Laura Palmisano

Senior Reporter

Laura Palmisano, an Arizona native, has a degree in journalism with a minor in sustainability from Arizona State University. Most recently, Palmisano worked as a Senior TV/Radio Reporter for Arizona Public Media, Tucson's NPR and PBS affiliate. Palmisano also worked as a producer for KJZZ, Phoenix’s NPR affiliate, and as a production assistant for KAET Arizona PBS in Phoenix. Additionally, she has experience working as a videographer and video. 

Her work has aired on NPR and stations across the Rockies through the Rocky Mountain Community Radio exchange. 

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EDUCATION
4:25 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Delta School Board Denies North Fork Charter Recognition

On Dec. 5, 2014 more than 50 parents, teachers, and community members attended a public meeting at Paonia Elementary to learn about the proposed Waldorf inspired charter school the Valley Charter Initiative wants to open.
Credit Laura Palmisano / KVNF

The Delta County School Board has denied a North Fork Valley group its request for charter school recognition. 

The Valley Charter Initiative is a group of parents and educators trying to open a Waldorf inspired public charter school in Paonia. 

On Wednesday the five-member school board unanimously denied the initiative's request. 

Kurt Clay, the assistant superintendent for the school district, says the board cited seven reasons for rejecting the charter.

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HEALTH
6:00 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Urgent Care Center Opens In Delta

Delta County Memorial Hospital recently opened an Urgent Care center in Delta.
Credit KVNF / Laura Palmisano

Delta County Memorial Hospital is once again expanding its health care options for patients. Earlier this month the hospital opened an Urgent Care center in Delta. 

"We have a lot of the same things that an emergency room would have to care for people," Jane Rosen, a nurse practitioner with DCMH's new Urgent Care, says. 

Rosen explains how it differs from the emergency room.

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HEALTH
10:05 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Enrollment Centers Help Coloradans Navigate Health Coverage Options

Janet Schafer, background, and Anna Cubel, foreground, at Hilltop's Health Access site in Grand Junction. Cubel is answering a caller's questions about open enrollment.
Credit Laura Palmisano / KVNF

Open enrollment for Colorado’s health exchange ends Feb. 15. If you need help figuring out coverage options there are enrollment centers across the state where you can get it.  

Hilltop’s Health Access site in Grand Junction is busy. It's 1 of 13 enrollment centers in the state.

People can come here to get help navigating Colorado’s insurance exchange.

Rhonda Lofing manages the site for Hilltop, a local nonprofit. Lofing is also a certified health coverage guide.

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HEALTH
4:37 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

More than 100000 Coloradans Enroll For Private Health Plans

Credit connectforhealthco.com

According to the latest data, more than 100,000 Coloradans have sign up for private health insurance through the state’s exchange.  

Open enrollment for Connect for Health Colorado started last month.

As of Monday, more than 136,000 residents have signed up for coverage.

Breaking down those numbers, more the 27,000 people enrolled for Medicaid and 932 signed up for CHP+, the state’s health plan for low-income children and pregnant women.

The exchange has also seen more than 108,000 enrollments in private insurance plans.

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LOCAL MOTION
1:47 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Local Motion: Regional News Roundup Dec. 2014

Listen to the regional newscast weekdays at 8 a.m. and 5:50 p.m.

On this week's Local Motion we are showcasing the regional reporting by the KVNF news team. We'll hear stories from Laura Palmisano, Jake Ryan and Bente Birkeland. They report on the struggles volunteer fire departments face, groundwater monitoring in the North Fork Valley, Colorado's spruce beetle epidemic, the proposed physician-assisted suicide bill, domestic violence, and solar energy.

Listen to the regional newscast weekdays at 8 a.m. and 5:50 p.m. to hear reports from the KVNF news team. 

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AGRICULTURE
6:02 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Colorado Farmer Works To Ensure Diversity In Rare Sheep Breed

Black Welsh Mountain sheep, a rare breed, are being raised at Desert Weyr, a farm near Paonia, Colo.
Credit Laura Palmisano / KVNF

A rare breed of sheep is being raised in the hills of western Colorado.

