MORE GARCO RESIDENTS WORKING, BUT STILL STRUGGLING
Glenwood Springs—Colorado’s economy may be improving but life is still a struggle for a lot of families in Garfield County. County Human Services Director Mary Baydarian sees it everyday. During a recent update with the Board of Commissioners, Baydarian says more people are entering the workforce but they still need help to make ends meet. She says monthly disbursements of state assistance for food and utility bills is just under 800 thousand dollars.
SKICO AGGRESSIVELY MARKETING OVERSEAS
Aspen—China and the Middle East are untapped markets for the skiing and snowboarding industries. That’s why the Aspen Skiing Company is stepping up marketing efforts to attract more visitors from both regions. Skico spokesman Jeff Hanle says even though winter sports are fairly new to both countries, there’s a great deal of potential for the industry to expand. Skico sent a sales representative to Dubai this past summer and has made several trips already to China as part of a long-term branding strategy. Last winter was Skico’s best ever for international visits. Skico sales reps are also pitching the the ski area to Canada, Europe, Mexico and Brazil.
JUDICIAL TRANSPARENCY SOUGHT BY LAWMAKERS
Denver—A lot of taxpayer dollars went to defend James Holmes. Some irate state lawmakers would like to know exactly how much money public defenders spent to keep the Aurora movie theater shooter from a lethal injection. A bipartisan trio of lawmakers plan to propose a bill to make judicial records more available, including cases handled by the public defender’s office. Lawmakers like Democrat Representative Rhonda Fields says the courts aren’t transparent enough in many cases. The Judicial Department is currently adopting new rules over what records should be made public.
VA HOSPITAL BUDGET DISCUSSIONS
Denver—The Veterans Affairs Department could get enough money to finish the massively over-budget medical center in Aurora if Congress passes a measure to avoid a government shutdown. The measure would allow the VA to transfer 625 million dollars it needs from other accounts in it’s own budget. There are a few catches though. Congress would still have to approve raising the spending cap on the project. Colorado Senator Michael Bennet says the VA must hold everyone accountable for the project’s rising costs that exceed 1.7 billion dollars.