In Brief: Eagle County deputies kill armed suspect; Aspen candidate forum at Explore; California snowpack at double the average |

In Brief: Eagle County deputies kill armed suspect; Aspen candidate forum at Explore; California snowpack at double the average

Staff Report

Eagle County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a call reporting a domestic disturbance between an armed male subject and a female around 9 p.m. on Tuesday. 

When the deputies arrived, they attempted to de-escalate the situation with verbal commands from the front porch of the Edwards residence, according to a media release. 

“It was reported the male subject came outside with a gun,” the release read. “Shots were fired, which resulted in the fatality of the armed male subject.”

No other injuries were reported from the incident. 

Because the investigation of the situation is open and ongoing, the names of involved parties including Eagle County Sheriff’s Office responding deputies will not be released at this time. 

“The deputies involved have been placed on paid administrative leave as per Eagle County Sheriff’s Office Policy,” the release read. 

Aspen council candidate forum at Explore

An Aspen City Council candidate Forum is set for Tuesday, Feb. 7 at 9:30 a.m. at Explore Booksellers. Candidates Bill Guth, Sam Rose, and Skippy Mesirow will be answering questions about their candidacies.

Adam Frisch to discuss politics at Explore

Former Aspen City Council member Adam Frisch, who recently lost his bid to unseat U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, will be at Explore Booksellers in Aspen on Wednesday, Feb. 8 at 4:30 p.m. in an interview with Ken Adelman — deputy U.N. ambassador and director of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency under Ronald Reagan. They’ll be talking about Adam’s campaign, the state of politics in the United States today, and take audience questions.

‘Where do we flow from here?’ — considering water in the West

Alex Hager, a KUNC reporter covering water issues and the Colorado River Basin, will speak Thursday, Feb. 16, from 5-6:30 p.m. at Basalt Regional Library. 

According to organizers: More than 40 million people use Colorado River water from Wyoming to Mexico. Where does the water go, and how do we balance the needs of cities, farms, tribes, and ecosystems as we decide how to divvy up the shrinking river going forward? Hager travels the basin covering water issues for National Public Radio stations. He’ll share stories of the people and places that depend on the Colorado River and take a look at how they’re shaping its future.

Eagle County Mental Health Advisory Committee has open Roaring Fork slots open

The Eagle County Mental Health Advisory Committee is accepting applications for four open seats on the committee. Applications are due Feb. 17 and can be found at :

The committee is seeking to fill four vacancies of specific roles and/or backgrounds, with the ability for individuals to fulfill multiple roles, which include two large health-care provider representatives 
and two community advocates/individuals with lived experience. Of these roles, two must be filled by Roaring Fork Valley representatives.

The committee meets on the last Thursday of every other month from 1-2:30 p.m. Attendance may be virtual or in-person. Frequency, date, time, duration, and location are subject to change.

The committee provides funding recommendations for programs intended for all citizens of Eagle County. The committee makes recommendations for the provision of mental health services in our community, as well as the support of organizations along the continuum of care, including promotion, prevention, treatment, and recovery. All recommendations will consider equity in access to services for all residents of Eagle County.

Eagle County offers free recording notification service to deter property fraud

To alert residents to potential property fraud, the Eagle County Clerk and Recorder’s Office offers a free Recording Notification Service that will send an email alert to residents when a document, such as a deed or power of attorney, is recorded using a monitored name. With this service, residents can request the monitoring of up to five different names per registered email address. Thus far, nearly 300 residents have taken advantage of this free service, officials said.

“This service does not prevent a potentially fraudulent document from being recorded,” said Clerk and Recorder Regina O’Brien. “However, it does provide notification that will assist a property owner in taking immediate action. This early warning system is preferable to belatedly discovering fraud months or years later.” 

