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News in brief

Aspen Times staff report
Aspen, CO, Colorado

DENVER (AP) – A former resident of Aspen, has been arrested in Florida on a cocaine charge.

Montgomery Chitty is in custody without bond. He was advised Monday in federal court in Key West of the charge against him.

A grand jury indicted him in December on a charge of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine.

Chitty was indicted following a 2010 Drug Enforcement Administration investigation into cocaine distribution in Aspen. Last April, 10 defendants were charged in a cocaine conspiracy in Aspen and the Los Angeles area. Seven have since pleaded guilty to various charges.

If convicted as charged, Chitty faces 10 years to life in prison and up to a $10 million fine.

Artists nationwide are invited to enter a poster contest for the 2012 USA Pro Cycling Challenge. Organizers are seeking unique posters for all 12 of the host cities, which include Aspen, as well as a national event poster.

Entries will be accepted at http://www.facebook.com/USAProCyclingChallenge from Feb. 14 through March 16. Winners will be announced April 16.

Once entries are submitted, the bike race’s Facebook fans will have a chance to cast their votes for the three best posters for each host city and the 10 best national posters. From there, panels of judges consisting of dignitaries, media and city officials will select each of the winners. Winners will receive a cash prize in addition to having their poster produced and sold to race fans both online and at the tour stops during the race. A portion of the proceeds from the national poster will be donated to America’s Road Home, while proceeds from many of the 12 host city posters will benefit local charitable causes.

Colorado resident Alyssa Graves won the inaugural contest in 2011.

This year’s Pro Cycling Challenge, Aug. 20 to 26, will bring riders from Gunnison to Aspen via Cottonwood and Independence passes in Stage 3 on Aug. 22. Stage 4, on Aug. 23, takes riders from Aspen to Beaver Creek via Leadville. They’ll again climb Independence Pass as they depart.

BASALT – Pitkin County will host an informational meeting from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Basalt Town Hall to discuss its recommendations regarding wintertime closures on certain midvalley lands controlled by the Bureau of Land Management.

Officials with Colorado Parks and Wildlife will present information on wildlife and habitat on BLM lands in the midvalley – in particular on the Crown, Light Hill and Arbaney Mesa. Both the county and wildlife officials have recommended winter closures on those parcels, along with Williams Hill, in their comments to the BLM’s proposed Resource Management Plan.

The closure would be from Dec. 1 through April 30 for all of the parcels where a winter closure was suggested.

At the Basalt meeting, officials will present background data on wildlife and the animals’ use of the areas and provide details regarding the county’s recommendation to the BLM for the development of management plans for each of the parcels based on “carrying capacity.”

The recommendations generated concerns among midvalley residents who are accustomed to wintertime recreational access on the lands, prompting the county to better explain the rationale for the suggested closures.

“We’d like the public to better understand why we made these recommendations,” said Cindy Houben, director of the county’s Community Development Department, in a prepared statement.


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