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Pages of the Past: Steel strikes, gun play

Locations: News Published

From the archives of the Roaring Fork Valley Journal; compiled by Lynn Burton.

Jan. 15, 1987
The Valley Journal reported a 24-week strike by United Steel Workers of America in eight states appeared to be nearing resolution, which would send Mid-Continent coal miners in the Number 1 mine back to work. Mid-Continent’s Number 1 mine had been idled because coal from that operation was shipped to the Geneva Works steel mill in Utah, whose workers were union members. The article also pointed out shipments to South Korean customers had jumped by 90,000 tons in January, causing the recall of 50 miners.
In another story, the Valley Journal said the Mount Sopris Nordic Council would open its Spring Gulch Nordic ski area that Sunday. Mary Ferguson, who was born at the coal mining community of Spring Gulch 80 years earlier, was scheduled to cut the ribbon to open the cross-country ski area.

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Jan. 16, 1997
The Carbondale Fire District held its 15th annual Fireman’s Ball at the firehouse, renaming the venue the Dead Elk Saloon for the night. Volunteers and staffers festooned the firehouse with elk heads and western-period artifacts. Why the elk theme? The ball was a benefit for Marble Fiire Captain Tim Hunter, who was injured while hauling an elk out of the woods the previous October. The night’s bill of fare included elk stew, “ … from the elk that broke Hunter’s neck,” the article said. Tickets were $20 each, or $30 per couple.
That week’s Valley Journal also reported that the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Department was “tight lipped” after recent teen-related “gun play” outside the Carbondale town limits. Incidents dated to the previous summer, when a teen allegedly put a gun to another teen’s head up the Crystal River, but did not pull the trigger. The suspect later fired shots at an empty vehicle as he was leaving the area, and was arrested. The incidents, which police chief Gene Schilling indicated were not gang related or between Anglos and Hispanics, prompted a public meeting that attracted 300 attendees.

Jan. 11, 2007
More than 100 people were turned away from a comedy show at Thunder River Theatre after the producer (not associated with TRT) over-sold tickets to the venue. In the article, by Valley Journal reporter Gina Garascio, the producer admitted to a “royal screw up” in over selling the show. Garascio also pointed out the producer held several jobs at the time, working at Aspen area businesses the Wildcat Café, Krabloonik, Conundrum Catering, radio stations KSPN and KNFO, “as well as selling alarms for Pro-Guard.”

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