News in brief | AspenTimes.com

News in brief

Aspen Times staff report
Aspen, CO, Colorado

ASPEN – The Aspen Fire Protection District officially ratified two new leadership positions at its meeting Wednesday.

The department’s volunteers elected Willard Clapper Jr. as fire chief earlier this month. The new district executive officer is Ed Van Walraven.

Clapper is the first elected fire chief since Darryl Grob in 1994. Grob resigned in 2010. The new fire chief position will be unpaid, a change upon which both the Aspen Volunteer Fire Department and the Aspen Fire Protection District agreed.

Clapper will be responsible for operational duties and coordinating volunteers. Van Walraven will take over administrative duties as well as remain the fire marshal.

ASPEN – The top executive at the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority received the Transit Administrator of the Year award from the Colorado Association of Transit Agencies earlier this month.

Dan Blankenship, CEO of RFTA, won the award for providing outstanding contributions the transit industry in the state and for dedicating wisdom and experience to the industry, according to the state transit association. Blankenship also won the award in 2009.

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A statement from the state transit agency said Blankenship’s accomplishments include: receiving $24 million from the Federal Transit Administration for the expansion of RFTA and “managing both upvalley in Aspen, which has started to rebound from the recession, and downvalley from Glenwood and the I-70 corridor, which are still struggling to recover.”

Blankenship has been with RFTA since 1989 and has served as CEO and executive director.

EL JEBEL – There’s an eye-catching greeter working at the El Jebel City Market this week.

An armed guard has been working at the front of the store, sometimes on the inside and sometimes outside. Store manager Trent Cook said it’s nothing permanent. City Market’s parent company employs guards and posts them at different locations: “They rotate from store to store,” Cook said.

The guards perform such tasks as observing safety procedures, Cook said. The guards were assigned to the El Jebel grocery store Sept. 15. They take turns working shifts during business hours. They will rotate out at the end of this week, Cook said.

Basalt Police Chief Roderick O’Connor confirmed that there was no specific event that triggered the store’s need for guards.

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