News in Brief |

News in Brief

ASPEN Aspenites awoke Thursday morning to find vehicles and streets covered with red dust – the result of a combination of high winds and light rain, according to the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction. The office recorded winds hitting 61 mph four miles southwest of Basalt. The top gusts in western Colorado hit 91 mph on Red Mountain Pass, outside Ouray, the weather service reported. High winds blew down trees and snapped power poles in Grand Junction, where winds topped 60 mph in the city. “We had a lot of wind ahead of the system,” said Mike Meyers, a scientist with the forecasting office. “If you don’t have a lot of precipitation, then you’ll get mud on the windows. With a heavier rain, it would have been washed away.”Only trace amounts of precipitation were recorded at the Aspen/Pitkin County Airport during Wednesday’s windstorm.Roaring Fork Valley residents in El Jebel and Carbondale also found their vehicles coated Thursday morning, as if droplets of dust had fallen from the sky. The wind whipped dirt into the air, where the light rain caught and carried it back down.The National Weather Service is predicting highs in the low to mid-50s in Aspen for the rest of the week, with thunder showers expected on Saturday.

PITKIN COUNTY And the winner is? Sardy Field!The Federal Aviation Administration honored the Aspen/Pitkin County Airport with an award for staff commitment to improving airfield safety.Jim Elwood, director of aviation at Aspen/Pitkin County Airport, and Hilary Fletcher, county manager, flew to a reception in Seattle Wednesday to accept the award for the multiyear effort to move the airport taxiway farther away from the runway.”It really does take a tremendous team to pull that kind of thing off,” Elwood said. “None of this happens by itself … We appreciate being recognized.”The airport, which is now closed for a major runway renovation, will reopen June 7.

EAGLE – A man who collided with an 8-year-old girl in December pleaded guilty to a harassment charge Wednesday, said Karen Romeo, assistant district attorney for Eagle County. Christopher Dunsmore pleaded guilty, and faces up to six months in jail or a $750 fine, or both, Romeo said. Dunsmore’s other charges were dropped, she said. EAGLE COUNTY An Eagle County judge will sentence Dunsmore at 9 a.m. July 16. On Dec. 2, then 22-year-old Dunsmore was charged with drunken skiing and leaving an accident, both petty violations of the state’s Skier Safety Act. He was later ticketed for third-degree assault. Vail Mountain security later found Dunsmore at a bar at the base of the mountain. Dunsmore admitted drinking three beers and two shots prior to the collision, although he would not take a breathalyzer test, police have said. The girl suffered several bruises and a split lip. The 8-year-old’s father, then 56-year-old Kiril Petrovski of Edwards, was ticketed for third-degree assault after he allegedly punched Dunsmore in the face. (Vail Daily)

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