NEWS

NEWS
8:04 am
Mon May 18, 2015

KVNF Regional Newscast: Monday, May 18, 2015

  Newscast

  • Oxbow mine auctions off equipment
  • Colorado Mesa University receives grant for innovation center
  • A talk with local state representative about session
  • Montrose airport breaks ground on second flight service company
  • Gov. Hickenlooper issues order to protect sage grouse, avoid listing
NEWS
4:59 pm
Fri May 15, 2015

Rep. Coram On The 2015 State Legislative Session

Don Coram talks about House Bill 1006 at its signing ceremony in Montrose on Tuesday, May 12, 2015.
Credit Laura Palmisano / KVNF

The 2015 state legislative session has come to an end. KVNF's Laura Palmisano caught up with Republican Rep. Don Coram at a recent bill signing event in Montrose. He represents House District 58, which covers Montrose, San Miguel, Dolores and Montezuma counties.

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NEWS
8:00 am
Fri May 15, 2015

KVNF Regional Newscast: Friday, May 15, 2015

  Newscast

  • Delta road closure opportunity for Chamber of Commerce
  • New law gives tax incentives for new businesses on western slope
  • Federal study finishes report of possibilities for water conservation
  • Man charged with attempted murder in Norwood
  • Area photographer tries to show people behind police uniforms
NEWS
7:55 am
Thu May 14, 2015

KVNF Regional Newscast: Thursday, May 14, 2015

  Newscast

  • Hickenlooper signs invasive species bill into law
  • Telluride school district invests heavily into solar power
  • US Judge rules against the approval of two coal mine expansions
  • Fire season forecast looks better as more rain falls
  • New law will study traffic on I­-70
NEWS
5:02 pm
Wed May 13, 2015

Montrose Library District Faces Grim Budget Deficit

The Montrose Library in downtown Montrose, Colo.
Credit Laura Palmisano / KVNF

The Great Recession officially ended in 2009, but communities on the Western Slope are still feeling its effects.

In Montrose County, unemployment remains high and property values have not returned to pre-recession levels.

Paul Paladino, the director of the Montrose Regional Library District, said low property values affect the libraries.

"We are funded 90 percent from property taxes," said Paladino.

He said since 2013, the library system has faced a $420,000 budget deficit and is dipping into reserves to help make up for that loss.

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NEWS
4:41 pm
Wed May 13, 2015

EPC Commissioners Approve Settlements

Originally published on Wed May 13, 2015 1:52 pm

El Paso County Commissioners have voted to approve two settlements in claims brought against the Sheriff’s office, former Sheriff Terry Maketa, and former Undersheriff Paula Presley.  The claims allege lost income and benefits due to a hostile work environment.

 

County Attorney Amy Folsom said at Tuesday morning’s commissioner’s meeting that her office has analyzed the risk of liability and evaluated the potential cost of litigation in each case.

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NEWS
3:37 pm
Wed May 13, 2015

Gov. Hickenlooper Signs Bill To Fight Invasive, Thirsty Plants

Governor John Hickenlooper talks about House Bill 1006 at the bill's signing ceremony in Montrose.
Credit Laura Palmisano / KVNF

On his tour of the Western Slope this week, Governor John Hickenlooper signed a bill to create a grant program to help communities fight invasive plants that threaten riparian areas in Colorado.

House Bill 1006 creates the Invasive Phreatophyte Grant Program.

Governor John Hickenlooper signed the bill at a ceremony in Montrose on Tuesday.

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NEWS
8:02 am
Wed May 13, 2015

KVNF Regional Newscast: Wednesday, May 13, 2014

  Newscast

  • Wastewater facility target of smell complaints
  • Overdose antidote is now more accessible
  • Unidentified body found in canal
  • Montrose Library district faces grim deficits
  • Restrictions on hemp may be lifted
  • Bear study bill passed into law
NEWS
12:16 pm
Tue May 12, 2015

Do We Talk Funny? 51 American Colloquialisms

Jennifer Maravillas Ikon Images/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 12, 2015 7:25 pm

Has American English become homogenized? Have our regional ways of saying particular things — sometimes in very particular ways — receded into the past? Or do we talk as funny as ever?

