News in Brief
ASPEN ” The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) expects to take several months to conclude an investigation into a fatal accident at the Aspen Middle School construction site this week.
Herb Gibson, director for the area OSHA office in Denver, said Thursday that an inspector was still at the site in Aspen and that no information would be available on the investigation for some time.
The agency is looking into the circumstances surrounding an accident on April 30, when a free-standing wall in the old, vacated Aspen Middle School building fell on Juan Ruiz while he and others were at work.
Ruiz, 29, of Denver, worked for an asbestos abatement and demolition company headquartered in Denver, which was hired to remove asbestos and vermiculite from the old middle school building before it is torn down. The old school stands right next to a new middle school ” completed last year ” which was not affected by the accident.
Aspen School District Superintendent Diana Sirko said the old middle school site remained closed Thursday, and she was uncertain when work would resume.
GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” The Shoshone power plant in Glenwood Canyon is operating again, Xcel Energy announced Wednesday morning.
The 98-year-old hydroelectric generating station, located several miles east of Glenwood Springs off Interstate 70 and next to the Colorado River, was shut down June 20, 2007, when one of two penstocks ” the pipes that deliver water to the plant ” ruptured and caused water and debris to flood the generating station and switching yard. Approximately 8 feet of water and many tons of rock and soil engulfed the station, the company said.
The rupture caused no injuries and no loss of service for residential customers. Xcel Energy determined that the rupture was caused by corrosion on a section of underground pipe. The repairs cost $12 million and the work was completed within Xcel’s 10-month schedule.
“The Shoshone Station produces 14 megawatts of clean, renewable power,” said Lou Matis, vice president of operations. “The damage we sustained was considerable, and we want to thank other Colorado River water users for their patience throughout the clean-up and repair process.”
Shoshone Station began operations in 1909 and has very senior rights on Colorado River water. The station produces power by diverting water from the river into two generating units. After use, water is returned to the river. The plant is one of seven hydroelectric power plants owned and operated by Xcel Energy in Colorado.
A memorial for Carbondale resident Lathrop Strang, who died Friday, April 25, will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 3, outside at the Strang Ranch in Missouri Heights.
A memorial for Phil Bradford, a Basalt resident who died Jan. 2, will take place at at 1 p.m., Saturday, May 3, at the Aspen Chapel. No flowers, please ” cash donations will be accepted for the chapel.
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Local fire officials in Pitkin, Eagle and Garfield counties are heightening their fire concerns, and starting this week Stage 1 fire restrictions will be enacted. Stage 1 means no campfires in undeveloped sites, no fireworks and no smoking outside unless it’s in an area cleared of all combustible materials.