News in Brief |

News in Brief

BASALT The El Jebel man suspected of causing a head-on crash that severely injured two Basalt residents earlier this month remained in custody at Eagle County jail on Monday on $25,000 bond.

Oscar Canas Portillo was arrested May 14 shortly after he was discharged from Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs. Even if Portillo posts bond, he wont be released because federal officials have a hold on him for immigration issues, according to an official at the jail.Portillo was charged with suspicion of two counts of vehicular assault causing serious bodily injury; driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs; driving under the influence of alcohol with an excessive blood-alcohol level; and driving with a license under revocation.Police said Portillo crossed the center line of Two River Road on May 8 and plowed into an oncoming vehicle about one mile west of downtown Basalt. John Jeff Reese and Susan L. Grove were critically injured in the accident. They are being treated in a Denver hospital.

ASPEN Volunteers are being sought in the Roaring Fork Valley to serve on Bear Aware teams and other wildlife programs this summer, the Colorado Division of Wildlife announced Monday.Volunteers are needed to provide residents and visitors with information on how to avoid potential conflicts with black bears. The volunteers will share information about issues such as proper trash handling and bear behavior.The wildlife division also needs volunteers for projects like fish stocking, teaching hunter education courses and monitoring bighorn sheep.An orientation for volunteers will be take place at 9 a.m. Tuesday, June 3, at the Colorado Mountain College campus in Aspen, 255 Sage Way. Interviews for the Bear Aware team will immediately follow the orientation. People who are selected will immediately be trained. The interviews and training for Bear Aware team members will go from roughly 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Lunch will be provided for Bear Aware team members.People interested in volunteering with the wildlife division should RSVP by Friday, May 30, to Linda Edwards, DOW volunteer coordinator at 970-255-6145 or

EL JEBEL Proponents of a midvalley recreation center will host a meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the Sopris Room of the Eagle County Community Building to establish an organizing committee.Organizers plan to create a Friends of the Recreation Center committee. The group will raise funds and hire a consultant team. Eventually, the committee will place a funding question on a ballot, but thats not being pursued this year.The recreation center is being considered next to Crown Mountain Park, which was created in the last few years in the El Jebel area. The Crown Mountain Park and Recreation District is focusing on completing the development of that property, so it isnt involved in a recreation center right now.The recreation center committee and consultants will explore the idea of using one or more of the existing building adjacent to Crown Mountain Park, at the former Mount Sopris Tree Farm.Any member of the public interested in helping create the recreation center is urged to attend Wednesdays meeting.

ASPEN Aspens annual Memorial Day ceremony will begin at noon Monday, followed by a picnic served up by the Aspen Elks Lodge. The public is welcome at both events.The observance at the Roaring Fork Valley Veterans Memorial, next to the Pitkin County Courthouse on Main Street, will take place from noon to 12:45 p.m.Colors will be posted by the Roaring Fork Valley Veterans Honor Guard, followed by lighting of a memorial candle. Father Bruce McNab of Christ Episcopal Church will give the invocation and Benediction. Jeannie Walla will sing and Richard Sundeen will play Taps. Memorial expressions from those in attendance are welcome.Following the ceremony, the Aspen Elks Lodge will host a community picnic at Conner Park, next to City Hall. At 3 p.m., Congress is asking citizens to pause for the National Moment of Remembrance to recognize the sacrifice of fallen veterans. Also on Memorial Day, Aspens community access television station, GrassRoots (channel 12), will continuously broadcast interviews with local veterans, collected through the Roaring Fork Veterans History Project in association with the Library of Congress and the Aspen Historical Society. Local veterans have placed American flags on veterans gravesites at Red Butte, Ute and Aspen Grove cemeteries. For more information about local Memorial Day observances, contact Dan Glidden at 927-4183 or Dick Merritt at 927-5178.

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