Real-estate scams and fraud are becoming more prevalent, officials said. Some properties in Eagle County have been illegally advertised for sale on real-estate apps by individuals other than the rightful owners, according to county officials, who said: “Scammers use various online real-estate marketplace companies and pose as legitimate landlords or property owners. Often, the scam involves the request for deposits via wire transfer, money transfer apps, or even gift cards.”

Report any fraudulent activities to the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office at 970-328-8500 or email

California snowpack at double the seasonal average

The California snowpack is more than double of the seasonal average after receiving a significant boost from one of the wettest three-week periods on record, state officials announced Wednesday.

The Department of Water Resources on Wednesday conducted the survey at Phillips Station, at the entrance road to Sierra-at-Tahoe and recorded the snowpack at 205% of normal and a snow water equivalent of 33.5 inches, which is 193% of average for the location.

The snow water equivalent measures the amount of water contained in the snowpack and is a key component of DWR’s water supply forecast. 

The wettest three weeks followed what was the driest three-year period on record in California and also one of the hottest heat waves ever for September, said a DWR press release.

“California has always experienced some degree of swings between wet and dry, but the past few months have demonstrated how much more extreme those swings are becoming,” said DWR Director Karla Nemeth. “California is preparing for more intense and dangerous climate swings by bolstering both drought and flood preparation. While today’s results are good news for water supplies, we know from experience how quickly snowpack can disappear if dry conditions return in the months ahead.”

LGBTQ+ commitment by school board draws lots of comment

Around 150 people gathered in-person, and more than 120 appeared online, during a Jan. 31 Summit School District meeting to voice support and opposition to a resolution passed by the district’s Board of Education in October that re-affirmed — in part — its commitment to LGBTQ+ representation and inclusion.

The gathering came following a Jan. 12 board meeting during which several parents and county residents spoke largely against the resolution, especially as it pertains to students in kindergarten through third grade. The Jan. 31 meeting, however, saw a majority of speakers give testimony in support of an LGBTQ-friendly curriculum, with some becoming visibly emotional.

Before public comment was taken, school district leaders also continued to voice their support for the LGBTQ+ community while acknowledging the concerns of some district parents. 

Summit County to overhaul short-term rental licensing

Two weeks before the Summit Board of County Commissioners is set to take a final vote on legislation that will overhaul the short-term rental licensing process, officials are continuing to make adjustments to the policy.

The most significant changes supported by commissioners during a Jan. 31 meeting had to do with booking caps for properties — an amendment first discussed during commissioners’ Jan. 24 meeting in which they held a first reading and vote on the ordinance. During that meeting, commissioners voted to change a 135-night limit to one that limits short-term rentals to 26 separate bookings per year.

During the Jan. 31 meeting, commissioners directed staff to increase the ordinance’s booking limit to 30 amid concerns that 26 did not mirror the original intention of their policy. Commissioners said they hope the booking cap will achieve the same goal of a 135-night limit, which they said is to reduce disruption to short-term rental neighbors. 

“The rationale is that that gives some flexibility for the (short-term rental) owner while also sort of mitigating some of those impacts for short-term rentals,” said Senior Planner Jessica Poetter. 

The booking cap, initially proposed by Commissioner Elisabeth Lawrence, is modeled after a cap in Palm Springs, California, Lawrence said. A booking cap of 26 was estimated to have generated anywhere between 104 and 182 nightly stays per year for a property depending on the length of each booking, according to Potter. 

“We made this switch from days to bookings for a number of reasons but partly in response to the community from whom we heard that nights was not practical,” said Commissioner Tamara Pogue. “While I don’t think Palm Springs is necessarily exactly the same as Summit County, it is a data point that we can look to to help us figure out where we should land on in terms of the number of bookings.

“I suspect 26 is a little bit too low if we go back to a conversion of our original goal of 135 nights.”

As the policy currently stands, a limit of no more than 5% to 18% of certain county areas can hold short-term rental licenses. Commissioners had carved out an exception for certain residents of the county’s workforce and retirees, allowing them to hold licenses regardless of the caps.