NEWS

NEWS
9:28 am
Wed June 17, 2015

Reactions To Colorado's Supreme Court Decision On Medical Marijuana In The Workplace

Colorado Supreme Court

Originally published on Mon June 15, 2015 3:16 pm

The Colorado Supreme Court ruled unanimously Monday that companies can legally fire employees for using medical marijuana, even off duty.

The decision is based on the case of Brandon Coats, a quadriplegic who takes medical marijuana to control muscle spasms in his legs. Dish Network fired him from his job as a customer service representative in 2010 after he failed a random drug test. Coats then sued for unlawful termination.

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NEWS
7:58 am
Wed June 17, 2015

KVNF Regional Newscast: Wednesday, June 17, 2015

  Newscast

  • Safety Tips For Rafting Colorado Waterways
  • City And County Leaders From Across Colorado Meet In Breckenridge
  • Mesa County Regional Workforce Center Changes Status
  • Grand Junction Joins National High­-Speed Internet Effort
  • Black Canyon Astronomy Festival Kicks Off
NEWS
3:02 am
Wed June 17, 2015

Concern Grows Over Unregulated Pesticide Use Among Marijuana Growers

Using chemicals to control bugs or mold is common among commercial cannabis growers. But with no federal oversight, experts are concerned growers may be using dangerous pesticides.
Ted S. Warren AP

Originally published on Wed June 17, 2015 5:19 am

The marijuana industry has a pesticide problem. Many commercial cannabis growers use chemicals to control bugs and mold. But the plant's legal status is unresolved.

The grow room at Medical MJ Supply in Fort Collins, Colo., has all the trappings of a modern marijuana cultivation facility: glowing yellow lights, plastic irrigation tubes, and rows of knee-high cannabis plants.

"We're seeing a crop that's probably in it third or fourth week," says Nick Dice, the owner.

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NEWS
7:56 am
Tue June 16, 2015

KVNF Regional Newscast: Tuesday, June 16, 2015

  Newscast

  • Missing Paonia Man Found Dead
  • Tri-State To Buy Power From Colorado Wind Farm
  • Ride the Rockies Stops in Hotchkiss
  • Hwy 133 Closure On Friday
  • Region 10 Creates Support Group For Grandparents Raising Grandchildren
  • Colorado Businesses Can Legally Fire Employees Who Use Marijuana
  • Marijuana Use In Colorado
  • Ridgway Woman Trampled By Donkeys 
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NEWS
10:16 am
Mon June 15, 2015

Colorado Supreme Court Says Employees Can Be Fired For Marijuana Use

Brandon Coats works on his computer at his home in Denver in December 2012.
Ed Andrieski AP

Originally published on Mon June 15, 2015 9:27 am

Now that marijuana use is legal in Colorado, can employees be fired for lighting up a joint in their free time?

That was the question before the Colorado Supreme Court this term and on Monday it came to a conclusion: Yes, you can get fired.

The case was brought by Brandon Coats, who sued Dish Network after it fired him for using his "state-licensed ... medical marijuana at home during nonworking hours."

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NEWS
7:58 am
Mon June 15, 2015

KVNF Regional Newscast: Monday, June 15, 2015

  Newscast

  • Federal officials doubt Possibility of public lands transfer
  • Cost of getting ­by increasing faster than wages
  • Radioactive car found in Grand Junction
  • Head of state board of education resigns
  • Battle over funding for Wildland firefighting
NEWS
3:22 pm
Fri June 12, 2015

Rainbow Trout On The Rebound In Colorado

Credit Courtesy Missouri Department of Conservation

State wildlife officials say rainbow trout populations in Colorado are finally on the rebound after they were hard hit by whirling disease in the 1990's. KVNF’s Laura Palmisano spoke to Eric Fetherman, an aquatic research scientist for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, to learn more about the recovery of the fish. 

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NEWS
10:31 am
Fri June 12, 2015

Olathe Gets $226K Grant For Walkway Expansion Project

Olathe got a $226,000 grant to help fund a walkway expansion project from the elementary school to the middle and high school in town.
Credit Flickr/jstephenconn

The town of Olathe recently received a large grant for a walkway expansion project.

