News in Brief
December 31, 2007
SNOWMASS ” It’s official ” last month was the snowiest December ever at Snowmass Ski Area.
Six more inches of fluff fell Sunday night to boost the total at the top of Snowmass to 119 inches, according to the Aspen Skiing Co. That beats the 117 inches that fell in December 1983. The December snowfall also was triple the average for the month, according to Skico statisticians.
Aspen Mountain came close to the record 102 inches that fell in December 1983. The Skico said 98 inches graced Ajax as of Monday afternoon.
Skico officials said records researched by Snowmass Ski Patrol Director J.T. Welden indicated December’s snowfall at Snowmass was possibly the largest total for any single month in at least 15 years. March is often the month when the most snow falls.
This December has been nicknamed DEEPcember because of the extraordinary amount of snow that fell at Aspen and Snowmass.
“These are by far the best conditions I have experienced in my 15 years in Aspen/Snowmass,” Mike Kaplan, Skico president and CEO, said in a prepared statement.
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GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” A man suspected by authorities of trying to shoot his girlfriend with a nail gun, then shooting himself has been transferred from a hospital to a jail.
Jose Sosa-Vasquez, 28, was released Sunday from Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs. Although the alleged crime occurred in Eagle County, Sosa-Vasquez was admitted to Garfield County Jail in Glenwood because that facility has a nurse on staff, according to Eagle County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Shannon Cordingly. Eagle County jail doesn’t have a nurse. Sosa-Vasquez needs continued treatment for his injury.
His bond has been set at $150,000. He was arrested on suspicion of attempted homicide, felony menacing, domestic violence and false imprisonment. He also is accused of preventing his girlfriend from calling 911.
The suspect is accused of bursting into his girlfriend’s Blue Lake residence in El Jebel at about 3 a.m. Dec. 24 and trying to shoot her in the chest and head with a specialized, single-shot nail gun. He allegedly shot himself in the chest to demonstrate what he intended to do to her.
The victim called 911, but Sosa-Vasquez allegedly hung up the telephone. The signal was busy when a policy dispatcher called back, so a deputy was sent to the scene.
DENVER ” The Aspen Art Museum garnered praise from the Denver Post when art critic Kyle MacMillan named Chief Curator Heidi Zuckerman Jacobson “Curator of the year” and included two of Aspen’s shows in the year’s top 10.
“As [Jacobson] demonstrated with the beautiful, insightful exhibition, ‘Like Color in Pictures’ and other offerings in 2007, this ambitious, well-connected curator knows how to take the pulse of the international art scene without falling victim to faddishness,” wrote MacMillan in his best art of 2007 article Sunday.
He named “Like Color in Pictures” and “Sculptors Drawing” as two of the top 10 art shows of the year.
PITKIN COUNTY ” Pitkin County deputies responded to some 10 accidents on county roads Sunday and Monday, according to the sheriff’s office.
Most of the accidents were fender benders, though a few had the potential to be more serious. Contributing factors to most of the accidents were weather and speed, said Deputy Joe Bauer.
The city of Aspen saw few accidents due to the weather conditions; Sgt. Bill Linn said the number of cars on the streets probably kept motorists from driving too fast.
GRAND LAKE, Colo. ” Four witnesses to an avalanche Monday outside of Grand Lake dug unconscious Shannon Christensen, 31, of Casson, Minn. out of the snow.
The witnesses, snowmobilers from Parker and Broomfield, found Christensen buried under 3 feet of snow. He was buried for about 5 minutes. As rescuers warmed him, he regained consciousness.
The avalanche buried the man on Super Chicken Hill at Gravel Mountain in the Arapahoe National Forest, according to Grand County Undersheriff Walt Eldridge.
The avalanche covered an area about 150 yards wide.
The snowmobiler was transported by snowmobile back to the highway and taken by ambulance to St. Anthony Granby Medical Clinic for treatment. He suffered a dislocated shoulder.
Super Chicken Hill is part of a network of U.S. Forest Service snowmobile trails near the Three Lakes Area. (Sky-Hi Daily News)