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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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 Wed December 24, 2014 5:00 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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ENVIRONMENT
9:36 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Hickenlooper Shows Off Colorado Water Plan Draft

Bente Birkeland RMCR

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 4:53 pm

Governor John Hickenlooper unveiled a draft of the state's first ever water plan Wednesday. The goal of the plan - a decade in the making - is to create a comprehensive water strategy to protect rural farm economies and bring more water to millions of people along the Front Range.

"Water is too important for bickering and potential failure. It demands collaborations," said James Eklund, Director of the Colorado Water Conservation Board, which drafted the proposal. "This plan sets the stage for us to take the necessary next steps."

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AGRICULTURE
1:51 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Women's Work Is Never Done On The Farm, And Sometimes Never Counted

Owner Mary Kraft at Badger Creek Dairy outside Fort Morgan, Colo.
Luke Runyon KUNC/Harvest Public Media

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 9:45 am

The average American farmer is a white man in his late 50s. Or at least, that's who's in charge of the farm, according to new data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

But the number of female-run farms has tripled since the 1970s, to nearly 14 percent in 2012. And if you dig a little deeper, you'll find women are showing up in new roles. But because of the way farm businesses are structured, women's work often isn't included in those USDA counts.

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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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COMMUNITY
12:30 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Homeless Shelter Close To Having Its Own Home

For five years, the Abraham Connection, a homeless shelter in Delta, has been providing overnight stays from November until May.

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POLITICS
10:59 am
Wed December 10, 2014

Chamber Renovations Uncover Surprises At The Colorado Capitol

The restoration work in the House chamber undercovered stenciling and a green color.
Bente Birkeland RMCR

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 7:51 am

Colorado's state capitol is getting a major upgrade. A two-year renovation of the building's signature gold dome is complete and on the inside, work is underway on both the House and Senate chambers. Just like any remodeling project, some interesting surprises have been uncovered along the way.

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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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TECHNOLOGY
4:39 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Ransomware: When Hackers Lock Your Files, To Pay Or Not To Pay?

iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 4:21 pm

A lot of computer viruses hide inside your system. Hackers stealing your data go out of their way to operate quietly, stealthily, under the radar.

But there's another kind of attack that makes itself known — on purpose. It sneaks into your network and takes your files, holding them for ransom. It's called ransomware, and, according to cybersecurity experts, this kind of attack is getting more sophisticated.

Stick 'Em Up

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NEWS
12:27 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Lawsuit Against Energy Company Nears $10 Million

Late last month the figures came out in a class action lawsuit ruling against WPX Energy. 

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