Local news from around the KVNF listening area.

  •   Colorado opens up parks on black Friday
  • San Miguel County sheriff refuses to sign petition
  • States grapple with ramifications of Clean Power Plan
  •   Cedaredge waits 2 years for federal response to a lost letter
  • CMU offers new surgical degree
  • Bowie Resource Partners buys up three new mines
  • A look at the carbon impact of Thanksgiving
  •   Lake City prepares for a special election
  • Agencies band together to save Colorado native fishes
  • November wildfire destroys structures, causes evacuations
  • Montrose warrant stop ends in suicide

  •  Time bank hits milestone
  • Officials fight to lower CMU suicide rate
  • Republican lawmakers petition to keep refugees out, but some don’t sign on
  • Gas pries continue to drop ahead of holiday travel
  • Voter turnout dips for 2015

razorback sucker, fish
Laura Palmisano

Some native fish in the Colorado River and its tributaries are struggling to stay afloat.  Invasive species, dams and water diversions all complicate the recovery of endangered fish in those waterways.  One long-standing program ties together federal and state agencies with regional groups to help these cold-blooded creatures make a comeback.

  • Roadless Rule Exemption back on track
  • Counties conflicted over pay raises
  • Officials warn about stomach virus spreading
  • Longer growing seasons could mean good news and bad news for growers

Flickr user: oatsy40

Arch Coal recently said that it might file for bankruptcy. The St. Louis-based company operates the West Elk Mine near Somerset and is the second largest coal company in the U.S. KVNF's Laura Palmisano spoke to Robert Godby, an economics professor at the University of Wyoming, who tracks the coal industry, about the announcement.  

DMEA, Delta Montrose Electric Association, Marv Ballantyne
Laura Palmisano / KVNF

The Delta Montrose Electric Association hosted an energy efficiency forum in Hotchkiss on Tuesday night.

About 45 people attend the forum at Hotchkiss Memorial Hall.

DMEA set up informational tables about energy efficiency programs the co-op offers such as rebates for LED light bulbs and energy efficient appliances.  

There was even an interactive display where people rode a stationary bike to see how much energy it took to light up an incandescent bulb versus an LED one.  

  • Montrose mental health center awarded $600K
  • Reward for information about area cattle killers
  • Health insurance meeting brings some answers, more questions
  • Water plan for state unveiled

  • Hickenlooper defends Syrian refugee policy
  • Delta County Library Board responds after district director leaves
  • Norwood woman seriously injured in backcountry snowmobile accident
  • BLM releases draft EIS for White River National Forest oil & gas leases
  • BLM recommends cancelling 17 oil & gas leases on Roan Plateau
  • DMEA hosts energy efficiency forum in Hotchkiss

  • Child advocacy center in Montrose receives national accreditation
  • SMPA partners with Nucla, Naturita, Norwood on LED lighting
  • Arch Coal considers bankruptcy
  • Hillary Clinton's plan for coal country

  • Power outages affect DMEA customers
  • More snow forecasted for Western Slope
  • Shepherds get minimum wage increase
  • Hickenlooper says Colorado open to Syrian refugees
  • Local control over oil and gas development considered

Gov. John Hickenlooper announced Monday that Colorado would accept Syrian refugees. President Barack Obama said the U.S. would receive at least 10,000 Syrian refugees within the next year, but a growing list of Republican governors pledged to block refugees from relocating to their states.

"We can protect our security and provide a place where the world's most vulnerable can rebuild their lives," said Hickenlooper in a statement.

  • State Supreme Court to hear Mesa County School Board eligibility case
  • Christmas tree permits for GMUG National Forest go on sale
  • Hickenlooper announces new state tourism director
  • Stories of the River: Solutions to the Crisis

  • GJPD: Officers struck by reckless driver
  • Suspicious device at Telluride gas station deemed safe
  • CSU study finds no evidence of dangerous oil, gas contaminants in water
  • Can small communities tackle global food security?

