North Fork Valley

Stephanie Helleckson, North Fork Community Chorus
Laura Palmisano / KVNF

The North Fork Valley now has a community chorus. KVNF's Laura Palmisano spoke to Stephanie Helleckson, the music director and conductor, of the new vocal group. 


  Newscast

  • Disconnect found in wildfire risk assessment
  • West Nile cases develop on Western Slope
  • North Fork gains community chorus
construction, North Fork Valley
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.  

Harvester Building, north fork valley art
Laura Palmisano / KVNF

There's a new work of outdoor art on display in Paonia. 

The Harvester Building in downtown now has a landscape oil painting mounted to the front it. 

Artist Maya Arthur Jensen created the piece.

"The gentleman who owns the building and I got together in March of last year and he wanted to fancy up his building a bit," Jensen said. "We discussed different designs and different ideas and eventually we came up with a portrait of the valley floor."

The painting looks like a snapshot taken from one of the mesas that overlooks Paonia. 

 Judy Livingston and Claudia King are best friends with deep roots in the North Fork Valley. They've lived in Paonia their whole lives and met in school over 70 years ago. As part of the Local Motion episode on community roots, Ali Lightfoot spoke to them about their lifelong friendship and how Paonia has changed over the years.

Carla and Floy met during apple pickin' season in the 1970's. They were both working at the same orchard and became good friends.   After that, they partnered up to run Wildwood Ranch on Stucker Mesa outside of Paonia.  As Carla says 'anyone who ever raised a chicken around here knows who they are'.  As part of the community roots episode of Local Motion, KVNF's Ali Lightfoot talked to Carla and Floy about their lasting friendship and life on the ranch. 

public meeting, North Fork Ambulance Association
Laura Palmisano / KVNF

The North Fork Ambulance Association is facing a large budget deficit.

That’s why the organization is hosting a series of meetings to gather ideas from the community on what to do about the problem. The first meeting was in Hotchkiss on Thursday night. 

The association is the only ambulance service provider in the North Fork Valley. About 50 volunteer emergency responders staff it. 

The nonprofit is funded by paid memberships, grants from the state, charging non-members for ambulance services and donations. 

Economy, North Fork Valley
Laura Palmisano / KVNF

Business and community leaders in Delta County’s North Fork Valley say Paonia, Crawford, and Hotchkiss need an economic boost. They recently held a forum on the North Fork Valley’s economy and what can be done to improve it.

About 100 people attended the forum in Paonia last week.

They came to hear different perspectives on the local economy, what’s working and what’s not, and how to make things better.

  Newscast

  • Town of Paonia faces cuts, layoffs
  • North Fork leaders discuss economic future, collaboration
  • WPX energy pays millions owed to mineral owners
  • Gov. Hickenlooper addresses long term unemployed
  • Tourism grants hope to boost the Western Slope

  Newcast

  • Gov. appoints new Ouray County Court Judge
  • North Fork meets to discuss economic future
  • Mesa County schools block cell phone app
  • Ceremony commemorates Sand Creek Massacre
Hive Paonia
Laura Palmisano

About 100 people attended a forum on the North Fork Valley's economy and what can be done to improve it. 

Thirteen people ranging from the president of a coal mine to the head of the Paonia Chamber of Commerce spoke at the forum held at the Hive Paonia. 

"We have our farms," says Alexis Halbert, president of the chamber. "We have our hunting resources. We have are restaurants, wineries, [and] people who are creating things out of the natural assets of the valley."

North Fork Valley
Laura Palmisano

The United States is the world’s largest oil and natural gas producer. North Dakota and Texas are experiencing an oil boom. And many other states are seeing natural gas production increase through hydraulic fracturing.

Colorado has nearly 53,000 active wells. But, the state’s energy boom is a source of tension. 

bing cherries, cherry
Laura Palmisano

The summer fruit harvest season has started in western Colorado. Cherries are usually the first fruit ready for picking in the North Fork Valley.

Marty Durlin/KVNF

Last year the North Fork Valley received about half of Delta County’s lottery-funded Conservation Trust Fund monies. 

Headlines

  • Wreck on Stewart Mesa Kills One
  • Garfield County Asks Hickenlooper to Intervene on Healthcare Rules
  • Man Shot on Orchard Mesa Was wanted by State Authorities
  • State Oil and Gas Officials Looking Into Spill in Mesa County
  • State Tightens Spill Reporting Requirements
  • Volunteers Gather for Kids' Christmas Party in the North Fork
Travis Bubenik/KVNF

We're well into the holiday season now, a time filled with food, lights, and gathering with friends and family. But it's also a time where many people give back to their communities.

27-year-old Jacob Saunders was killed on Tuesday after an accident at the intersection of Crawford Road and Stewart Mesa Road in the North Fork Valley.

According to the Colorado State Patrol, a call about the accident was received just after 8 am Tuesday morning.

