Another construction glitch, as crews tear down Aspen’s former Sky Hotel to make room for a new W Hotel, set to open in 2019. Police reported a little after 6 Wednesday evening that workers on the site had cut a natural gas line at the site. The fire department and Black Hills Energy are said to have quickly gotten to the scene to take care of things. Police say that foul rotten-egg smell they put in natural gas so you don’t mistake it for anything else was pervasive for quite a while, all over the city. The line got capped about an hour after the cut, so things calmed down. No one got hurt, and no one had to be evacuated.

Her daughter’s still hanging in there at Denver Health, but Montrose resident Lily Benallou doesn’t yet understand how 16-year-old Amber suffered the injuries that put her there, 9 days ago. Benallou says her daughter just stepped out on the balcony of their 4th-floor room at Glenwood Springs’ Hotel Colorado, as they’d both done several times after checking in, then was gone. Amber had fallen from that high floor to the pavement below, suffering massive trauma. Numerous broken bones, internal organs injured, doctors figuring she wouldn’t survive the first 24 hours… Now, according to the Post-Independent’s reporting, Amber’s seen as beating the odds. In her latest post to a Facebook Montrose message board, Benallou thanks the Denver Health doctors for rebuilding Amber’s sacrum, that triangular bone at the base of your spine. And after 6 surgeries so far, Lily says Amber will be ready for another operation today, to rebuild both her ankles, shattered in the fall. The teen’s condition is of course still listed as critical.

The Colorado River District’s 4th quarter board meetings were held at Glenwood Springs’ Hotel Denver Tuesday & Wednesday, near the confluence of the Colorado and the Roaring Fork. The Post-Independent reports in a story from Aspen Journalism, that the board members from 15 counties heard a lot, from multiple organizations on various issues, over the 2 days. The Water Conservation Board’s new director Becky Mitchell said, for example, it would be important to develop a new long-term funding source for water projects, but ballot questions related to coming up with that money shouldn’t be put to the voters until the state’s many river basin plans are prioritized. And with so many demands on water sources, hydraulic engineer Kevin Rein pointed out he plans to keep enforcing water law statewide just as the man he succeeded, Dick Wolfe, did… the idea, he says, being to stay transparent and consistent, which Rein believes should translate to balance. All kinds of groups went before the board introducing themselves, and making cases. In general, the river district board deals with and sorts out a lot of really complex stuff, all the time.

There are already some traffic signs up about this– remember, now and through the coming weekend, you may see some smoke while traveling, especially in the parts of this valley that are in Eagle County. Fire officials say it’ll probably be nothing to worry about. They’ll be conducting a prescribed burn of as much as 1200 acres near Cottonwood Pass, calling it the Cattle Creek burn. Some 3 quarters of all vegetation in that area 9 miles north of El Jebel will be torched. So don’t call 911 when you see the smoke from this big fire on the Aspen-Sopris Ranger District. It’ll likely be visible not only around Carbondale, Basalt, & El Jebel, but also over on the other side of Eagle County, as far away as Gypsum and Eagle. They’ll have up to 20 firefighters and 2 engines watching out for any potential problems.

Gee, here in the news, we don’t want to be mean ol’ scolds, but sometimes you shake your head. I’ve wondered about this in a lot of places, because we see these stories once in a while… why would you go for a walk, right along something as dangerous as railroad tracks? Then, during your walk, why if you got tired, would you lie down and take a nap ON THE TRACKS? There could be– I don’t know– a TRAIN or something coming! Turns out, as we learn in an AP report from the Daily Sentinel of Grand Junction, a woman who hasn’t been named did exactly those things last weekend, and SURVIVED, apparently without a scratch. Lands’ End Fire officials say the woman fell asleep on the tracks near Whitewater Sunday, apparently with earphones that prevented her hearing the approaching train. Engineers on as Union Pacific freight saw her and were able to stop, but not until their first engine passed over the woman. Usually, that’d be too late, and someone would’ve died. But in this case it just woke that woman up… she was pulled from under the 2nd engine, didn’t suffer any injuries that needed medical attention… and apparently just walked away. Nothing other than that’s known about the woman, according to officials. Included in the unknowns… whether the railroad, the UP, might’ve given her a ticket.