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 editor. 

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

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ENVIRONMENT
12:51 pm
Wed December 24, 2014

Gunnison County Could Sue Feds Over Sage-Grouse Listing

The Gunnison sage-grouse has been listed as a threatened species.
Credit U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

On Monday Gunnison County sent a letter to the federal government saying that it plans to sue to stop the listing of the Gunnison sage-grouse as a threatened species.

The county follows the state in this move. Last week, the Colorado Attorney General’s Office sent a similar letter to the federal government. 

The Gunnison sage-grouse was listed as a threatened species last month. 

The birds are found in parts of Utah and Colorado. It’s estimated there are only 4,800 of them left. 

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HEALTH
12:45 pm
Wed December 24, 2014

Flu Hits Mesa County Hard, One Death Reported

Health officials say you can reduce the spread of the flu by covering when you cough or sneeze, washing your hands, and staying home if you are sick.
Credit flickr/breatheindigital

State and federal health officials are warning this flu season could be a bad one.

Veronica Daehn Harvey, with the Mesa County Health Department, says a resident has died from complications from the illness.  

She says the last time the county saw a flu-related death was three years ago. 

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NEWS
8:10 am
Wed December 24, 2014

KVNF Regional Newscast: Wednesday, Dec. 24, 2014

Newscast

  • Flu Hits Mesa County Hard, One Death Reported 
  • Gunnison County Could Sue Feds Over Sage-Grouse Listing
  • State House Democrats Plan Bills To Boost Lagging Colorado Regions
  • CAWS Meets With Delta County To Discuss Animal Control Funding
  • Art Unveiling At Paonia Library
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NEWS
11:56 am
Tue December 23, 2014

Powderhorn Opens For Season After 10-Day Delay

A skier hitting the slopes in Colorado.
Credit flickr/zachd1_618

Powderhorn Mountain Resort opened Saturday.

Dave Smith, with the ski resort, says Powderhorn had to delay its opening by 10 days because of above average temperatures and below average snowfall. 

"Just after we delayed it we did start to see some additional snowstorms bringing in natural snowfall, but it also brought in colder temperatures so our snow making crews were able to get out there and create as much snow as possible to get a good solid base down there," Smith says. "And Mother Nature continued to bring us more snow."

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EDUCATION
9:29 am
Tue December 23, 2014

Delta School District Gets 75K Scholarship Grant

Credit Colorado Division of Insurance

The Delta County School District recently received $75,000 from the state to create a work training program. 

The grant comes from the Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative.

"Our hope is with that money we’ll [be able] to set up some tracks so that kids as they come out of high school potentially have their CNA and are able to pursue other types of health care fields," Kurt Clay, the assistant superintendent for the school district, says.  

Clay says the funds will be put towards scholarships for juniors and seniors seeking careers in the medical field. 

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JOE COCKER
3:06 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

Joe Cocker Tribute

Friends of Joe Cocker and KVNF DJs hosted a tribute show to the late singer Monday, Dec. 23, 2014.
Credit Laura Palmisano / KVNF

Long-time friends and associates of late rock icon Joe Cocker spent Monday hosting a tribute show to him. They broadcasted from the KVNF Cocker Studio and shared his music and their stories about him with listeners. Cocker lived in Crawford, Colo. for nearly two decades where he started the Cocker Kids' Foundation with his wife Pam. Cocker was also a major supporter of KVNF. 

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

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MUSIC
1:07 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

Singer Joe Cocker Dies At 70 In Colorado

Joe Cocker passed away at the age of 70 after a battle with lung cancer.
Credit Olaf Heine

Joe Cocker, the British-born blues and rock singer, passed away Monday morning at his home in Crawford, Colo. at the age of 70. He died of lung cancer.

Cocker is known for hits such as his cover of the Beatles’ “With a Little Help From My Friends” and “You Are So Beautiful”.

Here’s Cocker during a 2007 interview with KVNF talking about what he remembers most about Woodstock. 

"I hate to say it to whoever asks, but I do get asked that a lot," Cocker says. "And it’s because I wasn't there that long. We flew in. I got straight out of the helicopter and went up on stage. It was late morning, did the show. Somebody gave me a big spliff backstage and I was back on the helicopter and out of there."

Cocker's performance at the 1969 music festival rocketed his career. 

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ECONOMY
9:30 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Colorado's Unemployment Rate Drops In November

Credit Colorado Division of Reclamation Mining & Safety

On Friday the state released its employment outlook for November.

Colorado's unemployment rate continues to drop. In October it was 4.3 percent and has moved down to 4.1 percent. The last time it was this low was in January of 2008. 

KVNF's Laura Palmisano spoke to Joe Winter, a senior economist with the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, about the report and what the economy might look like in 2015. 

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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.


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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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