Recent Stories | AspenTimes.com

Recent Stories by Jason Auslander

Defamation claim remains in Aspen vendetta lawsuit

May 22, 2018 — The Aspen soap opera between a wealthy investment fund manager and a lawyer he thinks is out to get him can continue to play out in the form of a civil lawsuit, a district judge has ruled. However, the judge dismissed two and a half

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It’s jail, then probation for check-stealing dog-sitter

May 21, 2018 — A fired dog-sitter who stole her Aspen employer's checkbook and wrote nearly $160,000 worth of checks to herself was taken to jail in handcuffs Monday after her sentencing hearing. Vanessa Simon, 21, pleaded guilty to felony theft in the case and will spend the next

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Former Aspen police chief dies after fall

May 18, 2018 — Former Aspen Police Chief Tom Stephenson died earlier this week at a hospital in Denver after suffering a head injury at his home in Basalt, sources said Friday. "It's just a shock," said Keith Ikeda, who served as Stephenson's assistant chief. "It's really tragic that

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Crown parking lot construction to begin soon

May 17, 2018 — Construction of a new parking lot off Prince Creek Road for mountain bikers and others who want to access the Crown trail network should begin by the end of the month, Pitkin County officials said Thursday. The project will hopefully put an end to area

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Police bike auction set for Friday at noon

May 16, 2018 — If your town bike was nicked last summer by a drunk looking for a ride home, get on over to Galena Plaza at noon Friday for a replacement. That's when the Aspen Police Department's annual bike auction will take place featuring bikes and other items

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Aspen mom arrested on Mother’s Day for DUI, child abuse

May 14, 2018 — A local woman sentenced to jail and probation late last year for breaking into her neighbor's house for drugs was arrested for driving under the influence of drugs on Mother's Day with her son in the car, according to court documents. Leslee Francis, 54, was

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Aspen’s bear debacle last year prompts strategy change for this summer

May 11, 2018 — The out-of-control bear situation in Aspen last summer has the Police Department rethinking its bruin strategy this year. Members of the department have submitted a municipal ordinance to the Aspen City Council that will include escalating fines for people who disturb wildlife should council members

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CDOT: No walkers, riders on Independence Pass road early next week

May 10, 2018 — The state transportation department will close Highway 82 past the winter closure gate next week to walkers, joggers and bikers to repair the rock- and ice-battered asphalt, a spokeswoman said Thursday. The road toward Independence Pass, which is set to open May 24 for the

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Contentious Aspen Mountain cabin approved by county commissioners

May 9, 2018 — After months of consideration, Pitkin County commissioners on Wednesday approved a couple's application to build a cabin on the backside of Aspen Mountain. "Really, this is an issue of private-property rights," Commissioner George Newman said. "The applicant has a right to build a 1,000-square-foot cabin.

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Commissioners support pedal-assist E-bikes

May 8, 2018 — The five Pitkin County commissioners on Tuesday indicated their support for allowing one type of e-bike on hard-surface trails in the county. The discussion at the commissioners' regular weekly work session was the first step toward changing the county's Open Space and Trails regulations to

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Aspen man faces harassment charges after sending 17 emails to police

May 7, 2018 — An Aspen man with a history of questionable decisions has been charged with three counts of harassment after sending "rambling," "nonsensical" and harassing emails to Snowmass Village's police chief and officers, according to a police report. The 17 emails were sent by Jeremiah Casper, 40,

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Prank victim pleads guilty to arson

May 7, 2018 — A 25-year-old local man pleaded guilty to felony arson Monday and was sentenced to two years' probation in connection with a prank that went awry this winter in Snowmass Village. Stephen Elmore pleaded guilty to fourth-degree arson in exchange for a plea deal that calls

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Prank victim pleads guilty to arson

May 7, 2018 — A 25-year-old local man pleaded guilty to felony arson May 7 and was sentenced to two years' probation in connection with a prank that went awry this winter in Snowmass Village. Stephen Elmore pleaded guilty to fourth-degree arson in exchange for a plea deal that

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Aspen man faces harassment charges after sending 17 emails to police

May 7, 2018 — An Aspen man with a history of questionable decisions has been charged with three counts of harassment after sending "rambling," "nonsensical" and harassing emails to Snowmass Village's police chief and officers, according to a police report. The 17 emails were sent by Jeremiah Casper, 40,

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Pitkin County adjusts for June primary involving independent voters for first time

May 6, 2018 — For the first time in Colorado, voters unaffiliated with a political party will be able to participate in the primary election next month. Pitkin County Clerk Janice Vos Caudill and her staff are preparing to send out both Democratic and Republican primary ballots to all

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Roaring Fork Valley teens to be charged in ‘crime spree’

May 4, 2018 — Four Roaring Fork Valley teenagers allegedly involved in a "crime spree" last weekend involving three marijuana dispensaries may have broken into other businesses and homes, sources said Friday. Two 16-year-olds and two 17-year-olds — identified this week by a Basalt school resource officer — are

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Suspect identified in $100k Aspen jewelry store robbery

May 4, 2018 — Aspen police have positively identified at least one man involved in a nearly $100,000 downtown jewelry store robbery in September and a judge recently signed a warrant for his arrest, according to court documents. An Aspen detective also was able to obtain tentative identification on

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Prosecutors still searching for alleged Aspen rapist, fear he fled country

May 3, 2018 — The District Attorney's Office is continuing to try to locate a former local resident who allegedly raped a woman a year ago he met at an Aspen restaurant, according to a prosecutor and court documents. The 32-year-old man apparently fled the country after police interviewed

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Accused painting slasher: I didn’t do it

May 3, 2018 — The British man named by Aspen police last week as the person who slashed a $3 million painting at a local art gallery a year ago denied involvement in the incident Wednesday and said he's a "family man" trying to lead "a quiet life." "Regarding

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Man wanted in Aspen for threats, attempted extortion

May 2, 2018 — An Argentinian man allegedly spent most of February, March and April stalking, threatening and attempting to extort his ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend, according to court documents. The ex-girlfriend reported to police that she was afraid of Alejandro Saez-Blanco, 40, and believes he might return

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