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June 24, 2016
HEADLINES: Lightning reportedly started a fire on the south side of Canyon Creek, west of Glenwood Springs last night. Crews went to the scene to assess it. No other details are available yet. Teen use of marijuana has not spiked in Colorado since legalization, according to new data. One in five teens told the 2015 Healthy Kids Colorado survey they had consumed cannabis in the previous month but 62% of middle and high school students say they have never tried it. Pitkin County Commissioners discussed the possibility of leaving the Colorado Counties organization. According to the Aspen Daily News, Commissioner Rachel Richards cautioned that the statewide lobby group has moved in a very conservative direction this year. Support for privatizing or deregulating public lands, by first transfering control from the federal government to states is growing at CCI. Boulder County already dropped out of CCI in February. Pitkin County is made up of 83% federal land. Eagle County Commissioners have indicated they plan to seek voter approval for new sales tax increases on the November ballot. The goal is to fund affordable housing and early childhood development but its still unclear exactly how the money would be spent. Commissioners estimate that an additional 3/10ths of a cent in sales tax could generate upwards of $4.5 million annually. FEATURE: For this week’s KDNK News Brief, Gavin Dahl speaks with Sopris Sun reporter John Colson about the 2016 Congressional race to represent Carbondale and the rest of the 3rd district in Washington DC. Primary ballots must be returned by Tuesday June 28th. PLUS: For this week’s Eye on Crime, KDNK’s Amy Hadden Marsh takes a look at Carbondale Police activity from June 10 through the 16th, and arrests in Aspen and Eagle County.
June 23, 2016
HEADLINES:Aspen Ideas Fest launches today and runs through July 3rd. Today, the Bureau of Land Management hosts an all-day public meeting to review, identify and evaluate potential reforms to the federal coal program in Grand Junction. Residents in Garfield, Eagle and Pitkin Counties might get a call from the Colorado Department of Transportation today. CDOT is hosting regional telephone town halls. State and local CDOT officials will be on the calls and people can just listen in or add comments about transportation issues. FEATURES: State legislators are making the rounds locally to update voters on what happened in the Colorado General Assembly this year. KDNK’s January Jones has this report. Bob Randall is the recently appointed head of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources. The department oversees everything form state parks and wildlife, to oil and gas drilling, mining and water conservation. Rocky Mountain Community Radio Network statehouse reporter Bente Birkeland sat down with Randall to discuss his priorities in his new role and the challenges ahead.
June 22, 2016
HEADLINES: Town Trustees meet tonight at 6 pm. They’ll be hearing the results of the 2015 audit and approving planning items around the Thompson Park housing subdivision. The Carbondale Farmers Market is open today from 10 to 3 downtown. New sculptures are in for Carbondale’s Art Around Town and it’s time to vote for the “Best in Show.” The Carbondale Public Arts Commission will award an $1,000 honorarium to the winning artist. You can vote for on the town's webpage at carbondalegov.org. Also on the town’s website is a link for a survey from the Environmental Board. They are asking residents to share what you think should be the community’s environmental priorities. FEATURE: Today KDNK news director Gavin Dahl speaks with Katherine Mulready, Vice President of Legislative Policy for the Colorado Hospital Association, about their opposition to ColoradoCare. Ballot initiative Amendment 69 seeks a new system of universal health coverage in Colorado. PLUS: Garfield County will include a ballot question this November seeking approval for broadband planning. The final round of Garfield County’s community input meetings on high speed Internet took place in Carbondale and New Castle last week. KDNK’s Gavin Dahl reports. Garfield County’s broadband needs assessment is still underway. You can participate in the survey at Garfield-County.com.
June 21, 2016
HEADLINES: Colorado Parks and Wildlife confirmed the lion killed Friday evening is the same one that attacked and injured a young child at a home in Lower Woody Creek that day. The child will recover. Officials say both lions killed were not old enough to survive on their own. The City of Aspen hopes to better align the Aspen Area Community Plan with the land use code. Express your opinion at aspencommunityvoice.com. Glenwood Springs Farmers Market begins tonight, running Tuesdays from 4 to 8pm through late September. With Double Up Food Bucks Colorado, if a family spends $20 in SNAP benefits, they will get an additional $20 to buy Colorado-grown fruits and vegetables. The Market also partners with the Garfield County WIC program to allow clients to buy grains, fresh fruits and veggies at the Market. More info at GlenwoodMarket.org. FEATURE: KDNK News Director Gavin Dahl speaks with ColoradoCare YES spokesperson Jeanne Nicholson. Thanks to the Glenwood Springs Library branch for making space available for the interview. Tomorrow KDNK will explore the NO side of the debate with a policy expert from the Colorado Hospital Association. PLUS: Glenwood Springs City Council ran through a full slate of issues on Thursday night. KDNK’s January Jones reports.
