News in Brief | AspenTimes.com

News in Brief

Snow and moderate temperatures on Wednesday led to icy roads in Aspen and Pitkin County, resulting in a number of local fender benders, according to one sheriff’s deputy.

In one case, a Roaring Fork Transportation Authority bus slid off Maroon Creek Road close to Aspen Highlands ski area while trying to brake to avoid another car on the road. No one was injured.

Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office deputy Jeff Lumsden said a number of accidents occurred in the county in areas like the Aspen Airport Business Center and on Watson Divide and Smuggler Mountain Road.

“The roads are very icy, and there’s a break in temperatures where as soon as the snow gets compressed there’s a layer of water in between your tires and the roadway, forming instant ice,” he said. “This is the worst possible circumstance for driving in ” when it’s colder, the snow is crunchy and your tires have more grip.”

Luckily, the accidents on Wednesday didn’t result in many injuries, simply because there are few high-speed accidents on icy days. Instead, Lumsden said, drivers are unable to control their vehicles, meaning they slide straight through stop signs, resulting in slow speed fender benders.

The Pitkin County Library tsunami relief effort attracted a record number of borrowers with overdue book fines anxious to pay them off for the cause. The library collected a total of $1,525.65 in fines and book sales during the week of Jan. 24-30. That is more than double the amount normally collected for a week, according to library officials.

“We normally take in about $300 in fines and $300 in book sales during a week,” said Pitkin County librarian Kathy Chandler. “We not only doubled our typical week’s intake, we also cleared up a lot of old fines as well.”

Libraries across the state participated in the relief effort and raised more than $15,000. The money collected was contributed to The American Red Cross International Response Fund.

Energy Outreach Colorado has awarded $35,000 to the Community Office of Resource Efficiency (CORE) to fund the installation of weatherizing measures in existing affordable-housing units and development of blueprints for future energy-efficient housing projects.

These upgrades will make the structures more energy efficient, helping residents use less and save more on energy bills, according to EOC.

CORE has offices in Aspen and Carbondale.

The grant will fund energy upgrades in six low-income, single-family homes. Those upgrades can include high-efficiency refrigerators, windows and other major appliances, heating systems, sealed crawl spaces, insulation and compact fluorescent lighting. The organization then will analyze these homes to develop blueprints for energy-efficient affordable housing and make them available to housing developers.

According to the Colorado governor’s Office of Energy Management and Conservation, residents can experience an energy cost savings of up to 20 percent with the appropriate measures, with one in four residents experiencing an energy cost savings of up to 37 percent.

“Our effort to improve the energy efficiency of affordable housing is part of our long-term strategy to help low-income families and seniors manage their home-energy costs so they won’t be put in the position of having to seek emergency funds to keep their heat and lights on,” said Skip Arnold, executive director of Energy Outreach Colorado.


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