Unlike the millions of white sheep found across the country, these animals are completely black and hail from the United Kingdom.

They number fewer than 10,000 worldwide. So one Colorado farmer is working with federal researchers and fellow producers to ensure the breed’s genetic diversity.

It's a sunny morning at Desert Weyr, a 40-acre sheep farm outside of Paonia. 

Oogie McGuire and her husband own this farm.

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ENVIRONMENT
10:41 am
Fri December 12, 2014

Great Outdoors Colorado Awards $7.7M For Conservation, Open Space Projects

Great Outdoors Colorado awarded the The Trust for Public Land $680,000 to purchase a 2,448-acre conservation easement on the Sawtooth Mountain Ranch in Ouray County.
Credit Courtesy of The Trust for Public Land

This week Great Outdoors Colorado announced it will give out $7.7 million in grants.

The money will be used to fund conservation and open space projects across the state. 

Great Outdoors Colorado has awarded $4.5 million dollars to local governments and land trusts to preserve more than 40,000 acres.

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NEWS
6:00 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Paonia Cuts Staff To Address Budget Deficit, Considers Rate Hikes

Paonia Town Manager Jane Berry, left, discusses the town's 2015 budget.

Tuesday night the Paonia Board of Trustees approved the town’s budget for 2015.

Town officials say Paonia is in a ‘fiscal crisis’ and tough choices were made to address its budget deficit. 

The town will cut three staff members by the end of this year. 

Pink slips have been handed to the town clerk, a police officer and a sanitation worker.

Recently hired town manger Jane Berry says the layoffs were necessary to help close Paonia’s $410,000 budget deficit.

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EDUCATION
6:00 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

North Fork Valley Residents Push For Waldorf Charter School

Parents, teachers, and community members attended a public meeting at Paonia Elementary to learn about the proposed Waldorf inspired charter school.
Credit Laura Palmisano / KVNF

More than 50 people attended a public meeting at Paonia Elementary on Friday night. 


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ECONOMY
12:08 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Business, Community Leaders Discuss North Fork Valley Economy

The Hive Paonia and the Paonia Chamber of Commerce hosted a forum exploring the economy of the North Fork Valley.
Credit Laura Palmisano / KVNF

Business and community leaders in Delta County’s North Fork Valley say Paonia, Crawford, and Hotchkiss need an economic boost. They recently held a forum on the North Fork Valley’s economy and what can be done to improve it.

About 100 people attended the forum in Paonia last week.

They came to hear different perspectives on the local economy, what’s working and what’s not, and how to make things better.

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ECONOMY
6:00 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Forum Explores The Future Of The North Fork Valley

The Hive Paonia and the Paonia Chamber of Commerce hosted a forum exploring the economy of the North Fork Valley.
Credit Laura Palmisano / KVNF

About 100 people attended a forum on the North Fork Valley's economy and what can be done to improve it. 

Thirteen people ranging from the president of a coal mine to the head of the Paonia Chamber of Commerce spoke at the forum held at the Hive Paonia. 

"We have our farms," says Alexis Halbert, president of the chamber. "We have our hunting resources. We have are restaurants, wineries, [and] people who are creating things out of the natural assets of the valley."

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ENVIRONMENT
4:21 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Local Birders Called To Help With Christmas Bird Count

Bird enthusiasts across the world participate in the National Audubon Society's annual Christmas Bird Count.
Credit www.flickr.com/pmillera4

The National Audubon Society and its local chapters need helping counting birds this holiday season. 

The 115th annual Christmas Bird Count starts Dec. 14th.

Bird enthusiasts across the world will get out their binoculars and notepads to count the feathered creatures they see in their communities.

The Black Canyon Audubon Society and the Bureau of Land Management are looking for volunteers to help assess local bird populations.

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HEALTH
2:55 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

More Than 20000 Enroll For Health Coverage In Nov.

Credit connectforhealthco.com

Officials with Connect for Health Colorado say more than 22,000 people enrolled for health coverage last month.

Open enrollment for the state’s insurance exchange began on Nov. 15.  

