In Brief: Rescue Fund helps feed hungry; trucks move off Rio Grande for Nordic skiers; COVID test site closing Saturday

Staff Report

Rescue Fund helps with hunger relief

Food Bank of the Rockies Western Slope received $48,131 from the 2020 Rescue Fund to continue to help with the increasing costs from inflation for hunger-relief efforts in the region and $20,000 for the Totes of Hope weekend food-bag program for children in the Aspen to Parachute region.

Food bank officials said they are seeing the highest rate of food insecurity levels coming from the Roaring Fork Valley.

Currently, there are four locations being served by mobile food distributions, including Aspen, El Jebel, Glenwood Springs, and Rifle. Hunger Relief Partner, LIFT-UP, is the site coordinator for these locations.

The Totes of Hope program distributes food bags weekly to children to help them have nourishing food over the weekend. The program began in this region in September 2012. The River Center distributes 50 Totes of Hope per week, and Reach Out distributes 260 Totes of Hope per week. These numbers have recently increased.

Each bag contains approximately six to eight pounds of shelf-stable, nutritious food — enough for about seven meals and includes recipes for the ingredients in the bags, officials said.

“The Aspen Rescue Fund has contributed to our efforts to not only meet the needs in the Aspen to Parachute region because of the pandemic, but did this in a timely and effective manner,” said Gabriela Garayar, development manager for Food Bank of the Rockies Western Slope. “While we continue to deal with the long-term impacts of a pandemic and continued inflation, we are grateful for their support and how they have become an essential and critical community partner.”

The 2020 Rescue Fund, established by the Aspen Community Foundation, was created by a local group of Aspenites working with the Aspen Community Foundation. They raised $5 million for social service non-profits providing essential humanitarian assistance.

For more information on the Aspen Community Foundation, visit To learn more about the Food Bank of the Rockies Western Slope, visit

Trucks move for Nordic skiing on Rio Grande Trail

There will be truck traffic on the Rio Grande Trail between Basalt High School and the Wingo Bridge on Friday between 8-11 a.m, Pitkin County officials said.

The trucks, associated with bridge abutment work, will be pulled from the site for the remainder of the Nordic season to facilitate the grooming of the Rio for skiing. Abutment work will move to the east side of the Roaring Fork River and resume on the west side after the Nordic season has ended.

COVID-19 test site at airport closing on Saturday

Due to a reduction in individuals seeking community testing resources as well as a continued shift from emergency response toward endemic response, the Affinity Community Testing Site at the Aspen Airport cell phone lot, 233 Airport Road, will close permanently on Saturday.

Households can continue to order free at home antigen tests through the federal government by following this link:

Officials recommended that people at high risk of severe illness and eligible for treatment seek a PCR test through their medical provider. Isolation of five days, followed by five days of mask wearing in public is still required for anyone who tests positive with either an antigen test or PCR test, officials said. Quarantine for COVID-19 is no longer required for anyone who is a close contact of a positive case, including household members.

Historian to tell 10th Mountain stories Saturday in Rifle

It was a cold, dark night on Feb. 18, 1945. Wearing full packs and carrying rifles, members of the 10th Mountain Division scaled a 2,000-foot cliff band at Monte Belvedere to surprise the Germans at dawn.

This was the Gothic Line in Italy, one of Germany’s last major defensive lines. High in the Apennine Mountains, the Nazis used slave laborers to build thousands of small fortresses heavily protected by machine guns.

But, on this night, the 10th Mountain’s wager paid off, Colorado historian David Little highlighted in a Rocky Mountain PBS special, Colorado Experience: Camp Hale.

“The 10th Mountain soldiers having trained here in Colorado — training at 10,000 feet — were in superb physical shape and could actually advance up and over the hills faster than the Germans could retreat to their next prepared defensive position,” he said in the special.

On Saturday, he comes to Rifle to tell the epic story of the 10th Mountain Division — not just the U.S. Army’s illustrious World War II mountaineers, but also the driving force behind Colorado’s ski industry. Scheduled at 2 p.m., the free presentation takes place at the Rifle Branch Library, at 207 East Ave.

City of Glenwood Springs closes offices for holiday

City of Glenwood Springs administrative offices and non-emergency services, including City Hall (including Police Records and Municipal Court) will be closed on Monday, Jan. 16, in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The Community Center, South Canyon Landfill, Community Art Center, and Ride Glenwood will remain open with normal hours. 

Emergency services are always available by calling 911. For non-emergencies, call Garfield County Dispatch at 970-625-8095.

Eagle County commissioners to ski with public at Snowmass

Local leaders, including the Eagle County commissioners, are inviting skiers and riders to join them for some runs on selected Fridays this season following a series of successful outings in years past.

The gatherings are intended to facilitate casual conversations among community members outside the structure of formal meetings.

The schedule for the 2022-23 winter season begins with a Roaring Fork Valley ski/ride outing on Friday, Jan. 20, at Snowmass Ski Resort. Participants are asked to gather at the base of the Elk Camp Gondola at 10 a.m. There’s also an option to meet the group for lunch at Base Camp Bar and Grill restaurant around 12:30 p.m. that day.

No RSVPs are needed to take part in ski and ride days. Participants responsible for their own equipment, lift ticket, and lunch. An intermediate-ability level is advised.