• Woman allegedly sets her home on fire
  • Tipton asks feds about small banks
  • Paonia sends notice about drinking water violations
  • Waldorf school initiative loses state appeal
  • Economic development bill progresses at state capitol
  • Police reform bills introduced at state capitol
Paonia Board of Trustees
Laura Palmisano / KVNF

The Paonia Board of Trustees held a meeting on March 10, bringing the hearing over town clerk Barbara Peterson to a close. 

  Host Jill Spears is joined by Paonia Community Garden organizer Ryan Strand.

Adriana Villagran, Amber Imrie-Situnayake
Laura Palmisano / KVNF

An interactive art installation on display now at the Blue Sage Gallery in Paonia was inspired by local residents and businesses. 

It’s Thursday night in Paonia. Elsewhere Studios is packed with people.

They’re here to see the work of the artists who are wrapping up their residencies.

On the second-floor of the studio is an art installation created by two women from California.

The upper portion of the display is a canopy of sticks arranged like an upside down bird’s nest with threads hanging down from it.   

gavel, courtroom
Jake Ryan / KVNF

Tuesday the Board of Trustees for the town of Paonia held a hearing, a trial of sorts, for Barbara Peterson, the town clerk that was dismissed last December.

This week, food culture. 

There are a lot of new trends and models when it comes to how we look at food.  There have been broad shifts towards local and organic food, but there’s also specific, organized changes.  To start off tonight’s program, we’ll talk with Mathew Coniset and Emma Stopher Griffin.  They both came to the North Fork Valley three years ago as interns on a farm.  Since then they became involved with a food movement known as Slow Food. 

Paonia Town Hall

The town of Paonia is looking at some serious financial troubles.  

In a recent document about the dismissal of the town clerk, they listed what might have to happen to pull the town out of the red. 

Paonia Town Hall

Through a public records request, KVNF has obtained the written charges for the dismissal of the former Paonia Town Clerk.

The document explains at length the financial issues the town is facing and cites those problems as the original reason for laying off Barbara Petersen.

According to the notice, the town asked Petersen to resign, but she declined. So the town let her go.

However, the issue is that under Colorado statute appointed officials can’t be dismissed without written charges and a hearing.

Paonia Town Hall

The Paonia Board of Trustees is in an awkward position after they laid off the town clerk late last year to save money.

There’s been an arrest regarding the break-in late last month at Hays Drug Store in Paonia. 

Hays Drug Store
Laura Palmisano

There was a break in last week at Hays Drug Store in downtown Paonia. 

Police are still investigating, but it appears the burglars stole prescription medication.

Officials say they don't know what kinds of medications were taken yet because they're waiting for pharmacy staff to inventory. 

 According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Colorado has one of the highest rates in the nation for prescriptive pain pill abuse.


  • Flu virus hits Mesa county, jail
  • ATV’s to be OK on roads in and near Nucla
  • Break In At Paonia Pharmacy 
  • Grand Junction sees rising costs for 911 call center
  • Politicians spar over driver’s licenses
  • EPA visits X Games to talk climate change
Cassandra Shenk, Chelsea Bookout, Waldorf School, Charter
Laura Palmisano

A group that was denied charter recognition by the Delta County School Board is appealing to the state. 

The Valley Charter Initiative wants to open a Waldorf inspired public charter school in Paonia. 

In December, the Delta County School Board unanimously denied the groups request for charter recognition.

Tuesday night the Paonia Board of Trustees approved the town’s budget for 2015.

Town officials say Paonia is in a ‘fiscal crisis’ and tough choices were made to address its budget deficit. 

The town will cut three staff members by the end of this year. 

Pink slips have been handed to the town clerk, a police officer and a sanitation worker.

Recently hired town manger Jane Berry says the layoffs were necessary to help close Paonia’s $410,000 budget deficit.


  • 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
vote, coal
Laura Palmisano

Bowie Resource Partners laid off 150 people at its Bowie #2 mine near Paonia. 


Bowie Resource Partners says it has eliminated 150 jobs at the Bowie #2 coal mine near Paonia.

