NEWS

NEWS
5:26 pm
Thu July 9, 2015

A Push For Solar In Colorado's North Fork Valley

Mounts that will eventually support solar panels on this roof in Delta County, Colorado.
Credit Laura Palmisano / KVNF

A few years ago, a grassroots program started in Portland to encourage people to adopt solar power. That idea spread across the county and inspired similar initiatives like one in a rural community in western Colorado. 

A crew of six is working to install mounts for solar panels on a residential rooftop in Delta County. 

This home sits atop a mesa that overlooks the North Fork Valley. And, it’s the first to get a sun-powered system through a local pro-solar campaign.  

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NEWS
8:01 am
Thu July 9, 2015

KVNF Regional Newscast: Thursday, July 9, 2015

  Newscast

  • Colorado has its first case of West Nile virus this year
  • Former Sen. Steve King comes clean with ethics commission
  • Department of Interior will not appeal coal mine decision
  • Fishing tournament looks to curb aggressive fish
  • Arrest made in animal shooting
  • Ophir Pass closes due to rock slide
NEWS
3:04 am
Thu July 9, 2015

He Fled Sudan And Made A New Life In The U.S. So Why Go Back?

Daniel Majok Gai revisits the two-bedroom apartment in Denver where he lived with seven other Sudanese refugees in 2001.
Kevin Leahy NPR

Originally published on Thu July 9, 2015 8:22 am

Daniel Majok Gai wants to go back to South Sudan.

He thinks he can help his homeland — the youngest nation in the world. Today marks the fourth anniversary of its independence. But there's little celebration. The country is being ripped apart by civil war.

Yet Gai, who suffered through years of violence and pain as a refugee, believes he can play a role in moving South Sudan toward peace and safety.

Against all odds, the 34-year-old is an incredible optimist.

He was 6 when a militia attacked his village.

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NEWS
5:24 pm
Wed July 8, 2015

Colorado Sees First 2015 Human Case Of West Nile

Credit Mesa County Health Department

Colorado has its first human case of West Nile virus this year. 

Health officials say a Mesa County man hospitalized after contracting the virus is now recovering at home. He’s the first person to be diagnosed with it in Colorado so far this year, according to the state. 

Thomas Orr is a regional epidemiologist at the Mesa County Health Department.  

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NEWS
7:57 am
Wed July 8, 2015

KVNF Regional Newscast: Wednesday, July 8, 2015

  Newcast

  • KVNF Signal Restored In Lake City
  • GVT Bus Driver Won’t Face Charges In Toddler’s Death
  • Grand Junction City Council Addresses City Manager’s Resignation
  • Second Draft Of Colorado Water Plan Released
  • Private Funding For IUD Program Still in Limbo
  • Western Slope Nonprofit Offers Help With Critical Home Repair Loan Program
  • Rep. Hamner Discusses TABOR
NEWS
5:00 pm
Tue July 7, 2015

Rep. Hamner Talks State Budget, Education Funding, TABOR

Colorado Rep. Millie Hamner, D-Dillon, represents House District 61, which covers Summit, Lake, and Pitkin Counties and a portion of Gunnison County and Delta County.
Credit milliehamner.com

Representative Millie Hamner, D-Dillon, was the vice chair of the Joint Budget Committee this past session and will chair the committee in 2016. KVNF's Laura Palmisano recently interviewed Hamner about the past session, the state budget, educating funding, severance taxes and the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights, known as TABOR. 

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NEWS
7:56 am
Tue July 7, 2015

KVNF Regional Newscast: Tuesday, July 7, 2015

  Newscast

  • New organization will try to combat bullying
  • Interview with Colorado Representative Millie Hamner
  • Mesa County begins construction on new media building
  • Brush Fire caused by 4th of July fireworks
NEWS
10:52 am
Mon July 6, 2015

Burt Shavitz, Namesake And Co-Founder Of Burt's Bees, Dies

Burt Shavitz, who co-founded Burt's Bees, died Sunday in Bangor, Maine.
Robert F. Bukaty AP

Originally published on Mon July 6, 2015 2:05 pm

Burt Shavitz, the man whose face is on your minty Burt's Bees lip balm and body wash, died on Sunday in Bangor, Maine. He was 80.

