News in Brief |

News in Brief

WOODY CREEK ” A low-key, catered dinner party at a $4 million Woody Creek home was ungraciously cut short when guests smelled smoke and vacated the premises.

Numerous fire department vehicles arrived around 8 p.m. and quickly contained the fire, though damage was already visible on the outside. By 8:30, firefighters were piling chunks of siding and insulation outside as they sought the source of the fire.

One of the attendees, Alan Caniglia of Missouri Heights, said the evening was going splendidly when “all of a sudden, there was smoke coming out of all the grates.” When guests got outside, they could see flames on the outside of the home.

Caniglia said everyone got out safely and no one was in any serious danger.

The house is owned by Lou and Denise Bachrodt, who also own the Lou Bachrodt Chevrolet car dealership chain in Florida and Illinois.

BASALT ” Police are looking for the person or people who were in a car that rolled in Basalt and sustained heavy damage early Saturday morning.

An officer was dispatched to the west end of Two Rivers Road at 3:10 a.m. Saturday. “When she arrived on scene she saw a vehicle on its top and sides with the motor running and nobody in it,” said police Chief Keith Ikeda.

The officer and a crew from the Basalt Police Department searched the area but found no one, Ikeda said. The officer checked with the Aspen and Glenwood Springs hospitals and found no one had been admitted around that time.

There was no evidence that anyone had been ejected from the car, and there were also no signs of blood at the scene. The airbags were deployed.

“It was such a violent crash that something had to happen,” Ikeda said.

The 1990 BMW was apparently westbound on Two Rivers Road when it went into the ditch and rolled, police concluded. The vehicle came to rest east of the Aspen Junction bus stop, on the opposite side of the road.

The BMW had a California license plate and is registered to Juan Antonio Ayala of Orange, Calif., Ikeda said. The car was insured under another name. It wasn’t reported stolen, he said.

Police figure the car was going too fast for that roadway. A 12-pack of beer was strewn among the wreckage, so alcohol was considered a factor.

Police are asking anyone who has information about the crash to call the department at 927-4316.

BASALT ” The number of parking citations in Basalt jumped in July after the number of spaces with two-hour limits was expanded and enforcement ramped up.

The police department issued 96 tickets for overtime parking in July, according to a report for the Basalt Town Council. The number of overtime parking citations ranged from 55 in June to 11 in March, according to police department records.

The increase coincides with Town Council’s decision earlier this summer to place the two-hour limit on most spaces surrounding the commercial core. Storefront spaces on Midland Avenue have had limits for years. The expansion covered scores of additional spaces on the main drag as well as on Midland Spur and Two Rivers Road. Too many spaces were being hogged by commuters who parked all day or by Basalt employees.

Town Manager Bill Efting told the council Tuesday night that not all the timed parking spaces were needed. The 25 two-hour spaces on Midland Avenue, in front of Clark’s Market, aren’t being used and restrictions should be lifted, he said. The council agreed, but directed the staff to keep the parking signs in place in case parking woes get worse in coming years.

“Don’t put the lock tight on the nuts” of signs allowing all-day parking, Mayor Leroy Duroux said.

Efting said the public works staff hopes to use stickers to cover the two-hour limits, then take the stickers off if those spots revert to limited parking.

BASALT ” The Basalt Town Council contributed $3,000 to one initiative to increase the amount of local child care and $5,000 to another Tuesday night.

The council authorized the Basalt Child Care Coalition to use $3,000 to help hire a strategic planner that will assess possible child care center sites. The planner will seek affordable land in the Roaring Fork Valley where child-care centers could be built.

The council also contributed $5,000 to an effort headed by Eagle County. That effort, called Bright Start, is assessing child-care needs in the county and funding programs and facilities to match the needs.