Regional News

Weekdays at 8 a.m. & 5:50 p.m.

KVNF's original reporting covers a variety of issues affecting the Western Slope - everything from environmental and energy issues to breaking news and statewide legislative debates. We also feature content from our Rocky Mountain Community Radio partner stations. 

Our news team is always looking for leads. Let us know what's happening in your area, what issues you care about and what you'd like to hear us cover - email us at news@kvnf.org.

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StoryCorps
12:30 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

NORAD's Santa Tracker Began With A Typo And A Good Sport

Terri Van Keuren (from left), Rick Shoup and Pamela Farrell, children of Col. Harry Shoup, commander of the Continental Air Defense Command, visited StoryCorps in Castle Rock, Colo., to talk about how their dad helped to create the U.S. military's Santa Tracker.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 4:59 pm

This Christmas Eve people all over the world will log on to the official Santa Tracker to follow his progress through U.S. military radar. This all started in 1955, with a misprint in a Colorado Springs newspaper and a call to Col. Harry Shoup's secret hotline at the Continental Air Defense Command, now known as NORAD.

Shoup's children, Terri Van Keuren, 65, Rick Shoup, 59, and Pam Farrell, 70, recently visited StoryCorps to talk about how the tradition began.

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NEWS
12:18 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Two Of Colorado's Neighbors Sue State Over Marijuana Law

Nebraska and Oklahoma say Colorado's marijuana law is unconstitutional, in a challenge to the law in the Supreme Court. Earlier this month, visitors from Texas smell marijuana at the Breckenridge Cannabis Club.
Brennan Linsley AP

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 7:23 pm

Saying that Colorado's law legalizing recreational marijuana use is unconstitutional and places a burden on them, Nebraska and Oklahoma have filed a lawsuit against the state with the U.S. Supreme Court.

Marijuana was made legal in Colorado after the state's voters approved an amendment in 2012. Its first recreational dispensaries opened at the start of this year.

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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
8:44 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Is Your State Ready For The Next Infectious Outbreak? Probably Not

Alyson Hurt/NPR

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 2:12 pm

Ebola may have slid off the nation's worry list, but that doesn't mean the United States is ready to handle an outbreak of Ebola or another infectious disease, an analysis says. That includes naturally occurring outbreaks like dengue fever, tuberculosis and measles, as well as the use of bioterrorism agents like anthrax.

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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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NEWS
2:34 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Obama Issues 12 Pardons, Commutes 8 Sentences

President Obama commuted the prison sentences of eight people who were convicted of drug-related crimes Wednesday, in a move that also saw 12 presidential pardons issued, for offenses ranging from theft to running an illegal distillery.

Half of the eight whose sentences were commuted had been sentenced to life imprisonment.

Citing "unduly harsh sentences issued for drug offenses under an outdated sentencing regime," a White House official said Wednesday that all eight of those who were punished for drug offenses "would receive a substantially lower sentence today."

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NEWS
12:48 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Pioneering Scientist Theo Colborn Dies At Age 87

Dr. Theo Coborn
Credit TEDX

Last weekend, Theo Colborn passed away at the age of 87. 

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HEALTH
10:06 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Behind The Scenes At The Lab That Fingerprints Microbiomes

Rob Knight, co-founder of the American Gut Project at the University of Colorado in Boulder, works in the lab where the samples are processed.
The American Gut Project

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 3:32 pm

The gut microbiome may soon reveal important answers to questions about our health. But those answers aren't yet easy to spot or quick to obtain.

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FOOD
4:02 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Top Chefs Discover Denver's Fast-Growing Restaurant Scene

James Beard-award winner and Top Chef Masters star Jen Jasinski recently opened a seafood restaurant in Denver called Stoic and Genuine that features a raw bar.
June Cochran Stoic and Genuine

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 1:01 pm

When you think of the restaurant scene, Denver probably doesn't come to mind. But that's just the latest change for a city whose population has ballooned in the last couple of years, thanks in part to a nearby oil and gas boom. Top chefs are beginning to take notice.