June 20, 2016
HEADLINES: Sunday afternoon, a brush fire burned 50 acres and one house near the Rulison exit on I-70. It was the second one in the area in the last week. On June 15th, 30 acres burned, halting westbound traffic on I-70 for serveral hours. Nearly 300 libraries across the state are offering a new program called "Check Out State Parks” that provides a free pass to all of the state's 42 parks. The Pitkin County, Basalt and all branches of the Garfield County libraries are participating. Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the Pitkin County Sheriff’s office are investigating a lion attack on a five-year-old-boy that occurred Friday evening at a residence in Lower Woody Creek.Connecting the Drops is a series about Colorado water issues co-hosted by KGNU in Boulder and KDNK. In this excerpt from the 5th episode, Brent Gardner-Smith of Aspen Journalism explored Aspen’s programs for water conservation. Hear the full episode at kdnk.org. And locals can get a tour of Aspen’s stormwater filtration system at Rio Grande Park on Thursday, June 23rd at 5:30 pm. More information at roaringfork.org. There are many hiking and biking guides for Colorado, but the state doesn’t have its own… at least not a comprehensive one. That’s about to change. There’s a new website and in the coming months it will turn into a catalog of just about every trail in Colorado. Bente Birkeland has more.
June 17, 2016
HEADLINES: (1) The 13th Annual ARE Day Summit opens Sunday in Snowmass. KDNK's Amy Hadden Marsh spoke with Chip Comins, founder, chairman, and CEO of the American Renewable Energy Institute, about this year's themes and trends. Info and tickets at areday.net. (2) Carbondale is officially a Certified Creative District. And, one of six new districts around the state. Colorado Creative Industries and The Boettcher Foundation made the announcement Thursday. Along with official designation, each district receives $40,000-worth of financial support, technical assistance, and more. Certification is for five years.(3) River flows in the Roaring Fork watershed dropped over the past week but remain near or above-average for this time of year. Water diversions to Twin Lakes decreased Tuesday and Wednesday, sending more water down the Roaring Fork. Near Aspen, the river was flowing at 140% of average. The Frying Pan dropped from 618 cfs to 220 cfs this week because of planned Reudi Reservoir operations. (4) The 119th annual Strawberry Days Festival opens today at Sayre Park in Glenwood Springs. The parade down Grand Avenue begins at 10 Saturday morning, This year's theme is "Back to the Future".The Strawberry Shortcut begins at 10 AM Sunday. More information at glenwoodchamber.com. (5) Eye on Crime takes a look at a cold case in Garfield County, a murder trial in Glenwood Springs, and Carbondale police activity from June 3 - 9. FEATURE:For this week’s News Brief, KDNK's Gavin Dahl speaks with Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reporter Charles Ashby about whether Governor Hickenlooper will call the General Assembly back to Denver for a special session.
June 16, 2016
HEADLINES: (1) A jury deliberated about six hours Wednesday and convicted Arturo Navarrete-Portillo of first-degree murder in the machete slaying of his wife in Carbondale last year. (2) The Pitkin County Coroner identified the 50-year old man who died in a rafing accident Wednesday as James Abromitis from Maryland. Abromitis was apparently rafting with Aspen Whitewater Rafting and fell out of his raft. He was pronounced dead at the scene. (3) A brush fire scorched more than 30 acres and closed the westbound lanes of Interstate 70 between Rifle and Rulison for several hours Wednesday. Both lanes were open by 8 p.m. (4) New GWS City Manager Debra Figueroa attends her first City Council meeting today. The meeting includes work sessions, prioritizing projects for the next round of Garfield Federal Mineral Lease District grants and an update on the planned Eighth Street connection. Tonight’s regular session of GWS Council includes an update on the city’s development code revision and more. (5) A second public hearing on Xcel’s proposed change to the way solar users are charged for energy consumption and credited for production is scheduled for today at the City of Grand Junction Auditorium from 4-6 p.m. (6) Soft-sided campers and tents are prohibited at the Weller Campground near Aspen until further notice. Two incidents last week, involving bears habituated to human food, have forced the White River National Forest to limit Weller to hard-sided campers only. All food, garbage and other animal attractants must be properly secured. (7) The annual Wilderness Workshop hike series is underway. KDNK’s Gavin Dahl speaks to hike leader Brandon Jones about what’s planned for the summer and about the first hike last weekend. FEATURE: (1) The Crystal River is the last free-flowing river in Colorado. And, three Carbondale-area residents want to keep it that way. They’ve launched an effort to convince county and municipal officials and the public to support a Federal Wild and Scenic designation for a portion of the river to protect it from future dams and diversions. But, at meetings in Redstone and Marble Tuesday, opponents feared losing property and water rights. KDNK’s Amy Hadden Marsh has this report. (2) It's rodeo night at Carbondale's Gus Darien Arena. Enjoy a rodeo moment from KDNK's Amy Hadden Marsh. More info at carbondalerodeo.com