Olathe got nearly $226,000 through the federal Transportation Alternative Program. The Colorado Department of Transportation distributes the funds to communities.

"The scope of the project is to provide additional walkway for a section of town that has a high volume of pedestrian traffic," Patty Gabriel, Olathe’s town administrator, said.  "And, it would connect our Olathe Middle & High School with our Olathe Elementary School."

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NEWS
8:02 am
Fri June 12, 2015

KVNF Regional Newscast: Friday, June 12, 2015

  Newscast

  • No Charges In Fatal Fruita Shooting
  • Attempted Robbery In Montrose
  • Local Schools Awarded Millions For Improvement Projects
  • Delta County Gets Its First Car Charging Station
  • Colorado's First Outdoor Summit
  • Ride The Rockies Celebrates 30th Anniversary
  • Rainbow Trout Make A Comeback In Colorado
NEWS
10:03 am
Thu June 11, 2015

From Solitary To The Streets: Released Inmates Get Little Help

Brian Nelson, 50, at his home in Chicago. Five years after he was released from solitary confinement, he says it's still hard to be around people.
Peter Hoffman for NPR

Originally published on Fri June 12, 2015 4:12 am

In prison, Brian Nelson lived in solitary confinement. That meant 23 hours a day in a small cell. No human contact, except with guards — for 12 years straight.

Then, his prison sentence for murder was over. One moment he was locked down. The next, he was free.

NPR and The Marshall Project, an online journalism group that focuses on the criminal justice system, investigated the release of tens of thousands of prisoners from solitary confinement to find out how many prisoners, like Nelson, go straight from solitary to the streets.

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NEWS
7:57 am
Thu June 11, 2015

KVNF Regional Newscast: Thursday, June 11, 2015

  Newscast

  • Boy Scouts stranded on snowy mountain trail
  • Health officials concerned over possible mosquito surge
  • Montrose County School District struggles with budget
  • More oil and gas wells planned for Mesa County
  • North Fork residents travel to D.C. to weigh in on Thompson Divide lease swap
NEWS
3:02 am
Thu June 11, 2015

America's Next Economic Boom Could Be Lying Underground

Pump jacks and wells work in an oil field on the Monterey Shale formation in California. Economist Michael Porter says that hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a "game changer" for the U.S. economy.
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 11, 2015 12:42 pm

There's a serious problem in the American economy: Big corporations are doing well, but real household income for average Americans has been falling over the past decade — down 9 percent, according to census data.

"That's not good for America," says Harvard economist Michael Porter. "That's not good for America's standard of living. That's not good for our ultimate vitality as a nation."

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NEWS
9:57 am
Wed June 10, 2015

Interior, Agriculture Secretaries Call For Wildfire Funding Reforms

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Interior Secretary Sally Jewell came to Rocky Mountain Arsenal in Commerce City to urge a change in how the federal government funds large wildfire suppression.
Bente Birkeland RMCR

Originally published on Wed June 10, 2015 7:06 am

Sally Jewell, the Secretary of the Interior and Tom Vilsack, the Secretary of Agriculture, came to Colorado Tuesday to urge a change in how the federal government pays to fight catastrophic wildfires.

"The solution is for these fires to be looked upon in the same way we look at tornadoes, hurricanes, and floods, they're natural disasters and they should be funded as such," Vilsack said.

Interior's Jewell agrees the funding mechanism should change.

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NEWS
9:34 am
Wed June 10, 2015

From Bills To Ballots, What's Next At The Colorado Statehouse?

KUNC File Photo

Originally published on Mon June 8, 2015 6:33 am

It's been a month since Colorado lawmakers wrapped up their 2015 legislative session at the state capitol, but the work is far from over. Many of the bills that failed this year will likely be back next session and some long-standing issues may already be poised to go before voters in 2016.

