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News in Brief

Aspen will extend some chairlift hoursASPEN Two chairlifts on Aspen Mountain will be kept open longer to celebrate the approach of spring later this month.The Bell Mountain chairlift, also known as lift 5, will go on a 5-to-5 schedule beginning March 15. Every day conditions are sunny and people want to ride the older, slower chairlift, it will remain open until 5 p.m., according to Skico spokesman Jeff Hanle.The Little Nell chairlift on the lower slope of Aspen Mountain also will remain open until 5 p.m. every day to provide access to a new terrain park on the west side of the Little Nell slope, Hanle said. That chairlift will remain open until 6 p.m. Thursdays to provide access to the terrain park. Those days have been dubbed Throwdown Thursdays by the Skico.

Pitkin County Senior Center to reopenASPEN The Pitkin County Senior Center will reopen next week, after being closed for a week and a half while officials repaired a leaky roof and tested the air to be sure it is free of mold.Air quality testing indicates the inside air is within the acceptable range for conducting business there, declared a written statement from the county Tuesday, adding that the senior center will reopen for lunches and all other business March 10.We expedited the lab analysis, got the results, and they are all very good, said Aspen Valley Hospital facilities director John Schied. Aspen Valley Hospital owns the building and the adjoining Whitcomb Terrace assisted-living facility.The senior center closed Feb. 25 after a ceiling leak that had been covered with plastic developed mold. Initial air quality tests showed elevated levels of mold contamination, although an industrial hygienist reported the mold was not harmful to human health.A 150-square-foot area has been cordoned off while the ceiling where the mold was found is repaired.All the drywall in the ceiling has been pulled down, and crews are scrubbing the wooden two-by-fours and coating them with a sealant to prevent them from molding again, said senior center director Marty Ames. Well leave the protective wall up until all the mold mitigation is complete.Schied said last week that once the roof is cleared of snow, crews will be able to permanently fix the roof, dry out the room and eventually reopen the cordoned off area. He also said that while the buildings share walls, there is no danger the mold contamination at the senior center could affect the 15 residents at Whitcomb Terrace.The senior center is expected to close again later this spring for a remodel, officials said.New handicapped-accessible restrooms will be installed along with a new reception area, food service area and senior computer area.Officials say they are hopeful that most of the senior programs can be continued in other locations during the closure.For more information about senior programs, call 920-5432.

Ken Parks memorial setSNOWMASS A memorial gathering for Ken Parks, who died Jan. 6 at the age of 54, will be held Saturday, March 8, at the Elk Camp area at Snowmass Ski Area. The gondola to Elk Camp will be ready at 4:15 p.m. for anyone who wishes to attend.

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