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  • Locations: News Published

    Murder suspect booked in GarCo Jail

    Murder suspect Arturo Navarrete-Portillo, 46, was released from a Grand Junction Hospital on March 4 and taken to Garfield County Jail, according to a press release from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. Navarrete-Portillo was transferred from Valley View Hospital to an unidentified Grand Junction hospital on Feb. 16, after he was involved in an automobile accident on Highway 133 and later told law enforcement officers he had killed his wife, Maria Carminda Portillo-Amaya, 30, earlier in the day. Navarrete-Portillo appeared before a Garfield County district judge for advisement at 3:30 p.m. on March 4 and is being held without bond. read more →
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  • Locations: News Published

    Fire board considers master plan framework

    The elected leaders of the Carbondale fire district, at a meeting on Feb. 11, laid out a framework for updating the district’s decade-old master plan, including how to engage the public in coming up with ideas for rescuing the district from its ongoing financial difficulties. The district recently hired two consulting firms — Mark Chain Consulting LLC of Carbondale and the Almont Associates firm of Port Orange, Fla. — to divide between them the chores linked with the master planning effort, at a total cost of nearly $87,000. The two firms are splitting the contract for the master planning effort, with just over $53,000 going to the Chain group and nearly $34,000 to the Almont firm. The master plan project is an outgrowth of a 2013 tax hike election, in which voters rejected the district’s request for additional tax revenues to overcome losses of revenues due to the effects of the recent national recession. District officials have warned taxpayers that the district is facing serious fiscal problems and must find ways to boost its revenues or be faced with cutting the quantity and quality of services provided to district residents. read more →
  • Locations: News Published

    Man arrested after stabbing on Cooper Place

    Carbondale police reported on Tuesday that a dead woman was found in an apartment building on Cooper Place on Feb. 16, after a man involved in a car wreck on Highway 133 told police he had killed his wife in that apartment building. Police were not releasing the name of the victim, or of the alleged killer, as of shortly after 11 a.m. on Tuesday, pending notification of the victim’s family and the issuance of an arrest warrant for the suspect. An autopsy confirmed that the woman died of multiple wounds from a sharp object, and that the case formally is considered a homicide. This reportedly is the first homicide case in Carbondale since 2003, when Jessie Brooks was tried and convicted for the accidental shooting death of his friend, Bobby Rogers, according to news stories published at the time. read more →
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  • Locations: News Published

    Spoken word artists return to Roaring Fork Valley

    For the third year in a row, Aspen Words (formerly known as the Aspen Writers’ Foundation) has brought acclaimed bilingual spoken word teaching artists to work with students in Roaring Fork Valley middle and high schools. From Feb.17-27, this year’s trio of poets is fanning out across the Roaring Fork Valley, encouraging and inspiring young people in 16 schools to find their voices and express their feelings through poetry. In Carbondale, they will lead assemblies and bilingual workshops for students from Roaring Fork High School, Bridges High School, Carbondale Middle School, Carbondale Community School, Colorado Rocky Mountain School and Ross Montessori School. Valley-wide, they will reach over 3,000 seventh through 12th graders in just nine days, according to a press release. This is visit number three for Myrlin “Myrlindo” Hepworth from Phoenix. He’s joined again this year by poet Logan “Dirty Verbs” Phillips from Tucson — who taught with Hepworth here for two weeks last February and also as a guest of the RE-1 School District in the spring of 2013 — plus first time visitor, award-winning young female poet Mercedez Holtry from Albuquerque. read more →
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  • Locations: News Published

    Carbondale Officially a CO Creative District

    Colorado Creative Industries and the Boetcher Foundation named the Carbondale Creative District as one of five new creative districts around the state read more →
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  • Locations: News Published