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NEWS
7:59 am
Wed June 10, 2015

KVNF Regional Newscast: Wednesday, June 10, 2015

  Newscast

  • Coroner IDs Woman Killed In Crash, Wanted By Western Slope Authorities
  • Palisade Police Chief Resigns, Sgt. Takes Over
  • Olathe Gets Grant For Walkway Expansion Project
  • Water Well Testing In The North Fork Valley
  • From Bills To Ballots, What's Next At The Colorado Statehouse?
NEWS
2:07 pm
Tue June 9, 2015

The Unfinished VA Hospital That's More Than $1 Billion Over Budget

Sloan Gibson, deputy secretary of Veterans Affairs, speaks in April at the construction site of the VA hospital in Aurora, Colo. The unfinished hospital is more than $1 billion over its original budget and congressional funding runs out this week.
David Zalubowski AP

Originally published on Tue June 9, 2015 4:57 pm

A decade ago, plans were drawn up for a huge Veterans Affairs hospital near Denver intended to replace old and crowded facilities for nearly 400,000 vets in Colorado and neighboring states.

The original budget was $328 million, but that was totally unrealistic, the VA now acknowledges. So how much did it finally cost?

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NEWS
8:05 am
Tue June 9, 2015

KVNF Regional Newscast: Tuesday, June 9, 2015

  Newscast

  • Plane crash kills Crawford resident
  • Collbran avoids flash flood
  • Arrest made in Delta stabbing
  • A look at highschool graduation for ethnic refugees living on the Western Slope
  • Rafter drowns in Colorado River near Glenwood Springs
NEWS
5:09 pm
Mon June 8, 2015

A 'Higher Expectation' Was Part Of One Refugee's Journey From Myanmar To Colorado

Htoo Ler Moo, middle, with his parents at a scholarship award ceremony in Delta, Colo.
Credit Laura Palmisano / KVNF

Across the United States, millions of high schools seniors have just graduated. With diplomas in hand, they are getting ready for what’s next. 

In the rural community of Delta in western Colorado, three Karen refugees recently graduated from the local high school. Their families had to leave behind their homeland in Myanmar, once known as Burma, where the Karen people face violence and persecution.

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NEWS
2:51 pm
Mon June 8, 2015

Lunch Lady Knows There's No Quick Fix For Feeding Hungry Kids

Dakota Valley Elementary School kitchen manager Della Curry said she "knew the whole time it was a firing offense" to give out free lunches.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue June 9, 2015 9:25 am

Della Curry gave a free lunch to a hungry child that may be costly.

Curry is the kitchen manager — the lunch lady — at the Dakota Valley Elementary School in Aurora, Colo. She set off a national debate this week when she said that last Friday, "I had a first-grader in front of me, crying, because she doesn't have enough money for lunch," Curry told Denver's KCNC TV. "Yes, I gave her a lunch."

And shortly thereafter, Curry was fired.

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NEWS
10:48 am
Mon June 8, 2015

Paonia Alternative School Officially Stops Classes

Credit Laura Palmisano / KVNF

A deadline passed last week for several students in the North Fork.

The Vision Charter Academy announced plans earlier this school year to stop all classes at the Paonia campus, reverting back to a resource for homeschooling families.

Avery McJunkin just finished up his sophomore year at the alternative school.  He was one of several students that campaigned to keep the classes going. 

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NEWS
7:43 am
Mon June 8, 2015

KVNF Regional Newscast: Monday, June 8, 2015

  Newscast

  • New law expands Cottage Foods Act
  • May’s showers bring lots of snow
  • Vision Charter Academy’s North Fork campus reverts to only homeschooling
  • Capitol Conversation about the flurry of bill signing
NEWS
5:15 pm
Fri June 5, 2015

Gov. Hickenlooper Inks Cottage Foods Expansion Bill

Bread made in a home kitchen under the Colorado Cottage Foods Act.
Credit KVNF / Laura Palmisano

A bill signed into law Friday broadens the state's three-year-old cottage foods act. 

House Bill 1102 expands the number of homemade items people can make and sell under the Colorado Cottage Foods Act

It adds pickled vegetables, tortillas, fruit empanadas and flour to the list.

Earlier this year, Monica Wiitanen of Delta County spoke in favor of the measure to state lawmakers in Denver.  

