News in Brief
Silt rollover kills one, lands driver in jailOne man is dead and the driver in jail after a Jeep ride ended in disaster around 1 a.m. Sunday in Silt.According to the Colorado State Patrol, a 2006 Jeep Wrangler driven by Harley “Dow” Rippy Jr., 50, of Silt, was heading westbound on County Road 344, approximately 14 miles south of Silt, when it went off the left side of the road, down a small embankment and rolled one-quarter times onto its left side.A passenger in the back seat – whose name is being withheld pending notification of next of kin- was killed after being partially ejected from the vehicle and becoming pinned underneath it. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Neither occupant was wearing a seat belt, according to the CSP.Rippy remained in custody at the Garfield County Jail Sunday afternoon, according to jail officials. Although charges and a bond amount were still being determined, he was initially charged with vehicular homicide and driving under the influence of alcohol, the CSP said.Speed is not suspected as a factor in the crash, but alcohol is being investigated as a contributing factor. Rippy refused medical treatment and was jailed. (Glenwood Springs Post Independent)Vail’s beetle-infested trees to be cut downThe Forest Service recently approved removing dead and dying pine-beetle-infested lodgepole pines on 211 acres of land in Vail. The decree is part of the Vail Valley Forest Health Project, which is trying to alleviate pine-beetle damage in 3,000 acres of forest along Interstate 70 between Vail Pass and Avon, including land in Vail, Eagle-Vail, Minturn, Avon, Beaver Creek and Arrowhead. In addition to clearing unhealthy trees, healthy stands will be thinned to make them stronger in resisting the pine beetle, said Forest Service spokeswoman Sally Spaulding. The Forest Service also will work on 338 acres of aspen trees, some of which will be cut to stimulate growth of new trees and create a fire break. (Vail Daily)More bike trails, ski terrain at Keystone Keystone Resort received the go-ahead from the Forest Service to build seven new mountain-bike trails on the front side of Dercum Mountain. Keystone plans to open two new expert-only downhill trails this summer and five more trails next year. The trails will be an addition to the Drop Zone, which opened earlier this year and features four alleys with big jumps, rock ledges and rock gardens, said Amy Kemp, spokeswoman for Keystone Resort. (Summit Daily News)”Keystone’s made a huge commitment to providing the best experience on the hill – with the best jumps, best features, best guest service, best of everything,” said Greg Rood, Keystone Bike Park supervisor. “And we’re committed to getting even better.”The two trails to open this year will combine fast singletrack, gravity and natural or man-made features such as tabletops, ladders, bridges, berms, jumps and rock gardens, Rood said. The Forest Service also announced earlier it approved snow cat skiing on Upper Independence Bowl at Keystone Resort. After conducting a detailed environmental study, White River National Forest Supervisor Maribeth Gustafson authorized a special use permit to allow snowcat and hike-to skiing and snowboarding in the area. “I … do not feel that my approval of this project will significantly affect those seeking to enjoy backcountry opportunities,” she said. Chuck Tolton, the director of mountain operations for Keystone, said the resort has been considering the expansion for a few years.”We’ve seen an increasing demand for the hike-to and snowcat ski experience, and we feel that Upper Independence Bowl will offer a truly extraordinary experience for our guests.”The decision to open more terrain can be appealed until mid-September. (Summit Daily News)
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