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Steamboat to add hybrid buses

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. - Steamboat Springs plans to add two hybrid diesel-electric buses to augment its one existing hybrid by early next year. That existing hybrid is on track to save the city $5,400 to $5,700 in fuel costs annually.

Still, the cost savings are overshadowed by the higher cost of the hybrid buses. The two buses cost $600,000 each, most of it paid for by grants from the U.S. government, reports the Steamboat Pilot & Today . The cost of a conventional bus was not given.

Some bloggers on the newspaper's website believe the hybrids are less than a swell deal. One blogger wondered why, given the presence of all the natural gas fields nearby, Steamboat doesn't get buses that burn natural gas.

Elizabeth Edwards speaks

AVON, Colo. - Elizabeth Edwards, the wife of the former presidential candidate John Edwards, was scheduled to speak this week to the Vail Breast Cancer Awareness Group. A crowd of nearly 500 people were expected at the event, reports the Vail Daily .

Edwards, who has terminal cancer, recently wrote a book, "Resilience," which was about her cancer and looming mortality, but also speaks to the revelation that her husband had had an adulterous affair outside of their marriage in the midst of his campaign.

She has been criticized for being so public about her family's troubles. But she told the Vail Daily that the couple's youngest children, aged 9 and 11, aren't blind and deaf. "My hope is that I will have successfully written a letter they can have long after I've died about what this family means to me," she said.

Hikers, bikers disagree

BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. - The lug-soled crowd and the knobby-tired group are at odds about how tightly Forest Service land near Breckenridge should be restricted. Currie Craven, representing a local coalition of wilderness advocates, tells the Summit Daily News that Congressionally designated wilderness would be better, because the protections against other uses cannot be easily reversed. The Fat Tire Society, however, wants a somewhat looser restriction, one that allows them to take their mountain bikes into the areas and also gives the Forest Service greater latitude to deal with dying trees, using mechanized and motorized devices.

Microhydro a reality

MARBLE, Colo. - After 25 years of gestation, a small run-of-the-creek hydroelectric plant could be as little as a year away from fruition at Marble. The small plant, called microhydro, could supply enough electricity to meet the needs of 150 homes.