NPR's Elizabeth Blair reports that Shavitz's death resulted from respiratory complications.

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NEWS
8:09 am
Mon July 6, 2015

KVNF Regional Newscast: Monday, July 6, 2015

Newscast

  • Petition calls for term limits in San Miguel County
  • Recordings of private Grand Junction meeting nonexistent
  • Telluride Medical District buys plot of land for new hospital
  • Conservation Agreement Protects 780 Acres In Unaweep Canyon
  • Rep. Hamner talks with KVNF
  • Legislators talk about the importance of climate change laws
  • Koch Industries focusing on mass incarceration
NEWS
8:08 am
Mon July 6, 2015

Industry Payments To Nurses Go Unreported In Federal Database

Following the money trail is pretty easy with doctors, but nurses are another story.
Adrianna Williams Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 7, 2015 12:04 pm

A nurse practitioner in Connecticut pleaded guilty in June to taking $83,000 in kickbacks from a drug company in exchange for prescribing its high-priced drug to treat cancer pain. In some cases, she delivered promotional talks attended only by herself and a company sales representative.

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NEWS
3:50 pm
Fri July 3, 2015

Conservation Agreement Protects 780 Acres In Unaweep Canyon

A new conservation agreement with the Mesa Land Trust will permanently protect the 780-acre working West Creek Ranch in Unaweep Canyon.
Credit Josh Duplechain

A new conservation agreement will permanently protect a 780-acre working ranch in the heart of Unaweep Canyon. 

Mesa Land Trust worked for three years to make the deal happen.  

Ilana Moir with the trust describes why the nonprofit wants to preserve West Creek Ranch, which is along the Unaweep-Tabeguache Scenic Byway.

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NEWS
8:05 am
Fri July 3, 2015

KVNF Regional Newscast: Friday, July 3, 2015

  Newscast

  • Texting ­And­ Driving Teen Crashes Near Olathe
  • Five Rescued On Colorado River In Grand Junction
  • Deer Injures Woman At National Park Near Montrose
  • New Colorado Laws Go Into Effect
  • Montrose Wants To See Local Aviation Industry Grow
  • Forest Service Aims To Reduce Bear Problems With Backcountry Canisters
NEWS
3:32 pm
Thu July 2, 2015

New Rules Could Create A New Class Of Overtime Workers

Originally published on Thu July 2, 2015 5:22 pm

As President Obama promised, a new rule would make 5 million more Americans eligible for overtime pay.

Many workers say it's a welcome change. But businesses say employees could see negative, unintended consequences.

Barrett Zenger has managed a music store in Corpus Christi, Texas, for the past seven years, where he oversees two dozen employees, stocks inventory and fills in for sales clerks who call in sick.

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NEWS
7:55 am
Thu July 2, 2015

KVNF Regional Newscast: Thursday, July 2, 2015

  Newscast

  • New law bans dangerous hash oil production
  • Fire danger high as grasses dry out across the state        
  • CU Boulder study identifies fracking chemicals that most threaten groundwater
  • Grand Junction meeting records requested by newspaper’s attorney
  • Colorado tries to create new job listing site for potential employees
NEWS
4:17 pm
Wed July 1, 2015

Dangerous Hash Oil Production Now Illegal In Colorado

Credit Andres Rodriguez via Flickr

A new law that makes it illegal for individuals to use hazardous materials to make hash oil went into effect on Wednesday.  

Republican Representative Yeulin Willett of Grand Junction co-sponsored the measure. He said it targets ‘home cookers’. 

"We had a problem with explosions all over the state from people trying to manufacture marijuana concentrate using dangerous, explosive, volatile substances such as butane," Willett said. 

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NEWS
2:24 pm
Wed July 1, 2015

Recreational Marijuana Is Now Legal In Oregon

In Oregon, people can grow up to four marijuana plants per household.
Elaine Thompson AP

Originally published on Wed July 1, 2015 3:42 pm

Recreational marijuana is legal in Oregon as of today.

