News, December 31st

WORN OUT BEARINGS CLOSE ASPEN MTN. GONDOLA

Aspen—The timing is bad for skiers but great for skier safety.  Some worn out bearings on the bull wheel of the Silver Queen Gondola at the top of Aspen Mountain forced the Aspen Skiing Company to shut down the popular lift during the busiest time of the year.  A maintenance worker doing a routine inspection last Sunday, discovered an oil leak in the bull wheel at the top of the gondola.  SkiCo spokesman Jeff Hanle says there’s no telling how long the Silver Queen will be out of service because they’re having a little trouble finding a replacement part.  In the meantime, skiers and snowboarders can ride the Little Nell or Bell Mountain chairlifts to the top of Ajax or take a shuttle from the gondola plaza to the Shadow Mountain Lift.  Parts in bull wheels do wear out over time and accidents have occurred in the past. In December of 1985, the bull wheel collapsed on the Teller Lift at Keystone.  Dozens of people were thrown from their chairs, one person died and many more were injured. 

STATE FLAGS GOING TO HALF STAFF TOMORROW IN HONOR OF SLAIN HIGH SCHOOL GIRL

DENVER (AP) – Gov. John Hickenlooper is ordering state flags to be flown at half-staff in honor of Arapahoe High School student Claire Davis, who was shot to death by a classmate. Flags on all public buildings will be lowered tomorrow, the same day the National Western Stock Show and Complex will host a public memorial for Davis. She was shot Dec. 13 by a classmate who then committed suicide.

COLORADO MINIMUM WAGE WORKERS GETTING A RAISE

DENVER (AP) – Colorado’s minimum wage will increase by 22 cents on New Year’s Day to $8 an hour.  Supporters say the raise will benefit 104,000 low-wage workers statewide. The minimum for tipped workers in Colorado will also rise by 22 cents, to nearly $5 an hour.  The increase is expected to help the state by boosting economic growth by nearly $19 million.

BACKGROUND CHECKS FOR GUN SALES ON THE RISE

DENVER (AP) – Gun sale background checks in Colorado are at a record high.
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation says it has already performed more than 350,000 checks through last month, which is more than all of last year. Retailers and state officials attribute the record sales to several things, including concerns over gun sale crackdowns after several school shootings.

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