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
2:14 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Both Sides Sue Over Gunnison Sage Grouse

Gunnison Sage Grouse
Credit Flick user shellgame

Last November, the Forest Service listed the Gunnison Sage Grouse as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.  That doesn’t mean, though, that the fighting over this contentious bird is done.

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NEWS
12:15 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Settlement Puts Drilling Project On Hold In Gunnison Natl. Forest

Treetops in the Gunnison National Forest
Credit Flickr user diwineanddine

Last Friday saw two big developments concerning oil and gas development in the North Fork Valley.

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HEALTH
10:24 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Disneyland Measles Outbreak Hits 59 Cases And Counting

People who visited Disneyland in December were at risk of getting an unwelcome souvenir: the measles.
George Frey Landov

Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 6:50 am

The measles outbreak that started at Disneyland and one other California theme park is expanding, with 59 confirmed cases in patients ranging in age from 7 months to 70 years. The California Department of Public Health has linked 42 of these cases to people who visited Disneyland or Disney's California Adventure Park.

Initially, cases were linked to people who visited the parks in mid-December, but health officials now say that other people with measles were at the parks in January while infectious and also have spread the disease.

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EDUCATION
9:50 am
Thu January 22, 2015

North Fork Charter Initiative Appeals To State Board Of Education

Cassandra Shenk, left, and Chelsea Bookout, with the Valley Charter Initiative, talk about the Waldorf inspired charter school they want to see open in Paonia during a public meeting at Paonia Elementary in December of 2014.
Credit KVNF / Laura Palmisano

A group that was denied charter recognition by the Delta County School Board is appealing to the state. 

The Valley Charter Initiative wants to open a Waldorf inspired public charter school in Paonia. 

In December, the Delta County School Board unanimously denied the groups request for charter recognition.

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POLITICS
4:36 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Republican Sen. Gardner Weighs In On Obama's Speech

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 6:40 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And for some reaction to the president's speech, we're joined now by Republican Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado. Good morning.

SENATOR CORY GARDNER: Good morning.

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POLITICS
12:06 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Gov. Hickenlooper's State of The State Address

Bellow is the full recording of the State of the State address given by Governor John Hickenlooper on January 15th. 

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ARTS
6:00 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Ridgway's Sherbino Theater Turns 100, Changes Ownership

The Sherbino Theater in Ridgeway turns 100 this year.
Sherbino Theater

This year the Sherbino Theater in Ridgway is celebrating its one-hundredth anniversary.

The theater is known for the musical acts and guest lecturers it brings to the Western Slope. 

A Tour Of The Historic Sherbino 

"The building was built by Louis Sherbino," Patrick O’Leary, the president of the Ridgway Chautauqua Society, says. "And he built the theater so that his son and daughter-in-law would have a place to play. His son was a fiddle player."

The Chautauqua Society now runs the theater. 

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POLITICS
4:30 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Breaking Down The Gov's State Of The State

Jim Hill KUNC

Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 8:52 am

Governor John Hickenlooper has given his annual State of the State Address in front of a joint session of the General Assembly. What were some of the highlights of his annual report on Colorado's prospects? What should we expect in the year ahead?

We asked some of the reporters that work daily in the capitol building for their thoughts.

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NEWS
3:39 pm
Mon January 19, 2015

Bill To Aid Rural Communities During Hard Times

In recent months multiple businesses have closed and shop spaces remain empty on the main drag in Paonia. The town is in Delta County, a place that's seen the boom-or-bust cycle of the coal industry.
Credit Laura Palmisano / KVNF

A Colorado Senate bill introduced last week aims to help rural communities during times of economic crisis. 

SB15-036 seeks to give emergency assistance grants to rural communities during times of economic hardship. The bill is sponsored by freshman Senator Kerry Donovan who represents state Senate District 5. The district covers six counties on the Western Slope including Delta, Hinsdale and Gunnison. 

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NEWS
2:38 pm
Mon January 19, 2015

After Aurora Shooting, A 'New Way Of Responding' To Mental Crises

Mental health therapist Shaundra Drysdale updates daily use numbers inside a crisis support services center in Greeley, Colo.
Grace Hood KUNC

Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 5:32 pm

It's been two and a half years since the Aurora, Colo. theater shooting in which James Holmes allegedly killed 12 people at a screening of The Dark Knight Rises.

Jury selection for the 2012 incident is scheduled to start Tuesday. One of the reasons why it took so long to get to court was the battle over Holmes' psychiatric evaluations. After the shooting, Colorado legislators approved $20 million to change how people going through a mental health crisis can get help.

