News in Brief | AspenTimes.com

News in Brief

ASPEN Suspected hot-check writer Peter Frommer pleaded not guilty Monday in Pitkin County District Court to 33 fraud-related felonies, setting the stage for a trial in April. Frommer, 31, is accused of writing such bad checks as $1,700 for lingerie, $6,000 for baby-sitting, and $19,000 for rent, a police affidavit alleges. One person was fleeced out of $35,000, according to police. Frommer is seeking to change the venue of the trial from Pitkin County due to publicity surrounding the case. Frommer is represented by public defender Garth McCarty, whose office recently was denied on a motion to withdraw from the case due to questions about Frommers indigence.The trial, scheduled for seven days in April, is set to begin April 8 in Aspen.

BASALT Authorities found a Basalt caretaker Monday after he hanged himself in a West Sopris Creek residence, according to the Pitkin County Sheriffs Office.Mark Chapman Powell, 40, was found dead at 8:30 a.m. Monday at a home on Skookum Lane, where he was reportedly a caretaker. The Basalt and Rural Fire Department responded, along with the Pitkin County Sheriffs Office. The sheriff and coroner have ruled the death a suicide via asphyxiation.

ASPEN The Roaring Fork Transportation Authority will boost winter bus service starting Thursday, Nov. 22.The free skier shuttles begin with free service between Aspen and Snowmass Village; the Highlands and Buttermilk skier shuttles resume Dec. 8.Also on Thursday, bus service to Woody Creek resumes and the new midday express service between Aspen and Glenwood Springs debuts.Direct bus service between Snowmass and Aspen (no transfer necessary) begins Dec. 8.Within the city of Aspen, the free Castle/Maroon, Cemetery Lane, Hunter Creek and Mountain Valley routes begin their high-season schedules Thursday, operating until 2 a.m. daily.The Galena Street and Cross Town shuttles also will resume service on Thursday, and the new Burlingame/Highway 82 route will begin running more frequently for the winter.Another route, which provides direct service between the Rubey Park Transit Center and stops along Maroon Creek Road, will resume Dec. 6.Winter service schedules, detailing what time buses stop and where, are available on RFTA buses and at Rubey Park. Information is also available by calling 925-8484 or visiting http://www.rfta.com.

BASALT An unknown thief or thieves hit the same liquor store in Basalt twice over the weekend, Police Chief Keith Ikeda said Monday.Someone broke into the Alpine Liquor Store early Saturday morning: They threw a rock in the window and climbed in, Ikeda said.On Sunday morning, the store was entered again after a window frame was bent back.lkeda said some high-end liquor was stolen, but the thief or thieves didnt get cash. He said police believe the two burglaries are related, but they dont appear connected to a string of burglaries from Glenwood Springs to Basalt last month. The technique in the early string of break-ins was different: In those cases, the burglars used a pry bar to enter five restaurants.Alpine Liquor Store has been in Basalt since 1979, including 14 years at its current spot, owner Ted Lupe said. Hes been burglarized only once, in the prior location.The store didnt have an alarm system: Hes getting one as we speak, Ikeda said.