Delta County

radon testing kit
Laura Palmisano

Radon is an odorless, tasteless radioactive gas that occurs naturally in our environment. Long-term exposure to radon can cause lung cancer. That's why Colorado and the Environmental Protection Agency have declared January a call to action month for radon testing. 

downtown Paonia, Grand Ave Paonia
Laura Palmisano

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 seven counties on the Western Slope including Delta, Hinsdale and Gunnison. 


Earlier this year the Delta County Citizens for Animal Welfare and Shelter, better know as CAWS, asked the county for $25,000. 

Last week the commissioners approved the county budget for next year.

JoAnn Kalenak, a CAWS board member, says the group didn’t get the money it asked for.

She says the budget does allocate $10,000 that will be split between the four animal rescue groups in Delta County. The money CAWS receives is earmarked for spay and neuter programs.  

Scores from Colorado’s new social studies and science tests for K-12 students show mixed results.

The exams have five rankings.

For science, 34 percent of Colorado’s fifth graders and 32 percent of eighth graders scored in the highest range.

However, statewide 32 percent of fourth graders and 45 percent of seventh graders scored in the lowest range on the social studies test.

The exams were taken by students last school year.

Paonia Fire Department
Laura Palmisano / KVNF

There are 198 all-volunteer fire departments in Colorado that serve about half of the state’s population. And a recent report finds many of these operations are seriously understaffed.

Jake Ryan

Over the weekend, Governor John Hickenlooper visited several businesses on the Western Slope.  In Delta County he toured business that received REDI grants.  The Rural Economic Development Initiative gives out grants to rural businesses that are looking to expand. 

Four companies in Delta County recently received economic development grants from the state. Colorado’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade gives out the grants under its Rural Economic Development Initiative Program.

Gardening, farming
Laura Palmisano / KVNF

A program in Colorado's Delta County is helping immigrant women learn English, but they're not just sitting in a classroom studying grammar.

These women come from countries as close as Mexico and as far away as Myanmar (also known as Burma). And they're learning English on a farm where they also pick up tips on healthy eating and gardening on the Western Slope.

A Trip to the Farm

Laura Palmisano

Ten kids and their dogs competed in the 4-H Dog Obedience Show at the Delta County Fair.

Dog trainer Rayna Stout of Cedaredge judged the competition where young trainers and their K-9s were scored based on their performances in showmanship, obedience and agility. 

Kenda Falkner, 13, and her dog Australian Shepherd-Red Heeler mix Ashkie entered the show for fun.

"Well we just got this new puppy so I just thought it would be kind of fun just to kind of help train him," she said. 

mountain lion
National Parks Service

Colorado State Patrol has a failed to report a vehicle hitting a mountain lion near Hotchkiss on Sunday to Colorado Parks and Wildlife. 

A mountain lion was reportedly hit by an SUV outside of Hotchkiss on Sunday.

Kathy Linnell, a Paonia resident, said she struck the cat on Highway 92.

Mosquito, West Nile
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Colorado Department of Public Health said mosquitoes testing positive for the West Nile virus have been found in Delta, Mesa, Adams, Boulder and Weld counties.

Unemployment, Colorado Department of Labor and Employment
Colorado Division of Reclamation Mining & Safety

Unemployment continues to drop in Colorado. 

The state’s unemployment rate is at its lowest point in about five in a half years, according to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. The unemployment rate for April was 6 percent. The last time is was 6 percent or lower was November 2008 when the rate was 5.7 percent. 

Rick Watts hosts a live call-in about recreational marijuana with Delta county commissioner, Bruce Hovde and locally based marijuana industry consultant, Jere Lowe. 


Rocky Mountain Feline Rescue in Denver via Flickr Creative Commons


 About 1500 unwanted dogs and cats are rescued every year in Delta County. But many more are turned away. One local rescue organization wants to change that by building a bigger shelter.

But to do that, they need more money. So the group Citizens Animal Welfare and Shelter, or CAWS, is launching a capital campaign. 

Marty Durlin/KVNF

Last year the North Fork Valley received about half of Delta County’s lottery-funded Conservation Trust Fund monies. 

Marty Durlin/KVNF

As the Affordable Care Act takes effect this year, Delta County Memorial Hospital Administrator Jason Cleckler is navigating uncertain terrain.

Marty Durlin/KVNF

Delta County Commissioners recently named two historical landmarks, one being the Rogers Mesa Community House, the other the historic Bross Hotel. 

