News in Brief |

News in Brief

ASPEN ” Gov. Bill Ritter appointed Nan Sundeen, Pitkin County health and human services director, to the Interagency Council on Homelessness this week.

Sundeen, a member of the Aspen Homeless Coalition, will join other statewide representatives from the mental health, public health, corrections, housing and faith communities to tackle chronic homelessness, a mix she called “brilliant.”

“I am excited about this appointment because I have so much to learn about coordination of homeless services and potential funding for projects,” Sundeen said in a prepared statement.

Sundeen applied for the position as a member of a rural social services department and because of her interest in homelessness in Aspen and Pitkin County. She hopes her involvement will be a chance to learn new ideas from other rural communities with limited budgets.

“Of all the statewide committees I’ve seen, this is one that would benefit Pitkin County,” Sundeen said. “That’s my goal … to bring it home.”

BASALT ” A fire Tuesday hospitalized one person and caused extensive damage to a home in the Aspen-Basalt Mobile Home Park.

The fire occurred just before 1 a.m. Tuesday, with firefighters arriving at 1900 Willits Lane, unit No. 43, according to a Basalt Fire press release.

Smoke had filled the structure and was most dense in the room that contained the hot water heater. Basalt fire officials got the fire under control by 1:04 a.m. They said malfunctioning heat tape most likely caused combustibles to ignite.

The two people who live in the home tried to put out the fire and remove valuables, but had to leave after the smoke became too thick. One was taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation.

Four engines, two ambulances and 18 firefighters responded to the fire, and no firefighters were injured. Damage estimates were unknown though the home is uninhabitable.

Basalt firefighters advise that people examine heat tape for damage and that they not store combustibles near furnaces or water heaters.

CARBONDALE ” Someone has been either borrowing or stealing tools, and a leader of a volunteer midvalley trails group wants them back.

Planning consultant Davis Farrar of Carbondale helped form the Red Hill Council in 1996, and has been a leader in building the popular network of hiking and mountain biking trails on BLM land just north of Carbondale.

Farrar reported this week that someone has been stealing tools, valued between $300 and $400, from secret caches over the winter months. The thefts began last spring, he said, and when he moved a cache, the thief or thieves found the new hiding place and stole some more tools.

“When volunteers are doing work and giving you something you wouldn’t otherwise have, and they reward that by stealing your tools, it’s really bad karma,” he said, asking for the return of the tools before winter with no questions asked.

Anyone with knowledge of the tools can e-mail him at, or call him at 963-1670.

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