Only a couple weeks ago, 27-year-old Carbondale native climber Hayden Kennedy wrote in an online post, “it’s not just the memorable summits and crux moves that are fleeting… Friends & climbing partners are fleeting too.” Now the Post-Independent reports Kennedy, who’d been living in Montana, is no longer living. He ended his own life, after his girlfriend Inge Perkins died in an avalanche last weekend while they were backcountry skiing near Bozeman. The local Sheriff said the pair triggered the slide while skinning up, and both got caught in it. Kennedy managed to escape being partially buried, but couldn’t find Perkins. He hiked out of the area, and a search team found her body with probes Monday. His parents Michael & Julie Kennedy said in a statement they sorrowfully respect their son’s decision to end his own life when he couldn’t bear the loss of his partner. The Kennedys are prominent Roaring Fork Valley locals. Mrs. Kennedy is the found of the 5Point Film Festival. Hayden Kennedy, gone at 27.
There’s better climbing news from over in Summit and Chaffee Counties. That’s where 36-year-old Silverthorne resident Shuei Kato, who’d been missing since summiting Missouri Mountain near Buena Vista over the weekend, was found alive and uninjured Tuesday. After a couple chilly nights alone in the wilderness, Kato’s fire was spotted by rescuers from a helicopter. He was checked out, no need for medical attention found, and Kato was flown back to Buena Vista to be reunited with his wife and 2 small children. The Chaffee County Sheriff says the presumption is he got lost after his Saturday climb. Friends are calling Kato’s survival “a miracle.”
Pitkin Alert reported in an email overnight that as of 12:30 this morning, phone service had been restored up and down the Roaring Fork Valley. Cells and many land lines had been out since early Tuesday afternoon, when a CenturyLink fiber optic cable got cut in Carbondale. There’s still no word as to whether that had anything to do with a massive power failure in the mid-valley just before 10 last night, that blacked out a wide area on the south side of Highway 82, including shopping areas and the entire Willits Town Center.
El Jebel resident Jacinto Zelaya-Zelaya is in the Eagle County Jail awaiting final sentencing in December. He was convicted Monday of sexual assault on a child. He’ll be going to prison for at least 8 years, and potentially the rest of his life. Prosecutors say he’ll at least be under some kind of state control, forever. His public defender plans to appeal. The Vail Daily reports that the victim, 17 years younger than Zelaya, had been raped almost every week for 2 years, starting when she was only 13. After she told a friend what had been happening to her, that friend contacted the Eagle County Sheriff’s office. The case initially ended in a mistrial last spring, but was re-tried last week, with the jury coming to its verdict Monday after a full Friday of deliberations.
We told you last week about how the Justice Snow’s restaurant & bar in the Wheeler Opera House wanted to close for a couple months to reorganize its business, asking its landlord, the city of Aspen, for permission to do that right away. Now, the Aspen Times reports the restaurant, that’s been open nearly 6 years, owes the city over $40,000 in rent. And the city now says it’s going to soon make a formal demand for those funds. The rent Justice Snow’s pays is said to be below market value. Justice Snow’s issues, and Wheeler leases in general, are now set to be a topic at Monday’s city council work session.
And it seemed to some observers last night that the Carbondale board of trustees might be not all that fired up about the need to revoke the “Laughing Dog Group’s” business permit for its marijuana infusion operation. Several locals had complained about the pot odors from the business over the past year. Word from the Post-Independent is that some trustees had started seeing some of the situation’s issues as not totally black & white. For one, it was noted that at least one of those complaining has been another tenant in the same building, who’s complained about every other tenant there, the last 12 years, most of that well before Laughing Dog started operating.