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News in Brief

Assistant superintendent leaving districtASPEN The Aspen School District will be losing its second in command at the end of the current school year, officials confirmed Wednesday.Assistant Superintendent Bev Tarpley will leave the district, once her contract expires in June, to take a job in the Colorado Springs area, according to sources within the district.Tarpley, hired in 2005, previously worked as the superintendent of the Woodland Park School District near Buena Vista. Tarpley replaced retiring assistant superintendent Joanna Ihrig.Attempts to reach Tarpley or superintendent Diana Sirko on Wednesday for further comment on the resignation and its effects were not successful.New Aspen/Sopris district ranger namedASPEN Irene Davidson was selected as the new Aspen/Sopris district ranger, the White River National Forest supervisor’s office announced Wednesday.Davidson replaces Bill Westbrook, who took a position with the Forest Service in Oregon earlier this year. Davidson begins work June 25.She has worked for the Forest Service for 16 years. Since 2003, Davidson has worked as the forest planning staff officer for the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit.”Irene was chosen for the Aspen/Sopris district ranger position for her extensive experience working with external groups on high profile issues and projects,” said forest supervisor Maribeth Gustafson. “She has led several collaborative efforts among multiple agencies and the public, and her leadership, communication and team-building skills are outstanding.”Davidson obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in horticulture from Oregon State University in 1991. Her husband Bruce is also a Forest Service employee.Midvalley man found dead at homeEL JEBEL A man died in his home at Blue Lake subdivision shortly before 6 a.m. Wednesday, the Eagle County sheriff’s office said.Pat Leto apparently died of natural causes, although authorities are waiting for results of an autopsy and toxicology report before making a final determination, deputy Rob Lawson said. That’s standard procedure. There was “nothing suspicious” about the death, he said.Leto was 51 years of age, Lawson said. Authorities were called to the residence in Blue Lake for CPR in progress. Leto was declared dead on the scene, according to the deputy.Mobile-home fire blamed on electrical problemBASALT Authorities determined an electrical issue started the fire that destroyed a residence in Basalt’s Pan and Fork Mobile Home Park on April 11, according to Basalt fire chief Scott Thompson.The cord to a heater was covered with clothes, Thompson said. The wiring became hot and the heat couldn’t dissipate under the clothing, he said.The resulting fire destroyed the home and almost all possessions of Kelly M. DenBeste. Thompson estimated the trailer loss at $10,000 and the loss of contents at $40,000. DenBeste was uninsured, authorities said.Third-graders take stage tonightASPEN The third grade as Aspen Elementary School will be performing its spring play at 5:30 p.m. tonight at the District Theater in the elementary school building.The play, titled “My Musical Grandmother,” was written by longtime local Cathy Crum and is about Aspen’s history, from the time it was the summer home to Ute indians up through its present status as an international ski area.Crum said that the entire third grade, totaling 103 kids, along with six teachers make up the cast of the play.The public is invited to the production.


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