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Pages of the Past: A manhunt, teen gangs and plenty of hot air

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From the archives of the Roaring Fork Valley Journal, compiled by Will Grandbois

June 9, 1977

Accused serial killer Ted Bundy was on the run in Pitkin County after leaping from an Aspen court room. Road blocks were in place up and down the valley as a manhunt continued in the backcountry. In the process, they happened to catch a Carbondale man with 200 pounds of marijuana in his car. (Bundy was apprehended after six days at large, only to escape from the Garfield County Jail several months later.)

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In other news… Wildlife experts expressed concerns about native fish due to an ongoing regional drought, which also prompted the forest service to alter its grazing permits.

June 11, 1987

Colorado Rocky Mountain School was preparing to host The Crystal Valley Balloon Fest, the first event of its kind in Carbondale. Around 15 balloonists planned to participate, with a mass ascension scheduled for early Saturday morning, followed by races and challenges to test the skill of the pilots, including one that involved dropping pancakes onto a target. (On a related note, the Lift Off 4 LIFT-UP balloon festival will take place at Willits and Crown Mountain Park on June 23-25).

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In other news… The Journal did a feature on local saddlemaker Jim Beeman, whose custom work gave cowboys “exactly what you want, from the horn clear to the stirrups.”

June 12, 1997

While district attorney Mac Myers acknowledged the area didn’t have anything like a big city teen gang problem, he believed the symptoms were there. “Some kids are armed… they are doing crime in groups, and we’ve noticed graffiti,” he said. “… If the graffiti is there, the mentality is out there. The town brought in a law enforcement veteran from California to discuss the issue, who suggested more parental involvement as the best antidote to criminal activity.

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In related news… Carbondale began enforcing a 10 p.m. teen curfew “until we’re not having any more problems,” Police Chief Gene Schilling said.

June 7, 2007

Trustees were considering a preliminary plan for the annexation and subdivision of an island of county land inside city limits surrounding the historic Thompson House. The house, which had been preserved with its original turn-of-the-century contents, would end up under town ownership under the plan, which some trustees expressed reservations about. (Currently, the house is undergoing renovations to continue operations as a museum run by The Mount Sopris Historical Society. Part of the property now hosts Ross Montessori School and a handful of housing units are slated for construction on some of the remaining land.)

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In other news… Wilderness Workshop made the move from Aspen down to Carbondale, which “has got that strange brew that just feels right for what we do,” Executive Director Sloan Shoemaker said.

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