racing history was made for the moment Saturday in Ofterschwang, Austria…

It was a huge weekend Friday & Saturday for Colorado’s Mikaela Shiffrin, of Eagle County.  The 22-year-old, who won her first women’s overall World Cup during the finals at Aspen a year ago, clinched her 2nd straight by finishing 3rd in the giant slalom.  Then Saturday in her specialty the slalom, leading Slovakian Petra Vlhova by 155 World Cup points, Mikaela stormed to a big lead after the first run, and during the second, in the rain, Frida Hansdotter of Sweden and Wendy Holdener of Switzerland got faster at the end and Vlhova couldn’t keep up.  Shiffrin charged to her 31st slalom win, her 42nd in all disciplines, to defend the title.  Both of those totals are the most ever for any World Cup woman who hasn’t yet turned 23.  Mikaela’s 23rd birthday is tomorrow.  Keep in mind that her teammate Lindsey Vonn will soon become the winningest World Cup racer of any gender all-time when she overtakes Ingemar Stenmark’s total of 86 victories, but when she turned 23, Lindsey had only 7 World Cup wins, versus Mikaela’s 42.  Congratulations again on her 2nd straight overall World Cup, to tomorrow’s birthday girl Mikaela Shiffrin, who’s already on pace to go down in history as one of the greatest ski racers ever.  This coming weekend, the women race at Are, Sweden.

If you’re old enough, you may remember the former World Pro Skiing circuit, whose races were generally head-to-head dual slaloms, back in the 70’s through the 90’s.  You might not know there’s a new version, going by a similar name, that just got going last season.  The 2nd of this year’s only 3 World Pro Ski Tour events, the Rocky Mountain Pro Ski Classic, was run this weekend at Snowmass.  The new pro races are still dual slaloms, and on Saturday, A.J. Ginnis edged his fellow US Ski Team member David Chodounsky, Ginnis taking $10,000 for first place.  The tour’s final event of this season comes the last weekend of this month at Sunday River, Maine, and the organizers hope to keep building it the next several seasons.

The Aspen Times is reporting the city’s looking good on collection of the new tobacco tax that started at the first of the year.  Word is Aspen brought in nearly $32,000 for the first month of the year, with one retailer’s figures yet to be totaled.  That number’s reportedly already well ahead of projections, for the new $3 a pack tax on cigarettes, 40% on other tobacco products.

You might not have known it, but you’re currently allowed to drink alcohol while riding RFTA buses.  After a decision by the transit authority board late last week, that’s all about to change.  The Times and Post-Independent report there’ll be no more open containers of alcohol allowed on the buses beginning in June.  The alcohol ban is part of a plan to improve security on RFTA’s buses up and down the valley, after 4 assaults on bus drivers, last year alone.  After June 9th, if a driver sees someone drinking on a bus, they’ll reportedly have flexibility in how to deal with that.  The overall concern comes in primarily if someone causes a disturbance.  There were 91 incidents of various kinds on buses last year, way up from 59 in 2016.

19-year-old local Kaden Gustin has reportedly admitted stealing thousands of dollars of stuff when he worked at a clothing store in Aspen back in November.  Now the Aspen Daily News and the Times report a new felony theft charge has been lodged against Gustin.  After an initial denial, the teen now admits stealing more than $12,000 right out of the purse of one of his friend’s moms.  The woman had let Gustin stay at her home in Snowmass Village for a month.  A police report there says Gustin stole the cash when she let him borrow her car.  Gustin apparently told police he spent most of the $12,000 on a Little Nell room for a weekend with his girlfriend, and on expensive gifts for her.  That young woman isn’t in any trouble, having turned over clothes, makeup, and more than $4000 Gustin gave her, to the Snowmass Village Police.  He reportedly also blamed his workplace thefts last fall on the need to impress the girlfriend.

Congratulations to Aspen Valley Hospital for its recent wins of several major healthcare honors.  AVH has been given a 5-star rating by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the only critical access hospital in Colorado to achieve that–  a ranking shared by only 337 of more than 4000 hospitals nationwide.  Aspen Valley’s also recently picked up 4 key national awards from the Healthcare Service Excellence Conference.

And if you’ve wondered about maybe getting new knees, be sure to check out today and tomorrow, the next in AVH’s OrthoAspen Winter Lecture series, “What’s New In Total Knee Replacement.”  The talk will be presented today at noon in the hospital’s Oden Conference Room, and again tomorrow at 5:30 at the Basalt Regional Library, by Dr. Eleanor  Von Stade.