News in Brief |

News in Brief

Aspen Music Festival and School officials are considering a one-year extension to the contract of President and CEO Don Roth.The nonprofit’s board of trustees met on Saturday morning in part to discuss Roth’s contract with the festival. A statement released Saturday night said, “Subsequent to today’s meeting of the board of trustees of the Aspen Music Festival and School, discussions are being pursued with President and CEO Don Roth about an extension of his contract into 2006. We look forward to making an official announcement about the details shortly.”Board members and a spokeswoman declined to comment further about the meeting.Roth arrived at the music festival in the fall of 2001, replacing Robert Harth, who spent 12 years with the organization.

PAONIA (AP) – Several people were injured Sunday afternoon after an explosion at a mountain lodge north of Paonia.Delta County Sheriff Fred McKee said about a dozen people were taken off the mountain by Flight for Life helicopters after the explosion was reported at Electric Mountain Lodge.He could not confirm whether anyone had died. McKee did not know how many people had been staying at the lodge or the age range of people taken off the mountain.McKee could not immediately confirm what caused the explosion.Authorities were using snowcats to ferry emergency medical technicians to the lodge.McKee said Flight for Life helicopters from Durango and Grand Junction were flown to the scene.A call to Electric Mountain Lodge was not answered.

LITTLETON (AP) – State Republicans, reeling from the loss of a Senate seat, a congressional seat and both houses of the state Legislature to Democrats last November, reached out for new leadership on Saturday hoping to turn things around before the 2006 elections.The state central committee picked former congressman Bob Schaffer to be the new national committeeman. He replaced Bob Martinez, who was elected the new state party chairman after chairman Ted Halaby stepped down, saying he would not run again following the November losses.Schaffer promised to set aside his hard-line conservative principles when necessary for the good of the party. He defeated former state Sam Zakhem, a former ambassador to Bahrain, who said he ran against Schaffer for the post because Schaffer refused to support a Republican in the November election who opposed school vouchers.”This is treason. Why do we cannibalize ourselves?” Zakhem asked.Schaffer beat Zakhem, 223 1/2 to 156 1/2, after winning support from Gov. Bill Owens, who last year picked beer executive Peter Coors over Schaffer to run against Democratic Attorney General Ken Salazar in a losing battle for the U.S. Senate because he believed Schaffer was too conservative.Schaffer said some people urged him not to run for the national committeeman position because he would have to support candidates with whom he disagreed.”All Republican officers must support all Republican candidates. I will. I give you my word on that,” Schaffer said.

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