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ENVIRONMENT
2:38 pm
Mon January 19, 2015

U.S. Solar Industry Sees Growth, But Also Some Uncertainty

A worker installs solar panels atop a government building in Lakewood, Colo. The industry has added more than 80,000 jobs since 2010, according to The Solar Foundation.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 5:32 pm

The solar energy business is growing fast, thanks in part to a steep drop in panel prices.

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POLITICS
11:27 am
Mon January 19, 2015

Hickenlooper On His Second Term, 'It Is A Pivot Point'

State of Colorado

Originally published on Fri January 16, 2015 12:49 pm

Governor John Hickenlooper gave his annual State of the State Address in front of a joint session of the General Assembly Thursday. In the speech the governor spoke of his upcoming policies, initiatives, budget proposals and some looming state challenges.

So what does it all mean for the year ahead?

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HEALTH
3:46 am
Sun January 18, 2015

One Scientist's Race To Help Microbes Help You

Biologist Rob Knight, co-founder of the American Gut Project, recently moved the project to the University of California, San Diego's School of Medicine.
Casey A. Cass/University of Colorado

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 6:26 am

The rate of recent discoveries about the human microbiome has been dizzying. And Rob Knight wants to crank up the pace.

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NEWS
5:57 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

BLM Releases Statement For Drilling Near Paonia

A photo of the proposed drilling area
Credit Jim Ramey / Citizens for a Healthy Community

Friday saw the release of a document that’s been a long time in the making.

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EDUCATION
4:35 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

Disparity In Growth For Colorado Schools

Nearly half of Colorado's districts experienced declining enrollment this school year, according to the state department of education.
Credit flickr.com/bionicteaching

The Colorado Department of Education has released its statewide look at school enrollment. 

The state's preschool through 12th grade pupil count shows Colorado gained more than 12,000 students this school year. 

There are 889,006 public school student in the state, according to the data.  

Schools on the Front Range, like in years past, have the most pupils.

On the Western Slope, the Mesa County Valley School District is the largest. It ranks 12th in the state.

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POLITICS
9:21 pm
Thu January 15, 2015

State Of The State Is 'Strong' As Hickenlooper Outlines 2015 Plans

Stephen Butler Flickr - Creative Commons

Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 6:38 pm

Governor John Hickenlooper received a warm reception from lawmakers in both parties during his annual State of the State Address. The Governor talked about policies he wants the legislature to adopt, announced a few new initiatives and urged lawmakers to face facts about the challenges facing Colorado.

During his roughly 45-minute speech Hickenlooper highlighted many of his budget proposals, such as giving more money to higher education and K-12 schools. He also pledged to look at ways to creatively fund roads and bridges, and threw his support behind a felony DUI law. Colorado is one of four states without one.

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SPORTS
5:24 pm
Thu January 15, 2015

Ice Climbing Draws Thousands To Small Colorado Community

An ice climber competes in a climbing event during the Ouray Ice Festival.
JT Thomas

Rock climbing is already a popular sport. And, its winter cousin ice climbing is gaining popularity too. 

Ice Climbing In Ouray

It’s a chilly morning at the Ouray Ice Park. 

Hundreds of people are gathered here for the 20th annual Ouray Ice Festival.

The event celebrates the sport of ice climbing. And, the park is a mecca for it.

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NEWS
11:22 am
Thu January 15, 2015

Western Slope Food And Farm Forum Educates, Connects Farmers, Ranchers

A session at the Forum looking at the challenges of a grass-only beef regiment
Credit Jake Ryan

The third annual Western Colorado Food and Farm Forum happened last weekend in Montrose.

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AGRICULTURE
10:21 am
Thu January 15, 2015

Hemp's Legality Has Stunted Research, But That's Starting To Change

Some hemp varieties can grow up to 20 feet tall, like this plant growing in a Lafayette, Colorado warehouse.

Originally published on Mon January 12, 2015 1:05 pm

Humans have been growing hemp for centuries. Hemp-based foods have taken off recently. So have lotions and soaps that use hemp oil. Studies underway now are examining how different compounds in cannabis could be used as medicine. There’s hope its chemical compounds could hold keys to medical treatments for Parkinson’s disease and childhood epilepsy.

Scientists studying industrial hemp say the plant holds a tremendous amount of promise. But to unlock its potential there’s very basic scientific research to be done.

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NEWS
9:59 am
Thu January 15, 2015

Free-Climbers Make It To Summit Of Yosemite's El Capitan

Tommy Caldwell (top) climbs what is known as Pitch 17 and Kevin Jorgeson handles the line as they free-climb the Dawn Wall of Yosemite's El Capitan.
Tom Evans AP

Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 12:02 pm

Update at 6:46pm ET:

On their 19th day of climbing, Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson reached the top of El Capitan in California's Yosemite National Park at 3:25 p.m. PT. The Los Angeles Times reports the climbers' families were waiting for them at the summit. From The New York Times:

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