News in Brief |

News in Brief

A statue memorializing the late Max Marolt, Aspen’s first native Olympian, will be placed at Rubey Park Transit Center, at least temporarily.The council agreed to the locale Tuesday after the Aspen Skiing Co. rejected a request to place it on the gondola plaza.The statue, atop a stone platform, will stand about 10 feet tall in all. It captures Marolt rounding a slalom gate. The Marolt family commissioned the statue, which is being funded by various donations, including $5,000 from the city.”I have seen this mockup – it’s a gorgeous piece,” Mayor Helen Klanderud said.Eventually, the statue may be moved to Dean Street, where a pedestrian walkway that features tributes to Aspen’s ski and mining history has been discussed.Marolt, an Aspen native, competed in the 1960 Olympics at Squaw Valley. He later served as a Pitkin County commissioner and city councilman. He died in 2003 after suffering a heart attack while skiing in Argentina. He was inducted into the Colorado Ski Hall of Fame that same year.

Aspen will contribute $30,000 to the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival when it returns for its 12th run in March, the City Council confirmed Tuesday.Councilman Jack Johnson had reluctantly supported the contribution in an earlier discussion, when a slim majority on the council gave the funding a nod. After further discussion Tuesday night, the council reaffirmed its support by the same 3-2 split.The festival plans to again erect a tent at Wagner Park as a venue for performances. It will seat 500 to 550 people, up from 300 last year but not as many as the 1,000 to 1,200 that organizers had originally envisioned.Some new ticketing procedures are planned that will hopefully prevent performances that draw more ticket-holders than there are seats, organizer Joe Lang told the council.”That has got to be corrected,” Klanderud stressed.Johnson said he could find no justification to withhold the city’s support after finding out more about the event.”I do think it’s important to support events that make us unique,” Councilwoman Rachel Richards said.

DENVER (AP) – Federal prosecutors have charged a Denver firefighter with illegally selling machine guns.Stan Taran Ford, 34, was accused of selling illegal automatic weapons on April 22 and on Aug. 2, according to an affidavit released Tuesday. He did not have a federal firearms dealer’s license, according to the affidavit prepared by W. Brian Schmitt, an FBI special agent.A message left at phone number listed for Ford was not immediately returned.The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office learned in October 2003 that Ford allegedly was trying to acquire sensitive military communications systems and night vision goggles from a military base in Colorado Springs. It forwarded the information to the FBI, the affidavit said.Ford was described as a Denver firefighter with ties to an unnamed domestic terrorist organization and anti-U.S. sympathies, the affidavit said.Ford was also accused of fraud and false statements to the Internal Revenue Service, and failure to pay a special tax, after investigators found no mention of gun sales in his tax forms, the affidavit said.

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