Marijuana Plant
Laura Palmisano / KVNF

It’s been ten months since Colorado began allowing the recreational use of marijuana. But many towns across the state still don’t allow its sale. That may change this November. More than 20 communities in the state have marijuana issues on the ballot. 

"And here we have two cannabis plants that are mature and ready to be harvested," Scott Wilson says. "If you look at them you can see the purple on them and you can see the medicine on them."

Wilson owned the first medical marijuana store in Colorado’s Delta County.

Marijuana Plant

KVNF and the Paradise Theatre are hosting a live forum and/or debate on the retail marijuana issue, Question 2B.

The event will happen on Monday October 13th from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Registered Issue Committees, "Citizens For A Sustainable Community" and "Citizens Protecting Our Youth" have both been invited to participate.

Jake Ryan

The North Form Mosquito Abatement District is a small operation based out of Paonia that has to strike  a balance between keeping populations in check, while also trying to keep the citizens they’re protecting happy and safe.  It's a tricky tightrope that has been the source for debate for years.  KVNF's Jake Ryan talks to the employees about disease, fruit juice, dynamite, and more. 

Jeff Reynolds

Pickin' In the Park Concert Series, Week 3 - The Drew Emmitt Band with Simpler Times Bluegrass

Bart Eller

Early last month, chemicals were illegally dumped in an irrigation ditch outside Paonia. 

Motorcycle, BMW
Laura Palmisano

Don’t be surprised if you see a lot of BMW motorcycle riders in the North Fork Valley over the next four days

Many of them are here for the 43rd annual Top O’ The Rockies Rally

Mark Lee is one of hundreds of BMW rider that have descended on Paonia for the event.  

"I live in Silverton and I thought I’d come down and see the other bikes," Lee said. He owns a 1975 BMW R90/6. 

"It’s a fairly old motorcycle, but its been rebuilt and it’s running really strong," Lee said. 

Bart Eller

Over the Fourth of July weekend someone illegal dumped an unknown substance into an irrigation ditch outside of Paonia, according to the Delta County Sheriff's Office.

Law enforcement along with the hazardous material team from the Hotchkiss Fire Department were called to the scene on Price Road by a property owner.  

Ken Nordstorm, the environmental health director for Delta County, said samples from the ditch that flows across multiple properties and empties into the North Fork of the Gunnison were collected on Monday. 

Marijuana Plant

Paonia residents will decide if they want to allow retail marijuana facilities in their town during a special election in November. 

KVNF's Laura Palmisano

Last weekend was the 68th Annual Cherry Days Festival in Paonia. 


  • Elk Creek Mine Goes “Idle,” 115 More Workers Affected
  • City of Ouray Reviewing its 2020 Economic Development Plan
  • Senator Mark Udall to unveil plans for Brown’s Canyon
  • Group Tells Front Range Water Interests to Stay Away from Western Slope
  • Euology for Pete Poulos, aka “Pete the Barber”
Marty Durlin/KVNF

Paonia’s five and a quarter miles of bumpy, deteriorating sidewalks are a problem. Earlier this year the Town attempted to get homeowners to pay for their own sidewalk repair -- but met with resistance from residents who said they could not afford it, even if the Town contributes half the cost of concrete up to $500.

Now ballot question 2A calls for a three dollar per month addition to utility bills for ten years to cover the cost of sidewalk maintenance. 

This week on Local Motion, we present part two of Marty Durlin's interview with Dennis McKenna, about his book "The Brotherhood of the Screaming Abyss," which tells the story of Dennis and Terence McKenna's life together, beginning in Paonia. 

Dennis McKenna

The McKenna Brothers are two of Paonia's illustrious, possibly infamous, hometown icons. Younger brother Dennis is an ethnobotanist. His older brother Terence, who died in 2000, was known for his books on psychedelics and the nature of consciousness, with such titles as "True Hallucinations and The Archaic Revival: Speculations on Psychedelic Mushrooms, the Amazon, Virtual Reality, UFOs, Evolution, Shamanism, the Rebirth of the Goddess and the End of History."