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
11:52 am
Thu February 26, 2015

Paonia Wins Big At Wrestling State Championships

Four time state champion Jesse Reed during a match.
Image by Tamie Meck

The Colorado High School State Wrestling Tournament finished up over the weekend.  Once again Paonia was well represented at the top. 

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NEWS
2:37 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

Hinsdale, Mineral Counties Hit Roadblock In Public Health Merger

Credit Colorado Division of Insurance

Hinsdale County and Mineral County are pretty similar.  They’re right next to each other, have comparable populations, and if their county commissioners work things out, might have the same public health district.

Susan Thompson is the chair of the Hinsdale Board of County Commissioners. 

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NEWS
9:28 am
Wed February 25, 2015

Colorado Family Planning Program Funding Bill Takes First Step

Colorado House

Originally published on Wed February 25, 2015 9:35 am

A bill attempting to reduce teen pregnancies and provide state funding for intrauterine devices has passed its first test at the capitol. House Bill 1194 would provide $5 million for clinics across the state that offer long-term reversible contraceptives to low-income women and teenagers. Colorado has been running the program with a private grant, which will run out at the end of June 2015.

"Our teen birth rate has dropped 40 percent over the last four years and 34 percent drop in abortions," said Larry Wolk, the executive director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment.

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NEWS
5:22 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

With Gratitude Veterans Craft Canes For Fellow Vets

Vietnam veteran Gary Gratton carves an eagle head.
Laura Palmisano KVNF

Throughout history, the eagle has symbolized strength and courage.

It’s been called “the king of the skies” and in mythology it was often a messenger for the gods.

And now the eagle is also becoming a symbol of gratitude.

Military veterans on the Western Slope are hand-making canes decorated with the head of an eagle for fellow veterans. 

Gary Gratton leans over a lathe. He’s sanding a piece of basswood shaped like an eagle’s head.

Gratton retired from the Marines as an officer. He spent some of his career fighting in Vietnam.

"I’ve spent 27 years serving my country," he says. "Now I want to serve my community." 

Gratton volunteers at the Warrior Resource Center in Montrose.

There he helps coordinate the Eagle Head Cane Program.  

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NEWS
6:02 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

Teen Pregnancy and Dropout Prevention Bill Advances At State Capitol

HB 1079 seeks to extend and expand a pilot program known as the teen pregnancy and dropout prevention program.
Credit flickr/isnow

A Colorado bill aimed at preventing teen pregnancy and keeping kids in school cleared the state House last week. 

The bill seeks to extend and expand a pilot program known as the teen pregnancy and dropout prevention program. 

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NEWS
6:02 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

Drones, Oil And Gas Taskforce On Tap At The Capitol

KUNC File Photo

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 5:18 pm

It's a busy week under the gold dome. The Governor's oil and gas task force, which was charged with trying to harmonize local oil and gas regulations with statewide interests will soon be wrapping up. Many lawmakers have been holding off on introducing oil and gas legislation until the commission finishes its work.

A debate on drones - one that does not fall along party lines - will get a hearing in the Senate Tuesday. For thoughts on what's happening at the capitol, talked to some of the reporters who work there daily.

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NEWS
3:14 pm
Sun February 22, 2015

When Pot Goes From Illegal To Recreational, Schools Face A Dilemma

Schools in Colorado are trying to find effective ways to teach the health effects of marijuana use. "When it's legal for your parents to smoke it or grow it," says one educator, "that changes the conversation."
David Zalubowski AP

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 9:21 am

Like many schools across Colorado, Arapahoe Ridge High School in Boulder has seen an increase in overall drug incidents since recreational marijuana became legal.

While public schools aren't required to report marijuana incidents separately from other drugs such as cocaine, evidence compiled by Rocky Mountain PBS I-News suggests more students are using marijuana.

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HEALTH
6:00 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

Health Officials Want You To Give Your Heart Some Love

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says heart disease kills more than 600,000 Americans each year.
Credit flickr/proudlove

It's common to see candy and paper hearts in February, but medical professionals also want you to think about your own heart this month. KVNF's Laura Palmisano speaks to Mark Leach the director of cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation at Delta County Memorial Hospital. In recognition of National Heart Month, they discuss heart disease, the number one killer of men and women in the United States. 

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NEWS
4:12 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

Arrest Made in Explosion Outside Building that Houses NAACP Chapter

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 4:05 pm

Investigators have arrested a 44-year-old man in connection to an explosion last month outside a building that houses the Colorado Springs chapter of the NAACP.  

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NEWS
11:26 am
Fri February 20, 2015

On Behalf Of Two Coloradans, D.C. Group Sues State Over Marijuana

charenton Flickr - Creative Commons

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 2:40 pm

The state of Colorado is facing new lawsuits over recreational marijuana legalization. The Washington D.C. based Safe Streets Alliance is suing the state in federal court to try and close down the industry.

"It is illegal under federal law to sell marijuana and in this country federal law is the supreme law of the land," said David Thompson, the lead attorney for the Safe Streets Alliance.

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NEWS
11:14 am
Fri February 20, 2015

Body, SUV Recovered Below Red Mtn. Pass Outside of Ouray

The rented SUV that was pulled from below Red Mountain Pass outside of Ouray on Thursday.
Credit CDOT

Red Mountain Pass between Ouray and Silverton was closed for most of Thursday while emergency personnel recovered an SUV along with the body of a missing man.