The Bross was built in 1906 and according to early newspapers, was Delta County's first luxury hotel (and early on, its only one.)

Now, after over 100 years and eight different owners, the Bross is a bed & breakfast.

For this episode of Local Motion, Felix Belmont brings us another edition of his Delta County Commissioners' report. 

Today Felix speaks with Delta County Clerk Ann B. Edins about the responsibilities of the clerk's office, changes in the election process over the years and more.

Modern Women's Club

On Monday, Delta County Commissioners named two historical landmarks. One of them is Paonia’s Bross Hotel, built in 1906 and now a bed and breakfast. The other - the Rogers Mesa Community House, built in the mid-1890s as the Hurst School. 


  • More Layoffs as Coal Mine All But Shuttered
  • KVNF Youth Reporters Tackle Energy Issues
  • Ali Lightfoot on the Pass the Mic Project
  • December Storm Could be Clue to Rest of Winter Weather
  • Despite Early Snowfall, Much of State Still in Drought

More Layoffs As Coal Mine All But Shuttered

Dec 3, 2013
Elise Thatcher/Aspen Public Radio

More coal miners in the North Fork Valley are being laid off. Oxbow Mining company, owned by billionaire Bill Koch, laid off more than a hundred more employees on Monday at its Elk Creek mine.


For this episode of Local Motion, we spoke with two members of the Delta County CAWS organization. 

Joanna Calabrese

Just weeks after the Bureau of Land Management announced it would consider some community-developed ideas for managing public lands in the agency's Uncompaghre region, concerned citizens and stakeholders from the North Fork Valley met with Delta County Commissioners in Delta.   


  • Republicans Still Outpacing Democrats in Voter Turnout
  • Delta County Clerk on Changes in Voting after New Election Rules
  • Montrose County Schools Embarking on Ambitious IT Upgrades
  • Colorado Farmers Say Proposed Air-Quality Regulations are Too Weak
  • CPW Accepting Public Comments on Management Plans for Mule Deer
  • Independence Pass Closed for Season
  • Free Entrance to National Parks This Weekend


  • Head of Oil and Gas Commission Praises Industry's Response to Flooding
  • State Department of Agriculture Still Investigating Case of Stolen Monkey
  • Drought Prompts Study of Gold-Medal Fishery Near Basalt
  • Delta County Residents to Vote on Ending More Term Limits
  • US Rep. Cory Gardner Criticizes "Brobamacare" Ads
North Fork Merchant Herald

Today on Local Motion we talk with three of the people involved with the North Fork Air Quality Study, a year-long project put together by CU-Boulder, the Western Slope Conservation Center and the Delta County School District. 

The project will use low-cost, portable and permanent monitoring devices to get baseline measurements of air quality in the North Fork Valley. 


  • Winner of the Trip to Fiji Contest Drawn at KVNF Annual Meeting
  • Paonia Voters to see Ballot Question on Sidewalks
  • Colorado US Senators ask to Delay Health Insurance Deadline
  • More Help Coming for Farmers and Ranchers on the Front Range after Flooding
  • KDNK's Ed Williams Speaks to Legislative Reporter Bente Birkeland about Amendment 66
  • Layoffs at Elk Creek Mine Could Challenge Local Economy, Delta County Schools


  • Judge Delays Trial of Heather Jensen Until January
  • Group Opposed to Christo's Arkansas River Installation Continues Fight
  • Delta County Pays $10,000 Retainer for Denver Legal Firm in Hen House Case
  • Crawford Continues Discussion on Municipal Court
  • Colorado Gears Up for Move to All-Mail Ballots
Marty Durlin/KVNF

Delta County Treasurer Lisa Tafoya visited commissioners on Monday to obtain permission to close her office at 1 pm on Wednesday, Nov. 6, in preparation for the county’s annual tax lien sale on Thursday Nov. 7.

The closure would allow staffers to prepare for the sale, which begins promptly at 10 am in the district court room. Properties with outstanding taxes were printed once in the Delta County Independent and are listed on the county treasurer’s website, updated every Monday. 


  • Committee Will Look at State's Flood Response
  • Logging Production Hurt by Government Shutdown
  • After Shutdown, Maroon Bells May See Cutbacks
  • US Representative Cory Gardner Questions Health Exchange Problems
  • Delta County to hold Tax Lien Sale in Early November