People 21 and older can now possess up to an ounce of pot when away from home and up to 8 ounces at home. It's also legal to grow up to four plants per household.

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NEWS
8:06 am
Wed July 1, 2015

KVNF Regional Newscast: Wednesday, July 1, 2015

  Newscast

  • Wildfire At Dinosaur National Monument Continues To Burns
  • Hot, Dry Weather Hits Western Colorado
  • Man Dies In Grand Junction After Bicycle Accident
  • Montrose School District Hires New Superintendent
  • City of Delta Narrows Search For City Manager
  • All Points Transit Offers Free Bus Rides In Montrose, Olathe
  • Colorado Sees Record Tourism Year In 2014
  • Highway 133 Cancels  Rockfall Work for Holiday
NEWS
12:17 pm
Tue June 30, 2015

Colorado Needle Exchanges Grow To Meet Demand

An example of injecting supplies available at the syringe exchange in Grand Junction.
Credit Laura Palmisano / KVNF

Needle exchange programs in Colorado are expanding.

The programs are designed to keep illegal drug users from sharing used needles and spreading deadly diseases like HIV and Hepatitis C. And, not too long ago they were illegal in this state. 

Five years ago only one needle exchange operated in Colorado and it was illegal. 

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NEWS
8:01 am
Tue June 30, 2015

KVNF Regional Newscast: Tuesday, June 30, 2015

  Newscast

  • State Supreme Court ruling could attract better doctors to Western Slope
  • Colorado Needle Exchanges Grow To Meet Demand
  • School Vouchers for religious schools ruled unconstitutional
  • Parents arrested in Minnesota after infants death in Parachute

Editor's Note: A story in this broadcast reported at least 18 states have laws that permit needle exchanges. That is incorrect. At least 17 states and the District of Colombia have laws that permit needle exchanges.

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NEWS
2:58 am
Tue June 30, 2015

Supreme Court Concludes Term With Death Penalty Ruling, Looks Ahead

The gurney in the the execution chamber at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, Okla. On Monday the Supreme Court voted 5-4 in a case from Oklahoma that the sedative midazolam can be used in executions without violating the prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment.
Sue Ogrocki AP

Originally published on Tue June 30, 2015 11:52 am

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday issued the last of its opinions for this term — on the death penalty, anti-pollution regulations and the power of independent commissions to draw congressional and state legislative districts. In addition, the court issued a set of orders that set up cases to be heard next term on affirmative action and abortion.

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NEWS
3:25 pm
Mon June 29, 2015

Supreme Court Rules In Industry's Favor. What's EPA's Next Move?

A plume of steam billows from the coal-fired Merrimack Station in Bow, N.H. in January 2015.
Jim Cole AP

Originally published on Mon June 29, 2015 4:37 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that the Environmental Protection Agency made a mistake when it told electric power plants to reduce mercury emissions. The high court says the EPA should first have considered how much it would cost power plants to do that.

The decision comes too late for most power companies, but it could affect future EPA regulations.

Mercury in the air is a health risk. When you burn coal or oil, you create airborne mercury that can end up in fish we eat and cause serious health problems.

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NEWS
8:46 am
Mon June 29, 2015

Embraced Yet Forbidden, Staff Sergeant Comes Out As Transgender

Staff Sgt. Patricia King, who has been in the Army for 16 years, says she decided to start her gender transition in January.
Christian Murdock Colorado Springs Gazette

Originally published on Wed July 1, 2015 2:00 pm

By serving in the Army, Staff Sgt. Patricia King is breaking the rules.

King enlisted 1999 under her birth name, Peter. At the beginning of this year, King — a decorated soldier with three deployments to Afghanistan under her belt — started her gender transition.

