Briefs: School finance manager leaves |

Briefs: School finance manager leaves

Daily Staff ReportVail, CO Colorado

EAGLE COUNTY Karen Strakbein, who led two successful bond campaigns for Eagle County Schools and manages the districts finances, is leaving her position as assistant superintendent of business services.Strakbein has been with the district for 12 years and will be taking a job as chief financial officer for Summit County School District, spokeswoman Melinda Gladitch said.Strakbein is the woman behind the scenes crunching numbers and figuring out how much money the schools need. She manages all investments and monitors all the finances. She has won several awards for her financial management. She was also recruited to work on numerous state financial and procedural committees.Its a real sad day for me, Superintendent John Brendza said. She was a pivotal point in terms of a lot of the progress weve made. She was instrumental in the success in the past couple of bonds, and in connection with that, shes been paramount in completing construction projects.Brendza said he will start a very aggressive national search for a replacement who can fill her shoes. If necessary, hell create an interim position.The finances were so thoroughly monitored, and we never had to question anything shes done, so theyll have to follow suite, Brendza said.Strakbein was unavailable for comment Wednesday. Matt Terrell

Shares of Vail Resorts Inc. leaped to a new 52-week high on Wednesday, after an analyst upgraded the ski companys stock, according to an Associated Press story posted on Equity Groups Joel Simkins upgraded Vail Resorts stock to Overweight from Neutral Weight and raised his price target from $50 to $58, according to the story on the business magazines Web site. Simkins said in a note to clients that he is comfortable with the outlook for Vails luxury real estate business, which includes the Ritz Carlton in Vail, and new projects in Breckenridge, including the Crystal Peaks Lodge. Simkins said that makes Vail Resorts an attractive takeover target, according to the Associated Press story.While it is difficult to determine potential buyers for Vail Resorts, Apollo previously owned the predecessor company prior to its initial public offering and Chief Executive Rob Katz was formerly involved in private equity as a senior partner at Apollo Management LP, Simkins is quoted as saying in the report. Other possible buyers may include Fortress Investment Group, Blackstone Group and KSL Capital Partners, Simkins added.Shares of Vail Resorts increased $3.31, or 6.7 percent, to $52.66 in mid-day trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Earlier in the session, the stock hit a new 52-week high of $53.61. The stock had previously traded in a 52-week range of $30.10 to $49.63.

EAGLE COUNTY The Own Your C bus tour is coming to Eagle County Friday for smoking prevention presentations at Eagle Valley and Battle Mountain high schools. The tour , part of statewide campaigna anit-smoking campaign, will stop at Eagle Valley high from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and at Battle Mountain high from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.The visit is sponsored by Eagle County Health & Human Services Public Health division and The Eagle River Youth Coalition, which have been working on anti-smoking efforts. are partners in local tobacco prevention and cessation efforts with a focus on youth.For more information about Own Your C go to

EAGLE COUNTY The Eagle Valley Land Trust has been selected as one of 22 conservation groups from 19 states to test a new national accreditation program. The program will recognize groups that meet national standards for land conseravtion. The program gives the local group a chance to better measure its performance, said Cindy Cohagen, executive director of the Eagle Valley Land Trust, Adopting and following the standards and practices set forth in the accreditation process is important because we want to be able to assure our friends and donors that they are investing in the work of an organization that is committed to excellence and integrity, she said. Established in 1981, the Eagle Valley Land Trust is the third oldest land trust in Colorado. Over the years, it has helped protect more than 9,000 acres of land in the county, Cohagen said. Lands protected by the trust include the East Vail Waterfall, Bair Ranch at the entrance to Glenwood Canyon, property on Tennessee Pass and land on Yarmony Mountain on the countys northern border.

ASPEN A Delta Air Lines flight sat on the runway for more than five hours Monday, the longest delay the Aspen/Pitkin County airport director can remember for a fully loaded plane. Kathy Vance of Los Angeles said she boarded the Delta flight to Salt Lake City around 1:30 p.m. Monday. Thirteen hours later, she reached her final destination California. It was a nightmare, she said. They told us we were going to sit for a while, but then five hours later, we were still there.The grounded flight came on the heels of national uproar last week over Jet Blue flights sitting on runways for up to 10 hours. The backlash was so bad, Jet Blue announced a passenger bill of rights to address the resulting distress. No Delta representatives were available to explain the wait. Other commercial and private flights took off while the Delta flight sat on the runway, Elwood said. All these United flights were leaving, and people were like, Why are they leaving? Vance said. We were just sitting there going, Youve got to be kidding me.The flight got into Salt Lake City just before 7 p.m. By that time, everyone had missed connections, so there was a second long wait in Salt Lake trying to find a plane home. My bag is still nowhere to be found, Vance said 20 hours after she landed in Los Angeles. I have no clue if they bussed the baggage. It was really screwed up. Joel Stonington

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