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KVNF Regional Newscast: May 10, 2022

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Adam for Colorado campaign
Candidate Adam Frisch meets with supporters in Pueblo on May 6, 2022.

A U.S. Magistrate is grappling with a First Amendment case involving Montrose County. In July 2020 road and bridge employee Johnathan Goodman called County Commissioner Sue Hansen on his day off, from his personal phone, to raise concerns about the county’s mask mandate, and to talk about a bridge replacement in Cimarron. The call got heated, he was belligerent, and soon after fired. Montrose Press reports the core issue presented by the case is whether government employees have a First Amendment right to be rude and unprofessional to employers. Goodman contends he was fired for exercising free speech rights and the county deprived him of due process. Montrose County’s defense attorney asked the court for a summary judgment, arguing the employee was not terminated for what he said, he was terminated for how he said it.

A project launched by the Telluride Open Space Commission to mitigate ongoing degradation of the Lower Bear Creek Preserve is working. In a discussion at last week’s meeting, progress was noted in closing off five different access points to the sensitive wetlands, and funneling foot traffic onto one main trail, minimizing the damage caused by the social trails in the past. Telluride Daily Planet reports the Telluride Open Space Commission has not closed any portion of the Bear Creek Preserve, but they are pulling it off their website as an attempt to reduce interest while it undergoes revegetation.

The Grizzly Creek fire two years ago continues to impact interstate travel through Glenwood Canyon and residents along an unofficial detour are bracing themselves for summer traffic. When it rains, there are frequently mudslides that close Glenwood Canyon. The Colorado Department of Transportation routes traffic through Steamboat Springs to Silverthorne, a four-hour detour. But Cottonwood Pass, a gravel road that takes drivers from Gypsum to between Carbondale and Glenwood Springs has become an unofficial detour. A traffic study by Garfield County in 2018 showed about 420 daily cars on Cottonwood Pass during the summer. When Glenwood Canyon closes, that daily count can climb to more than 5,000 vehicles. The Colorado Sun reports the pass is not suitable for trucks or commercial traffic. However, the I-70 Detour Act proposed by Representative Lauren Boebert calls for Cottonwood Pass to be paved. CDOT is in favor of leaving the pass under the control of Garfield and Eagle counties. The two counties plan to hold public meetings this summer to address residents’ concerns.

Colorado’s chicano mural art is being lost. The Denver Post reports more than 90 percent of the state’s Chicano murals from the 1970s, a period that produced a wave of art and activism, have already been lost, including nearly all of the murals in Denver’s public parks and schools. Efforts to preserve and restore the artwork will soon get a boost thanks to the announcement that Colorado’s Chicano murals are now on the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s annual list of America’s most endangered historic places. They are the first murals in the nation to make the list, and the first Colorado entry since Denver’s Larimer Square was ranked back in 2018.

Colorado lawmakers have passed a bill they say includes the most money they have ever spent on affordable housing projects. As Scott Franz reports for Capitol Coverage, it creates a first of its kind loan program to help jumpstart new developments.

SPOT (:38)

Adam Frisch is one of three Democrats on the June primary ballot for the Third Congressional District hoping to challenge Republican Lauren Boebert in the November election. Over the weekend he kicked off his Beat Boebert BBQ Tour with stops at nearly a dozen restaurants from Pueblo to Grand Junction. Unfortunately tensions arose at a variety of stops with a law enforcement response necessary in Trinidad and visits to Pueblo and Montrose were moved after restaurants allegedly received threats from Boebert supporters. Sarah Shook is the campaign manager for candidate Adam Frisch.

FEATURE (3:05)

KVNF News will keep listeners up to speed with any changes to the plans for events in our listening area this coming weekend. Currently that’s Saturday May 14th in Paonia at Root and Vine Market at 10am and in Delta at Dented Face Brewing in Delta at noon. If those locations change we will do our best to share the updated information.

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Gavin Dahl is a writer and producer with a passion for community media. He worked for KVNF from July 2020 to July 2022. He won awards and recognition for his KVNF reporting from the Colorado Broadcasters Association and Society of Professional Journalists. His writing has been published by The Montrose Press, The Sopris Sun, Boulder Weekly, Raw Story, Radio Survivor, Boise Weekly, and The Austin American-Statesman. He graduated from The Evergreen State College with a BA in media production and community organizing.
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