Scuttlebutt, 3/14/2014

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Prius gone wrong
If you saw the pickup truck and totaled Toyota Prius in the middle of Highway 133 (near Wells Fargo) on March 5, not to worry. Although it was a scary accident, those involved escaped with only minor injuries. The police report was not filed as of Tuesday, but Denise Barkhurst reports that a friend found himself struggling to maintain control of his 2007 Prius. As he pulled into Wells Fargo to access the drive-through ATM, his Prius began to accelerate even though he was hitting the brakes. He wove through the area, avoiding other cars and customers as his car continued to speed up. In the course of several seconds and 200 feet, the Prius had accelerated to full speed. To avoid causing greater harm, the driver then made a sharp right turn onto Highway 133, crashing into the pickup. According to Barkhurst, her friend’s Prius model was among those recalled in November 2009 due to problems with floor mats getting caught up in the acceleration pedals, resulting in the pedal getting stuck in the wide-open position. Yikes. (That recall was for models dated 2004–2009, among other Toyotas. Visit for more information.) Note: The Sopris Sun could not confirm that this was the problem with the vehicle in question.

Independence stages inaugural 5K
Independence Run & Hike staged its inaugural Thompson Divide 5K south of the Spring Gulch Nordic ski area on March 8, with Beth Broome leading the pack with a time of 26:53, followed by Brion After at 27:36 and Laurie Guevara-Stone with a 28:43. The route followed County Road 108 with views of Mt. Sopris and the Thompson Creek watershed. Under blue skies and a bright sun, contestants toed the starting line in footgear that ranged from YakTrax and tennis shoes to snowshoes. Rounding out the top 10 finishers were: Jen Burn (29:27), David Clark (30:16), Tom Whatoff (32:34), Danielle Morse (32:35), Paul Freeman (34:40), Merrill Johnson (46:22) and Zach Paris (46:23).

Speaking of sports
The Roaring Fork High School boy’s basketball team gave fourth-seeded Colorado Academy a fight in the 3A regional tournament last Friday, but came up short 56-42. Ben Carpenter finished with 14 points with Dwayne Yin pitching in 12. The Rams trailed by two points at the end of the first quarter but the Mustangs took a 28-15 lead to the locker room at half-time. Roaring Fork trailed 50-27 at the end of the third quarter but pulled to within 14 when the final buzzer sounded. The Rams finish the season with an 11-12 record.

English dances the Wheeler
Teri English (a RFHS grad) is featured in the upcoming “Music, Joy, Dance – An Evening at the Cabaret!” at the Wheeler Opera House. English is a principal dancer with the Fort Collins-based High Performance Dance Theatre and is also school director at the Canyon Concert Dance Center in Fort Collins. “Music, Joy, Dance – An Evening at the Cabaret!” has played to good reviews on the Front Range and in Chicago. “It’s inspiring to return to the Roaring Fork Valley to share my passion for dance with local students and on the stage,” said English. “I hope to see my former schoolmates, students, friends — as well as the public — in the audience at this joyful, high-energy performance.” She’ll take the stage on March 29. Tickets are $25 and $20 at 920-5770.

Fair poster entries due April 25
Carbondale Mountain Fair T-shirt/poster design entries are due on April 25. In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, this year’s fair theme is Wild at Heart: Celebrating Our People, Our Town and Our Wilderness. “ … (but) the theme is just an inspiration point for the creation of your design,” said a press release. Designs created by hand usually win, but digital images are welcome. The winning artist receives $500 and the glory of having his/her design used on the fair poster and T-shirts. For details, go to This year’s fair is July 25-27.

Saying the darndest things
Carbondale Mayor Stacey Bernot recently visited a third grade class at CRES. She reports the students’ questions included: does she ride in a limo, does she have body guards, if President Obama wanted to build or start a business in town does the mayor have the authority to tell him no, and does she know everyone in town’s names. “They also had very astute questions like ‘is it difficult to compromise, what do you (I) want to do for the town and what do our taxes pay for? They also thought my $1,000 per month salary was huge.’”

They say it’s your birthday
Folks celebrating their birthday this week include: John Nieslanik (March 15); Brian Kelso (March 16); and John Foulkrod (March 17).

Libraries break record
The Garfield County Library District announced it gathered a record amount of food this February during its Food for Fines program. More than 5,600 non-perishable food items were donated to local LIFT-UP locations. “This program is the perfect opportunity for our patrons to not only take care of their pesky fines, but also to help feed the hungry in their communities,” said Amelia Shelley, executive director of Garfield County Libraries. To date, there has been about a 570 percent increase in donations since the program began in 2008. There were 4,542 donations last year. Patrons at the six Garfield County libraries traded non-perishable food donations for LIFT-UP and received a $1 credit for each item to pay overdue fines. For more information 625-4270. On a related note, the library district recently launched its new website. Check it out at