Ariana Brocious

Ari was the KVNF News Director from 2010-2013, and was the force behind creating the high quality News Department we have today. She is a radio & print journalist interested in energy, water, land, agriculture, food and culture, and is now the Morning Edition Host/Reporter for NET Radio in Nebraska.

Nathan Rice

A hearing officer is making no recommendation about whether to approve or deny a license for the Pinyon Ridge uranium mill in western Montrose County. Instead, he's leaving the decision to state regulators. Retired judge Richard Dana submitted his six-page ruling to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment yesterday. From KOTO in Telluride, Stephen Barrett reports.


  • USA Pro-cycling race picks host cities for 2013
  • A look ahead at water issues in legislative session
  • Naturita uranium mill looks to expand
  • Moment of Silence Friday for Sandy Hook victims
  • San Miguel County cuts budget funding to non-profits

Business is booming at cattle sales yards throughout Colorado – but that’s not so good for ranchers. Last year's dry winter combined with an ongoing drought are forcing many ranchers to sell more than they like.

Once again, the North Fork Valley is back on the table for oil and gas development. Despite months of widespread opposition from the community, on Friday, the Bureau of Land Management announced that it plans to offer about 21,000 acres for sale near Paonia, Hotchkiss and Crawford in February. KVNF’s Ariana Brocious reports on the new proposal.


  • Oxbow and Aspen SkiCo team up to create green energy
  • Anti-civil unions state legislators voted out
  • Telluride’s medical marijuana dispensaries prepare for Amendment 64
  • Colorado National Monument starts public input process
  • Small business may qualify for state tax credit
Brendon Bosworth

The North Fork Valley is now home to a new form of "green" electricity. On Friday, Oxbow’s Elk Creek mine officially launched a 3 megawatt project generating electricity from methane gas. KVNF’s Ariana Brocious reports that the project is the culmination of years of work from an unlikely alliance: involving the mine, a gas company, electric co-ops and the uber environmentally-conscious Aspen Skiing Company.

Colorado once again backed Barack Obama in this year’s election, part of his swing state sweep in his successful bid for re-election. Statewide, Coloradans also approved all three ballot measures, including a controversial one legalizing recreational marijuana. But voters on the Western Slope don’t all agree. Ariana Brocious took a closer look at some of the election results in the KVNF listening area, and reports that opinions vary.

The case between Delta county and opponents of two laying hen operations in the county is finally settled, for now. KVNF’s Ariana Brocious has more.

On the Western Slope, Republican incumbent Scott Tipton kept his seat with 54 percent of the vote, with Democrat Sal Pace coming up close with 41% of the vote.

Here are the results for the Colorado state house races in our area:

In District 61, Democratic incumbent Millie Hamner kept her seat in a very tight race, getting just 50% of the vote over Republican Debra Irvine, Independent Kathleen Curry, and Libertarian Ellen Temby and American Constitutionalist Robert Petrowsky.

Improved access to broadband internet is starting to become a reality for Colorado, even the rural Western Slope. The EAGLE‑Net Alliance was given a grant in September 2010 to build the EAGLE‑Net a broadband network around the state. KVNF’s Ariana Brocious spoke to EAGLE-Net Alliance Regional Representative Patrick Swonger about the project and it’s regional impacts.

Ali Lightfoot

This election season, some political opinions are being boldly expressed around the North Fork Valley. Yard signs read: “STOP THE WAR ON COAL—FIRE OBAMA.” Area coal miners demonstrated the same message on a rainy afternoon a few weeks ago. KVNF’s Ariana Brocious took a look at the economic realities behind the “war on coal” rhetoric.

In this debate, we hear from three candidates for Colorado's Third Congressional District: Republican incumbent Scott Tipton, Democratic challenger Sal Pace, and Independent challenger Tisha Casida.

  Hunting season is upon us, and the Western Slope is now playing host to thousands of local and out-of-state hunters intent on bagging a deer, elk or other game. The first rifle season starts Saturday. KVNF’s Ariana Brocious talked with Colorado Parks and Wildlife district wildlife manager Kirk Madriaga about what the big game season looks like on the Western Slope.

Yesterday, the Delta County Commissioners upheld their earlier decision approving specific development applications for two laying hen operations. The decision review was required by a district court ruling in July. KVNF’s Ariana Brocious reports that while the commissioners have now complied with the court ruling, the story isn’t over yet.

Joe Hanel/Durango Herald

Republican Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan spoke at events across Colorado’s third Congressional District yesterday [Monday].  He campaigned near Pueblo, Durango, and Grand Junction. Reporter Elise Thatcher was at the Durango stop and filed this story.