Officials say the body of Jin Junge of Denmark was recovered along with a rented white Cadillac Escalade that fell more than 400 below the highway.

Junge was reported missing by family members on Feb. 4.

The Ouray County Sheriff’s Office says GPS equipment installed in the rental vehicle helped them find it.

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AGRICULTURE
10:21 am
Fri February 20, 2015

Why Some States Want To Legalize Raw Milk Sales

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cautions that unpasteurized milk can cause serious illness, because it's a fertile breeding ground for harmful germs like salmonella and E. coli. But such warnings haven't deterred raw milk enthusiasts.
Abby Wendle/Harvest Public Media

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 12:20 pm

The federal government banned the sale of raw milk across state lines nearly three decades ago because it poses a threat to public health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association all strongly advise people not to drink it.

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NEWS
11:19 am
Thu February 19, 2015

Browns Canyon to Become National Monument

Browns Canyon in Chaffee County

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 7:31 am

Browns Canyon in Chaffee County will be designated a National Monument by President Obama on Thursday. 

 

Conservationists, community leaders and businesses are praising the move, which comes after years of work to secure the designation.  It covers a 22,000-acre stretch of public land along the Arkansas River between Buena Vista and Salida known for recreational opportunities. 

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NEWS
5:33 pm
Wed February 18, 2015

Bill To Aid Colorado Volunteer Fire Depts. Heads To Governor's Desk

Credit flickr/mgabelmann

A bipartisan bill aimed at helping volunteer fire departments organize and get funding heads to the Governor’s desk. 

HB 1017 cleared the state Senate on Tuesday. 

The measure would create the Volunteer Fire Department Organization Act. 

Rep. Millie Hamner, D-Dillon, is one of the bills sponsors.

"It will be one of the first bills that will be presented to the Governor to sign into law," Hamner said.

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NEWS
2:43 pm
Wed February 18, 2015

Mesa County Plans To Sue Feds Over Grouse Listing

The Gunnison Sage Grouse is found in parts of Utah and Colorado. It’s estimated there are only 4,800 of them left. The largest population of the species, about 4,000 grouse, inhabits the Gunnison Basin.
Credit Flick/bryanto

Mesa County is showing its support for Colorado’s decision to sue the federal government over the listing of the Gunnison sage grouse.  

"We believe that state of Colorado’s decision is solid,"  Mesa County Commissioner Scott McInnis said. "We join several other counties in doing that [including] Gunnison County [and] Garfield County." 

McInnis said the Mesa County Board of Commissioners has instructed the county attorney to draft a notice of intent to sue over the listing. 

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NEWS
2:36 am
Wed February 18, 2015

Kids' Solo Playtime Unleashes 'Free-Range' Parenting Debate

People who practice free-range parenting say it makes kids more independent, but others see it as neglect. State and local laws don't specify what children are allowed to do on their own.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 12:57 pm

Parents have made news recently after being detained for purposefully leaving children on their own, prompting renewed debate about so-called "free-range parenting."

That includes Danielle and Alexander Meitiv, a Silver Spring, Md., couple who are being investigated after they let their children, ages 10 and 6, walk home from a park last month by themselves.

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NEWS
6:00 pm
Tue February 17, 2015

Colorado Bills To Require Photo ID For Same-Day Voter Registration

Credit Laura Palmisano

Two Republican sponsored bills that would require a photo ID for same-day voter registration get their first hearing at the state capitol Wednesday. 

In 2013 state Democrats overhauled Colorado election laws. Republicans protested the changes especially the provision allowing voters to register on Election Day.

GOP lawmakers want people to show a photo ID to do this.

Two bills scheduled to be taken up by the House State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee address this topic.

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AGRICULTURE
4:03 am
Mon February 16, 2015

As Rules Get Sorted Out, Drones May Transform Agriculture Industry

Jimmy Underhill, drone technician for Agribotix, holds a drone at a farm in rural Weld County, Colorado.
Luke Runyon KUNC

Originally published on Mon February 16, 2015 2:57 pm

On a breezy morning next to a cornfield in rural Weld County, Colo., Jimmy Underhill quickly assembles a black and orange drone with four spinning rotors.

"This one just flies itself," he says. "It's fully autonomous."

Underhill is a drone technician with Agribotix, a Colorado-based drone startup that sees farmers as its most promising market. Today he's training his fellow employees how to work the machine in the field.

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NEWS
5:41 pm
Fri February 13, 2015

Bill To Aid Colorado Volunteer Fire Departments Progresses

Credit flickr/mgabelmann

A Colorado bill aimed at helping volunteer fire departments organize and get funding has already cleared the House and is progressing in the Senate. 

HB 1017 would create the Volunteer Fire Department Organization Act.  

It would help non-governmental, not-for-profit volunteer fire departments gain official recognition and make them eligible to receive state funding.  

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NEWS
12:34 pm
Fri February 13, 2015

Montrose Health Center Gets $422K To Prevent Youth Pot Use, Abuse

The Center for Mental Health in Montrose got a $422,000 grant through Colorado marijuana tax dollars to help prevent youth pot use and abuse.
Credit flickr.com/prensa420

The Center for Mental Health in Montrose has received a grant through marijuana tax dollars to help prevent youth pot use and abuse. 

The $422,000 grant, awarded by the state of Colorado, was announced this week. 

The center will share the funds with 16 other organizations across the Western Slope that work with young people. 

The Delta County School District will receive the most funding with a $100,000 grant.

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