In Brief: Basalt to receive share of opioid settlement; Rio Grande snow clearing; no word on possible human remains in burning cabin |

In Brief: Basalt to receive share of opioid settlement; Rio Grande snow clearing; no word on possible human remains in burning cabin

Basalt paves way to receive opioid settlement funds

Opioid settlement funds are down the pipe for Basalt after the Town Council approved five settlement documents between the state of Colorado and pharmaceutical/pharmacy companies.

The settlement funds total more than $250 million to be distributed among state and local governments. 

Pharmaceutical companies Teva and Allergan – along with pharmacy chains Walgreen’s, CVS, and Walmart – all settled with the state.

All settlements were reached in November and December 2022. 

In 2021, the town entered a memorandum of understanding with other government bodies regarding the disbursement of settlement funds in a similar settlement agreement with other pharmaceutical manufacturers.

Crews begin clearing Rio Grande Trail of snow

The city of Aspen trails maintenance staff this week have removing snow from the Rio Grande Trail between Puppy Smith Road and Stein Park.

The transition from winter multi-use and ski trails to the fully-plowed asphalt trail may take more time than previous years due to deeper snowpack along the corridor, officials said, asking the community to plan for crews to be working in this area for the entire week and expect for conditions to be highly variable during this period. As grooming for cross-country skiing ended on the Rio Grande Trail below Stein Park on March 14, those sections of trail will not be actively plowed, they said.

For more information, visit

No word yet on possible remains in burning cabin

Eagle County and Roaring Fork Fire Rescue officials said Tuesday that a cabin engulfed in flames early Sunday was still burning and accessing the site still too dangerous to determine whether human remains are in the destroyed structure. The occupant remained missing.

The remote location of the cabin off of Frying Pan Road about seven miles from Basalt resulted in the fire apparatus not being able to access the cabin. Due to these circumstances, the cabin continued to burn, and no fire-suppression activities took place, authorities said. No adjacent structures or vegetation were threatened.

The first arriving unit reported the cabin was fully involved, and the majority of the cabin had already collapsed. Multiple apparatus and personnel from RFFRA responded with three engines, two command vehicles, a water tender, and an ambulance. Mutual aid resources from Carbondale & Rural Fire Protection District also responded.

The cause of the fire is under investigation by Eagle County Sheriff’s Office and Roaring Fork Fire Rescue Authority. The cabin was a total loss.

350 Roaring Fork protests Uinta Basin Railway

At noon on Saturday, 350 Roaring Fork plans to lead a protest at Centennial Park at Grand Avenue and Ninth Street in Glenwood Springs to demand the Department of Transportation turn down a request for $2 billion in low-interest bonds for the construction of a stretch of railroad from the oil fields in the Uinta Basin to the Union Pacific line along the Colorado River.

This line would bring five two-mile long trains with oil tanker cars loaded with heated, highly-viscous oil up the I-70 corridor along the Colorado and Eagle Rivers and through the environmentally-sensitive Glenwood Canyon, organizers said.

‘Meet the Author’ features teen writer

Nyala Honey is a local teen author who has published two books so far. This 14-year-old’s newest novel, “The Silent One,” is a post-apocalyptic young adult thriller.

She will discuss her writing journey, the process of publishing her latest book, and answer audience questions at the Carbondale Branch Library on Saturday, April 8, at 3 p.m. Light refreshments will be provided, and the event is free and open to the public. For more information: 970-963-2889.

Dementia presentation at Sopris Lodge

Sopris Lodge at Carbondale will host Woo Bandel, community engagement manager from the Colorado Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, to present “Understanding and Responding to Dementia-Related Behaviors” on Tuesday, April 4, from 2:30-4 p.m.

This event is free and open to the public; an RSVP is required, and attendance will be limited to 25 registrants. Call 970-456-6871 or visit to RSVP.

U.S. Bank announced as title sponsor of Bash for the Buddies

The Buddy Program announced that U.S. Bank is the title sponsor for the 24th annual Bash
for the Buddies. The bash is a celebration of the youth, families, and volunteer Big Buddies throughout the Roaring Fork Valley with whom the Buddy Program works with through their four mentoring programs.

The event typically raises over one-third of the organization’s annual operating budget and is
critical to sustaining their youth mentoring programs, Buddy Progam officials said.

The Bash for the Buddies will take place on Friday, July 7. This year’s honorees are Gail and Lenny
“Boogie” Weinglass for their many years of service and support of the Buddy Program. In light
of the honorees, this year’s theme is inspired by Boogie’s Diner of Aspen. Gail and Boogie will
also host the event at their ranch in Aspen.