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NEWS
7:56 am
Tue May 12, 2015

KVNF Regional Newscast: Tuesday, May 12, 2015

  Newscast

  • Seatbelt enforcement ramps up this month
  • Veterans thanks, asked for input
  • Road construction flanks the North Fork area
  • Severance tax helps fund multi million dollar shooting range near Palisade
NEWS
7:54 am
Mon May 11, 2015

KVNF Regional Newscast: Monday, May 11, 2015

  Newscast

  • April doesn’t improve snowpack outlook for state, Western Slope
  • Doctor sentenced to probation for false Medicare claims
  • DMEA begins election process
  • Severance taxes help fund large shooting complex on Western Slope
NEWS
11:43 am
Sun May 10, 2015

Western Colorado Climate Challenge Conference in Paonia

Last weekend saw the Western Colorado Climate Challenge in Paonia.  It was a conference focused on the impacts of climate change on the Western Slope, and what could be done to address them.  This event was a little different than others like it.  This is Rob Menzies, one of the facilitators.

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NEWS
5:25 pm
Fri May 8, 2015

Grant Will Boost Shooting Range, Gun Center In Cameo, Once A Coal Town

The state gave Palisade a $2 million severance tax grant to help fund a regional sports shooting complex at Cameo.
Credit Laura Palmisano / KVNF

The state collects severance taxes from companies that extract nonrenewable resources in Colorado. Some of this money goes to communities in the form of large grants. Most of these grants go to communities to help build fire stations, upgrade water systems, restore historic sites, and aid with other infrastructure or economic development projects. The program is also providing funds for a shooting range on the Western Slope. 

Roger Granat is the 73-year-old mayor of Palisade. He grew up there. And as a boy, he would often visit the neighboring community of Cameo. 

"The general store and the post office sat over here on our right," Granat said on a recent visit to the old town site.  

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NEWS
8:02 am
Fri May 8, 2015

KVNF Regional Newscast: Friday, May 8, 2015

  Newscast

  • More rain to come, but drought may persist
  • Lake City Medical Center hosts free health fair 
  • Severance tax supports Western Slope projects
  • The State Legislature finishes its session 
  • Emergency drills ran at chemical weapons facility
NEWS
5:31 pm
Thu May 7, 2015

Colorado's 2015 Legislature Takes A Bow With A Flurry Of Activity

Gov. John Hickenlooper signing the annual budget bill, April 24, 2015. Under the state constitution the only thing the legislature is required to do is pass a balanced budget each year. The last day of the 2015 session was a mad dash for some bills.
Bente Birkeland RMCR

Originally published on Thu May 7, 2015 10:12 am

State lawmakers waited until the last minute to decide some of the biggest issues hanging over the capitol for the 2015 legislative session. They worked overtime to get everything wrapped up before a Wednesday midnight.

Reducing the number of standardized tests public school children take has been a top priority for lawmakers in both parties this session. The Governor even mentioned it during his January State of the State Address. Despite overall agreement on the problem, the issue wasn't resolved until the final moments of the session, after months of negotiations and numerous bills on the topic.

Test reform wasn't alone, priorities such as a felony DUI bill, reauthorization of the Office of Consumer Counsel, a change in the law for rain barrels, and a salary increase for elected officials were all on the docket in the waning moments of the General Assembly.

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NEWS
5:26 pm
Thu May 7, 2015

Severance Taxes Critical To Colorado Communities

Ouray got a $200,000 grant from the state to develop a master plan to reconstruct its hot springs pool with the help of severance tax dollars.
Credit Laura Palmisano / KVNF

    

Severance taxes are a vital source of funding for communities across Colorado. This tax applies to revenue the state collects from mining and energy extraction. Half of these funds go directly to communities affected by those activities. The other half goes towards grants for infrastructure and economic development.  

