News in Brief |

News in Brief

Pitkin County has sent out round two of the ongoing “Senior Care and Housing Options” survey, attempting to get a better response from the public.The survey is being sent to a random sample of country residents over the age of 45.According to a county press release, some who received the first-round mailing of the survey did not fill it out, and the same households that received round one will be get the survey in the mail again.The county asks anyone who receives the survey to fill it out “so that Pitkin County can get a reliable, representative sample” from which to draw conclusions about long-term care and housing options for local senior citizens now and into the future.Completed surveys are due by December 15. All survey responders will be entered in a drawing for prizes.For more information, call Senior Services Director Marty Ames at 920-5432.

The Sky Hotel in Aspen will host a benefit on Dec. 9 for Patrick Culley whose neck was broken during a Gentlemen of Aspen rugby match in 2004.Culley was paralyzed from the shoulders down, with limited movement of his arms and hands; he is undergoing physical therapy at a spinal cord recovery center in Carlsbad, Calif.The benefit features a silent auction of premium wines and other items, a wine tasting, and hors d’oeuvres. Participating wineries include Chalk Hill, Edmeades, Justin, Matanzas Creek, Pellegrini, Kendall Jackson and others.Among the auction items will be VIP winery tours, dinner certificates, art and other memorabilia, as well as an autographed copy of the book, “Belushi,” signed by Dan Aykroyd and donated by John Belushi’s widow, Judy Belushi Pisano. Pisano also is expected attend the event, autographing books.The benefit will be held from 5-8 p.m., is open to the public and tax deductible donations will be accepted at the door.

Attorneys spent nine hours in district court Friday attempting to prove – and disprove – child pornography charges against Frank P. Alameno. Alameno faces various charges of sexual exploitation of a child, possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine and cocaine), second-degree assault, obscenity and tampering with evidence. He was arrested Sept. 13 in Rifle after members of his family reported finding child pornography and illegal drugs in his home near New Castle. At a preliminary hearing Friday, 9th Judicial District Attorney Martin Beeson laid out evidence he hoped would convince District Court Judge Denise Lynch there is probable cause that criminal acts were committed by Alameno.The hearing was not completed since all the witnesses had not been called as of 6 p.m. The remainder of the hearing is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 5, at 3 p.m.Alameno remains free on $100,000 bond. (Glenwood Springs Post Independent)

At first glance, Valley View Hospital looks more like a luxurious resort than a hospital. However, it’s the people in the scrubs that give it away. It’s those employees, and not the aesthetics of the building, that helped the hospital receive a “Service Excellence Award” from J.D. Power and Associates (JDPA) on Friday.”It’s the front-line people who work at the hospital that this award is for,” said J.D. Power and Associates healthcare division director Kevin Lieb. “The nurses, doctors and everyone who works with the patients are who won the award.”Currently, Valley View is the only hospital in Colorado with the prestigious distinction, and only the second in the state’s history to receive the honor, the first being Penrose-St. Francis in Colorado Springs.The distinction was determined by surveying recently discharged patients from the hospital on their perceptions of their hospital stay and comparing the results to the national benchmark established by the annual JDPA National Hospital Service Performance Study. The telephone survey was conducted throughout the valley and focused on five key drivers of patient satisfaction regarding their overall hospital experience. The drivers include: Dignity and respect; speed and efficiency; comfort; information and communication; and emotional support. The hospital scored 875 of the 1,000 total points from the feedback of 300 recent patients at the hospital; as a result, the hospital received more than 80 percent appreciation, qualifying them for the distinction. (Glenwood Springs Post Independent)The Aspen Times, Aspen, Colo.

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