Briefs: Highway 24 to close due to leak |

Briefs: Highway 24 to close due to leak

Special to the DailyThis pink helmet is being worn by Vail firefighters and will be auctioned off in July to raise money for breast cancer treatment.

MINTURN ” A stretch of U.S. Highway 24 through Minturn will close beginning at 9 a.m. today due to road damage from a water leak, authorities said.

Both lanes of Highway 24 between Toledo and Harrison streets will be closed until workers find and repair a leak from a service line that crosses the highway, Town Manager Ann Capela said.

Traffic will be rerouted from Toledo Street to Pine Street to Harrison Street and onto Highway 24.

Capela did not know when the stretch will reopen, she said.

“It depends on what they find when they start digging,” she said.

The leak is causing the road to buckle. Commercial vehicles, except local traffic, should use alternative routes, the town said.

” Steve Lynn

VAIL ” Vail Fire and Emergency Services firefighters are wearing a pink helmet as part of a campaign to raise funds for the Vail Breast Cancer Awareness Group.

It is an authentic leather helmet that is currently for sale on the breast cancer group’s Web site ” ” in an online auction. The helmet will be awarded to the highest bidder during a live auction at the group’s July 12 luncheon.

Until then, Vail firefighter Ryan Sutter and Capt. Cooter Overcash will wear the helmet as part of the fire department’s Pink Helmet Campaign.

Overcash, whose mother died of cancer, says he got the idea from lacrosse players who wore pink helmets during an all-star game to raise funds for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

“I hadn’t heard of any other fire department in the nation wearing a pink helmet to raise funds for breast cancer research and awareness,” Overcash said. “We were looking for a unique fundraising tool and most importantly wanted to do something that would benefit our local group and those who struggle with breast cancer in the Vail Valley.”

Sutter says he and his wife Trista, whom he married after meeting on the TV show the “Bachelorette,” will take the highest bidder to lunch in Beaver Creek.

The helmet, donated by Beaver Creek Resort Company conforms to safety standards and is certified for fighting fires. It was painted by Melvin Valdez who works in the Vail’s Public Works Department.

Bidding on the helmet starts at $150. The July 12 luncheon, featuring guest speaker, Linda Ellerbee ” award-winning journalist and breast cancer survivor ” will take place at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch.

For more information on the Pink Helmet Campaign, contact Overcash or Sutter at 479-2254. For more information on the Vail Breast Cancer Awareness Group, call 479-8595.

AVON ” Avon will begin building its new transportation center next week.

Construction of the bus hub and a nearby railroad crossing are part of Avon’s plan to redevelop the west side of town into a shopping district.

The 450-square-foot transit center will have room for six full-size buses. It is about 400 feet from the new Riverfront Gondola.

“The new transportation center will be the epicenter of Avon,” said Jeff Schneider, engineer. “Within a five-minute walk or less people will be able to get to almost every hotel in town, the new Main Street, the Westin Riverfront with its gondola connection to Beaver Creek Resort, Nottingham Park, and the Eagle River.”

During construction of the transit center, Benchmark Road will be closed from Avon Town Square to the Four Seasons building.

EAGLE-VAIL ” The Samaritan Center of the Rockies is the beneficiary of this summer’s kickball tournament sponsored by the Evans Chaffee Construction Group.

The tournament, which includes a pancake breakfast, is Aug. 18 at the Eagle-Vail pavilion and soccer fields.

The Samaritan Center provides professional counseling services for individuals, families and community organizations.

“We’re tremendously excited to be a part of the Evans Chaffee Annual Kickball Tournament,” said Carolyn Pope, chairman of the Samaritan Center’s Board of Directors. “It provides an opportunity for us to let the community know what exceptional services our counselors provide, as well as receiving much needed funds to help people in need in the valley.”

Past beneficiaries of the Evans Chaffee Kickball Classic and Pancake Breakfast include the Eagle County Women’s and Children’s Shelter, CASA (court appointed special advocates), First Descents kayak camp for young adults with cancer, Success at Six and The Gillis Memorial Scholarship Fund, and Meet the Wilderness.

Anyone interested in organizing a team to compete or volunteering at the tournament should contact Evans Chaffee at 845-0466.

AVON ” Jennifer Strehler, who has 17 years experience in public improvement and transit projects, is Avon’s new public works director.

Strehler will oversee a staff of approximately 100, including seasonal employees, and an $8.2 million operating budget. Her responsibilities include overseeing transit operations, streets and roads, facilities maintenance and parks maintenance.

Most recently, Strehler was a senior project manager for CDM in Bellevue, Wash. She was also a former city engineer in Bremerton, Wash, where she oversaw, among other projects a $48 million dollar capital improvement program.

Strehler grew up in Minnesota, but has been coming to Vail to ski every winter since she was seven, she says.

“It’s the perfect opportunity for me,” Strehler said. “I have always wanted to live here, and this position will utilize a good blend of all my skills and experience.”

Strehler holds an M.B.A., an M.S.E in civil/environmental engineering, and a B.S.E. in chemical engineering; all three degrees from the University of Washington.

Strehler replaces Bob Reed who is retiring after 20 years in Avon’s public works and transit departments.

For more information, contact Jennifer Strehler at 748-4115 or e-mail

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