Mumps on the rise in Garco, a noxious gas causes Grand Valley Middle School evacuation, HB 1256 dies in a state Senate committee, Aspen Skico and KSL buy S California ski areas, and Republican Congressman for Colorado's 3rd District is talks to KDNK's Amy Hadden Marsh about climate change and more on today's local newscast. Click on the headlines to listen.
- Grand Valley middle schoolers in Battlement Mesa could be allowed back in school today, following an investigation of odors in the building Wednesday. According to a Garfield County press release, students were evacuated to LW St. John Elementary School around 11 AM yesterday. Grand Valley Fire crews found a slightly elevated reading of hydrogen sulfide gas but the source has not been determined. Students returned to the middle school building around 3:30 PM when crews verified that the odors were no longer present. The fire district will test the building again today to make sure it's safe for the students to return. Garfield County Environmental Health officials are also taking air samples from the building.
- The state Senate Agriculture, Natural Resources and Energy Committee killed a bill Wednesday that would have increased the distance between schools and oil and natural gas facilities. Western Colorado Congress and Grand Valley Citizens Alliance, two West Slope groups who advocated for the change, said in a press release that they are disappointed by the party line vote on the bill, which would have shifted the setback distance from 1,000 feet from school buildings to 1,000 feet from school property lines. Senator Kerry Donovan, a Democrat from the 5th District (Chaffee, Hinsdale, Delta, Gunnison, Eagle, Pitkin, and Lake counties), was the only West Slope legislator on the committee to vote in favor of the bill.
- Four new bills have been introduced in the Colorado Legislature, aiming to curb the influence of money in elections. Two specify limits on expenditures and contributions, one of which is for county office candidates.Two others define and require disclosure of those who pay for campaign ads. Eric Galatas has more.
- Hot on the heels of Monday’s $1.5 billion dollar deal to buy Winter Park, Steamboat, and 4 other Intrawest ski areas, the new Aspen Skico/KSL Capital Partners alliance is now buying more than 6,000 acres of ski terrain in southern California. A press release issued Wednesday states that the ski resorts include Mammoth Mountain, June Mountain, Snow Summit and Bear Mountain. The deal is due to close in the third quarter of 2017. No price was announced. The Denver Post speculates that KSL and Aspen Skico could offer a season pass that could include Aspen, Snowmass, Squaw Valley, Steamboat, Winter Park, two ski areas in Canada, and one in West Virginia.
- Republican Congressman Scott Tipton represents Colorado’s 3rd District, which includes most of the Western Slope. KDNK’s Amy Hadden Marsh spoke with him this week. In Part 1 of the conversation, Tipton talks about the Local Enforcement for Local Lands Act, President Trump’s American Energy Independence Order, and climate change.
- Cases of mumps are on the rise in Garfield County. Amy Hadden Marsh has this update.