News in Brief
ASPEN ” Aspen’s public school enrollment grew slightly this year, from 1,605 last year to 1,637 this year, preliminary numbers indicate.
Aspen School District officials will not formally report the district’s enrollment numbers to the Colorado Department of Education until Oct. 1. But the preliminary figures show that there are more students in both the elementary and middle school grades, and fewer at the high school, according to John Maloy, the district’s new second in command.
The numbers reflect enrollment figures from the three schools at the district’s Maroon Creek Road campus, which now stand at 1,474, as well as 42 preschoolers in the cabin on the campus and 121 students at the Aspen Community School in Woody Creek, where student enrollment dropped by one from last year.
The greatest growth, Maloy reported, was at the new Aspen Middle School, which this year welcomed an estimated total of 447 students, up from 418 last year at this time.
Next is Aspen Elementary, which grew to 508 students this year, from 495 in the fall of 2006.
Aspen High School’s numbers dropped, from 522 last fall to 519 this year, Maloy said, although he stressed that the numbers could still change either from students arriving late for the semester or from students leaving the district for whatever reason.
Maloy said there also was a slight increase in the teaching staff numbers this year, which rose by 1.5 FTE or full-time-equivalent positions. He said the new teachers are split between three different teaching positions, including a half-time English as a Second Language instructor at Aspen Elementary, a half-time speech pathologist working both at the elementary and middle schools, and a half-time Spanish teacher at the high school.
CARBONDALE ” With a bid of $4.7 million, Sema Construction Co. won the bidding war for the bridge improvement at the intersection of Highways 82 and 133 in Carbondale, Colorado Department of Transportation officials said.
Construction will begin as soon as possible and be complete by the end of 2008.
Traffic will run along the existing bridge while crews construct a new bridge to the east, and later traffic will be converted to the new bridge while crews rehabilitate the existing bridge.
BASALT ” The Basalt Chamber of Commerce has hired a new executive director following the resignation of Elizabeth Phillips after 10 years at the helm.
Heather Smith has been working with Phillips to make the transition as smooth as possible. Smith had been the director of communications and operations with the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce since 2004.
Before moving to the Roaring Fork Valley, Smith was the vice president of the Longmont Area Chamber of Commerce.
Phillips will be honored for her work with a farewell reception from 5-6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 25, in Lions Park in Basalt ” by the chamber’s red caboose headquarters. Phillips will also be honored by the Basalt Town Council that evening for her public service.
TWIN LAKES ” There’s a party happening on the other side of Independence Pass for the next two weekends.
The Twin Lakes Nordic Lodge is hosting the Fall Harvest and Jam Fest on Sept. 22-23, and next weekend, Sept. 29-30. More than a dozen professional musicians from Austin, Texas. will perform along with novices from around the state.
Musicians of any caliber are invited to head over the hill and join in on the fun. Fiddlers, flutists, guitarists, pianists and other musicians are expected to attend, along with the famed Jimmy Ibbotson from the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.
There will be a pie-eating contest, a harvest dinner at the lodge, and arts and crafts. The festivities go from 3-6 p.m. both days. Call the Nordic Lodge at (719) 486-1830 for more information.
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Warm and dry conditions to start the winter have kept all but the higher elevation slopes free of snow. That is expected to change by the end of the week and the avalanche hazard could start to climb, according to Colorado Avalanche Information Center.