That 13-year-old boy accused of shooting a family’s beloved dog to death in January was back in court, in a closed session, Wednesday…

Judge Paul Metzger went along with the defense’s request to keep the public, including reporters, out of the proceedings.  The teen is accused of escaping the Garfield County courthouse before a hearing for a prior offense, breaking into a Glenwood Springs house, stealing a rifle and a handgun, getting a ways upvalley, shooting that dog with the rifle, and going to a friend’s house to hide.  The actual counts include aggravated animal cruelty, burglary, theft, underage possession of a handgun, and criminal trespassing.  Several local media including the Aspen Times contested the closure of the proceedings, and Metzger says he’ll consider the legal precedents they cite, in whether future hearings in the case are public or closed.  The next one’s set for just under 2 weeks from now, the 14th of this month.

Sunday’s Highway 82 traffic crash at Smith Way that killed sports agent Dan Fegan and severely injured his 5-year-old son and the boy’s nanny, is prompting new safety discussions, specific to that intersection, known to be one of Pitkin County’s most dangerous.  That’s according to the Aspen Daily News.  Coming up Smith Way from Woody Creek, a driver gets suddenly deposited right at the edge of 82’s northbound lanes.  Video from the RFTA bus that smashed into Fegan’s car is said to be unclear as to whether Fegan actually stopped at the intersection before pulling into that bus’ path.  CDOT and Pitkin County officials are planning to meet later this month to renew talk over how safety could be improved there.

Coming up a month from now, road and walkway work is expected to begin at the Castle Creek Bridge and Hallam Street, and that’ll create all kinds of traffic snarls and detours at the entrance to Aspen.  There’s an open house on tap a week from today at the Pitkin County Library, where locals will be able to get all the info about the work to be done, and get a pretty good clue as to just how bad traffic’s going to be there all the way into the fall.  A pair of neighborhood meetings are expected to warm up for that, today.  We’re talking this evening to the spokespeople for the project, and will have a special Community Desk running for the coming week to remind you of next Thursday’s open house.

The Aspen Times is reporting the word from that new Alterra company–  if you buy your new Ikon ski pass for next season right away next Tuesday the 6th, you’ll get significant skiing & riding on it this season, too.  The $599 and $899 versions both start selling Tuesday, and if you’re heading out on the road, it’ll get you on the hills the rest of this spring at Big Bear and June Mountain of California, Canada’s Blue Mountain, and Snowshoe, West Virginia…  plus the 9th of next month and for the final weeks of this season, you’ll have access to Winter Park, plus California’s Alpine Meadows, Squaw Valley, and our fave, Mammoth.

And there’s an opportunity to see the much-talked-about 2-episode tv show “A$pen” with a dollar sign “The Series”, plus a documentary about making it, tonight at 9 at the Bootsy Bellows nightclub.  A guy named Greg Simmons has been working on and pushing the idea of the series since 2002.  After tonight’s free event, the show will air on Grassroots TV the rest of this month.