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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NEWS
11:16 am
Mon April 20, 2015

'This Is Going To Be Too Hard': Keeping Kids From Using Pot

Christopher Furlong Getty Images

Originally published on Sun April 19, 2015 9:00 am

Public perceptions of marijuana have come a long way. Once a symbol of the counterculture, pot has become part of the culture.

In Colorado, it's part of everyday culture.

Colorado has allowed medical marijuana since 2001, but voters amended the state constitution in 2012 to allow private marijuana consumption for adults aged 21 or older. The first-ever stores to sell state-regulated recreational pot opened their doors on Jan. 1, 2014.

The law has raised serious concerns for parents and those working with kids to keep young people away from drugs.

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NEWS
5:46 pm
Fri April 17, 2015

Funding For Successful Colorado Contraceptive Program In Limbo

State officials say the program helped 30,000 get IUDs.
Credit flickr/stickypearls

An amendment to the state budget that would’ve continued a program credited with reducing teen pregnancies and abortion was killed this week. However, a controversial bill that would do the same thing cleared its second reading in the House on Friday. 

House Bill 1194 would provide $5 million to continue a program that helps low-income young women and teens access long-acting birth control. 

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ENVIRONMENT
2:50 pm
Fri April 17, 2015

As Lake Mead Levels Drop, The West Braces For Bigger Drought Impact

Lake Mead is at its lowest levels since it was built in the late 1930s.
Kirk Siegler NPR

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 8:05 pm

The historic four-year drought in California has been grabbing the headlines lately, but there's a much bigger problem facing the West: the now 14-year drought gripping the Colorado River basin.

One of the most stunning places to see its impact is at the nation's largest reservoir, Lake Mead, near Las Vegas. At about 40 percent of capacity, it's the lowest it's been since it was built in the 1930s.

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HEALTH
9:31 am
Fri April 17, 2015

The State Of The Cancer Nation

Matt Stiles and Christopher Groskopf/NPR

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 6:40 pm

While a cure for cancer remains elusive, we already know how to keep many cases of the disease from developing in the first place.

People can reduce cancer risks by keeping a healthful weight and avoiding cigarettes.

But smoking, obesity and other major cancer risk factors remain common, and they still vary widely across the country.

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NEWS
5:39 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

Vision To Close North Fork Classrooms

Vision Charter Academy won't offer classes at its Paonia campus next school year.
Credit Laura Palmisano / KVNF

Vision Charter Academy, a public charter school with three campuses in Delta County, won't offer classes at its North Fork campus next school year.  

Parents of students at Vision’s school in Paonia received the news Thursday via email.

Teri Kinkade the executive director of Vision Charter Academy wrote the letter.

In her email, Kinkade tells parents Vision’s board met earlier this week and decided to no longer offer classes at its Paonia location.

She cites a 'lack of interest' and 'declining enrollment' as reasons for the board’s decision.

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NEWS
4:00 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

Citing A 'Gap' In Law, Cadman Introduces Fetal Homicide Bill

Colorado General Assembly

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 12:25 pm

Following a March attack in Longmont where a mother's unborn child was cut from her womb, Colorado's Senate President has introduced a fetal homicide bill. As written, Senate Bill 268 [.pdf], would define a person as an unborn human being from conception until birth for the purposes of homicide and assault cases. It's expected to draw vigorous debate at the statehouse.

"Frankly crime victims deserves justice, society demands justice," said Senate President Bill Cadman (R-Colorado Springs). "Currently there's a significant gap in Colorado."

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NEWS
11:43 am
Thu April 16, 2015

DMEA Forum Focuses On FERC Petition And Broadband

An example of fiber optic cable shown at a meeting in Paonia.
Credit Laura Palmisano / KVNF

The Delta Montrose Electric Association is a cooperative meaning its customers are its owners.

DMEA wants to hear what its consumers think about its desire to purchase more locally produced energy and it potentially entering the internet service game. 

Two months ago, DMEA filed a petition with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). 

"What we are asking FERC to rule on is to declare Tri-State a public utility which would allow us then to enter into agreements with qualifying facilities,"  DMEA CEO Jasen Bronec says.

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EDUCATION
10:48 am
Wed April 15, 2015

Real-World Math: A Bit Of Trig And Hay For The Horses

With the math done, student Kendall Hood works the plasma cutter.
Jenny Brundin Colorado Public Radio

Originally published on Wed April 15, 2015 4:52 pm

Building a giant steel bale feeder is hard. Try it.

Problem No. 1: Unless you live in ranch country, you probably don't even know what it's supposed to look like — regardless of whether you can build one.

Problem No. 2: Arc welding is involved.

Problem No. 3: Getting it right requires some serious math.

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ENVIRONMENT
10:03 am
Wed April 15, 2015

Better Than 'Survivor': Wild Drama Hooks Viewers On Nest Web Cams

One of the two female ospreys that scuffled over the male on the Boulder County, Colo., nest web cam.
Boulder County

Originally published on Mon April 13, 2015 8:37 am

Fans of Boulder County's osprey nest cam saw a bit of drama last season.

Two females and a male were living in the nest, when a third female arrived and kicked the original female out. Observers said she bonded with the male.

"People called it ... the 'home-wrecker osprey,' " says Nik Brockman, Boulder County's web specialist.