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NEWS
8:44 am
Mon June 29, 2015

Supreme Court Says Use Of Lethal Injection Drug Is Legal

Originally published on Mon June 29, 2015 11:47 am

Updated at 10:46 a.m. ET

The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 opinion, says the sedative used in Oklahoma's lethal injection cocktail does not violate the U.S. Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

Here's the background to the case, in the words of SCOTUSblog:

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NEWS
8:00 am
Mon June 29, 2015

KVNF Regional Newscast: Monday, June 29, 2015

  Newscast

  • DMV sees fee increases for driver’s licenses
  • Motorcycle accidents in Grand Junction
  • Program offers to share cost of weed control
  • Colorado reaction to Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage
  • Hwy 133 closed today
NEWS
3:28 pm
Fri June 26, 2015

Colorado's Evolution Toward Marriage Equality Has Been Incremental, But Quick

An excited crowd outside of the U.S. Supreme Court following the 5-4 decision legalizing gay marriage nationwide, June 26, 2015.
Elizabeth Harball used with permission

Originally published on Fri June 26, 2015 5:25 pm

Current and former Colorado state Democratic lawmakers are praising the U.S. Supreme Court's decision legalizing same sex marriage nationwide. In the 5-4 decision, the court ruled that same-sex couples have a right to marry under the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

"Today is an amazing day for America and equality, said Democratic former Speaker of the House Mark Ferrandino, who served as Colorado’s first gay speaker and helped pass a bill to make civil unions legal in the state.

"I knew we would get to this day in my life time, but never thought it would come so quickly. I am so proud of our nation's ability to move towards full equality for all people. The work is not done to end all discrimination but today was a gigantic step forward."

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NEWS
8:23 am
Fri June 26, 2015

Supreme Court Declares Same-Sex Marriage Legal In All 50 States

Same-sex marriage supporters rejoice outside the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on Friday after the U.S Supreme Court handed down a ruling regarding same-sex marriage. The high court ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry in all 50 states.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 26, 2015 2:49 pm

States cannot keep same-sex couples from marrying and must recognize their unions, the Supreme Court says in a ruling that for months has been the focus of speculation. The decision was 5-4.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, seen as a pivotal swing vote in the case, wrote the majority opinion. All four justices who voted against the ruling wrote their own dissenting opinions: Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito.

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NEWS
8:07 am
Fri June 26, 2015

KVNF Regional Newscast: Friday, June 26, 2015

  Newscast

  • Delta Hospital Withdraws From North Fork Clinics
  • Grand Junction City Manager Resigns
  • Former Olathe Police Chief Indicted Over Ammunition Purchases
  • Mesa County DA Takes Federal Prosecutor Job
  • Meth Bust In Montrose
  • Seven Republican Presidential Hopefuls To Visit Denver
  • 97­Years­Old (Almost) And Still Spinning Tunes On Public Radio
NEWS
8:28 am
Thu June 25, 2015

Supreme Court Rules Obamacare Subsidies Are Legal

Supporters of the Affordable Care Act cheer outside the Supreme Court on Thursday after justices upheld the law's subsidies.
Jim Lo Scalzo EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu June 25, 2015 11:04 am

Updated at 1 p.m. ET

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday handed the Obama administration a major victory on health care, ruling 6-3 that nationwide subsidies called for in the Affordable Care Act are legal.

"Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them," the court's majority said in the opinion, which was written by Chief Justice John Roberts. But they acknowledged that "petitioners' arguments about the plain meaning ... are strong."

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NEWS
8:00 am
Thu June 25, 2015

KVNF Regional Newscast: Thursday, June 25, 2015

  Newscast

  • Montrose County School District faces looming budget deficit
  • State Sen. Ellen Roberts withdraws from possibly running for US Senate
  • Search for city manager for Delta begins again
  • A look into the decision about local energy production and Tri State
NEWS
9:54 am
Wed June 24, 2015

KVNF Regional Newscast: Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Newscast

  • New Colorado Supreme Court Justice Appointed
  • Delta Continues Search For New City Manager 
  • Bicycle Tour of Colorado Stops In Hotchkiss
  • Highway 133 Closes For Blasting North Of Paonia
  • BLM Wants Comments On Grand Junction Airport Land Transfer Plan
  • iSeeChange: Mushroom Hunting 

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