News in Brief |

News in Brief

Aspen Times staff report
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN – City of Aspen utilities director Phil Overeynder is stepping down from his departmental leadership role due to health issues, according to a news release issued Monday.

Overeynder will still work for the utilities department. He will focus on special projects and serve an advisory role on issues related to energy purchases, water rights and strategic planning. Overeynder has worked for the utilities department in various capacities since 1993, the release says, noting he “is a valued member of city staff.”

Dave Hornbacher, who is now the deputy director of utilities and environmental initiatives, will serve as interim director.

The city will start an internal recruitment process this week to permanently fill the director position.

CARBONDALE – A fire that started on the back deck of a home east of Carbondale early Saturday was put out within 30 minutes, according to Carbondale Fire Chief Ron Leach.

No one was injured and the house did not burn down, but the structure was heavily damaged by the fire, Leach said.

The fire occurred at a single-family home on Gambel Oak Court in the Blue Creek Ranch subdivision east of Carbondale, near Catherine Store.

“The cause is still undetermined, but it was not suspicious,” Leach said.

The residents of the home called 911 at 12:45 a.m. to report the fire. Firefighters arrived within five minutes, and the first fire engine arrived 10 minutes later.

A total of three fire trucks, one ambulance and 16 firefighters responded to the scene, along with assistance from the Garfield County Sheriff’s Department.

“The Carbondale firefighters did a heck of a job in extinguishing this house fire in a safe and efficient manner,” Leach said. (Post Independent)

ASPEN – This week’s Aspen Business Luncheon will devote its attention to the Aspen Area Community Plan.

Panelists for the forum, set for noon Wednesday at the Hotel Jerome, include Warren Klug (representing the lodging sector), Penney Carruth (real estate), John Olson (builder/developer), Tim Semrau (government regulations) and Paul Menter (Aspen’s economy). The discussion will be moderated by Steve Wickes.

Cost is $26, which covers tax and tip and includes a buffet lunch and valet parking. Cash and checks (make it out to the Hotel Jerome) will be accepted at the door. For more details or to RSVP, email luncheon organizer Todd Shaver at

ASPEN – Community members interested in reducing Aspen and Pitkin County’s bear problems are invited to attend a Bear Aware meeting set for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 20, in the Rio Grande Room, 455 Rio Grande Place, Aspen.

Division of Wildlife officer Kevin Wright, who covers the Aspen area and has been active in helping volunteers with the program, will host the meeting. He will help organize the volunteers and provide educational information to anyone who wants to help Aspen reduce the increasing number of bears drawn to populated areas.

“Aspen’s Bear Aware team did a great job last season, but the need for these volunteers grows every year,” said Wright. “Wildlife officers can only do so much. The key to reducing the conflict is education and our volunteers have been very successful in getting the word out to the public.”

For more information, visiit

ASPEN – The deadline for enrollment in Kids First, the city of Aspen’s financial aid program to help defray the childcare expenses of working families, is May 1.

Qualified familes will begin receiving assistance on June 1. The May 1 deadline applies to newcomers to the program as well as all households that currently receive financial aid through Kids First.

Applications are available at Pitkin County licensed childcare programs, Kids First or via the website For more information, call Kids First at 970-920-5769 or visit the facility at 215 N. Garmisch St., Suite 1, in Aspen (the Yellow Brick Building). You may also send an e-mail to


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