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NEWS
9:49 am
Wed April 15, 2015

With Votes Suddenly Scarce, Colorado's American Indian Mascot Bill Is Delayed

Colorado General Assembly

Originally published on Wed April 15, 2015 7:50 am

Democrats in the House unexpectedly delayed a vote on an American Indian mascot bill after they realized Republicans had enough votes to stop it.

House Bill 1165 [.pdf] would set up a state commission to review American Indian mascot names associated with high school and college athletic teams. Without approval, schools would have to switch their names or face fines.

“You can’t honor people based off of words, based off of racist intentions that required extermination,” said bill sponsor Representative Joe Salazar (D-Thornton).

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HEALTH
8:08 am
Wed April 15, 2015

When Keeping A Secret Trumps The Need For Care

Will adult children seek care if their parents can find out about it?
Maria Fabrizio for NPR

Originally published on Thu April 16, 2015 9:46 am

Dana Lam was insured under her parent's health plan until the end of 2014, thanks to a provision of the Affordable Care Act that allows young adults to stay on family health insurance until they turn 26.

The arrangement worked out well until she needed treatment for depression. Lam knew that if she used her parents' health plan to see a psychotherapist or psychiatrist, her visit would show up on their insurance statements.

She wasn't ready to talk to them about her mental health issues. "I was just so afraid of having that conversation with them," she says.

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POLITICS
3:40 pm
Tue April 14, 2015

Session's End In Sight, Which Bills Have A Chance At The Capitol?

Jim Hill KUNC

Originally published on Mon April 13, 2015 5:01 am

The state budget has cleared both legislative chambers but still needs to head to a conference committee to iron out differences. The end of the budget process means lawmakers will shift their attention to other bills before the end of the session. With that May 6 deadline rapidly approaching, what's in store for some of the outstanding legislation?

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ENVIRONMENT
1:57 pm
Tue April 14, 2015

Looking Ahead To Dry Spring, Summer

Credit Jessica Reeder via Flickr (CC BY creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)

Spring is in full effect, and it seems to have a head start. 

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NEWS
11:35 am
Tue April 14, 2015

Dispute Over Control Of Montrose Hospital Continues

Credit flickr.com/adrianclarkmbbs

The Montrose County Board of Commissioners and the Montrose Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees are in an ongoing dispute over control of operations at the hospital. The battle has ended up in court several times.  

Late last year, both parties agreed to mediation so they could avoid a lawsuit. In a few weeks, that mediation is set to begin. 

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ARTS
3:59 pm
Mon April 13, 2015

North Fork Valley Inspires Outdoor Mural

Artist Artist Maya Arthur Jensen created the painting mounted to the front of the Harvester Building in Paonia.
Credit Laura Palmisano / KVNF

There's a new work of outdoor art on display in Paonia. 

The Harvester Building in downtown now has a landscape oil painting mounted to the front it. 

Artist Maya Arthur Jensen created the piece.

"The gentleman who owns the building and I got together in March of last year and he wanted to fancy up his building a bit," Jensen said. "We discussed different designs and different ideas and eventually we came up with a portrait of the valley floor."

The painting looks like a snapshot taken from one of the mesas that overlooks Paonia. 

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NEWS
6:06 am
Sat April 11, 2015

Colorado Deals Inmates A New Deck Of Cards

Colorado is the latest state to produce the cold case cards.
Colorado Bureau of Investigation

Originally published on Sat April 11, 2015 8:54 am

There's not a whole lot to do in prison, so inmates spend a fair amount of time playing cards.

For several years, law enforcement officials around the country have been putting that prisoners' pastime to good use. They've been putting facts and photos from unsolved crimes in front of prisoners' eyes by printing them on decks of cards, hoping to generate leads.

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COMMUNITY
11:43 am
Fri April 10, 2015

Paonia Students Raise Funds For School Improvements

Proposed developments on the Paonia junior high / high school campus.
Credit Flight of the Eagle Project

The Flight of the Eagle project  is a collaboration between the Delta County School District, students and the community to raise money for a new track and field at Paonia High School.

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NEWS
8:16 pm
Thu April 9, 2015

Civilians Can Record Police Encounters, But When Is It Interference?

Cellphones were used to record a 2012 confrontation between protesters and police in Springfield, Ill.
Seth Perlman AP

Originally published on Fri April 10, 2015 12:50 pm

The arrest of South Carolina police Officer Michael Slager, who shot and killed Walter Scott in North Charleston this week, came shortly after the release of a cellphone video recorded by an eyewitness.

The filming of police by civilians has also sparked controversy, and it often causes confusion about what is legal.

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ENVIRONMENT
11:19 am
Thu April 9, 2015

iSeeChange: Forecasting A Fire Season

The Hotchkiss Fire Department responding to a grass fire in early February.
Credit Hotchkiss Fire Department

With record wet and cold in the east, and record dry and hot in the west, some meteorologists are scratching their heads.

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NEWS
7:33 am
Thu April 9, 2015

With Partisan Wrangling In The Senate, What's Next For The Colorado Budget?

Ken Lund Flickr - Creative Commons

Originally published on Mon April 6, 2015 7:55 am

The annual Colorado budget is making its way through the statehouse. It cleared the Senate on a vote of 21 to 14, passing largely along party lines, with three Democrats joining Republicans to support it. What are the dynamics in play?

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