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News in brief

Aspen Times writer

MAMMOTH LAKES, Calif. (AP) – Three ski patrol members who died on an Eastern Sierra peak likely were asphyxiated by gas spewing from the volcanic vent they were fencing off, a coroner said Friday.One of the dead was a 34-year veteran of the Mammoth Mountain patrol who died trying to reach the other two after they fell into the vent, and another patrolman who followed was saved by a colleague who held his breath, jumped in and attached a rescue rope, a resort official said.The trio likely were asphyxiated as oxygen was displaced by carbon dioxide gas, said Mono County coroner Ralph Obenberger. Autopsies and tests were pending.The dead were identified as John “Scott” McAndrews, 37, of Bishop, who had been on the patrol one year; Jaymes Juarez, 35, a five-year patrol veteran originally from Granada Hills in Los Angeles; and Charles Walter Rosenthal, 58, of Sunny Slopes, a university researcher and snow expert who had been with the patrol since 1972.

DENVER (AP) – Mechanic Todd Platten is glad he’s going back to work to get Denver’s buses up and running after a weeklong strike, even though a new labor agreement that won final approval on Saturday is less than he hoped for.All the Regional Transportation District’s bus routes and train lines were expected to be operating during the Monday morning rush after the RTD board unanimously approved the deal.The union representing 1,750 mechanics, drivers and train operators had accepted it by an 82 percent majority the day before.”I guess I still feel that the contract isn’t the greatest, but we can live with it,” Platten said.Although the latest deal was worth the same as previous offers – $15.3 million – it was restructured so that workers will get more of it in the first part of the three-year contract, the union and transit agency said.The Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1001 walked out Monday over wages and benefits, forcing thousands of commuters to find other ways to get to work. More than half of RTD’s bus routes and all its light rail trains were idled.Under state law, about 45 percent of RTD’s regular routes are operated by private contractors, and they kept running during the strike.

CREEDE (AP) – The developers of a proposed resort village with hotels, homes and shops near a rustic ski area in southwestern Colorado say they also plan a championship golf course in a nearby county but did not reveal any details.The plans were discussed Friday at a forum on the Village at Wolf Creek planned at the Wolf Creek ski resort in Mineral County.Bob Honts, who is developing the village with B.J. “Red” McCombs, said some specifics of the golf course would be announced later.The proposed base village has been controversial, and security was tight at the packed forum on Friday, with sheriff’s deputies called in from as far away as Pueblo County, 100 miles east.Rep. Mark Larson, R-Cortez, an opponent of the development, boycotted the panel at the forum because Colorado Wild, an environmental group that also opposes the project, was not allowed to have a representative on the panel.Colorado Wild was excluded because it has no official role in the project, said Jon Boyd, president of the Upper Rio Grande Economic Development Council, which sponsored the forum and established the rules.


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