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Eagle mulling summer flights to Chicago

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Despite all the celebration about his two World Cup wins in back-to-back giant slaloms in December, Grandi said he’s merely working to get on the podium at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy.

Fewer people for jury duty

TAHOE CITY, Calif. — As housing prices rise and more units are converted into vacation homes in the North Tahoe area, courtroom workers report the pool of residents eligible for jury duty has shrunk by 20 per cent during the last two years.

Tahoe City courtroom clerk Kim Hunter says the situation isn’t a crisis, as most criminal cases are settled out of court or a plea is entered. However, with younger lower-income families leaving the area, the remaining older, more affluent residents mean more conservative juries, notes the Tahoe World.

"Statistically, established older folks with a lot of money are more likely to favour the prosecution than the defendant," said Jim Porter of Porter/Simon law firm in Truckee. "In criminal cases, this works to the benefit of the prosecutor."

Wells running dry

SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. — One family in rural Summit County ate their Christmas dinner on paper plates. The reason? Dropping water levels in the well serving the family’s home.

Such stories are becoming more common owing in part to continuing sub-average precipitation. As well, experts tell the Summit Daily News, new wells drilled for new homes in the rural neighbourhoods are tapping a finite resource. Some homes are now connecting to central sewer districts, meaning that septic fields are no longer being used and resulting in less precipitation finding its way into groundwater.

Airport plans grounded

MAMMOTH LAKES, Calif. — A plan to create a major new transportation portal into Mammoth Lakes is running into more trouble. The latest news about the proposed airport expansion is that a California appeals court, instead of issuing a decision, as had been expected, wants more answers.

Specifically the court wants to know more about the cumulative environmental impacts. And the court also wants to know why the town, in conducting its environmental review, did not compare the projected changes to what exists now.

Unlike ski area expansions on federal lands, which have often provoked sharp questions about environmental impacts, airport expansions in ski resorts of the West have received little scrutiny, despite their broader economic impact. At Mammoth, commercial flights are considered crucial in expanding the economy to that of a destination resort. As is, most people arrive by car, having driven five hours from Los Angeles and other cities of Southern California.