    Carbondale fire district splits master plan contract

    The elected leaders of the Carbondale & Rural Fire Protection District on Feb. 5 decided unanimously to split a contract for a new district master plan between two companies, one of which is out of Florida and the other of which is based in Carbondale. According to a statement released by the district, the contract is being divided between Mark Chain Consulting, based in Carbondale and headed by a former member of the fire board, and Almont Associates of Port Orange, Florida, a firm that originated in the small town of Almont, Colorado, near Gunnison. The board had budgeted $90,000 for the master plan contract, and the statement from the district noted “the combined proposal figure is $86,985, within the district’s budgeted amount.” Chain, who was on the fire board until he was defeated in the last board election and initially submitted a bid of $98,500 for the entire master plan job, is to be paid roughly $53,000 for his part of the plan process. Chain’s portion of the planning process is to be largely a matter of “leading the public involvement process, which entails community surveys, community outreach, and website and communication services, along with the financial feasibility process portion of the Master Plan,” according to the district’s statement. read more →
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  • Locations: News Published

    Commission expands historic downtown survey work

    Carbondale officials have begun the process of adding to a five-year-old survey of the historic homes still existing in the downtown area, as part of the Carbondale Historic Preservation Commission’s (CHCP) ongoing work to preserve as much as possible of the town’s architectural legacy. The CHPC this week issued a “request for proposals” from firms interested in updating the 2010 Historic Resource survey, which was conducted by Aspen-based Suzannah Reid, of Reid Architects, Inc. The 2010 survey, which Reid said cost approximately $11,000, identified and catalogued 20 historic homes in town and contains a lively summary of the early history of the Roaring Fork River Valley and Carbondale in particular. Reid also conducted a 2006 survey that identified 29 historic commercial structures. But as of this week, she told The Sopris Sun on Monday, Reid had not applied to take on the proposed survey update. According to CHCP member Ashley Allis, who works for Design Workshop in Aspen, the commission hopes the survey will be at least partly funded by grants from the Colorado Historical Society, which also contributed to the costs of the previous two surveys. Allis confirmed that the proposed survey is “building” on the earlier survey work, and that the commission hopes to add at least 20 historic homes to the 20 that were identified in the 2010 survey. read more →
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  • Locations: News Published

    Library district board formalizes firearms policy

    Anyone feeling insecure about his or her safety while visiting a Garfield County public library can now carry a concealed firearm as they browse the stacks — at least, they can if they have the proper permit. But they cannot carry a gun openly, following a decision on Feb. 5 by the Garfield County Library District board of directors, which amends the district’s previous policy of banning the possession of weapons in any way while in the library. While the board might have adopted a policy to ban all firearms within the facilities, that concept was rejected because of the prospective costs associated with having metal detectors and guards on the premises, as required by state law where such bans are in effect. The issue came up in Garfield County after it created a stir in several communities in eastern Colorado over the past couple of years, including the Clearview Library District in the town of Windsor, where a woman had to leave a library building in 2012 after the concealed pistol she was carrying shifted and became visible to another patron. read more →
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  • Locations: News Published

    Carbondale fire board issues partial gag order

    The elected leaders of Carbondale’s fire district have concluded that fire board members, individually, should not be talking with news reporters about fire district policy, and should leave media contacts up to the president and vice-president of the board. That decision was made “six months ago” at a meeting of the board of directors of the Carbondale & Rural Fire Protection District, according to fire board president Gene Schilling. It is a policy that he recently cited when criticizing another fire board member, Carl Smith, who was elected last year after a campaign in which he was critical of the way the district is being run. Smith last month had spoken with reporters about the district’s ongoing search for a consulting firm to write up a new district master plan. Specifically, Smith had confirmed that he asked that the price tags associated with four proposals, from four different firms, be made public, and about his reasons for that position. read more →
  • Locations: News Published

    Model UN Club gears up at Roaring Fork High School

    A total of eighteen Roaring Fork High School students will be heading to the United Nations Headquarters in New York City this March. Their mission: to work toward solutions to global issues such as the Ebola outbreak, the rights of indigenous people and the globalization of labor, as they join over 2,000 other students from around the country and the world to engage in a four-day simulation of the United Nations. The RFHS Model UN Club has been assigned the country of Cambodia. Each student will represent Cambodia on one of the Model UN committees, such as The World Bank, Disarmament, and International Security Committee, or the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). In preparation for the conference, the students have been conducting extensive research on Cambodia and international issues, reviewing UN resolutions, learning about the history of the UN and international diplomacy, writing Cambodian position papers and honing their public speaking skills. read more →
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