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July 29, 2016
HEADLINES: Saturday night July 30th at 11:30pm, Carbondale residents will walk together from the RFTA bus station down the Rio Grande Trail. More info on Facebook, the event is called "A Midnight Walk Together." More than 100 professors at University of Colorado, Colorado Springs signed onto a letter protesting Donald Trump’s appearance at the college this afternoon. They say their intent is not to challenge his right to speak, but to condemn the content of the rhetoric that Trump has used since announcing his bid for the Presidency. Two abandonded jeeps are still stuck in the Crystal River in a pristine section of the headwaters about a mile and a half north of the town of Crystal. The US Forest Service is not amused. FEATURE: Earlier this week, KDNK news interviewed a community rights activist who described how difficult it is to get initiatives onto the statewide ballot in Colorado without financial backing. Gathering over 98,000 valid signatures is a challenge, even with paid gatheres. For this week’s news brief Gavin Dahl talked with journalist Daniel Glick, co-founder of The Story Group, who has been following the money being spent on TV ads, mailers and billboards to try and persuade residents not to support iniatitives. His new Colorado Independent article is “Who’s Behind Decline to Sign.” PLUS: For this week's Eye on Crime, KDNK's Amy Hadden Marsh takes a look at Carbondale and beyond from July 15 through July 27th.
July 28, 2016
HEADLINES: Carbondale Town Trustees approved ballot language for the November election, asking residents to opt out of a state law that restricts local gov'ts from addressing the need for affordable, high-speed internet. Gavin Dahl reports. 2. Independence Pass was closed yesterday due to a hostage situation up Lincoln Creek Road, east of Aspen. Brolin J. McConnell, a 30-year old Colorado Springs man, was arrested for First Degree Kidnapping and Prohibited Use of a Weapon after holding a man against his will. The hostage escaped and no injuries were reported. 3. Just before GW Canyon reopened Wednesday afternoon, two semi-trucks were reported stuck on Cottonwood Pass. CSP got the call but since there wasn't a wreck, no report was filed. It's likely that the truckers worked things out for themselves. 4. If struggling to find affordable child care or taking the bus 45 minutes just to get fresh vegetables makes you feel a little under the weather, there's a reason for that, according to a new health report. Eric Galatas from CNC explains. FEATURE: Compostable waste from last year's Carbondale Mountain Fair did not end up where it was supposed to. This year, Green Team volunteers, Mountain Waste and Recycling, and Pitkin County are working together to make sure it doesn't happen again. Amy Hadden Marsh reports.
July 27, 2016
HEADLINES: Rocky Mountain Health Plans, based in Mesa County with about 400 employees, has announced that the nation’s largest health insurance provider UnitedHealthcare is buying them. Proponents of an effort to gradually raise the minimum wage in Colorado submitted more than double the amount of signatures necessary to the Secretary of State’s office Monday and the constitutional amendment will likely appear on ballots in November. After the Republican Party platform called for giving up federal lands last week, Governor John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, criticized the idea, calling it quote “reckless” and an assault on public lands that have been held in trust for all Americans for over 200 years. Critics of the idea to transfer federal lands to states worry that the next step would be privatization. A helicopter from Rifle was dispatched Monday to help fight the small West Ridge Fire near Keystone. Due to terrain, the area was inaccessible by foot. The helicopter dropped 2300 gallons of water on the area and then returned home to Rifle yesterday. Glenwood Springs has decided to wait until after the Grand Avenue Bridge project is complete before launching the WE-cycle bike-share program in town. While WE-cycle is now operating in Aspen and Basalt, Glenwood seeks outside funding to cover projected costs. The target launch date downvalley is now summer of 2018.