More than fourteen hundred people gathered in a gymnasium at Fort Lewis College. And they cheered loudly when Ryan argued for cutting the federal deficit, boosting energy development and supporting small businesses. The candidate also talked about his own connection with Colorado.

The town of Paonia lost more to employee fraud than first reported.

In the two years that it’s been open, Delta County’s Homeless Shelter, the Abraham Connection, has seen local use increase dramatically. The shelter provides emergency, overnight winter housing to homeless families, women and men in Delta County from November 1st through April 30th. The increased need is driving the shelter board and volunteers to purchase their own building in hopes of expanding the services they offer the community.

Sal Pace is running for a seat in Congress in Colorado's Third Congressional District. He's currently a Democratic representative in the Colorado State House, based in Pueblo. KVNF's Ariana Brocious sat down with Pace on a recent tour through the district, to talk about his campaign platform and key issues.

Devon Meyers / Denver Post

  Bill Koch has made news lately for the construction of his own private Western village on his Bear Ranch property near Kebler pass. But this spring, Bear Ranch may also have played host to a private interrogation. A former employee of the energy magnate has filed a complaint against him, alleging that he was illegally held on Bear Ranch and unjustly fired. KVNF’s Ariana Brocious has more.  

State Representative Millie Hamner recently toured through the eastern part of Delta County. Hamner, who represents district 56, is now running for district 61.

The West Elk Mine near Somerset has been given a temporary reduction in the royalties it pays to the state and federal governments. KVNF’s Ariana Brocious reports that the reduction is because the mine has encountered some tricky geological conditions.

It’s been more than a month since the Delta County Commissioners held a special public hearing to take more evidence in a decision on whether to allow two laying hen operations in the county. KVNF’s Ariana Brocious reports that neighbors of the already-operational hen house on Powell Mesa are tired of waiting for the county to act.

Listen to the debate between Republican Incumbent J Paul Brown and Democratic challenger Mike McLachlan, candidates for State House District 59, which comprises Ouray, Hinsdale, San Juan, La Plata and parts of Archuleta and Gunnison counties. Ray Beck moderated the debate. Each candidate was given three minutes for opening remarks, and Rep. J Paul Brown was first.


  This is the debate between candidates for State House District 61, which, after redistricting, includes Summit, Lake, Pitken, and parts of Gunnison and Delta counties. There are actually five candidates for this race, but three were present at the Club 20 debate: Democratic Incumbent Millie Hamner, Independent Kathleen Curry and Republican Debra Irvine. Derek Wagner, Director of Special Projects at Colorado Mesa University, moderated the debate.

Two wildfires are currently burning north of Hotchkiss this afternoon. Both fires are believed to be caused by lightning as the area received numerous lightning strikes during the past 24 hours. Smoke may be visible in the area throughout the day and may settle into valleys overnight.

Members of the West Elk Mountain Rescue Team completed their fourth rescue of the summer on Sunday when they helped rescue an injured climber from the Marble area. The climber didn’t return to the trailhead Saturday night, and was still missing Sunday morning. KVNF’s Ariana Brocious spoke to West Elk Mountain Rescue President Phil Volckhausen, Training Director Steve Morris, and Team Member Tony Prendergast about the rescue and the team’s efforts.

  This is the debate between Republican incumbent Don Coram and Democratic challenger Tammie Theis, candidates for House district 58, which encompasses Montrose, San Miguel, Dolores and Montezuma counties. Club 20 Chairman Steve Reynolds moderated the debate. Each candidate was given three minutes for opening remarks, and Don Coram was first.

  A few years ago, an 8,000 gallon gas tanker clipped a curb and tipped over in near Delta, spilling gasoline. Now, Delta County is more able to respond to hazardous materials spills like that one. Delta County’s emergency manager Rob Fiedler reported the news to Delta County Commissioners on Monday. KVNF’s Marty Durlin has more.

The West End School District has seen its enrollment continue to drop over the last couple decades, and has had trouble keeping school facilities up to code. This year, the district was awarded a nearly 13 million dollar BEST grant from the State of Colorado. BEST grants — which stands for Building Excellent Schools Today— provide matching money for school districts that can’t afford building repairs on their own.

  Here’s the debate between Republican Incumbent Ray Scott and Democratic challenger Dan Robinson, candidates for State House District 55, in Mesa County. Club 20 Business Affairs Committee Chair Phil Vaughan moderated the debate. Each candidate was given three minutes for opening remarks, and Democrat Dan Robinson was first.