Local news from around the KVNF listening area.


  • Mine spills near Crested Butte
  • Montrose clinic receives grant
  • Water Conservancy District looks to get around TABOR
  • Republican challenger for Sen. Bennet up in the air


  • Open records request shows allegations of misconduct for former Police Chief
  • Health insurance company in jeopardy after federal payment falls through
  • A conversation with Delta hospital’s CEO over clinic closures and openings

  • Hickenlooper appoints replacement for Mesa County DA
  • Montrose fast-­tracks new city dispatch center
  • State commission to study use of American Indian mascots in schools
  • Some Colorado towns look to rein in oil and gas ahead of state rules
Economy, North Fork Valley
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. 

  • Former Delta chief of police received $50K severance package
  • Local organizations hope to create business and resource center in Delta
  • Governor heads aboard on trade mission
  • Demonstration plot help farmers optimizes, prepare for drought
  • Nonprofit announces $20 million prize for CO2 innovation

Colorado is well-known for its outdoor recreation, but Gov. John Hickenlooper wants to take it to the next level - by making it even easier for people to access open space and parks. In addition to a previously unveiled Colorado the Beautiful Initiative, the governor has also pledged $100 million to create and connect bike trails.

"The ultimate goal is connecting everyone from Denver to the foothills and mountains to the west," said Tom Hoby, Jefferson County's director of open space and parks.

  • Marijuana grow operation on public lands found in Montrose County
  • Schools take the fight against bullying into the 21st century
  • Gov. Hickenlooper pushes to develop state’s recreation opportunities

  • EPA releases rules for ozone levels
  • Palisade opens new bike park
  • States stuck with abandoned gas wells

For plein-air painters - that's French for "open air" - creating a work of art can be tough. Even just pronouncing it. Some say "plane air."

"The French call it 'plen air' – 'en plein air,' actually, and they are the ones who coined the term," said plein air painter Danna Hildebrand.

As a retired professor of 28 years from Sheridan College in Wyoming she would know, though she won't fault you for mispronouncing it. Pronunciation is the least of the challenges artists face when they hit the trail with their easels.

Whole Foods Market has announced that by April of next year it will stop sourcing foods that are produced using prison labor.

The move comes on the heels of a demonstration in Houston where the company was chastised for employing inmates through prison-work programs.

Michael Allen, founder of End Mass Incarceration Houston, organized the protest. He says Whole Foods was engaging in exploitation since inmates are typically paid very low wages.

  • Grand Junction loses panhandling lawsuit
  • Colorado looks at different public access rules
  • Painters brave elements for Colorado scenery

  • Colorado sees spike in rabbit fever cases, official warns Hunters of disease
  • Telluride Medical Center needs to raise funds for hospital
  • Plein air painting in Colorado

The cost of getting into some national parks increases on Thursday.

The rates will go up despite the fact that visitation at parks is up, which means bigger crowds, congested traffic and busier visitor centers. But more people aren't translating into a big boost for park budgets. For example, visitation at Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado is up 20 percent so far this year and Yosemite, Yellowstone and Zion are also seeing double-digit increases. The parks are also seeing the strain. About 100 parks are planning an entrance fee hike.

  • Bowie announces further layoffs at mine near Paonia
  • City of Delta Police Chief resigns
  • Halliburton ordered to pay $18 Million in back wages
  • Lt. Governor, state officials promote literacy on Colorado tour

A coal mine near Paonia is laying off more workers.

Bowie Resource Partners announced on Tuesday that it's eliminating nearly 100 jobs at the Bowie #2 Mine.

Stephen Butler via Flickr (CC-BY)

In the 2016 legislative session, Democratic state Representative Millie Hamner will chair the Joint Budget Committee. Hamner represents House District 61. It covers parts of Delta and Gunnison counties along with Summit, Lake and Pitkin counties. As part of a district tour, she stopped in Paonia over the weekend. KVNF's Laura Palmisano sat down with Hamner in the studio to discuss school funding, the state budget and the upcoming legislative session.

