Local and Regional News Briefs | PostIndependent.com

Local and Regional News Briefs

VAIL ” Police have arrested the victim in an alleged kidnapping case, saying that the man concocted his own abduction.

Michael Sean Moore’s wife reported him kidnapped Thursday night after two armed men broke into the couple’s East Vail home and forced him to leave with them in his own car. Moore’s wife reported the abduction to police shortly after 10 p.m. that night, according to police reports.

Moore, 35, was found Saturday afternoon at a friend’s home in Avon. After talking to Moore, police determined that he had lied about the kidnapping, said Detective Sgt. Susan Douglas with the Vail Police. He was arrested Sunday and has been charged with aggravated robbery, false imprisonment, menacing with a deadly weapon, theft, false reporting to authorities and domestic violence.

A major reconstruction of Basalt Elementary School is coming just in time this year to deal with a boom in the student population.

The number of students at the school jumped from 540 last year to 560 this year, according to principal Suzanne Wheeler-Del Piccolo. A large kindergarten class is already enrolled for next year, so the best guess at this point is the school population will swell to 570, she said. That’s growth of 5.5 percent over two years.

Even before the growing trend became clear, voters in the Roaring Fork School District approved a property tax increase to build new schools or renovate existing ones in Basalt, Carbondale and Glenwood Springs.

Basalt will get a new 80,000-square-foot elementary school for about $10.3 million. Currently the school is divided among three buildings. One entire building and another partial one will be demolished this summer. When construction is completed by fall 2006, the school will be under one roof.

Skyrocketing fuel costs are taking big bites out of the budgets of the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority and Pitkin County.

RFTA had to break into its piggy bank for an extra $100,000 Thursday to cover increasing fuel costs, and Pitkin County’s public works department is preparing a budget request for the county commissioners.

“We’re blowing our budgets out of the water,” said Brian Pettet, Pitkin County public works director. “It’s probably going to be an ongoing hit on our budget.”

RFTA counted on higher prices when it created the 2005 budget, but not as high as they’ve gone, according to Chief Executive Officer Dan Blankenship. “They’re at unprecedented levels,” he said.

RFTA counted on paying $1.50 per gallon for diesel fuel, on average. The agency doesn’t have to pay state and federal taxes. The price has been closer to $2 per gallon.

For an agency that goes through 600,000 gallons of fuel per year, the 50-cent difference per gallon adds up.

Just in time, RFTA’s bus fleet is getting more efficient. Fourteen new diesel-engine buses are joining the fleet within the next six weeks.

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