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News in Brief

Watson Divide Road back openPITKIN COUNTY Pitkin County officials announced late Thursday that they had reopened the Watson Divide Road, which leads from Highway 82 over into the Snowmass Creek Valley.The road had been closed earlier in the week because of unsafe driving conditions caused by heavy rains and mud.Heart attack blamed for midvalley deathEL JEBEL A Blue Lake man found dead in his home Wednesday was the victim of a heart attack, Eagle County Coroner Kara Bettis said Thursday.Patrick Leto, 51, was discovered by his wife at 5:15 a.m. sitting in a recliner in their living room, Bettis said in a statement released Thursday. An ambulance crew responded to Leto’s home but they were unable to revive him. He was pronounced dead on the scene.The coroner’s office conducted an investigation and post-mortem examination of the body and concluded Leto died of natural causes.Eleven teachers leaving Roaring Fork districtGLENWOOD SPRINGS Eleven teachers with a combined record of 196 years of work are leaving the Roaring Fork School District at the end of this school year.A retirement party for the group will take place from 5-7 p.m. May 3 at the Roosevelt Room in the Hotel Colorado in Glenwood Springs.The teachers worked in schools in Glenwood Springs and Basalt, and include:• at Glenwood Springs High School, art teacher Anne Allison-Brooks (1987-2007) and science teacher Mike Wilde (1982-2007);• at Glenwood Springs Middle School, eighth grade teacher Sue Tarbell (1991-2007);• at Sopris Elementary School, second grade teacher Jan Smiley (1977-1981 and 1987-2007), fourth grade teacher Andi Struble (1987-2007), and cool Art Struble (2002-2007);• at Glenwood Springs Elementary School, cook Shirley Batterman (2001-2007);• at Basalt High School, Spanish and ELL teacher Lois Wilmoth (1994-2007);• at Basalt Middle School, eighth grade teacher Vickie Clark (1992-2007) and fifth and sixth grade teacher plus Peak Program coordinator Melissa Matherly, (1977-2007);• at Basalt Elementary School, ELL teacher Linda Slaybaugh (1986-2007).”Together these staff/educators have contributed 196 years to the RFSD,” a school district statement said, adding that the four Basalt teachers have a combined teaching history of 79 years with the district.The public is invited to attend the retirement party.Snowmass trails closed for elkSNOWMASS Several trail closures are in effect at Snowmass to protect calving elk in May and June.Human disturbance can impact the animals during this period and lead to the abandonment of calving areas, according to the town. Anyone who encounters a calf by itself should not touch it, the town advises. The cow is feeding; the calf is not abandoned.The seasonal trail closures, April 25 to June 20, are in effect on the Government Trail, Tom Blake Trail, Anaerobic Nightmare and Sequel Trail. They all open to human use June 21.Other trails in the Snowmass Village area remain open to use. They include Starks, the Owl Creek Trail, Village Way, Brush Creek Trail, Mountain View to Rim Trail South, the Sleigh Trail and the Ditch Trail.


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