 1:30 and lasts until 3 p.m. each Wednesday.

The classes are being instructed by Mrs. Pitcher, Phillip Wright and Gerard Gagne.

In line with the program expansion, the school issued another call for ski equipment and clothing donations. There are still some children interested in participating in the activities who are unable to do so because of lack of skis or boots.

Three separate tracts of government land in Pitkin County will be offered at three different public sales. …

One tract, 17.98 acres, appraised at $89.90, is located up Capitol Creek [see photo] and is part of the old Peter Larson Homestead. It is surrounded by Monastery lands.

The second tract, containing 349.51 acres, is appraised at $3058. It is located near the Brush Creek Divide, and among the owners of surrounding land are John Hoaglund, Alex Cerise, Evan Melton, Arthur Roberts and A. Perry Christiansen.

Located 12 miles below Redstone on the Crystal River across from the junction of Thompson Creek, the third tract contains 142.61 acres and is appraise at $858. It is bordered by land owned by Charles E. Thomas and Joe Mautz.

Although the sales are called public sales and bidding is open to all interested persons, owners of land contingent to the land offered for sale have the right to exercise a preference and meet the highest bid.

Aspen Police Chief Rob McClung admits he made a blunder but denies that he ever intended to keep a revolver that he removed from the department’s evidence safe last August.

McClung said the revolver, a Dan Wesson .357 worth $357, turned up in his desk drawer on Jan. 17, the same day that owner Dan Mayers came to City Hall to recover the weapon.

According to McClung, what started out as a test intended to make a point about security procedures to his officers ended up as an embarrassment to himself because he forgot to replace the gun with other evidence items after taking it from the safe sometime in August 1982. …

The revolver was reported stolen by owner Dan Mayers on March 11, 1981. On Aug. 14, 1981, the gun was returned to Aspen police by Denver detectives who seized it in connection with a pawn shop investigation in Denver. …

According to McClung, [in August 1982, two officers undertook an inventory of the contents in the evidence safe] and spread the weapons on two or three desks but did not complete the inventory immediately.

With the guns unguarded and “numerous” people walking in and out of the area, McClung decided to take one of the guns to show the officers they had made a mistake leaving the weapons unprotected.

The gun’s absence was not noticed by the officers, who apparently replaced the guns in the safe without matching them against the inventory. …

The gun surfaced from the depths of McClung’s drawer on Jan. 17, the same day that owner Mayers came to City Hall to reclaim his revolver. But McClung was unaware that Mayers was looking for his gun, and the officers with whom Mayers had spoken were likewise unaware that the gun was in McClung’s possession. …

McClung said he has tried to replace the gun in the safe the day he found it in his desk but was unable to open the safe and took the gun back to his desk.

Mayers was called by Aspen police on Jan. 24, one week after the gun turned up on McClung’s desk. As for McClung, he said, “I fell victim to a disciplinary action I set up to deal with my own inventory and evidence checks.”


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