For more information about the Bash for the Buddies event:

Large hangers approved for Rifle’s airport

Garfield County has approved an updated concept plan from Dark Horse Aviation to construct two large hangars at the Rifle Garfield County Airport. The Board of County Commissioners accepted the revised concept plan submitted by Dark Horse Aviation, which is constructing two new hangars proposed at 49,000 square feet and another of 40,000 square feet.

“Commissioner Samson said once we get the new development guide approved, we’ll have lots of developers coming to the airport to build, and I think this is just one of the many that will be coming before the commissioners,” said Rifle Garfield County Airport Director Brian Condie.

Dark Horse asked to proceed with its original request to lease airport parcels A-5 and A-6, allowing for the construction of larger hangars at the airport. The proposal noted that Dark Horse was determining how to maximize its investment at the airport over the 40-year land lease. The lease rate for the property was estimated at $83,867 annually. 

Ryan Maxfield, executive VP of business development for Dark Horse, told the board that the design of the Rifle Garfield County Airport and ample ramp room makes it a reliable destination for pilots flying into the area. 

“I began flying airplanes before I knew how to drive a car, so I have a unique background,” he said. “I’ve been fortunate enough in my career to have flown into Eagle, Aspen, Telluride, and Rifle, and you guys have one heck of an airport, and you should be very proud. In my mind, from a pilot’s perspective, Rifle’s always been a sure bet. … It’s a safe alternate, even if you’re not coming here in the first place.”

Roaring Fork Engineering announcements

Roaring Fork Engineering announced the promotion of Anthony Alfini to principal and the addition of Maggie McHugh to the team. McHugh will be serving the firm’s water and wastewater clients.

Anthony Alfini

“Anthony’s expertise in our industry and acumen for business operations have made him an essential member both within our organization and in the external community,” RFE President, owner and Principal Richard Goulding said. “Additionally, we are thrilled to have Maggie McHugh rejoin our team. Her experience in managing large-scale water and wastewater projects will be highly valuable.”

Alfini, a native of Rifle, earned his bachelor’s degree in science and civil engineering from the Colorado School of Mines.

McHugh graduated from The Ohio State University with a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering. She then pursued a master’s degree in civil engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder, where she focused on water resources.

Maggie McHugh

Roaring Fork Engineering offers a range of services including civil, environmental, water resources, and construction administration to clients such as land developers, municipal corporations, commercial entities, and private landowners in Colorado’s mountain communities.

Presentation on organ donation

 Sopris Lodge at Carbondale will host a guest speaker from the Chris Klug Foundation for discussion about organ, eye, and tissue donation on Monday, April 10, from 3-4 p.m. at 295 Rio Grande Ave. 

April is National Donate Life Month and the Chris Klug Foundation is an Aspen-based non-profit that raises awareness about donation and strives to eliminate the wait for those on the transplant waitlist.

This event is free and open to the public, but an RSVP is requested, and attendance will be limited to 25 registrants. For more information or to RSVP, contact Sopris Lodge’s Director of Sales and Marketing Marie Herr at 970-456-6871, or visit the website events page at

Meeker Mustang Makeover seeks trainers for summer event    

The Meeker Mustang Makeover seeks 10 young horse trainers to start a 1- year-old mustang and compete in the makeover and help find homes for these horses.

This year, local horses from the Piceance basin and other areas of Colorado will be highlighted in the competition. Horse trainers, both amateur and professional, are encouraged to apply. While the Meeker Mustang Makeover provides clinics to help trainers through the process, applicants should have horse experience as these horses are wild, officials said.

The application period is open now until April 1 at 11:59 p.m. More information and applications are available at

This year, 25 trainers from across Colorado will pick up their Mustangs in Meeker on April 29, attend a Getting Started Clinic, and 120 days later, perform and compete to show how far they have come from wild horse to willing partner in front of a crowd at the Meeker Rodeo Fairgrounds. All horses are then sold at the end with trainers receiving 50% of the proceeds of their horse, in addition to taking home prize money and scholarship funds.

The selected trainers will have the opportunity to attend two free clinics by Wild Horse professional Steve Mantle. There is a youth division with yearlings in hand (halter) for kids ages 10 to 17 and a saddle competition with 3-year-old mustangs for anyone aged 15 and up.

The competition will be held on Saturday, Aug. 26, followed by an online and live auction of all the horses to their permanent homes. Trainers receive half of the auction proceeds. Longhorn Video Auctions is the auctioneer and last year attracted 22,000 views on the website.

Applications online at Questions? Call Robyn Blackwood at 760-774-6863.


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