News in Brief | AspenTimes.com

News in Brief

Gail Schwartz’s run for the state Senate got a boost Monday with an endorsement from State Rep. Kathleen Curry, D-Gunnison.Schwartz, a Snowmass Village resident, is running to unseat incumbent Sen. Lewis Entz, R-Hooper, in District 5, which encompasses 11 counties: Alamosa, Chaffee, Conejos, Costilla, Delta, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Mineral, Pitkin, Rio Grande and Saguache. Curry’s House district overlaps Senate District 5, with Gunnison, Hinsdale and Pitkin counties in both.”Gail has my support because there is a lot at stake for rural Colorado right now,” Curry said. “Gail’s experience as an advocate for education and business is needed at the Statehouse. I believe Gail would be an effective advocate for this district because of her commitment to serve the interests of the district, her experience and her energy. All these traits make me believe that she would be a great senator for us.””I am thrilled to have Kathleen’s support,” said Schwartz, a fellow Democrat. “She is truly a great representative for this region, and her advice and support have been invaluable to my campaign.”Curry is chairwoman of the House Agriculture, Livestock and Natural Resources committee.

The Pitkin County commissioners said “no” to The Little Nell’s request for a tax abatement for the 2003-04 tax year.Larry Fite of the county assessor’s office said that because of property revaluation, the Little Nell management wants a tax refund. The commissioners have the power to grant that abatement if they believe that taxes were collected “erroneously or illegally.”The current assessed value of the hotel and shops at The Little Nell is $47,834,200. Because of increased administration costs and fluctuating revenues, the actual property assessment should be $33,460,000, according to Little Nell administrators.Fite said that the reassessment would mean a considerable tax refund.The board moved to uphold the current assessment of $47 million. The Little Nell can appeal the case at the state level.

Carbondale and federal firefighters worked Monday night and into Tuesday to extinguish a small wildland fire in the mountains four miles south of Marble.The fire was in steep terrain along Yule Creek, according to Carl Smith, deputy chief of the Carbondale fire department. Eight firefighters scratched a containment line around the fire Monday night. Two firefighters from Carbondale and three with the Lower Colorado River Interagency Team, consisting of federal land management agencies, mopped up at the scene Tuesday.Smith said the fire was contained to a fifth of an acre. It was on private property about one mile “as the crow flies” from the marble quarry, he said. No structures were burned or threatened.A campfire was at the point of origin but that hasn’t been definitively declared the cause of the fire, Smith said.

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