June 15, 2016
HEADLINES: Garfield County has been the state’s largest producer of natural gas for nine years. But according to new data released this week by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, GarCo has dropped to the number 2 spot. Weld County surpassed GarCo for the first time. However the announcement by the US Geological Survey last week that recoverable natural gas reserves are 40 times larger than previous estimates could mean Garfield County production will increase again. According to USGS, the Mancos Shale Formation below Colorado’s Piceance Basin has 66 trillion cubic feet of gas, making it the second-largest natural gas formation in the country. Oil and gas interests have already flooded more than 6 million dollars of campaign cash into efforts to block new oil and gas regulations at the ballot. Four ballot items are in the signature-gathering phase. Citizen initiatives need more than 98,000 valid signatures, or 5 percent of Coloradans who voted in the last regular election. Fraudulent signature gathering has already brought a national spotlight on one of the five Republicans vying for the US Senate nomination. As primary ballots go out in the mail to all registered Republicans in Colorado, yet another scandal with Jon Keyser’s name on it is making the rounds this week. People attending Denver’s PrideFest this weekend will notice higher security. As Rocky Mountain Community Radio Network’s Bente Birkeland reports, that’s a direct response to the gay nightclub shooting in Orlando. FEATURE: Late spring and early summer are prime time for viruses, like Hanta and West Nile, to rear their ugly heads. In the past month, rabies and plague have been reported here on the West Slope. KDNK's Amy Hadden Marsh has this report. PLUS: Oil and gas played a big role at meetings this week for the Garfield County commissioners. KDNK’s January Jones has this update.
June 14, 2016
HEADLINES: The Twin Lakes Reservoir should reach capacity tomorrow. Diversions to Twin Lakes will be reduced starting today, which means more water will flow through North Star toward Aspen and into the Slaughterhouse section of the Roaring Fork River below town. On Sunday night, the Roaring Fork above Aspen peaked at 750 cubic feet per second. Expect upwards of 1,000 cfs for the next week. On June 12, 2009, the dismembered body of 38-year old Janine Johler was discovered in an apple orchard near Canyon Creek Road. But, the case has yet to be solved. If you have information about this case or know someone who might, please contact Garfield County Sheriff's Office Investigator Alstatt at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (970) 665-0222. Three Carbondale area residents would like to see a portion of the Crystal River Federally designated as Wild and Scenic. And, will make a public presentation this evening at the Church at Redstone (More). Appointments are available at 970.384.2060 to meet with an immigration lawyer at Catholic Charities on June 20th in Glenwood Springs for legal assistance and representation for immigration concerns, and assistance with immigration services, citizenship and naturalization, visa processing, work authorization, family processing and unification and more. Catholic Charities staff is bilingual. Governor John Hickenlooper signed several bills into law Friday, including one to help prevent suicides. BenteBirkeland has more from the state capitol. KDNK’s Gavin Dahl speaks to Aspen Journalism’s Brent Gardner Smith about his latest piece “Keeping Water in the Crystal.” FEATURE: The regional news collaboration Inside Energy looks at tech giants pressuring states to use renewable energy to power data centers.
June 13, 2016
HEADLINES: Amy Hadden Marsh recaps two unsolved thefts from last week, a burglary in El Jebel and a smash and grab in Aspen. Community members are seeking Wild & Scenic designation for the Crystal River Valley, to prevent dam construction among other objectives. A meeting will be held Tuesday in Redstone at 4pm. FEATURE: A leak in the water intake pipe and pump problems have plagued the City of Rifle's water delivery system since June 1st. City manager Matt Sturgeon told KDNK's Amy Hadden Marsh that crews have been working overtime to fix the problem and the city water plant is now stable... but not optimal. PLUS: It’s crunch time for Republicans vying to be the nominee to run against Democrat Michael Bennet in Colorado’s U.S. Senate race. The primary race is still wide open, and when the mail ballots are counted on June 28th, each of the five candidates on the ballot has a plausible shot of winning. Rocky Mountain Community Radio's Bente Birkeland has the story.