Delta County

KVNF Regional Newscast: November 9, 2016

Nov 9, 2016
  • Capitol Coverage of Colorado election results
  • Look at local election results from Delta, Montrose Counties

An in-depth look at the issues explored in a blog titled “What It’s Like to be a Student with a Brain in the Delta County School District."   The blog, written by Grand Junction resident Ann Landman of the Western Colorado Atheists and Freethinkers, chronicles Cidney Fisk’s senior year at Delta High School, where Cidney says she was punished for speaking out about what she felt were violations of Separation of Church and State at the school and their decision to spend money on a new gym floor instead of books.

West Elk Mine
WildEarth Guardians

The last fully operational coal mine in the western part of the state announced layoffs Thursday.

The West Elk Mine outside of Paonia is owned by Arch Coal. The company filed for bankruptcy in January and says it’s letting go of 80 workers.

KVNF Regional Newscast: Friday, June 3, 2016

Jun 3, 2016

  • Feral cat tests positive for plague in Delta County
  • Kebler Pass opens for the season
  • Latest state campaign finance filings show groups raising substantial sums
  • Renewables reach 10% of U.S. electricity mix for first time  
Flickr via Jeffrey Beall

As coal mining continues to decline in Delta County, communities are struggling. People are moving away. The school district is losing students. Unemployment remains high. 

In the small town of Hotchkiss, some see marijuana as a way to bring in much needed revenue and think it’s time to reconsider the local ban.  

In the upcoming April municipal election, Hotchkiss voters face three questions.

KVNF Regional Newscast: Thursday, Mar. 24, 2016

Mar 24, 2016

  • Hickenlooper nominates Donna Lynne for Lt. Gov.
  • Grand Junction job fair for high school students seeking alternative path
  • New CMU program aims to help community college students earn bachelor’s degree
  • Arch Coal paid bonuses days before bankruptcy filing
  • County Commissioner primary ballot rundown: Mesa, Delta, Montrose
  • Study finds cost of elections dropped after Colorado made mail ballot switch  

KVNF Regional Newscast: Monday, Mar. 21, 2016

Mar 21, 2016

  • No foul play suspected in Ouray death
  • State program aims to boost rural economies with expert help
  • State’s economy grows, but slower than past years
  • Health organization expands into Delta County
  • A look at state committees designed to kill bills before they’re heard  

  • DMEA selects first three areas to try out fiber-optic internet
  • Delta County Assessor’s office uses aerial photography 
  • Voter ID bill sponsored by Representative Don Coram dies in committee
  • State bill that would change mission of energy regulators dies
  • A talk with Senator Donovan about efforts to help rural counties

Bowie #2 Mine, Coal Mine
WildEarth Guardians

Another coal mine will shut down in Western Colorado. Bowie Resource Partners is idling the Bowie #2 Mine near Paonia.

In a release, the company cites the continued decline of the coal market as the reason for the closure.

The mine currently employs 108 people. Bowie estimates 68 full-time positions will be eliminated in April, but by July, nearly everyone will lose their job. 

KVNF Regional Newscast: Monday, Feb. 29, 2016

Feb 29, 2016

  • Telluride man found dead near Tomboy Road
  • Farm Service Agency announces special consideration for organic farms
  • Delta County braces for another economically lean year
  • A Montrose program that provides children with meals is seeing boom in demand
  • An interview with the state GOP chair about Super Tuesday  

In the February 2016 edition of The Delta County Commissioners Report,  Felix Belmont speaks with district 1 commissioner Doug Atchley.

smoking, no smoking sign
Laura Palmisano / KVNF

Smoking is still the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. 

In Colorado, it kills more people than HIV, illegal drug use, alcohol, motor vehicle accidents, suicide, and murder combined. It claims about 5,000 lives in the Centennial State every year. Despite this fact, state data shows nearly 16 percent of Colorado adults smoke. 


  • SPMA General Manager retires
  • Delta County releases $49M plan to boost economy 
  • Grand Junction gives $43K to homeless shelter
  • A word with Republican Sen. Bill Cadman ahead of the legislative session 
  • Skiing at Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park 

Population Surge Projected For Western Slope

Dec 29, 2015
Paonia, North Fork Valley
Steve Huntley

It’s estimated 7.8 million people will live in Colorado by the year 2040. A Rocky Mountain PBS News analysis of data from the state demographer and the U.S. Census Bureau shows, seven of the 10 fastest growing counties will be on the Western Slope, including Garfield and Montrose. 

Volunteers of America, food
Laura Palmisano / KVNF

A program on the Western Slope that makes sure seniors have enough food to ride out winter storms kicked into gear Monday. 

Workers with Volunteers of America packed “blizzard” boxes at the Senior CommUnity Meals site in Eckert.

The packages contain non-perishable items like tuna, cereal, powdered milk and canned soup.  

Abraham Connection Celebrates Shelter Opening In Delta

Dec 9, 2015
Abraham Connection
Laura Palmisano / KVNF

The death of a local homeless man due to exposure was a wake-up call for some in Delta County.

