NEWS

Local news from around the KVNF listening area.

  • House clears snow tire tread bill
  • Snow storm blankets Western Slope, causes closures
  • Colorado exchange sees more residents sign up for coverage
  • Demand for services at Delta homeless shelter doubles

  • Center for Mental Health plans to expand in Delta
  • SBEADMR environmental impact statement delayed
  • Report looks at effects of beetles to combat invasive species in Colorado
  • End of life bill to be discussed by legislative committee
  • X­Games finishes up in Aspen
  • CDOT now shows what roads state plow trucks are clearing  

Roughly three weeks into Colorado's annual legislative session, a lot of bills are starting to get their first hearings. We've heard the priorities of the leaders and the governor, as well as some of the more interesting bills.

But 2016 is an election year, and a presidential one no less. How will politics impact the bills being heard in committees?

  • DMEA plans on offering program to cut electric bills for low income households
  • CDOT to display tally of highway deaths
  • Three arrested over pot deliver business
  • Man dies from heart disease on Grand Mesa
  • Bills face uncertain future in political climate in Denver  

When Elizabeth Estes's dog, Ollie, started coughing last year, she didn't think he was seriously ill at first. But then the 3-year-old Jack Russell-chihuahua mix got much worse.

"All of a sudden, he couldn't breathe and he was coughing. It was so brutal," says Estes, who lives in Chicago. "The dog couldn't breathe. I mean, could not breathe — just kept coughing and coughing and coughing and gasping for air."

  • Montrose Airport hits major milestone
  • Spruce beetle damage continues to spread across the state
  • Colorado lags in providing food stamp benefits
  • Bill aims to improve awareness of I-70 chain law
  • Rundown of candidates for local municipal elections

  • Former Paonia resident found dead in Vienna
  • Names announced for municipal elections in Cedaredge, Hotchkiss and Crawford
  • Latest jobs report for Colorado encouraging
  • Group launches full strength beer, wine in grocery stores initiative
  • Congressman Tipton visits Western Slope, stops in Carbondale

  • Paonia municipal election: 9 run for 3 trustee vacancies, 1 for mayor
  • Mesa County launches diabetes prevention program aimed at lifestyle changes
  • COGCC approves final rule changes from O&G Task Force
  • Snow tire bill committee

Lawmakers have introduced the first wave of bills as part of the annual legislative session. To learn what's in store, we asked reporters who work daily under the dome at the capitol.

  • Montrose County Jail inmate dies after suicide attempt 
  • High school dropout, graduation rates vary around Western Slope
  • Palisade sued over medical marijuana policy
  • Capitol Conversation: Looking at the first round of bills
  • BLM follows Colorado’s lead on methane rules  

  • Colorado sees first avalanche death of the season
  • Former DeBeque town marshal under arrest again
  • San Miguel County Commissioner Art Goodtimes will not be running for re­election
  • A look at the quagmire of coal mine cleanup  

It was a tale of two defenses — and two very divergent outcomes — in the NFL's conference championship games Sunday.

In the NFC, the Carolina Panthers stormed their way to a commanding victory over the Arizona Cardinals. Earlier in the day, in the AFC, the Denver Broncos narrowly survived a late-game push from the New England Patriots to emerge with a win.

The victories mean conference titles for the Panthers and the Broncos — and, more importantly, a trip to the Super Bowl for both teams.

avalanche
Colorado Avalanche Information Center

Colorado has seen it’s first avalanche fatality of the season.

Officials say on Thursday afternoon, snowmobilers riding in the Ruby Range west of Crested Butte triggered the avalanche.  

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center says one of the riders was 'caught and buried' on a day ranked considerable for danger. 

  •  New service allows mentally distressed youth to text for help
  • Plans are in the works to develop defunct CSU agricultural research site
  • Pipe bursts during Ouray Ice Climbing Festival
  • Majority of voters don’t want state control of federal lands
  • Clean Water Act changes vetoes by President Obama

Editors' note, Feb. 1, 2016: On Jan. 20, we reported on a statement from the American Psychological Association that a research paper, "Chronic Adolescent Marijuana Use as a Risk Factor for Physical and Mental Health Problems in Young Adult Men," had a statistical error. The APA now says that statement, which was titled "APA Corrects Article Regarding Teen Marijuana Use," should not have said there was an error in the paper. Jim Sliwa, a spokesman for the APA, told NPR: "There was no error.

