News in Brief

The two teens who allegedly tried to beat a girl to death on Independence Pass in October 2004 pleaded not guilty Thursday.

Jaime Castro and Cinthia Romero are charged with attempted first-degree murder. Police say they used a golf club to beat the girl and left her on the side of the road to die.

Given the number of expected witnesses, Arnold Mordkin, who is representing Romero, said at least nine or 10 days would be needed for the trial. The cases of Romero and Castro are to be tried together, though Deputy District Attorney Andrew Heyl said he may ask that they be separated.

The trial has been set for Nov. 8-10 and the following week, Nov. 14-18. Two days of the next week could also be used, said District Judge James Boyd.

In other court news, Angel Montanez-Marioni pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting a girl outside Carbondale. A trial has been set for Nov. 2-4.

Also, Stormy Lindblom, charged with vehicular homicide and DUI, had her arraignment continued, despite Boyd’s comment that the case is “starting to push six months.” In other words, the case is getting close to exceeding the constitutional guarantee of a speedy trial.

Lindblom’s lawyer said he is awaiting more toxicology tests; her next court date is June 20.

Dwayne Romero has been appointed to the Aspen Fire Protection District’s board of directors.

He replaces Chuck Torinus, who resigned when he moved out of the district. The board appointed his replacement, pending the next public election of members in May 2006.

Romero, an Aspen resident, is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and has a master’s degree in business from Harvard Business School. He serves on various other local boards, including the Aspen Historical Society and Roaring Fork Leadership. He is also project manager with Obermeyer Redevelopment Co.

Aspen is again sponsoring a summer-long beautification competition that will reward restaurants, retailers and other businesses for the most inviting flower displays, storefront decorations and the cleanest sidewalks and windows.

Businesses that would like to be included in the judging should register with the Parks Department, at 920-5120, by July 1. Monetary prizes will be awarded in three categories: retail, restaurant, and other commercial (office, lodge, condo, etc.). Awards will be presented at the annual Community Picnic.

Also available are $200 grants to help fund the beautification efforts. Applications are available at the City Hall information desk, Sashae Floral Arts and Gifts, the Aspen Chamber Resort Association, the Aspen Parks Department or online at Planting receipts will be needed as part of the grant application, so hold onto them. Completed grant applications are due at the Parks Department by June 17.

Aspen Valley Hospital nurse Mary Fran Powell ” an Aspen resident and 18-year veteran of AVH ” has been named Nurse of the Year by her peers.

Powell is an intensive-care nurse. In addition to her registered nursing credentials, she is certified in critical care, advanced cardiac life support, pediatric advanced life support and neonatal advanced life support.

“Mary Fran is a talented, experienced nurse with a kind and sensitive nature,” said Barrie Harms, chief nursing officer. “She really makes a difference in patient care and is particularly knowledgeable about the critically ill or injured patient.”

Powell’s peers also spoke highly of her as they cast their votes in her direction, identifying her as hardworking, conscientious, dedicated, effective, professional and kind. As Nurse of the Year, Powell received $500.

Other nominees for the honor were: Nancy Bacheldor and Carolyn Kane in the Perinatal Department; Jean Cornish, Patient Care Unit; Ed DuBord and Sandy Klausman, Surgery Department; and Brenda Brokamp, house supervisor.


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