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News in Brief

David Armer/Special to the Daily
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VAIL When Liberty flew away, the Air Force Academy needed another Bird of Prey.At the 2005 Birds of Prey World Cup races, “Liberty,” a prairie falcon with the academy’s falconry program, got caught in an updraft during a performance and disappeared into the forest.After two days of searching, members of the program were unable to retrieve Liberty. That’s when the Vail Valley Foundation, which puts on the Birds of Prey, stepped in and donated $1,000 to the falconry program.”We felt horrible when they weren’t able to find her,” said John Dakin of the Vail Valley Foundation. “That’s not the thing you want to happen, especially when you have an event named after it.

“They were up here to help us out, so we felt we needed to do something to help them out.”With the donation, the Air Force’s falconry club was able to purchase a new bird, Banshee, this summer.Banshee, a white hybrid gyrafalcon and saker, has been a great addition, said to John Van Winkle, assistant officer in charge of the falconry program.”She’s an incredible bird. She loves people and loves attention,” Van Winkle said. “Her intelligence is scary. She’s like a big Einstein.”Banshee is a show bird and a performing bird,” he said. “She has trained so well and is so good with people. She does what she’s supposed to.” (Vail Daily)

NEW CASTLE The tradition of holding Burning Mountain Festival the third week in July will continue this year, thanks to a volunteer who has stepped up to the plate and agreed to take it on.Three weeks ago, the New Castle Area Chamber of Commerce had proposed moving the 34-year-old festival to September, citing reasons of the hot temperatures in July and that the previous coordinator was unavailable in July.



But longtime New Castle resident, Patti Payne, has volunteered to coordinate the event, according to Chamber vice president Maureen Maznio.Payne was out of town and unavailable for comment about her plans.Burning Mountain Festival was started in 1973 and has steadily grown. Last year’s event attracted about 1,000 people, despite the 106-degree temperatures. (Glenwood Springs Post Independent)


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