Gov. John Hickenlooper announced Wednesday that the state will prioritize connecting and building 16 hiking and biking trails in all parts of Colorado. The goal is to connect and build missing trail segments to make it easier for people to access open space and parks.

It's part of the governor's Colorado the Beautiful initiative, unveiled in 2015.

  • Some elected officials on the Western Slope to see raises
  • Hickenlooper's 'Colorado The Beautiful' gets new trail priorities
  • Rep. Hamner on budget issues at the statehouse this session  
Millie Hamner
milliehamner.com

Rep. Millie Hamner, D-Dillion, is the chair of the state Joint Budget Committee this session. She’s also the vice chair of the House Appropriations Committee. The Western Slope lawmaker recently spoke to KVNF about what big budget issues will be debated at the capitol this session. 

  • Colorado traffic fatalities increased in 2015
  • Lawmakers could propose new restrictions on edible pot this session
  • A word with Rep. Hamner on budget issues at the statehouse this session  
Stephen Butler via Flickr (CC-BY)

This week on the program, we'll hear Governor John Hickenlooper's State of the State address. The speech was originally recorded on Jan. 14, 2016. 


The annual legislative session is under way and lawmakers are once again back at the state capitol. Gov. Hicknelooper laid out his priorities – like more bipartisanship and tackling the budget by addressing the hospital provider fee – in his State of the State. But how do those priorities translate for the legislators working under the gold dome for 2016?

  • Missing snowmobilers found in Garfield County
  • Amazon to start charging sales tax in Colorado
  • CPW event will demo ice fishing at Crawford State Park
  • New study shows lethal hazards of diesel fumes
  • A roundtable discussion of this year’s state politics  

Butte is an old mining town, tucked away in the southwest corner of Montana with a population of about 34,000. Locals enjoy many things you can't find elsewhere — campgrounds a quick drive from downtown and gorgeous mountain ranges nearby. But in Butte, as in much of rural America, advanced medical care is absent.

People in Butte who experience serious trauma or need specialty care rely on air ambulance flights to get them the help they need.

 

  • Hotchkiss will vote on marijuana in April
  • U.S. Dept. of Interior halts future coal leases for 3 years
  • School enrollment in Delta County continues to decline
  • A look at Gov. John Hickenlooper’s State of the State address

Gov. John Hickenlooper delivered his sixth State of the State address to the state Legislature Thursday. In his speech he highlighted the need for people from all political stripes to work together to fix the state's big budget problems and discussed Colorado's economic gains and challenges.

"We're one of the top states for economic growth," Hickenlooper said. "One of the best places for business and careers, for quality of life, for health and tourism."

  • Two men sentenced to prison for killing motorcyclist
  • Construction hits milestone for new Montrose Rec. Center
  • Montrose School District budget woes not as bad as expected
  • CPW votes against introducing  endangered wolves in Colorado
  • Roadless Rule comment period ends

Citing concerns over pricing and pollution, the Obama administration on Friday unveiled a moratorium on new coal leases on federal lands. The change won't affect existing leases, which generated nearly $1.3 billion for the government last year.

The Department of the Interior says it wants to make sure the money it's charging for coal leases takes into account both market prices and what's often called the "social costs" of coal — its impact on climate change and public health.

The agency says federal lands account for roughly 40 percent of all U.S. coal production.

  • Palisade board approves buying land for a regional shooting complex
  • The 2016 Colorado state legislative session kicks off
  • DMEA board member talks about regional broadband efforts 

The Colorado capitol had a back to school vibe Wednesday, with families and friends joining lawmakers in the chamber for the opening of Colorado's annual legislative session. The building hummed with activity — and the usual pomp and ceremony and opening day speeches — after the eight month interim. Isaac Slade, the lead singer of the Denver-based rock band The Fray, sang the national anthem in the Senate.

But it wasn't all fun, the first bills are introduced on opening day, and lawmakers begin to outline their priorities for the next four months.

  • Hickenlooper outlines legislative priorities for 2016 session
  • Paonia resident, horse killed in accident on Hwy 92
  • Environmental activists respond to Arch Coal’s bankruptcy
  • For 2016, Democrats in the Colorado Senate will have a new leader

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