During the first two-week enrollment period 9,719 people signed up for private coverage, 12,533 enrolled for Medicaid, and 172 signed up for the state's Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+), according to state data. 

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EDUCATION
12:26 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Western Slope School Districts, Schools Receive State Awards

Paonia Elementary in Delta County received a Governor’s Distinguished Improvement award from the state.
Credit KVNF / Laura Palmisano

The Colorado Department of Education announced its 2014 district and school performance results.

The state recognized 27 of its 178 districts with the Accredited with Distinction award.

In the KVNF listening area the Ouray, Telluride, Ridgway, and Hinsdale county school districts were given this honor.

Additionally, eight schools in the Mesa County Valley School District received awards.

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HEALTH
10:24 am
Tue December 2, 2014

Colorado Groups Awarded Grants To Advance Health Equity

LiveWell Montrose Olathe received a $200,000 grant from Colorado Trust, a health foundation.
Credit Valley Food Partnership

Two Western Slope organizations have been awarded grants to promote fair access to health care. 

LiveWell Montrose Olathe received $200,000 from Colorado Trust, a health foundation, and Tri-County Health Network got $180,000. 

Tera Wick with LiveWell Montrose Olathe explains how her organization will use the funds. 

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COMMUNITY
9:51 am
Mon December 1, 2014

Western Slope Habitat For Humanity Chapters Merge

Habitat for Humanity volunteers build a home in Oakland, Cali.
Credit www.flickr.com/sandialabs

Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit that helps people build affordable housing.  Two chapters of the organization on the Western Slope recently merged. 

Habitat for Humanity of Montrose County and Habitat for Humanity of the Telluride Region are now one entity called Habitat for Humanity of the San Juans

KVNF’s Laura Palmisano speaks to Heather Zeilman, the organization's development director, about the union.

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NEWS
5:47 pm
Wed November 26, 2014

City Of Montrose Pushes 'Shop Local' Movement

Tim Bush co-owns Chow Down, a pet supply store in Montrose. His business accepts Montrose Bucks.
Credit Laura Palmisano / KVNF

Buy local movements are happening across the country from Richmond to San Francisco. Cities and towns know that getting people to shop in their community means more tax revenue for municipal budgets. The City of Montrose in western Colorado is in on the game too. 

It’s a cold morning in downtown Montrose. The lobby at the visitor center is full of people standing in line, trying to get their hands on Montrose Bucks. They’re large checks that can only be spent at businesses within city limits.

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COMMUNITY
10:57 am
Wed November 26, 2014

Local Motion: New Ideas

The Hive is a co-working space that recently opened in rural Colorado.
Credit Laura Palmisano / KVNF

On this show we’re looking at new ideas about new beginnings.  Leaving a job for a new career, starting with a fresh beginning, or just expanding out in new ways, transitioning can be challenging.  There’s not always a roadmap of how to make it in the world, but there are some people who can help. 

We’ll hear from three people who run three different projects that hope to help people and businesses grow, armed with a good supply of fresh ideas themselves.

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NEWS
9:49 am
Wed November 26, 2014

Telluride Tries To Address Affordable Housing Shortage

Telluride is facing a shortage of affordable housing.
Credit Flickr.com/curtisperry

The Telluride Town Council recently approved a new affordable housing project, but it’s only a drop in the bucket when it comes to addressing the area’s affordable housing shortage. 

Telluride Mayor Stu Fraser says the town has about 300 affordable housing units. He estimates 65 percent of those are rentals. 

"It’s very difficult to find rentals within the community," Fraser says. "And, we try to make sure that the folks who are working here have the ability to live within the town of Telluride."

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HEALTH
4:02 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Health Coverage Guide Discusses Colorado Exchange

Connect for Health Colorado is the state's health insurance marketplace.
Credit connectforhealthco.com

Open enrollment for Connect for Health Colorado, the state’s health insurance exchange, has started. The enrollment period ends Feb. 15.

Connect for Health has health coverage guides across the state that help people navigate the marketplace and buy an insurance plan.

KVNF's Laura Palmisano speaks to Maria Forster, a health coverage guide for Volunteers of America, about the exchange and the people who are signing up for insurance.  

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