Award-winning pastry chef Keegan Gerhard, for example, just opened a new location of his restaurant, D Bar, that is three times the size of his old one. His chef buddies wonder why he's in Denver.

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NEWS
5:54 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

150 Years Later, A Formal Apology For The Sand Creek Massacre

As part of their annual remembrance, descendants of massacre survivors erected teepees at the historic site over the weekend of Dec. 13. Some were for public visitors, while others were used in closed ceremonies.
Megan Verlee Colorado Public Radio

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 8:16 am

A stretch of dry, empty prairie where the Sand Creek Massacre took place in Colorado has hardly changed in a century and a half.

Back in December 1864, America was still months from the end of the Civil War. Gen. William Sherman was making his infamous march across Georgia. And from the Western Frontier, word of the shocking Sand Creek Massacre was starting to trickle out. A regiment of volunteer troops in Colorado had attacked a peaceful camp of Native Americans, slaughtering nearly 200 of them — mostly women and children.

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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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LOCAL GOVERNMENT
10:47 am
Fri December 12, 2014

Interview: Paonia's New Town Manager Jane Berry

Jane Berry is the town manager of Paonia.
Credit Laura Palmisano / KVNF

Here's an extended interview with recently hired Paonia Town Manager Jane Berry. 

Berry talks with KVNF's Jake Ryan about the town's 2015 budget, the costs of the embezzlement, projects the Paonia is undertaking, and plans for how to get it back on track. 

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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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HEALTH
8:24 am
Fri December 12, 2014

Poo And You: A Journey Into The Guts Of A Microbiome

Katherine Streeter for NPR

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 6:27 am

The trillions of microbes that live in our guts and on our skin have the power to affect our health in big ways — from stomach disorders and autoimmune diseases to acne and mood. The secret life of what scientists call our microbiota has remained largely obscured, however, because many of the organisms in the gut can't be grown in a lab.

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NEWS
1:49 am
Fri December 12, 2014

When Americans Head To Syria, How Much Of A Threat Do They Pose?

Ana and John Conley, parents of defendant Shannon Conley, exit the U.S. Federal Courthouse in Denver following their daughter's plea hearing on Sept. 10. Shannon Conley, 19, pleaded guilty on a charge that she intended to wage jihad.
Brennan Linsley AP

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 4:34 pm

Shannon Maureen Conley was just 19, barely out of high school and a convert to Islam, when she fell in love with a Tunisian man who said he was an Islamic State fighter in Syria. And, according to a criminal complaint, she wanted to leave her Denver suburb and join him.

Over the course of five months, the FBI talked to Conley nine times, trying to persuade her not to go to Syria.

But it didn't work. According to a local news report, her father tipped off the FBI after he found her one-way ticket from Denver to Turkey.

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ARTS
12:14 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

New Art For North Fork Libraries

Credit Laura Palmisano

Last weekend saw an art unveiling at the Paonia Library.  It features four doors, fanned out on a hillside

behind the library, each brightly colored but featuring a silhouette of the young and old, traveling to somewhere beyond the doors.

It was funded through the Orton Family Foundation as part of the Pass the Mic Project. 

Surrounded by people there for the unveiling, KVNF's Jake Ryan talked with artist Seth Weber. 

There are also two companion pieces at the Crawford and the Hotchkiss libraries.

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ECONOMY
11:58 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Montrose County Given Heightened Tax Incentives

Credit Flickr user agrilifetoday

There's more of a reason to hire someone if your business is in Montrose County.

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ENVIRONMENT
11:12 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Dry Season Keeps Ski Resort Closed

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

It’s well into December, but it may not seem like it.

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ENVIRONMENT
9:51 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Conservation Groups Cheer White River N.F. Oil, Gas Plan

This map shows which areas would be off-limits to oil and gas leasing under a newly-released plan from the White River National Forest. The areas shaded dark green would closed to future oil and gas development.

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 8:03 pm

The White River National Forest released a “conservation-minded” plan Tuesday for future oil and gas drilling. Conservation groups are cheering the plan, saying it proposes closing nearly all of the Thompson Divide to future leasing. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

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