Mountain Ñews: Ski towns making cuts 

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Mike Kraft, manager of the Virginian, said he was disappointed. Customers have the choice of not patronizing a business should they not wish to inhale smoke, he said.

Wyoming law allows boards of health to issue rules to protect public health, but this is the first time the authority has been used to regulate smoking, notes the newspaper.

Bob Farris dies at age 72

BRECKENRIDGE, Wyo. - Bob Farris, who was sheriff of Summit County from 1975 to 1983 and a black man in a largely white community, has died at the age of 72.

Farris had sold used cars and worked in the beauty supply businesses before he was hired by a sheriff. In 1974, he ran for sheriff as an independent. This was shortly after the movie Blazing Saddles, a comedy that featured a black sheriff, was released. On his watch as sheriff, the Hell's Angels held a rendezvous in Summit County, at a place called Officer's Gulch, and the gathering was held without significant incident.

Grizzlies testify that spring has come

BANFF, Alberta - In the early days of spring, two male grizzly bears were seen in Banff National Park. The bears were seen feeding on a deer carcass. Researchers said the bears had probably wintered at higher elevations, as they normally do, but smelled the carcass and made their way down. Grizzlies were seen even earlier last year, reports the Rocky Mountain Outlook, but females and cubs usually don't emerge until late April or early May.

Aspen continues to shrink carbon base

ASPEN, Colo. - Aspen continues to plug away at efforts that it hopes will substantially reduce its carbon footprint. Altogether, 80 per cent of the electricity sold through the town government now comes from hydroelectric, wind, and other renewable sources, and the city hopes to boost that to 100 per cent.

The newest effort is a rate structure that applies to the two-thirds of Aspen residents who get their electricity through the city government. The new rate structure that went into effect April 1 increases rates slightly for customers who use only a little electricity, but will inflate electric bills by 30 per cent to the consumers of large amounts of electricity.

One goal of these new higher rates may be to spur conservation, which is defined as the conscious effort to use less energy; and also efficiency, by encouraging the use of technology such as Energy Star-rated refrigerators that require less energy. To help prod this effort, the city is providing $250 toward energy audits, which are designed to show where electricity - but also heat - is being used poorly.

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