News in Brief |

News in Brief

ASPEN ” The city of Aspen completed its $18.25 million purchase of the BMC West Corp. property, located off of Highway 82 near the Aspen Airport Business Center, on Monday.

The city plans to use the property to build affordable housing.

Monday’s deal was simply a formality in a transaction that became public last month. The acquisition was approved by the City Council, based on recommendations from city staff.

BMC West’s parent company, Building Materials Corp., sent out a press release Monday announcing the deal, saying it was the final part of the sale of three “retail-oriented business units in Western Colorado.” The BMC property had been used for a lumber yard and construction-supplies dealer.

The sale will help Building Materials Corp., which is a Fortune 1000 company, realize a gain of $10 million for the fourth quarter of 2007, the company said.

ASPEN ” Suspected hot-check writer Peter Frommer’s motion to move his trial out of Pitkin County due to publicity surrounding the case was denied Monday.

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Frommer, 31, has pleaded not guilty o 33 fraud-related felonies, setting the stage for a trial in May. He is accused of writing such bad checks as $1,700 for lingerie, $6,000 for baby-sitting, and $19,000 for rent. One person allegedly was fleeced out of $35,000.

The trial is scheduled from May 27-30 and June 3-5.

A pre-trial conference is scheduled for March 3. Motions in the case, including a request for Frommer to get his passport back, are due Jan. 4 and scheduled to be heard on Jan. 14 at 3 p.m.

ASPEN ” An Aspen man was sentenced Monday for buying a television he knew was stolen from Aspen’s Molly Gibson Lodge in March.

Richard Risden, 27, had pleaded guilty to theft by receiving and was sentenced to two years of intensive supervised probation.

Deputy District Attorney Gail Nichols said police knocked on Risden’s door after an anonymous tip. When Risden allowed a search, police found the stolen 42-inch flat-screen TV.

It was Risden’s fourth felony conviction.

ASPEN ” Evidence was found to bring a homeless man to trial who is accused of breaking into a home and stealing goods in order to extort money. However, Judge James Boyd only ruled on one of three felony charges on Monday.

Matthew Franzen, 46, is accused of breaking into the house of Michael Mulcahy, of Basalt, stealing $2,000 worth of goods and attempting to extort $1,000 out of Mulcahy.

Judge Boyd ruled there is enough evidence to hold Franzen on the charge of criminal extortion but took under advisement the charges of burglary and theft.

The hearing brought out some issues that made the criminal charges less clear than portrayed in the police affidavit. Indeed, Franzen had been employed by Mulcahy, had possessions at Mulcahy’s house and had lived at Mulcahy’s house for some time. Mulcahy even paid Franzen $620 of back pay last week.

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