"We have just under a million gallons of hot, natural spring water that flows into the pool," said Patrick Rondinelli, the city administrator of Ouray, while visiting the city's hot springs pool. 

"There’s always been ponds in the early years that were in this location and then finally in the late 1920’s a formal swimming pool was built on this very site," he said.  "And, it’s been maintained in that condition in some variation. There’s been some changes made to it but basically in this same very site all these years."  

Rondinelli said Ouray closes the pool in the spring for about a week to clean it and do basic repairs. The site attracts about 135,000 visitors a year and is a major tourism draw for the small mountain community.

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NEWS
9:16 am
Thu May 7, 2015

For Rural Colorado, Stability Of Severance Taxes Is Always In Flux

The red brick streets in the historic downtown of Trinidad.

Originally published on Wed May 6, 2015 7:19 am

As a result of Colorado's booming oil production, energy companies are paying more in severance taxes – money they pay the state for taking minerals out of the ground. Half of it is supposed to go to back to local communities, both directly and through grants. But thanks to market forces – and political conditions in Denver – it's not always a stable source of funding.

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NEWS
8:00 am
Thu May 7, 2015

KVNF Regional Newscast: Thursday, May 7, 2015

  Newscast

  • Colorado makes 3rd DUI a felony
  • Western Slope property values mostly up
  • Birds migrations unhampered by warm temps
  • Oil taxes support communities across the state, but funding is uncertain
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NEWS
3:21 pm
Wed May 6, 2015

Colorado Lawmakers OK Elected Official Pay Raises

Colroado General Assembly

Originally published on Wed May 6, 2015 1:05 pm

A bill to raise the salaries of state lawmakers and other elected officials quietly made its way through the statehouse in the final days of the legislative session. It cleared the House with the minimum number of required votes. It had virtually no debate in either chamber.

"People in my district, whenever I tell them how much we make as lawmakers up here, are astounded. They are kind of appalled," said Senator Kevin Grantham (R-Canon City), he voted for the measure in the Senate where it passed with a wider margin, 21-14.

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NEWS
3:19 pm
Wed May 6, 2015

Felony DUI Bill Clears Colorado Legislature On Final Day

Colorado General Assembly

Originally published on Wed May 6, 2015 1:04 pm

Colorado will soon have a felony DUI law on the books. On the final day of the legislative session the Senate passed House Bill 1043 [.pdf] to create a felony DUI for habitual drunken driving offenders. Legislators had failed to pass it for several years, this time it passed the Senate 34-1.

"There are some holes this legislation is never going to fill there are family members we're not going to get back, and tragedies we can't undo," said Senator Mike Johnston (D-Denver) the bill's sponsor.

Only a handful of states don't have a felony DUI law. Some lawmakers were worried about the costs of incarceration, other legislators wanted to make sure the state provided proper treatments and interventions before giving jail time.

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NEWS
8:03 am
Wed May 6, 2015

KVNF Regional Newscast: Wednesday, May 6, 2015

  Newscast

  • District 51 buys food truck to feed kids over summer
  • Area clinic receives 700 thousand dollars to serve low income patients
  • Ouray County approves another marijuana grow operation
  • Ski towns send letter about coal industry
  • National fire forecast calls for above average fire activity
  • Capitol Conversation looks at final days.
NEWS
4:46 pm
Tue May 5, 2015

What's Left To Do At The Statehouse?

Ken Lund Flickr - Creative Commons

Originally published on Mon May 4, 2015 2:32 pm

The state's annual legislative session adjourns May 6, 2015. The last few days are always hectic as state lawmakers try to push through final bills. Other bills under the gold dome fail on the calendar or just die in committee. So which measures will make it?

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NEWS
4:38 pm
Tue May 5, 2015

District 51 Buys Food Truck To Feed Needy Students

A design of what District 51's new food truck might look like.
Credit District 51

In Mesa County, 42 percent of children qualify for free or reduced lunch.  

