In Brief: Food drive through MLK Day; Trampled by Turtles; parks pass tacked on to registration

Staff Report

CMC holds food and clothing drive

Colorado Mountain College leading a food and clothing drive through Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday, Jan. 16.

The college asks donators to bring non-perishable food and gently used or new coats, hats, gloves, scarfs, and boots to CMC campuses in Carbondale, Aspen, Glenwood Springs Center (1402 Blake Ave.), and Spring Valley.

The contributions, accepted between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., will help sustain services at Lift-Up and Food Bank of the Rockies, college officials said.

Trampled by Turtles players coming in March

Wheeler Opera House and Belly Up Aspen are partnering to bring Dave Carroll and Dave Simonett of Trampled by Turtles to the Wheeler stage in March, the presenters announced Tuesday.

Simonett is the band’s lead vocalist/guitarist, while Dave Carroll accompanies him on banjo and harmony vocals. The duo will play an assortment of songs spanning Trampled By Turtles, Dave Simonett’s solo work, some cover songs, and more at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 1.

Vehicle registration includes parks pass tacked on

In 2023, Colorado residents automatically will have a $29 Keep Colorado Wild Pass added to their annual vehicle registration through the Division of Motor Vehicles.

Residents may opt out of the pass every year when registering a vehicle with the DMV online, through a kiosk, by mail, or with a customer service representative in person. The pass is linked to a specific license plate and registration card and is not transferable to another vehicle. 

“Whether you use the pass to visit state parks or just want to show support for wildlife programs and outdoor first responders, your contribution helps protect the outdoor lifestyle our communities treasure,” said Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) acting Director Heather Disney Dugan. “Our agency is excited to offer affordable access to parks through this conservation pass, and we are grateful for our state’s desire to invest more into protecting our great outdoors.” 

Residents who purchase a Keep Colorado Wild Pass are encouraged to link the pass on CPW’s secure third-party website,

Benefits of linking the pass to a CPW account include displaying the Keep Colorado Wild Pass when visiting a Colorado state park via the My CPW App, and residents 64 and older get a discounted camping rate ($3 per night), officials said.

Carbondale COVID test site to close

The Carbondale Town Hall state-run PCR testing site is shutting down Saturday as part of a statewide closure of all community COVID-19 testing sites.

Coloradoans have continued to rely more on at-home tests and demand for testing at community sites has dropped consistently over the last several months, fluctuating between 3% and 6% of overall capacity since November 2022. Colorado’s Roadmap to Moving Forward outlines how testing will be moving into traditional health-care settings. 

Where to find rapid at-home tests:

  • Households may order up to four free tests through the federal government at or by calling 1-800-232-0233.
  • Insurance companies and health plans are required to cover eight free, over-the-counter at-home tests per covered person per month. Coloradoans without insurance can apply for Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid program).
  • Pharmacies participating in the Increasing Community Access to Testing (ICATT) program offer low or no-cost testing for people without insurance. Pharmacies may offer rapid tests, lab-based PCR tests, or both. Contact a specific location to see if they are participating and for more information. 
  • K-12 students can participate in the Colorado free school testing program through the end of the 2022-2023 school year.

Coloradoans who feel symptoms of COVID should test and contact their health care provider if they test positive to see if medicine is right for them, officials said.

DEA seizes enough fentanyl to kill every American

The Drug Enforcement Administration’s Rocky Mountain Division seized over 5.8 million potentially deadly doses of fentanyl in 2022, officials said.  

The division, which covers the states of Colorado, Montana, Utah, and Wyoming, seized nearly two million fentanyl pills and more than 150 pounds of fentanyl powder in 2022.

Last month, the agency announced nationwide seizure totals of over 50.6 million fentanyl pills and more than 10,000 pounds of fentanyl powder. The DEA Laboratory estimates that these seizures represent more than 379 million potentially-deadly doses of fentanyl, which equates to enough fentanyl to kill every American, officials said.

“For the first time in my 31-year law enforcement career, we are seeing an oversaturated drug market,” said Special Agent in Charge Brian Besser of the Rocky Mountain Division.  “We are geographically at the crossroads of the West, and this quite literally places the Rocky Mountain Division on the front lines in the fight to save lives.”

Fentanyl is a highly-addictive, man-made opioid that is 50 times more potent than heroin. Just 2 milligrams of fentanyl, the small amount that fits on the tip of a pencil, is considered a potentially deadly dose. 

Eagle County offices closed Monday

Eagle County government offices, including the Avon and El Jebel satellite offices, will be closed on Monday, Jan. 16, in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

  • Emergency services are always available by calling 911 
  • For non-emergencies, call the Sheriff’s Office at 970-328-8500
  • The Road & Bridge Department will be on call at 970-479-2200 in cases of emergency
  • ECO Transit bus routes will operate on their regular schedules
  • The Eagle County Solid Waste and Recycling Department, which includes the landfill, Household Hazardous Waste Facility, and the MRF, will remain open. 

West Springs Hospital gets clean bill of health

West Springs Hospital, the 48-bed, inpatient psychiatric hospital owned and operated by Mind Springs Health in Grand Junction, is now in full compliance with the Colorado Behavioral Health Administration, according to Mind Springs officials. 

They said the Behavioral Health Administration conducted a resurvey of the hospital last week and announced to Mind Springs leadership that West Springs Hospital had been “restored to full compliance status under BHA inpatient regulations.” 

The restoration of the hospital to full-compliance status comes a month after the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, which licenses hospitals on behalf of Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, found the hospital to be 100% in compliance with safety, operational, and quality measures, Mind Springs officials said.

Last of Vail Back Bowls opens Tuesday

Vail Mountain dropped the ropes Tuesday on Sun Down Bowl, the last piece of the Back Bowls to open for the season.

While there has been ample snow this season, a haul rope to be used for the new Sun Down Express lift had been laying on the runs, creating an obvious hazard. The recent hanging of those cables has now made the area safe for skiers and riders.

The lift will be a four-person, detachable quad from Leitner-Poma, transporting riders along a new lift line on Vail Mountain. That lift line will run from the bottom of the High Noon Express (No. 5) line to the top of the Wildwood area on Vail Mountain, where the Wildwood Express (No. 3) lift meets Game Creek Express (No. 7).