Search for Nebraska woman now "recovery effort" |

Search for Nebraska woman now "recovery effort"

Nathan Rodriguez
Kristin AndersonVail resident Sarah Lindholm studies for an exam in the sunshine outside of Starbucks in Vail Village.

Beaver Creek – Nine-year-old Bayley Brake sent flowers down Beaver Creek, where she had last seen her mother, Mary Brake, before the current swept her away.

Mary Brake and her family were on their way to Beano’s Cabin, an upscale restaurant only accessible by horseback, sleigh, tractor-pulled wagon or shuttle, when her horse lost its footing in the creek.

As of Sunday morning, the search officially became a “recovery effort” for a body instead of a rescue effort, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

“She’s not going to be alive when we find her,” said Eagle County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Shannon Cordingly. “Our hearts and prayers go out to the family of the victim.”

Mounted horse-patrol and water-rescue crews combed 3.5 miles of the creek from where Brake was last seen. Search and rescue dogs searched spots where they picked up the woman’s scent but were unable to find her.

The area was scanned by boat by Clear Creek County Search and Rescue, and from the air by the Colorado National Guard High Altitude Aviation Training Center.

The victim’s family released a letter Sunday thanking rescue crews for their efforts:

“Our family would like to thank everyone who has offered their prayers and support. We would especially like to thank the Eagle County Sheriffs Office, the staff at Beaver Creek Resort, and all the well-trained searchers who volunteer their time to search for Mary.

“We know those searching on the mountain are here out of the goodness of their hearts, risking their own lives and chance of injury, to bring Mary back to us – and we truly appreciate all that they are doing. In this tragic time, the love and support our family has received has been amazing. As tragic and difficult as this is, we will always remember Mary and celebrate each moment of life as she did.”

Aspen – The director of the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport is hoping a new report will help create ways to save on energy and reduce emissions.

The report shows that the airport was responsible for generating 55,270 metric tons of carbon dioxide, the most troublesome greenhouse gas, in 2006.

Jim Elwood, director of the airport, said he hopes the report, conducted by a West Coast consulting firm, will lead to improvements in energy efficiency and innovations in everything from airport operations to aircraft technology.

Colorado Springs – State health officials say a Colorado Springs woman is the third person in the state to contract a strain of salmonella linked to tomatoes.

The El Paso County Department of Health and Environment confirmed Friday the woman has since recovered.

The tainted tomatoes have sickened more than 550 people nationwide.

Information from: The Gazette,

Rifle – A two-year community health study of Garfield County concluded that residents who live close to oil and gas operations may face higher health risks, including cancer, due to higher rates of benzene, a known carcinogen.

Russell Walker, a professor of environmental science at Mesa State College who worked on the study, said benzene concentrations could be significant, for up to a couple hundred yards, from gas operations.

But if technologies are used to recover gas that would otherwise be vented, benzene rates could be reduced by about 90 percent, he said.

Such technology is being discussed as the state is working to draft new rules for the state’s oil and gas industry. Last week, industry workers, landowners and others blasted the proposed rules at a Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission hearing in Grand Junction.

The health risk assessment surveyed local residents, elected officials and others, and analyzed health records from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, hospital discharge data, emergency room information and extensive household surveys.

Crested Butte – The conversation continues in Crested Butte about ski terrain expansion.

The ski area operator wants to expand to Snodgrass, an adjoining mountain, arguing it needs more intermediate-level terrain to sustain the interests of out-of-state skiers.

About 80 percent of visitors to Vail- and Aspen-area resorts return, but at Crested Butte it’s 54 percent, resort officials said. That makes marketing more expensive and the profit margin thinner.

The goal of the expansion, and an associated real estate project, is to get Crested Butte’s skiers days to 550,000 to 600,000 per season. It was hitting that stride a decade ago, but the numbers were padded by weeks of free skiing, a promotion now mostly ended. Now, it’s at 300,000 to 400,000.

The key to getting better-heeled visitors who return, they said, is more intermediate terrain.

The expansion has been proposed off-and-on since the early 1980s.

Denver – Police in Denver are investigating an apparent drive-by shooting that wounded an 8-year-old girl.

The girl was shot while walking with a relative Friday evening. Witnesses reported seeing a newer model green Ford Explorer or Expedition and an older black Honda Accord with tinted windows speeding from the scene.

The girl was hit in the abdomen and was rushed to the Denver Health Medical Center in serious condition.

“She made it out of surgery O.K.,” said Sharon Hahn, Denver police spokeswoman. No additional details on her condition were available.

Crime Stoppers is offering $2,000 for information leading to arrests in the shooting.

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