Authorities say Saunders was driving south on Crawford Road from Paonia when he was struck by a 1989 Ford Pickup traveling westbound on Stewart Mesa Road. The driver of the pickup reportedly failed to stop at the stop sign and struck the car.

Modern Women's Club

On Monday, Delta County Commissioners named two historical landmarks. One of them is Paonia’s Bross Hotel, built in 1906 and now a bed and breakfast. The other - the Rogers Mesa Community House, built in the mid-1890s as the Hurst School. 

More Layoffs As Coal Mine All But Shuttered

Dec 3, 2013
Elise Thatcher/Aspen Public Radio

More coal miners in the North Fork Valley are being laid off. Oxbow Mining company, owned by billionaire Bill Koch, laid off more than a hundred more employees on Monday at its Elk Creek mine.

Tamburix via Flickr (CC BY-SA) creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, KVNF's Brian Cambria stopped in at Memorial Hall in Hotchkiss to talk with Marsha Grant and Toni Hanna during a volunteer-heavy event to wrap Christmas presents for children of the North Fork Valley. He captured an audio postcard to kick off the Christmas season.


Headlines

  • Use of Drones for Hunting May Soon Be Illegal in Colorado
  • North Fork Coalition Presents Limited Drilling Plan to County Commissioners
  • FBI Fraud Investigation Could Threaten Grants for GJ Airport
  • Delta Municipal Power Plant Set to Close
  • Case Against Montrose City Councilor Moved to Mesa County
  • Job Growth Likely for Colorado in the Near-Term
  • CP&W Seeking Nominations for Landowner of the Year Award
Joanna Calabrese

Just weeks after the Bureau of Land Management announced it would consider some community-developed ideas for managing public lands in the agency's Uncompaghre region, concerned citizens and stakeholders from the North Fork Valley met with Delta County Commissioners in Delta.   

The Paonia Town Council held a contentious study session on next year’s approximately $2 million dollar budget last week, with declining revenues pushing a host of competitive agendas. 

Tax revenues have fallen all over the western slope, said Elyse Ackerman, regional manager of the Department of Local Affairs, or DOLA, who attended the session.

 “The whole western slope is seeing a secondary dip happening,” Ackerman says. “If you talk to Mesa County, Montrose County, everyone’s kind of seeing it. The question is why, why is that happening again?”

North Fork Merchant Herald

Today on Local Motion we talk with three of the people involved with the North Fork Air Quality Study, a year-long project put together by CU-Boulder, the Western Slope Conservation Center and the Delta County School District. 

The project will use low-cost, portable and permanent monitoring devices to get baseline measurements of air quality in the North Fork Valley. 

Locals Weigh In On Government Shutdown

Oct 18, 2013
Verbeeldingskr8 via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA)

On Wednesday, October 16th, US Senate leaders announced they had reached a deal to avert a default on the federal government’s debt and to reopen the government after being shut down for more than 14 days. The US House passed the bill late in the evening and President Obama signed it into law just after midnight. 

KVNF's Cyn Holder took to the streets of Paonia and Hotchkiss during the day, just as lawmakers had begun working towards a deal, to ask people what they thought about the shutdown and the political gridlock that had perpetuated it.

Rita Claggett

“Neighbors, Strangers and Friends” is an audio/visual exhibit currently on display at the Creamery Arts Center in Hotchkiss. The exhibit features a series of interviews and photographs of North Fork Valley seniors created by local writer and photographer Rita Clagett. KVNFs Ali Lightfoot spoke with Clagett about the project. 

North Fork Ambulance

Today we speak with three members of the only ambulance and EMT service available to residents of the North Fork Valley and some surrounding areas. North Fork Ambulance is a non-profit, volunteer run group that's been serving the valley since 1969. 

Joining us in the studio for a conversation about the group's history, its mission and its methods are Richard Kinser - Operations Cheif and Board President, Dr. Dory Funk - board member and physician, and Kathy Steckel - Director of North Fork Ambulance.

Joanna Calabrese/KVNF

KVNF recently competed in the First Annual KCRW 24-Hour Radio Race, where radio producers from across the country and the world were given 24 hours to imagine, capture and produce a non-fiction story on the theme "The Last Thing You'd Expect." 

iSeeChange: Colorado Fruit Growers Harness Wind, Water, and Fire to Save Harvest

Aug 14, 2013
Kirsten Howard/Allie Goldstein

iSeeChange had the great pleasure of meeting two climate adaptation storytellers this summer, Kirsten Howard and Allie Goldstein. 1 car, 2 girls, and 3 months to travel across America and tell stories about the Great American Adaptation to climate change. After reading iSeeChange posts about frosts on the Almanac, they set out to talk to fruit farmers in the North Fork Valley. Here's what they found.

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Paonia & Hotchkiss, CO

Jim Brett

If you live in the North Fork Valley, you may have seen signs for a survey that asks "Did we get it right?"

North Fork residents are being asked to complete this survey as part of the North Fork Heart and Soul Project that has been taking place for the past year.

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