During the summer, many of these same kids qualify for a meal program when school is out. 

Usually Mesa Valley School District 51 offers this program at four or five schools, but this year there’s only enough funding to have it at two.

However, this summer the district plans on bringing meals to some students.

With the help of a $50,000 grant from the Western Colorado Community Foundation it purchased a food truck from Denver. 

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NEWS
7:58 am
Tue May 5, 2015

KVNF Regional Newscast: Tuesday, May 5, 2015

  Newcast:

  • Montrose apartment fire
  • Paonia board of trustees find  possible fraudulent use of the town’s debit card
  • Western Colorado Climate Challenge Conference  in Paonia
  • Paonia Chief of Police Scott Leon retires
  • Students taught financial literacy
  • Federal lands bill dies
NEWS
5:25 pm
Mon May 4, 2015

Local Schools Bring In Experts To Teach Kids About Money

Autumn Lettau with NuVista Federal Credit Union teaches sixth-graders at Centennial Middle School in Montrose, Colo about financial literacy.
Credit Laura Palmisano / KVNF

Many states require students be taught financial literacy. However, Colorado is one of the few that also tests on it. To help students learn, some schools are bringing outside experts into the classroom. 

Six teams of students are playing a quiz game similar to Jeopardy. The purpose of the game is to gauge the financial literacy of sixth-graders who just completed a weeklong course on the topic. 

"I wish that somebody had taught me this when I was this age,"Autumn Lettau with NuVista Federal Credit Union says.

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NEWS
8:11 am
Mon May 4, 2015

KVNF Regional Newscast: Monday, May 4, 2015

  Newscast

  • New summer construction starts on Highway 133
  • Bill to address school funding advances at state capitol
  • EPA grant lets Montrose investigate suspected contamination
  • Measure moves forward to hold schools liable for student injuries and deaths
  • Region 10 unveils plans for revitalization of Delta, Gunnison counties
  • Haven House’s future uncertain, but hopeful
NEWS
5:20 pm
Fri May 1, 2015

Region 10 Seeks Input On Econ. Development Ideas For Delta, Gunnison Counties

The North Fork Valley is an agricultural area in Delta County know for its organic farms.
Credit Laura Palmisano

Over the past two years, hundreds of coal miners in Delta and Gunnison counties lost their jobs.

The decline in the coal industry has affected western Colorado. That’s why Region 10, an association of local governments, hired Utah-based consulting firm Better City.

The company is analyzing ways to foster economic growth in the area. And, the firm recently unveiled its first recommendations on how to do that.

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NEWS
11:18 am
Fri May 1, 2015

Colorado Lawmakers Looking For A Pay Bump With New Bill

Colorado General Assembly

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 9:33 am

A bill to raise the salaries of Colorado's elected officials was introduced in the Senate Thursday.  The proposal had been discussed for months, but people working on the measure said state lawmakers in both parties wanted to make sure there were enough votes for it to clear the legislature before allowing an introduction. This late in the session, a legislative leader must approve a bill before it can be introduced.

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NEWS
11:02 am
Fri May 1, 2015

School Violence Immunity Bill Clears Committee Vote

Colorado General Assembly

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 7:40 am

A measure to eliminate immunity for public schools for school shootings, death, sexual assaults and other series injuries that happen to students on school grounds cleared the House Judiciary Committee Thursday. It passed on a vote of 10-3.

Currently public schools are not liable. Legislative leaders in both parties are sponsoring the change, spurred in part by the 2013 death of Claire Davis. She attended Arapahoe High School in Littleton when a fellow student shot and killed her before turning the gun on himself.

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NEWS
8:02 am
Fri May 1, 2015

KVNF Regional Newscast: Friday, May 1, 2015

  Newscast

  • Hard freezes in springtime likely to continue
  • Wildfire awareness day this weekend
  • Senate kills racial profiling bill
  • Attorney General joins suit against BLM over fracking rules

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