FEATURE: A new Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner program is in the works for Garfield County. Right now, victims of sexual assault have to travel to Grand Junction or Summit County for an essential exam, which makes it difficult for them to follow through. And, as KDNK’s Amy Hadden Marsh found out, SANE exams are not just for collecting evidence to help bring these cases to justice. PLUS: The Colorado Community Rights Network’s volunteer-based effort to create a statewide ballot amendment giving local communities more control over fracking, toxic waste and factory farms has run out of gas. Gavin Dahl spoke to organizer Cliff Willmeng.
July 26, 2016
HEADLINES: Carbondale police are seeking the public’s help to identify a suspect in two assaults. On Friday night a woman was walking alone on the bike path near Highway 133 and Village Road. A Hispanic male about five foot five grabbed the victim from behind and physically assaulted her. She was able to get away and was transported to Valley View Hospital with moderate injuries. Carbondale’s town trustee meetings are moving back to Tuesdays starting this evening. Tonight they continue discussing that topic, as well as affordable broadband internet with Garfield County officials joining Carbondale trustees for the regular meeting at 6 o’clock. Basalt meets tonight with an early 5pm start to appoint a temporary Mayor Pro Tem and then discuss the construction of a performing arts center and various ordinances and resolutions. You can attend either meeting in person or tune in online at grassrootstv.org. As the DNC kicks off in Philadelphia, groups are wondering why children are not a bigger part of the national conversation. Eric Galatas from Colorado News Connection reports. FEATURE: Carbondale and other communities in the KDNK listening area face challenges retaining police officers. KDNK's January Jones spoke with Carbondale Police Chief Gene Schilling about what factors affect his department. PLUS: KDNK’s Rocky Mountain Community Radio partner station KGNU features local nonprofits each week in a segment called Dot Org. This week Nikki Kayser talks to Roxanne Brickell Reardon about The Colorado Women’s Education Foundation. For forty years they have supported non-traditional women students with scholarships to help them transform their lives.
July 25, 2016
Seniors across Colorado are pushing politicians to safeguard one of the nation's most popular programs. Eric Galatas from Colorado News Connection talks to the new head of AARP Colorado. Carbondale Town Trustees hope to continue the momentum on affordable housing Tuesday evening with a visit from Garfield County officials. After last week’s nearly three-hour study session with planning and zoning experts, KDNK’s Gavin Dahl sat down with Mayor Pro Tem Dan Richardson to learn more about Carbondale’s approach. Carbondale’s John Bruna, co-founder of the Mindful Life Program and director of the Way of Compassion Foundation, is now a first-time author. His book The Wisdom of a Meaningful Life will be released on August 9th. He sat down with KDNK’s Amy Hadden Marsh on Valley Voices this month to talk about it.
July 22, 2016
HEADLINES: 1. The Colorado Department of Transportation plans to do some rock mitigation work in the Glenwood Canyon next week, which could impact Mountain Fair. KDNK’s Amy Hadden Marsh has this story. 2. The Rio Grande Trail mountain lion closure between Rock Bottom Ranch and Catherine Store Bridge was lifted Wednesday morning. No lions have been sighted there since July 13th. 3. Glenwood Springs City Council approved a town smoking ban Thursday night...with an exception. KDNK's Amy Hadden Marsh has more. 4. Colorado is taking part in a national effort to get more Latinos out into the state's open spaces, parks and forests. Eric Galatas reports for Colorado News Connection. FEATURE: On this week’s News Brief, Gavin Dahl speaks to Aspen Daily News reporter Collin Szewczyk about Republicans in Congress holding a hearing on Thompson Divide leases that Pitkin County commissioners say were slanted.
July 21, 2016
As firefighters continue to battle wildfires that have consumed 35-thousand acres so far in Colorado this year, experts in environmental restoration are gathering in Breckenridge to discuss damage mitigation. Stephanie Carson reports for Colorado News Connection. On Wednesday morning, Carbondale community members honored the life of Ro Mead, who passed away last fall, with a new plaque at the Evergreen Cemetery. Brenda Buchanan, Amy Kimberly, Leslie Johnson, Lynn Kirchner and Noreen Steiner shared their memories of her with KDNK’s Gavin Dahl. An artist, teacher, community organizer and friend, Mead is credited with leading the charge to start First Fridays in downtown Carbondale. Leadville has launched a campaign to save the Tabor Opera House. January Jones reports.
