News in Brief
The Roaring Fork Transportation Authority is considering suing the manufacturer of a brake system after a fire destroyed one of the agency’s buses Dec. 14.RFTA’s insurance carrier has hired an accident investigator who will work with the bus agency’s own investigator, according to a memo presented to the board of directors Thursday.RFTA head Dan Blankenship said the lawsuit would center on product liability. Two other buses may face the same problem, which is related to ice forming on the buses’ traction-control system on particularly cold days.Kenny Osier, RFTA’s maintenance director, said RFTA mechanics have been able to replicate the problem to pinpoint it.”We’re 95 percent sure what is causing the problem,” he told the RFTA board.The fire struck around 10 a.m. Dec. 14 on Highway 82 near Basalt. No one was aboard except for the driver, and no one was hurt.The bus was valued at between $176,000 and $186,000. Osier said RFTA should be able to recoup the total cost of the bus.
Pitkin County this week towed about a dozen vehicles off Midnight Mine Road, on the back side of Aspen Mountain, saying the vehicles were interfering with efforts to keep the road free of snow.The action angered at least one man who lives on the back side, Paul Disnard, a resident of the area since 1968.”At least they could give us a little human respect and dignity, and give us a red tag and we’d move ’em,” said Disnard, who claimed to have not gotten any notice his three vehicles were in the way.But Temple Glassier, Pitkin County deputy director of public works, said the county tried to contact Disnard and others with cars, trucks and trailers parked at the turnaround. The turnaround is seven-tenths of a mile up the road, where the snowplows quit. She said one of the county’s road-graders got stuck recently because vehicles were blocking the way.Letters of notice to the addresses in the vehicles’ registration documents were returned as undeliverable, and Disnard and the others are not listed in the phone book, she said. So the county tagged and towed.”We knew this storm was coming and we’d be plowing big-time,” she said Thursday, adding that “there’s three or four of those vehicles that have been there for years, that have never moved.”The vehicles are in the county’s impound lot, awaiting payment of the county’s fee and the towing bill.
David Boyd has joined the Bureau of Land Management field office in Glenwood Springs, taking the post of public affairs specialist.He will work for the Kremmling, Little Snake, White River and Glenwood offices of the BLM and be based in Glenwood. Among his duties will be assisting with wildfire information in northwestern Colorado and facilitating activities for the BLM’s Northwest Colorado Resource Advisory Council.Boyd is a Colorado native with a wildlife biology degree from Colorado State University and a journalism degree from the University of Colorado. Most recently, he was the public affairs specialist for the BLM Arizona Strip District in St. George, Utah. Boyd fills the position vacated by Steven Hall, who is now the bureau’s public affairs chief in Wyoming.
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Contact with two presumed positive COVID-19 cases has led to 65 students and staff at Basalt Elementary School transitioning to remote instruction.