News in Brief
October 25, 2006
Eagle County District Attorney Mark Hurlbert said his investigators have information that might lead them to those who sent out an anonymous postcard smearing county commissioner candidate Sara Fisher.”There are avenues and leads we can go on,” Hurlbert said. He declined to discuss specifics for fear it would jeopardize the investigation.The postcards used rumor and innuendo in an obvious attempt to discredit Fisher, a Democrat, in the District 3 race. Three candidates are in a hard-fought battle for the seat. Fisher said she didn’t suspect her foes, Republican Tom Edwards and independent Roger Brown, of ties to the postcard. Edwards and Brown said they weren’t involved and denounced the tactics.Hurlbert said his office is investigating the complaint rather than the sheriff’s office because a new state law spells out that the DA’s office should handle campaign violations.Once his staff finishes its investigation, the results will be examined by a bipartisan committee of district attorneys, which regularly convenes during campaign season, as the new state law established, Hurlbert said. The committee will recommend whether to pursue charges, but Hurlbert makes the final call.A person who knowingly makes false statements against a candidate for political office can face a class I misdemeanor charge punishable by up to 18 months in the county jail, Hurlbert said. A person who recklessly makes false statements can be charged with a lesser misdemeanor that’s punishable by up to one year in jail.Hurlbert put no timetable on the investigation.
The suspect in a recent breaking-and-entering case in Aspen was easy to identify when all that was taken was ice cream.The culprit in the caper was a black bear. The bruins are engaged in a feeding frenzy at this time of year to build up enough fat reserves to survive hibernation over the winter, according to Kevin Wright, the Colorado Division of Wildlife officer for the upper Roaring Fork Valley. Wright said it is imperative for homeowners to keep their doors closed and any sources of food secured so that rummaging bears aren’t tempted.A sow and two cubs have broken into several residences along Castle Creek, from the Aspen Music School campus to Aspen Valley Hospital and down along Cemetery Lane. The ice cream-eating bear broke into a home just off Cemetery Lane, Wright said. There have been reports of problems with other bruins east of Aspen.Wright warned against leaving windows open in homes at night or during the day when no one is home. He also advised against leaving food in vehicles. He said he has seen “a lot of slack enforcement” on securing trash bins, as Aspen and Pitkin County regulations require. Food is often tossed into trash bins at construction sites. That’s an easy target for bears, he said.The problem isn’t tied to the natural food source. The berry and acorn crops fared “pretty darn good” this year, Wright said, but bears will still cash in on artificial sources. Access to human sources of food will delay the bears’ entry into dens, he lamented.Sows with cubs will typically hibernate by mid- to late October, according to Wright. Boars being boars, they will roam for as much as a month later.Wright urged anyone spotting infractions of bear-ordinance requirements on securing food sources to contact city or county officials.