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NEWS
11:05 am
Fri June 5, 2015

Hantavirus Kills Three In Colorado, Sickens A Fourth

Deer mice are the primary carriers of the hantavirus in Colorado.
Credit John Good / National Parks Service

Health officials said a Garfield County man who contracted hantavirus is now recovering at home, but the disease has killed three others in Colorado so far this year.

The Sin Nombre Virus is a strain of hantavirus found in the Four Corners states.

"Rodents, deer mice in particular, shed the virus in their urine and droppings," said Thomas Orr, a regional epidemiologist at the Mesa County Health Department, "and then when humans come in contact with those droppings they breathe in the virus." 

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NEWS
8:09 am
Fri June 5, 2015

KVNF Regional Newscast: Friday, June 5, 2015

  Newscast

  • Flash Flood Watch for Collbran
  • Rare disease on track to sicken more in Colorado
  • Department of Labor considers major changes for guest sheep herders
  • Gov. Hickenlooper signs law asking citizens for marijuana funds
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NEWS
7:59 am
Thu June 4, 2015

KVNF Regional Newscast: Thursday, June 4, 2015

  Newscast

  • Plane crashes in Montrose County
  • Pitkin County supports Thompson Divide Lease Swap
  • CDOT bus service from Denver to Glenwood Springs launches in July
  • Landslide near Collbran threatens more damage
  • Grand Junction homicide
NEWS
3:07 am
Thu June 4, 2015

Trial Of Aurora Theater Shooting Suspect Could Be A Battle Of The Experts

Jurors in the trial of Aurora theater shooting suspect James Holmes will hear differing expert opinions about whether Holmes was legally insane at the time of the shooting.
Andy Cross AP

Originally published on Thu June 4, 2015 7:21 am

In the trial of James Holmes, prosecutors spent the first month re-creating the night of the shooting. But this isn't a question of whether Holmes killed 12 people at the midnight premiere of the latest Batman movie in Aurora, Colo. The question has always been: Was he insane at the time?

For prosecutors, detailing that night is critical in exploring Holmes' mindset. During the process, jurors watched a lengthy, videotaped psychiatric examination. It was ordered by the court after Holmes pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

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NEWS
9:58 am
Wed June 3, 2015

Local Nonprofit Now Providing Legal Aid For Immigrants

Credit Jake Ryan / KVNF

Two employees of the Hispanic Affairs Project, a Western Slope nonprofit, recently got certified to offer legal aid to immigrants. 

The organization is helping people who can’t afford to hire an attorney.  

"I’m an immigrant myself and I know how difficult, complicated and sometimes very frustrating the immigration process can be," said Marketa Zubkova with HAP. 

It took her two years to become an accredited legal representative.

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NEWS
7:48 am
Wed June 3, 2015

KVNF Regional Newscast: Wednesday, June 3, 2015

  Newscast

  • Grand junction looks at costlier amphitheatre for park renovation
  • Local nonprofit now provides legal aid for immigrants at low cost
  • Person of interest sought in suspicious death
  • City of Montrose sees more tourism dollars
  • Rescue operation on Mt. Sneffels
  • Tree pushed aside for rafting on North Fork of the Gunnison
  • Former attorney General elected mayor of Colorado Springs
NEWS
6:49 pm
Tue June 2, 2015

KVNF Regional Newscast: Tuesday, June 2, 2015

  Newscast

  • SMPA gives back 1.7 million to customers
  • Mesa County checks to see if anyone watches public access
  • US Forest Service releases plan for beetle kill
  • Gov. Hickenlooper signs DUI bill into law
  • Biking festival returns to Paonia
  • Grand Junction resumes issuing drivers licences to illegal immigrants
NEWS
9:24 am
Tue June 2, 2015

KVNF Regional Newscast: Monday, June 2, 2015

Newscast

  • SMPA to give back $1.7 million to customers
  • Mesa County checks to see if anyone watches public access
  • US Forest Service releases plan for beetle kill, aspen decline  
  • Gov. Hickenlooper signs DUI bill into law
  • Biking festival returns to Paonia
  • Grand Junction resumes issuing drivers licenses to undocumented immigrants 
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