Top 5 most-read stories: Local ski instructor dies in accident; Pitkin inmates will now go to Eagle |

Top 5 most-read stories: Local ski instructor dies in accident; Pitkin inmates will now go to Eagle

Staff Report

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

1.) Local ski instructor dies in accident at Aspen Highlands

Basalt local Dave Turner died Jan. 5, two days after striking a tree in a skiing accident at Aspen Highlands.

At 12:56 p.m. on Jan. 3, ski patrol received a call that Turner, 70, went off the catwalk into a tree at the bottom of Why Not, where the run intersects the Oly catwalk, according to an email Wednesday from Aspen Skiing Co. He was not wearing a helmet.

According to the statement: Ski patrol was on the scene in four minutes and found Turner unresponsive. Advanced life saving was initiated, and vitals were re-established before he was transported to an ambulance at the bottom of the hill.

Audrey Ryan

2.) GarCo sheriff severs jail agreement, Pitkin inmates will now go to Eagle County

A working relationship between the Garfield and Pitkin County jails ended this week after a new sheriff took office in Aspen. 

Eagle County Detention Facility is the new holding place for inmates of Pitkin County who are incarcerated for more than 48 hours, such as those who don’t bond out or are awaiting trial. Seven inmates were transferred to the Eagle facility on Thursday after Pitkin County officials began scrambling Tuesday to find a new home for them. 

Until Tuesday, Garfield and Pitkin counties were operating under an intra-governmental agreement reached nearly two years ago. Joe DiSalvo, Pitkin County’s sheriff at the time, determined its own 24-bed jailhouse was outdated and too small to safely operate in its current state. DiSalvo and Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario negotiated a three-year agreement that received commissioners’ approval in March 2021 and called for Garfield County Jail to house Pitkin’s detainees with extended stays.

Rick Carroll

3.) Sheriff DiSalvo leaves grateful staff and 12-year stint filled with high and lows

Joe DiSalvo sat behind his disheveled office desk, masked up and coming off COVID-19 and other illnesses. Badges of those Pitkin County sheriffs who preceded him, a bag of peanut M&Ms, a jar of pickled relish, and paperwork populated the desk. 

Framed posters of past sheriff elections dotted the office walls — including the late artist Thomas Benton’s iconic silk-screened campaign poster from 1970, immortalized by its peyote fist and signed by the candidate running for office, Hunter S. Thompson. 

“I like being here,” said DiSalvo, 62. “I like coming to work. I like seeing people.”

Rick Carroll

3.) 10th Circuit rejects closed Aspen restaurant’s suit against insurer over Covid losses

An Aspen restaurant’s lost income from business interruptions due to government lockdowns and restrictions at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic are not covered by its insurance policy, a federal appeals court ruled last week. 

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit on Thursday upheld a previous ruling that the now-defunct L’Hostaria’s policy through Cincinnati Insurance didn’t cover property-damage claims, which the restaurant’s lawyers argued were triggered by COVID-19 contamination and public-health orders. 

“For Sagome (the corporate name for L’Hostaria) to be covered, COVID-19 had to injure or harm its property in some physical manner. But Sagome did not — and could not — plead such damage, because COVID-19 does not physically injure or harm property,” said the 10th Circuit’s ruling.

Rick Carroll

4.) 46th Aspen Gay Ski Week expands entertainment and event offerings

What began as an argument over two men dancing with one another in a local Aspen bar circa 1977, Aspen Gay Ski Week has morphed from informal annual meetups and parties to the biggest and most influential non-profit LGBTQ+ ski week in the world.

And its 46th year is shaping up to be the biggest yet, with a conservative estimate of 3,500 attendees expected to descend on the Roaring Fork Valley for this year’s festivities from Jan. 15 to 22.

“Aspen Gay Ski Week is the most popular week of the year, hands down,” said Melissa Temple, president of AspenOUT. “No one knows how to have a party like gay people. The town is just happy, restaurants are abuzz and joyful, the mountain is fun, and everyone is welcome to come out and play.”

Sarah Girgis

5.) Pitkin County agrees to preserve Woody Creek ranchland for wildlife

Nearly 800 acres of conservation easements on Craig Ranch in Woody Creek will be protected from development, the Pitkin County commissioners decided Wednesday, with unanimous approval to spend more than $6 million to purchase the land. 

The easements are wildlife-focused and will not allow public access to the land, along with preventing future construction of homes or roadways. 

Michael and Jennifer Craig approached the county about the sale and received an appraisal for the easement at $9,075,000. They agreed to seek 30% of the compensation via state tax credits.

Josie Taris

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