News in brief
December 21, 2011
ASPEN – A proposed Jeep Jamboree on Pitkin County four-wheel-drive roads in August will go first to the county’s Special Events Committee for review.
County commissioners had been scheduled to offer their input on the appropriateness of the event Wednesday, but the topic was pulled from their agenda. The proposal will go first to the committee for its recommendation, according to County Manager Jon Peacock.
California company Mark A. Smith Off-Roading Inc. is seeking a permit to hold the event Aug. 15-18. Snowmass Tourism approached the guide service to put together an event that could draw as many as 100 four-wheel-drive vehicles and 300 people. Participants would stay in Snowmass Village and take part in guided Jeep tours on various backcountry roads around the county each day.
ASPEN – Awolnation will be the next Bud Light Hi-Fi Concert headliner, performing a free outdoor show in Aspen on Saturday, Jan. 28, during the Winter X Games, Aspen Skiing Co. announced this week.
The band, a product of lead singer Aaron Brune and Red Bull Records, mixes indie, electronic and rock and scored a ski-flick hit in “Sail,” which was featured this season in Matchstick Productions’ “Attack of La Nina” and Teton Gravity Research’s “One for the Road.”
The concert, the second in a series of five that will be held on key weekends this winter, will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the base of Aspen Mountain. There will be a beer garden at the venue and specials at Ajax Tavern, according to Skico.
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The Winter X Games will take place at Buttermilk Jan. 26-29. Other Bud Light concerts are planned Feb. 19, March 18 and March 23.
ASPEN – An Aspen man was advised of criminal charges Wednesday in the wake of a series of allegedly inflammatory text messages he sent to his ex-wife.
John Francis, 31, faces a felony charge of stalking and a misdemeanor count of violation of a protection order. Those two charges triggered a probation-violation charge, also a felony, from a previous deferred felony conviction for vehicular assault.
In August, District Judge Gail Nichols sentenced Francis to 30 days in Pitkin County Jail for driving under the influence when he wrecked his current wife’s Audi on Castle Creek Road, severely injuring his friend’s hand. The accident happened Oct. 30, 2010.
As part of the August sentencing, Nichols also placed Francis on four years of supervised probation; conditions of the deferred judgment included he could not break any laws or drink alcohol, among other provisions.
On Tuesday, Francis’ ex-wife, who has a protection order against him, contacted Aspen police concerning a string of text messages he sent her over the past few days. After reviewing the text messages, police obtained a warrant and arrested Francis. He also purportedly had a blood-alcohol level of .029 at the time of his arrest on Tuesday, Chief Deputy District Attorney Arnold Mordkin said at Wednesday’s advisement, held in Nichols’ chambers.
Nichols set bond at $10,000 for Francis, who was incarcerated in county jail as of Wednesday afternoon. Francis asked to be released on a personal-recognizance bond, saying he has deep community ties and is not a flight risk.