"We knew that if we didn’t step up and start helping these individuals that we would have a lot more people die in our community and we wanted to prevent that," said Cheryl Oeltjenbruns, the board president of Abraham Connection, a seasonal homeless shelter in Delta founded six years ago by community members and church leaders.

Delta County Libraries Sees Changes To Management

Nov 11, 2015
Delta County Library District, Paonia Library, Delta County Libraries
Laura Palmisano / KVNF

The Delta County Library District is experiencing a shake-up in leadership.

Last Wednesday, the library board placed district director Annette Choszczyk on paid administrative leave. On that same day, John Gavan, the district’s IT manager, resigned in protest.

In an email, Gavan says Choszczyk was a “highly capable and effective library director.”  

KVNF Regional Newscast: Friday, Nov. 6, 2015

Nov 6, 2015

  • Delta closes in on finalists for city manager, again
  • Teacher Union lawsuit advances through state courts
  • Mesa County School District fires PR chief
  • Ridgway schools put out call to fill empty board positions
  • Delta County revenues flat, bigger cuts loom for 2017
  • CDOT enforces snow tire rule, opens extra lane to ease traffic

vote, flag, voting
Laura Palmisano / KVNF

Voters across the Western Slope overwhelming approved broadband measures. 

Communities across the region asked residents to opt-out of Senate Bill 152. The decade-old state law prevents local governments from providing internet services or spending money on broadband infrastructure unless residents overturn it.  

Voters in Gunnison, Delta and Ouray Counties approved opt-out measures. Residents in Crested Butte, Paonia, Hotchkiss, Crawford, Cedaredge, Delta, Ridgway, Ouray and Telluride also passed similar ballot issues.  

KVNF Regional Newscast: Monday, Nov. 2, 2015

Nov 2, 2015

  •  USDA declares Delta County a Disaster Area, along with Montrose, Gunnison, and Mesa
  • Lawmakers try to  incentivize protecting homes from wildfires
  • Amtrak line secure with more federal funding

Local Motion: The State Of Delta County

Oct 29, 2015
going out of business sign, economy
Laura Palmisano / KVNF

This week on Local Motion, we discuss the economy in Delta County and local efforts to improve it. KVNF's Laura Palmisano speaks to Delta County Commissioner Bruce Hovde, Michelle Haynes, the executive director of Region 10,  and Trish Thibodo, the executive director of Delta County Economic Development. 

KVNF Regional Newscast: Monday, Oct. 26, 2015

Oct 26, 2015

  •  San Miguel County mulls looser restrictions on marijuana operations
  • Teen birthrate drops by half in Colorado
  • Delta County coalition awarded grant to connect kids to outdoors
  • Space is running out for the salt pump in Paradox Valley

Economy, North Fork Valley, economic development
Laura Palmisano / KVNF

Two Colorado communities hard-hit by the downturn in the coal industry received federal grants last week to help diversify their economies.

The Obama administration awarded Region 10, an organization of six counties on the Western Slope, a $1.2 million grant. Moffat County also got $50,000.

KVNF Regional Newscast: Monday, Oct. 19, 2015

Oct 19, 2015

  • Colorado Health Insurance Co­op no longer able to sell insurance for next year
  • Federal grants help coal economies
  • Large grant helps private well owners get their water tested
  • More snow than average predicted for southern Colorado
  • KVNF Annual Meeting results

KVNF Regional Newscast: Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015

Oct 15, 2015

  • Chicken farms in Delta County get the greenlight
  • Montrose School District approves $80K for repairs
  • HopeWest hosts open house for new Montrose facility
  • Oil and gas industry responding to threat of worker lung disease
Economy, North Fork Valley, economic development
Laura Palmisano / KVNF

Two local organizations are partnering to create a business and resource center in Delta County.

Delta County Economic Development (DCED) and Region 10 are now sharing workspace in downtown Delta. 

KVNF Regional Newscast: Friday, Sept. 4, 2015

Sep 4, 2015

  • Delta County sees spike in whooping cough cases
  • Three running for Delta County School Board
  • Grand Junction hires Glenwood Springs firm to create strategic broadband plan
  • iSeeChange: Coyotes on the Western Slope
  • Colorado State Fair opens with strong attendance
CSU Rogers Mesa Agricultural Research Center
Linda Rubick

A group of Delta County stakeholders wants to breathe new life into a shuttered agricultural research center. The Colorado State University facility sits on 83 acres outside of Hotchkiss on Rogers Mesa. 

The property has a residence, classrooms, laboratory space, offices, cold storage, a greenhouse and equipment storage sheds. 

CSU used the site to conduct research on fruit trees, but now the classrooms and laboratories sit empty.

KVNF Regional Newscast: Friday, Aug. 28, 2015

Aug 28, 2015

  • Feds pledge $211M to protect sage grouse
  • Thousands without irrigation water in Mesa County due to Issues with 38 Road repairs
  • Delta County hopes to see Rogers Mesa agricultural site comeback to life
  • Interview with incoming State Supreme Court Justice Robert Gabriel
Irv Halter
Laura Palmisano / KVNF

A lack of access to high-speed internet is an issue for rural communities in western Colorado. 


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