Top 5 most-read stories: Avalanche in Maroon Bowl kills one; Aspen selects new police chief |

Top 5 most-read stories: Avalanche in Maroon Bowl kills one; Aspen selects new police chief

Staff Report

We’ve rounded up the top five most-read stories on from last week.

1.) Maroon Bowl avalanche kills one; two rescued

An avalanche Sunday afternoon in Maroon Bowl off the west side of Highland Peak killed a skier, according to a Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office press release. 

At 1:27 p.m., Pitkin County Regional Emergency Dispatch Center received a call from the Aspen Highlands Ski Patrol reporting a large out-of-bounds avalanche in Maroon Bowl with three skiers likely caught. Shortly after this call, Highlands Ski Patrol reported that only one skier was buried by the avalanche, according to the press release.

Due to remaining avalanche danger, Ski Patrol was not able to send patrol to the three skiers and Mountain Rescue Aspen was notified. By 2:15, rescuers were on Maroon Creek Road, preparing to enter the field.

Three skiers triggered and were caught in a large avalanche Sunday, March 19, in Maroon Bowl outside of the Aspen Highlands Ski Area. One person died.
Courtesy of CAIC

Audrey Ryan

2.) Latino students shaken, Roaring Fork Schools administration regretful after career expo included Border Patrol 

Latino students are shaken, and the school district apologetic after a career expo at Glenwood Springs High School included a table with agents from Border Patrol, an agency under U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

“Why the h*ll was Border Patrol there? For what reason are they here? Why, in this Latino-majority school? Something we’ve been taught always is like this fear of deportation — documented or undocumented,” questioned a student. “I need something to change to be able to feel safe in school knowing that my race, my ethnicity isn’t a problem.”

The annual career fair is meant to be a fun and educational way to introduce Roaring Fork School District high schoolers to career opportunities in the valley and beyond. Students get to chat with representatives from over 100 employers, all while picking up free merchandise and getting out of morning classes with their peers. 

Josie Taris

3.) The Fields developer quits subdivision in El Jebel after years of trying to get it approved

After years of planning and numerous meetings in front of the Eagle Board of County Commissioners, the applicants to develop The Fields residential property in El Jebel withdrew their application.

The commissioners agreed that the application met standards for compatibility with surrounding land use and conformance with the comprehensive plan with proposed conditions, but that the public benefit required to upzone land was insufficient. 

“I think we all struggled mightily with this file, and we all came down very similarly,” Commissioner Kathy Chandler-Henry said. “We certainly are in dire need of workforce housing over here. That gets us to the public benefit piece …. Our guidelines are based on a project that meets all the criteria. This one has to meet public benefit.”

Josie Taris

3.) Aspen selects new police chief

Looks like Aspen has a new police chief. 

Kim Ferber has accepted a conditional offer from City Manager Sara Ott after emerging through a national search. 

“We’re excited for Kim to join the team and are confident that she will be an excellent addition to the city of Aspen Police Department and community,” Ott said. “She brings an extensive law enforcement and leadership background to this role, and we look forward to collaborating with her as she builds on Aspen’s legacy of community policing.”

Staff Report

4.) Aspen Hall of Famer Marian Melville came for that classic one ‘ski bum winter’ and never left

Aspenite Marian Melville, owner of the Mountain Chalet, passed away on March 10 at the age of 93. She was in her home surrounded by family and close friends. 

Melville first came to Aspen for a “ski bum winter” in the 1955-56 winter season at friend Dottie Kelleher’s recommendation. She and Kelleher had traveled the world together in 1955 and at Mont Tremblant, she found her passion for skiing and heard about Aspen. 

She spent her first winter in Aspen working at the Holland House and the Sundeck while working on her ski technique, her family said.

Audrey Ryan

5.) Business owners hold their breath as construction kicks off in Basalt

Business owners in downtown Basalt are braced for a challenging summer as Monday marks the start of the Midland Avenue Streetscape Project. 

Construction will begin Phase 1 on the Midland Spur, or the parking lot behind Town Hall, and move eastward down Midland Avenue in later phases. Businesses will always be accessible via pedestrian traffic, and one-way street traffic will always be open, according to town staff. Construction is scheduled for 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Phase I will result in 30 more parking spaces, from 60 to 90, along the spur. Under-road utilities and sidewalks will also be updated. Once that project is completed around mid-June, construction will move to Phase II, further down Midland Avenue. 

Josie Taris