News in brief |

News in brief

Aspen Times staff report
Aspen, CO, Colorado

ASPEN – A Florida man’s lawsuit blames an aircraft maker for his plane’s out-of-control landing at Aspen-Pitkin County Airport in February 2009.

Jerome Rich and his firm, Richbuilt Construction LLC, filed suit against Piper Aircraft Inc. Friday in Pitkin County District Court. The suit comes after a Denver judge dismissed the same case from U.S. District Court in June because of a lack of jurisdiction.

Rich’s lawsuit comes in the form of a tort claim for airplane product liability. It says that that the 2006 Piper Meridian he was piloting on Feb. 4, 2009, had a defective engine mount that Piper designed. After landing at the Aspen airport, the aircraft “became unstable and began veering left and right uncontrollably,” the lawsuit says. “The aircraft then exited the runway causing substantial damage … to the aircraft.”

The suit seeks more than $500,000 from Piper, which faces civil claims of strict liability, negligence and violation of the Colorado Consumer Protection Act.

Denver attorney Rick Carmickle filed the suit on Rich’s behalf.

ASPEN – A Pitkin County district judge sentenced a Glenwood Springs man Monday to 18 months of probation for violating terms of his probation connected to a conviction for stealing pain pills from monks at St. Benedict’s Monastery in Old Snowmass.

Daniel Kramer, 34, appeared in Pitkin County District Court, where he apologized for his actions.

Kramer’s punishment will run concurrently with six years of supervised probation that Garfield County District Judge James Boyd gave him last week. Boyd issued the sentence after Kramer pleaded guilty to break-in and theft of painkillers from Glenwood Medical Associates on Jan. 13 and Jan. 23.

At the time of the Glenwood break-ins, Kramer was on probation in Pitkin County for stealing the painkillers from the monks over the course of 2009 and 2010. He had been on probation since last December.

He is set to begin an 18-month in-patient program at the Stout Street Foundation drug-abuse treatment facility in Denver this week.

“I think we all want to see him succeed,” said Kramer’s public defender, Tina Fang.

BASALT – The Basalt Town Council recently endorsed the Roaring Fork School District’s proposed $4.8 million mill levy.

A proclamation the board approved at its Aug. 23 meeting said the mill levy increase is necessary to offset a $5.2 million reduction in funding over the past three years. The school district has made spending cuts because revenues from the state government have plummeted.

The school district, which includes the public schools in Basalt, Carbondale and Glenwood Springs, will seek voter approval of a property tax increase in the November election.

Basalt’s proclamation said the budget cuts have put a strain on the ability to provide a high-quality education for kids.

“We support the importance of small class size, attracting and retaining quality staff, providing up-to-date texts, technology for learning, and materials, ensuring the quality of preparation for life after high school and preserving safe learning environments for kids,” a part of the proclamation said.

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