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New in Brief

Local restaurant La Comida’s hearing before the Aspen liquor board was postponed until July 11. The Aspen Liquor License Authority issued a notice to the restaurant May 3 after reports that the restaurant’s owners failed to provide the proper alcohol training for its staff.La Comida, which new owners opened after La Cocina closed, has been closed for the offseason and is scheduled to reopen Friday, according to a sign on the restaurant.

Ground crews and six aircraft were battling a 100-acre wildfire in southern Colorado Tuesday after the evacuation of four homes.The fire was burning in Huerfano County, about 20 miles northwest of Walsenburg and 120 miles south of Denver.The cause was unclear. Scott Woods, a spokesman for the Rocky Mountain Area Coordinating Center, said 140 firefighters have been sent to the area, supported by two heavy air tankers, two single-engine tankers, a helicopter and a spotter plane.Woods said crews are prepared to hit every fire hard in the early stages, before it has a chance to grow.”Catching fires in the initial attack is key to keeping things under control,” he said.Firefighters depend on spotter aircraft, fire towers, local agencies and citizens to detect fires early, Woods said. (The Associated Press)

MOOSE, Wyo. (AP) – A Snake River rafting accident that killed three people occurred when the raft hit the root end of a tree that had lodged in a channel, Grand Teton National Park officials said Tuesday.The accident Friday killed Elizabeth Rizas, 58, and John Rizas, 63, both of Beaufort, S.C., and Linda Clark, 69, of Shreveport, La. Nine others, plus the boatman, also fell into the water.Park spokeswoman Joan Anzelmo said uprooted trees commonly wash down the Snake River during the spring. She said the tree that caught the raft had washed away by Saturday.According to park officials, the river splits into three narrow channels upstream of where the accident occurred, about a half-mile downstream of the Bar BC dude ranch.The tree was in the middle channel, but it was difficult for anyone in the boat to get a view down that channel until the boat had fully entered it, park officials said.After the boat hit the root ball, the current pushed it vertically. The raft then tipped onto its side and the passengers fell out. Boatmen from four commercial float trip companies helped get nine passengers out of the water and onto the riverbank.

GRANBY (AP) – Researchers have found that there are fewer beavers and less wetlands in Rocky Mountain National Park partly because the park’s abundant elk herd is competing for the same food source and dam building material as “nature’s engineers.”There are now just 30 beavers living in the park compared with nearly 600 in the 1940s according to the study to be published this week in the American Geophysical Union’s Water Resources Research journal.Because there are fewer beavers to build dams, the researchers found that grasslands were replacing wetlands dominated by willows – a food source for beavers, moose and elk. As a result, the willow in the Kawuneeche Valley near Grand Lake, the area the researchers studied, appear to be dying.


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