July 20, 2016
HEADLINES: Noam Chomsky endorses Amendment 69, the statewide ballot initiative that would create a new system of health coverage in Colorado. Panelists at the Colorado Farm Bureau issues summit in Glenwood Springs advocated against Amendment 69, against new fracking regulations expected to be on the ballot, and in favor of the so-called Raise the Bar initiative, which would make it harder to get initiatives on the ballot. Climate change’s effect on a common Rocky Mountain plant is driven by sex. Colorado News Connection reporter Eric Galatas explains. FEATURE: Tuesday’s Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission hearing in Glenwood Springs attracted industry workers and Battlement Mesa residents, presenting opposite sides when it comes to drilling within the Battlement Mesa development. KDNK’s Amy Hadden Marsh reports. RFTA is growing it’s partnership with WeCycle- a new bike sharing program already deployed in Aspen and Basalt. RFTA CEO Dan Blankenship told KDNK it’s a natural complement to their bus services. Glenwood Springs City Council are expected to vote on a commitment to engage WE-cycle as the city’s bikeshare partner tomorrow night at 6 PM. The plan would allocate a $75,000 local match to secure federal funding and $25,000 for implementation.
July 19, 2016
NEWSCAST: El Paso County Commissioner and Republican U.S. Senate candidate Darryl Glenn spoke in prime time during opening night at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. Bente Birkeland from Rocky Mountain Community Radio Network reports. KDNK’s January Jones traveled to Denver earlier this month to the Western Conservative Summit, to get a feel for what the next generation of evangelicals are thinking about GOP Presidential Nominee, Donald Trump. On a nature hike along Maroon Creek Saturday, Brandon Jones explained why Wilderness Workshop would like to see the City of Aspen abandon its water right instead of developing a new dam that would impact the wilderness area.
July 18, 2016
HEADLINES: Former Rifle resident Robin McMillan is in the headlines again, this time from inside prison. 9th Judicial District Attorney Sherry Caloia told KDNK that her office got a tip on July 8th that McMillan had stashed money to avoid having it garnished for restitution from a 2015 case. McMillan was convicted last year of embezzling over $400,000 from the Garfield County Clerk’s office. Caloia said the tip turned out to be correct. And, investigators combed through prison phone records, which led them to $46,000 held at McMillan’s son’s home in Rifle. He then led them to an additional $10,000, held by McMillan’s husband. KDNK will follow the story.
The Town Council in Basalt will discuss costs and next steps for their new River Park in a work session tonight at 6. Live streaming video will be available on GrassrootsTV.org. Colorado's 37 delegates to the Republican National Convention are in Cleveland, Ohio this week. As Rocky Mountain Community Radio’s Bente Birkeland reports, the state went for Texas Senator Ted Cruz, and many Republicans remain skeptical of Donald Trump. The latest drought outlook for Colorado shows conditions are good. KVNF's Laura Palmisano spoke with climatologist Brian Fuchs from the National Drought Mitigation Center. FEATURE: Pitkin County's Open Space and Trails is one of the nation's most successful programs protecting open space. On last month’s edition of the KDNK public affairs show For Land’s Sake, host Bill Kight spoke to Pitkin County Open Space and Trails program director Dale Will. Here, they talk about the history of some of the county’s purchases and the controversies surrounding a few. PLUS: The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has approved part of Ursa Resources’ plan to drill inside the Battlement Mesa Planned Unit Development. A state hearing was delayed until August with residents ready to go to Denver to present their concerns. Leslie Robinson, chair of the Grand Valley Citizens Alliance, tells KDNK's Amy Hadden Marsh now they'll take a different tack.