News, March 21st

BODY FOUND AT ASPEN HIGHLANDS SKI AREA

Aspen–Authorities in Aspen believe they have found the body of Jeff Walker. The longtime resident and wine connoisseur was reported missing two weeks ago but massive search efforts were unsuccessful. Yesterday a snowboarder found a body, in clothes that Walker was last seen wearing, in an out-of-bounds area of the Highlands Bowl. The 55 year old Walker was an expert skier who skied Highlands Bowl almost daily.

STATE LAWMAKERS GOING AFTER THE OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY

Denver–The oil and gas industry may face tougher penalties and fines for environmental infractions if Colorado Democrats get their way. A bill being debated at the state capitol would jack up current, daily fines of a thousand dollars to 15 thousand dollars a day. Another measure would require annual inspections of each drilling site. Democrats in the House and Senate say the oil and gas industry in Colorado has too much clout and needs to be reined in.

GLENWOOD SPRINGS CONFLUENCE PROJECT

Glenwood Springs–Like the two rivers that merge in Glenwood Springs, the ideas are flowing about how to develop the Confluence property. A two-hour workshop was held last night as planners, elected officials and citizens put together a wish list for the publicly-owned, 23 acre parcel that overlooks the point where the Colorado and Roaring Fork Rivers meet. The planning effort is being overseen by the non-profit Sonoran Institute.

XCEL ENERGY RATE HIKE DENIED

Denver–Xcel Energy’s request for a rate hike was denied by the Colorado Public Utilities Commission. Xcel is trying to recoup about 17 million dollars in costs for it’s Smart-Grid-City project in Boulder. Company officials say the cost of the nation’s first experiment using communication and computers to manage electricity flows has nearly tripled to 45 million dollars. Xcel recovered about 28 million but wanted customers to pick up the rest…the P-U-C said no.

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