  • 18-year-old woman missing from Montrose
  • Coal companies struggle
  • Lt. Gov. Garcia resigns, talks higher education

Coal In Decline

Nov 11, 2015

A conversation with Elizabeth Shogren of High Country News about bankruptcy and mine closures. 

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.”  

After five years on the job, Colorado's Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia announced that he is stepping down from the position and as head of the Colorado Department of Higher Education. Garcia will leave his dual-role to helm a higher education policy group for the western U.S., the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education.

  • Lt. Gov. Garcia to step down to lead education organization
  • Delta County Libraries sees changes to management
  • CMU creates endowment for energy scholarships
  • Western Slope doctor takes plea deal
  • A conversation with Connect for Health regional manager

A Brobdingnagian beer company is closer to becoming reality, as Anheuser-Busch InBev has worked out terms to buy its biggest rival, SABMiller, for more than $105 billion. The deal includes a $12 billion sell-off of MillerCoors to Molson Coors, to ease antitrust concerns.

rico, snow, houses

A program that assists low-income Coloradans with their winter heating costs is accepting applications.

Last year, the Colorado Low-Income Energy Program, or LEAP, helped 81,000 households with their heating bills.  

  • Proposed bill would limit punishment for sexting teens
  • High demand causes shortage of flu vaccine
  • Healthcare initiative to be on next year’s ballot
  • Clean Power Plan divides Gov. Hickenlooper, Attorney General Coffman

When The Alpaca Bubble Burst, Breeders Paid The Price

Nov 9, 2015

Known for their calm temperaments and soft fleece, alpacas looked like the next hot thing to backyard farmers. The market was frenetic, with some top of the line animals selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

But the bubble burst, leaving thousands of alpaca breeders with near-worthless herds. Today, craigslist posts across the country advertise “herd liquidations” and going out of business deals on alpacas, some selling for as low as a dollar.

It’s just one more chapter in a long line of agricultural speculative bubbles that have roped in investors throughout history, throwing money at everything from emus to chinchillas to Berkshire pigs to Dutch tulips, only to find themselves in financial ruin after it bursts.

  • Program helps Coloradans with winter heating costs
  • State Senator Kerry Donovan details legislative priorities
  • The alpaca bubble burst and backyard farmers are still picking up the pieces

Harriet Kelly has one word to describe the day she stopped driving four years ago: miserable.

"It's no fun when you give up driving," she says. "I just have to say that."

Kelly, who lives in Denver, says she was in her 80s when she noticed her eyesight declining. She got anxious driving on the highway, so decided to stop before her kids made the move for her.

"I just told them I'd stop driving on my birthday — my 90th birthday — and I did. And I was mad at myself because I did it," she says, laughing. "I thought I was still pretty good!"

delta, downtown delta colorado
Flickr user: J. Stephen Conn

Editor's Note: This story was updated on Nov. 10, 2015  because the city announced Dana Schoening withdrew his application. 

Delta is hoping third time’s the charm for its city manager search.

In April, Delta’s then city manager Justin Clifton left for a job in Arizona. The city launched the search for his replacement in May. 

  • 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

It's getting harder to see the stars in North Dakota's Theodore Roosevelt National Park, and it's due to flares, drilling rigs and all the lights from the Bakken oilfield.

Since 2010, scientists with the National Park Service have measured a 500 percent increase in the amount of anthropogenic light there — no other national park in America has seen such a rapid increase in light pollution.

Kent Friesen is standing in a dark field in the North Dakota Badlands, peering into a huge telescope.

Climate change isn't just something to worry about here on Earth. New research published today shows that Mars has undergone a dramatic climate shift in the past that has rendered much of the planet inhospitable to life.

About 3.8 billion years ago, Mars was a reasonably pleasant place. It had a thick atmosphere filled with carbon dioxide that kept it warm. Rivers trickled into lakes across its surface. Some researchers think there might even have been an ocean.