  • Plane crashes in Garfield County
  • Report released on helicopter crash
  • New dispatch center takes business from Montrose County Operation
  • Rep. Millie Hamner on education, TABOR, state budget
  • Colorado begins to grapple with Clean Power Plan
Lake Fork Valley Conservancy, Hemson Creek, Lake City
Lake Fork Valley Conservancy

A Hinsdale County nonprofit recently received a sizable state grant to help it with a public access easement along the Lake Fork of the Gunnison.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife awarded the Lake Fork Valley Conservancy $33,000.

Many earthlings were treated to a rare sight last night, as a "supermoon" coincided with a lunar eclipse. It was a bad night to have clouds obscuring the view, as the last total eclipse that had these qualities occurred in 1982, and the next won't happen until 2033.

This lunar eclipse ticked many boxes for sky watchers: It was a supermoon, when the moon is both full and in perigee, or close to Earth, making it loom large in our sky. It was also a blood moon (the fourth and final lunar eclipse). And because it occurred days after the fall equinox, this was also the harvest moon.

  • Missing boy from Crawford returns home
  • Livestock disease still widespread, but new infections might be slowing down
  • Signatures hold up connecting Norwood to high-speed internet
  • Program looks to teach residents about local food
  • Governor Hickenlooper looks to change TABOR
  • Roadwork continues for Western Slope

Montrose County in western Colorado is an agricultural community. Everything from apples to zucchini is grown there. However, not everyone knows what’s in season, how they can access it or how to prepare it.

The Local Farmacy Rx program is trying to change that. Through it low-income families learn how to eat healthy locally. 

  • BLM conducts horse gather on schedule
  • Montrose County declines to appeal lawsuit
  • Schools grapple with negative factor that might never be repaid
  • Mountain Harvest in Paonia supported by 150 volunteers
  • Governor throws support for keeping Marijuana tax money

The Drug Enforcement Administration is partnering with police and fire departments and pharmacies Saturday to relaunch its drug take-back program, which encourages people to rummage through their homes and hand over unused prescriptions.

"Lots and lots of folks have prescription pills that have either expired or they no longer need, and in the wrong hands, those are poison," acting DEA Administrator Chuck Rosenberg told NPR in an interview. "So the purpose of the program is to get those out of medicine cabinets. We can dispose of them anonymously and safely."

  • Man killed by train in Clifton 
  • Paonia Board of Trustees approves fee increases 
  • Colorado’s latest revenue forecast shows state still faces budget challenges
  • EPA discusses proposed methane rules at Denver meeting
  • State awards Lake City nonprofit $33K for river restoration project
black bear
U.S. Forest Service

State wildlife officials have concluded that a bear didn’t attack and maul a hunter over the weekend on the Grand Mesa. 

On Saturday, a man in his late 60s reported he was attacked by a bear. He told Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials he was parked on his ATV near Powderhorn Ski Resort when a bear attacked him causing him to drive over a small cliff into rocks below. CPW says the episode left him  with extensive but non-life threatening injuries.  

The U.S. Department of Interior decided Tuesday that the greater sage grouse does not need protection under the Endangered Species Act. The bird spans 11 western states including Colorado, where it lives in pockets along the western slope, but is mostly concentrated in the northwest part of the state.

Gov. John Hickenlooper was one of the many people working to avoid a federal listing for the bird. While the sage grouse decision is a win for the governor, a few other initiatives – and longtime battles in Colorado – still need his attention.

  • State wildlife officials conclude hunter wasn't attacked by bear
  • Federal report questions credentials of pilots in Silverton area crash
  • Colorado governor weighs in on sage grouse decision and fracking
  • Western Slope arts & culture organizations receive state grants

Colorado's South Platte River basin is a powerhouse for crops and cattle. Massive reservoirs quench the region's thirst, with farm fields generally first in line. Wildlife? It's often last.

A small win-win though is giving waterfowl a little more room at the watering hole. It's a program that creates warm winter ponds for migrating ducks — then gives the water back, in time for summer crops.

  • Lawsuit looks to stop expansion at Bowie #2 coal mine
  • Economy good, but slowing down
  • CDOT tries to tackle animal collisions
  • Judge rules cuts to school funding constitutional

Recreational marijuana use is legal in Washington state — but only for adults. And after the state's law was tweaked this summer, minors who break that rule risk felony charges. That's the case for three minors in Asotin County, who could now face up to five years in prison.