NEWS

ASPEN CHAIN STORE RESTRICTION TABLED

ASPEN(AP) – The Aspen City Council has decided to table a proposal that would limit the number of new chain stores allowed in town. Council members say they want to complete work on other new policies coming out of an existing moratorium on new commercial development applications, which is set to expire in February. Currently the council is working to revise standards, restrictions and parking in the city during the current moratorium on commercial development. Community development director Jessica Garrow says the chain-store regulations deserve a thorough vetting that should not be mixed up with the current moratorium. The chain-store restrictions have been requested by a citizens group that is concerned pending commercial developments in Aspen are threatening local retailers.

UTAH CHALLENGING BLM OVER COAL LEASES

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – Two Utah counties say in a lawsuit that a halt on new coal leases on federal land is blocking a mine expansion pump millions of dollars into their economies.
Attorney Peter Stirba said Monday the suit is the first challenging the moratorium ordered by the Obama administration in January. Kane and Garfield counties want to strike down the halt that they say could force the mine to close.   A U.S. Department of the Interior spokesperson said they can’t comment on pending lawsuits, but the moratorium started after concerns were raised about the coal program, including climate change.  Utah is among the states most affected, along with Wyoming, Montana, Colorado and New Mexico.
President-elect Donald Trump has vowed to eliminated the moratorium.

BUENA VISTA PLANE CRASH INVESTIGATION

DENVER (AP) – Federal investigators say a partial loss of engine power led to a fatal plane crash near Buena Vista. The National Transportation Safety Board found that 63-year-old Jay Jones, of Buena Vista, lost control of his amateur-built Seawind airplane during a forced landing July 4. The reason for the power loss couldn’t be determined because of a serious fire that broke out after the crash. Jones was the only person in the plane when he crashed in a field about 4 miles from the Buena Vista airport. Witnesses reported hearing the aircraft’s engine sputter before the plane went down.  Jones had departed from the Lake County Airport in Leadville and was heard making a mayday call over his radio before going down. He didn’t elaborate on the nature of the emergency.